City Therapy

My mothering rhythm was a bit off recently. I couldn't pinpoint exactly why, but whiny preschoolers, nap-resistant toddlers, and mobile infants conspired to make me more short-tempered, less energetic, less creative, and more overloaded by my daily mothering tasks. This is not a very pleasant feeling, as I'm sure many of you can relate, and I wanted badly to unslump myself.

I thought at first that maybe I needed some "me" time, personal time away from the kids. But then it struck me: I don't need less time with my kids, I need more time with them. But I need more time with them away from the dirty dishes, nutritious meals, and mounds of laundry that can sometimes distract and deflate me.

So I decided to mix things up a bit today. I canceled a playdate and the three kids and I set out on a city adventure. I wanted us to do something different and energizing. I wanted to forego our usual city sights and instead explore a new spot that could help us-- help me--reconnect and rejuvenate.

We began by taking an early walk to one of our favorite nearby breakfast spots, and then hopped on the subway to the brand new Esplanade Playspace along the Charles River. We played at the park, lounged on our picnic blanket for awhile, read some books, had some snacks, and soaked in the sunshine and warm fall air together.

Back home in Harvard Square, we were tired but entirely refreshed.

Days like today remind me that when I get in a rut, I need to switch things up a bit. Instead of escaping from the kids, I need to find new ways to connect with them, away from my daily mothering duties, away from other playmates, away from our usual city spots. I need more time to soak them in, savor them, and gaze more closely at those familiar, precious faces that I love so deeply.