Mommy A to Z

Motherhood, Alphabetized.

M is for… Mindful Mondays (Take a Walk)

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Recently my husband took our daughter out for some father-daughter time. My son has become a little couch potato, and asked to watch Curious George in their absence. Thinking about cooking dinner, I was tempted to agree. However, I decided instead we should go for a walk. Unsure where to go, we headed to the park near our house. I was apprehensive, as the park’s playground was a bit of a distance and it was close to dinner time. By the time we’d get there, we’d have to turn back. But for some reason, a nice long walk with my toddler seemed more important than a timely dinner.

As we wandered along, my son stopped to look at many things: sticks, leaves, rocks, the river that flowed nearby. At first, each time we paused, I worried about making it to the playground with enough time to play. But little by little, I let go of our destination. So what if we didn’t make it to the jungle gym? Weren’t sticks and puddles just as interesting? Wasn’t throwing grass in the stream just as meaningful an experience to my little guy?

Deciding to enjoy the journey — whether or not we reached the playground — lifted a weight off my shoulders. It was okay to experience the moment at hand, without worrying about some expectation that mattered little to my son. And so we ambled along, not thinking about dinner or the slide. And it was one of the most relaxing afternoons I’ve had in a while. I was amazed at what my son enjoys when he’s not being scheduled or rushed along. There’s a whole world at his fingertips, when we slow down to see it.

This week, try going for a walk with no destination in mind. Focus on your surroundings, from the feel of the pavement under your feet to the flowering trees surrounding you. If you’re with your kids, observe the things they stop to explore, and what interests them most. It’s surprising what you can see when you have nowhere to go.

MM 5-16-16

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9 Comments

  1. I’m finding myself getting relaxed just reading this…

  2. I often find myself taking walks with my husband and grand-babies just taking in the nature and day

  3. Sounds wonderful to concentrate on enjoying your child and surroundings without the disturbance of a smart phone or TV.

  4. Nothing can put you more in solace than spending a quality time with your little ones, and moreover, going out for a short walk sounds quite refreshing and exciting!

  5. We think we’re doing MORE for our kids by scheduling more, but it’s the tapestry of unscheduled times together that creates a memorable childhood. Thank you for reminding us of this.

  6. Absolutely LOVE this piece.
    My boy is just beginning to walk, and he is so curious in everything. He would much prefer I carry him during a walk and show him the leaves and the grass, to riding along in his stroller. Spending time with our children is so incredibly important-and something we will all miss down the road.
    Thanks for sharing <3

  7. I did this exact thing this afternoon. My kids and I plus my mom went on a long walk around our neighborhood. It was so much fun! I just went with the flow and didn’t worry about what was on my to-do list. I definitely needed this time with them and would really like to try and do it on a daily basis.

  8. Yes!! I have that uptight need to hurry to the destination too. But sometimes that’s not what matters. Good call. I love love love walks.

  9. Those are wonderful moments; but it isn’t always easy to let go of the destination and enjoy the journey. I do find those times are the most relaxing.

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