The Healing Power… of Fresh Air, a Playground, & Other Parents

I had a morning.

You know, one of those mornings.

The kind where it feels like every inch of your sanity, patience, and all-around calmness is tested to the breaking point. Where if you don’t get even one minute to catch your breath you’re totally going to lose it.

Yeah. You know the kind I’m talking about it.

Especially when it isn’t even 10:00 a.m. and you know you’re in for a really, really long day.

The funny thing is my morning started out great. Amazing, actually. It was the first night in a year I’d gotten a fully night’s rest. A full night. No nightmares or bed-wetting accidents. No baby starving at 3 a.m.

In fact, I practically sprang out of bed because I had such energy, knew that today was going to be a great day….

And then somewhere in there, it all fell to pieces.

It could have been when Kate climbed onto the kitchen counter in an attempt to get the Mother’s Day chocolate.  It didn’t matter that the chocolate wasn’t there anymore since I’d moved it (really, I do learn from my mistakes), but apparently Kate had to search three times Just To Be Sure.

Or, it could have been when I was trying to get in my 30 minutes of fiction writing and my great, awesome little toddler simply was not content with her movie.

Or the nuts.

Or the banana.

Or the apple.

And simply Had To interrupt me… by climbing onto the counter, which my super-power of ultra-sonic hearing easily detected!

Honestly, it was a writing session filled with jumps and burps and lots of frustration.

All those interrupted story thoughts while my poor subconscious did its best to find the story threads – threads that kept slipping away as the Mommy-Brain took control and needed to investigation what my limit-testing toddler was getting into now.

It was frustrating.

Very frustrating.

I mean, this was time I’d set aside for me.

Time that I was totally using wisely. I had literally ran downstairs after getting Eric down for a nap, sat at the computer, and got to work. No procrastination. The clock was ticking and it was the only chance I’d get to write all day.

So, you can understand how the interruptions would shove my good mood right on out that window. And yeah, I know the writing is supposed to be a fun thing, just like I know that in my kids’ young lives I shouldn’t look at the writing as a job. But as a fun escape.

Too bad my kids don’t know that.

Too bad they don’t yet know this 30 minutes is for writing and if they want to complain about a spot on the banana to do so in 35 minutes.

It took getting out of the house and to the park to finally dispel my frustration. Which is a good thing because, seriously, no one wants to keep going mad all day. No one wants that constantly bubbling spit-fire in their tummy. Certainly not me, and certainly not towards my kids.

And it took being outside in the fresh air to do it.

Being in a place where Kate could run free (read: wild). A place where I connected with other moms I knew, and even met a dad who was out with his 18-month-old son and just needed another human being to talk to. You know, one that responded in more than just grunts and babbles.

It wasn’t until playground time was done and I headed back to the farmers market and lunch, that I felt better.

Lighter.

And I wasn’t the only one.

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The outing had been a healing break for everyone.

Kate got to run and play with the other kids. Eric got the holding, mommy-attention he needed (all thanks to even more teething). And I got to breathe again.

Then I remembered, that beneath all that bubbling frustration, I knew this would happen.

I knew I’d feel better once we were out, but I had forgotten it. When you’re in those moments, in so deep down every little bit of parenthood rubs you and hits you wrong and you just can’t catch a breath, you just forget.

All you can see – and feel – is the frustration.

Today, I needed that reminder.

Especially when, looking back, I can see the success in my morning.

I wouldn’t have come to this realization if I hadn’t gone outside and gotten some fresh air, some good company, and a much needed Starbucks iced coffee for the car/nap drive that followed.

And.

did write.

It might not have been as much or as long as I’d wanted. And the experience might not be what I wanted, but I did it.

That’s some serious success.

And because of that, because my meter is no longer in the red, I can dance the pirate jig with my kids as we watch Tinker-bell and the Pirate Fairy. I can smile while Eric does his best to attack the “Frozen” balloon that’s nearly deflated.

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Because, really, this is the cool part about being a parent.

So, if/when you feel the bubbling spit-fire in your tummy, go outside and get some fresh air. It’s amazing how a little walk outside can heal the worst bits of our parenting frustrating (and provide a very nice source of energy-burn for our little ones).

2 thoughts on “The Healing Power… of Fresh Air, a Playground, & Other Parents

  1. Glad you came out to play! I know so many times I feel frustrated or overwhelmed and I don’t want to leave the house because there is so much to do–housework, homeschooling, and more… but when we do get out, it certainly does refresh us!

    1. Thanks for the comment, Rachel. I’m really glad to know I’m not the only one who feels that way, just being frustrated and overwhelmed. I’m glad I made it out too because, really, fresh air and a little conversation DO recharge the system… and helps me face the rest of the day head-on.

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