Life is in the little things

Sponsored by Bupa

 We are kind of pre-programmed in life, to hit the WOW factor. To be fabulous! To be the BEST Mum! To raise amazing kids and bake gluten free cupcakes. However, if you continue to live your life by societies rules, and not your own, it can leave one feeling overwhelmed, and exhausted.

Life is not about the big things. It is the small moments we need to focus on.

Personally, this year I have learnt a lot about the art of mindfulness. Noticing the small details in things. It has really helped to slow down my very over-active thoughts and as a result I have become a better partner and a better mum.

Why?

Because I am taking in and appreciating the little things. No longer was I racing around the supermarket thinking about all the things I had to get done before school pick up time. I was watching an elderly couple inspecting apples with such intensity that one might expect from a doctor doing surgery. I was smiling and cooing with a baby while her mother unpacked her trolley in front of me. When you stand still and take stock of what is going around you, oh the stories that unfold are priceless.

The most important thing to me, hands down, is family. And while it is not always sunshine, lollypops and rainbows, it is up to Mr. Woog and myself to set the tone in our house. When we fall apart, and it happens from time to time, the repercussions affect everyone. The modern day epidemic of busy-ness can break down the communication chain to the point that everyone is running their own race, rather than uniting as the team that a family should be.

Above all else, I want my boys to be happy. Their emotional and mental well being is paramount to me and for this to be thriving, there needs to be a very strong avenue of communication between us. This can be a little tricky with a teenager, but by laying down a solid foundation of openness, trust and juggling boundaries when necessary, means that open dialogue is more likely to occur.

I don’t volunteer at the kids’ schools so I can give myself a pat on the back. I do it to show them that I am interested in them and their lives. I get to meet all of their friends and chat with the teachers. I am showing them that I value them as people.

But in a time where everyone seems so connected via smart phones and social media, it is easy to find your family drifting apart. I know this because it has happened to us at times. I then call a socialization audit.

Bupa has launched a new campaign that can assist you and your family to focus on the little moments that matter. Their research showed that when it comes to nurturing children’s well-being, it is the little everyday moments that build strong connections and regular conversations. No need for big grand gestures or expensive outings. It can be as simple and mundane as unpacking the dishwasher, or hanging out the washing together.

Or if you REALLY want to treat your gang to a great time, you can do what we do every Sunday night. We have a good old-fashioned sock balling party!

Feast your eyes on this!

The four of us will sit around the dinner table playing the sock equivalent of Memory. During this time, we also go through the following weeks calendar and make sure everyone is across any plans for the week.

Rather than being connected to devices, try being connected to each other. Stuck in the car on a long journey? You cannot beat a game of Spotto! Waiting at the Doctors surgery? Tackle the crossword in that 1994 copy of New Idea together. Train up your chef assistant and have a conversation about, well anything really!

Just the small acts that lead to conversation and connections. That’s the stuff that they will remember. I recall my Mum teaching me how to make tuna mornay, how to sew on a button and how to properly weed a garden. The little stuff that probably didn’t mean much at the time, but they are the memories that remain with me.

Bupa have put together a challenge, which I invite you to join. Click here to register.

It is a free, easy and fun program that offers ideas and inspiration to make the everyday moments matter. There is a new challenge every week and the opportunity for your family to win some fabulous prizes.

And it is a lovely reminder for you to slow down. They really do grow up in the blink of an eye!

Does your family have special rituals?

Want to come to our sock balling party?

 

  • Sock memory – bloody brilliant. only 1 sock wearer here and so socks get hung up in pairs and then rolled immediately after drying. But that’s only cos I only have 28 socks a week. Your place must be madness. ‘Spoonful of sugar’ game is a good’un.

    • That sounds like heaven. We have business socks, ballet socks, sports socks, rugby socks, fluffy socks and god knows what else!

  • Heidi D

    I have a 14 year old that has really struggled emotionally this year. I have found that our best chats together happen quite by chance. Standing in the kitchen with me while I cook or coming & snuggling up on the lounge for a chat. It is so important to give our family time without the interruptions of technology to really listen & be together. With a reluctant teen sometimes the only together time she will be a part of is sitting down together for a movie but we keep working on it.

    • Oh I hear you Heidi. Sometimes it is hard to get our teens talking. But it is well worth it. xx

  • This is such a brilliant initiative and something we can all get on board whether or not we have partners or kids, because you’re totes right, it’s the little things that can make a big difference.

  • I find that having a 6 year old has done wonders for me in being able to notice the little moments we have together as a family. There’s so much wonder to be found in just about anything. It also eases my guilt about being quite pregnant and not as able to do the ‘big’ things so easily at the moment!

  • We call it a clothing party, and I dump all the baskets of clean clothes in the hall, everyone is assigned a basket and we sort all the clothes. My 7 year old commented to me the other day “you know mum, you just call this a party to get us in. It isn’t really fun!!”. Damn… he is on to me!

  • The gremlins have all grown up and left home, so it’s just the two of us now. However, Dragon Dad has ventured into the world of real estate and is now, effectively, working seven days a week…you can bet your bottom dollar it’s bloody easy to stop communicating with that as the underpinnings of the weekly routine… His stress levels are ridiculous, and he’s sleeping badly – those two are not mutually exclusive! One of my tactics, when I KNOW what time he’ll be home for dinner – not that that’s always possible – is to make sure he sits in the kitchen opposite me when he gets in, with a drink, and we chat while I finish off dinner prep – rather than him making said drink and vanishing to sit in front of trash TV. I know he does that to de-stress, but I realised that we can go from day to day at the moment and not have an actual conversation because he’s so bloody busy.
    OMG this sounds like a poor me comment – apologies. But it does go to show that if you can instill habits of connecting EARLY, there’s more hope for them later on in life!