The alarm goes off at 6.45 and this morning is one where I HAVE to be out of the door by 8.30am on the dot in order to drop two little people at school and get the train into London.
After a rather broken sleep with a croupy five-year-old, I yawn, stretch and make my way to the shower before the two little people are awake and demanding breakfast and anything else they may desire. As I turn the shower off I hear the familiar padding of little feet making their way to me, only this morning they are accompanied by a whinge and a cough and a need for a cuddle. This little person is just not well enough for school today, and I am due to be seeing a client for a coaching session. This is one of those moments when your plans for the day go out the window and you have to surrender to what is, now is not the time for Mother Guilt.
A few phone calls made, Calpol administered and it’s time to drop off the other little person (who is now feeling rather hard done by as she would like to stay at home as her little sister is) at school.
Home again and time to really accept that today I will be playing the role of Mummy with little time for anything else. Now this is where things become challenging. Although the trip into London has been aborted, there are plenty of other tasks on the ‘to do’ list, including a whole host of work-related emails and prep. There is also one other thing that is on that list- Day 4 of my 30-day Yoga Challenge.
As a working mum with two young children, I pride myself on the ability to multi-task, so today, as well as being present for the poorly little person, I am determined to complete my challenge. Call me a terrible Mum, but the Ipad goes on with a couple of episodes of Horrid Henry, a bowl of fruit and breadsticks and a drink of juice is added to the mix before I explain that “Mummy just needs 30 minutes to do her yoga”. With a promise of doing it in the same room as said little person, I do my best to block out the very loud sounds coming from the Ipad and focus my attention and breath on my yoga practise. It is at this point (approximately 8 minutes into the practice) that my phone beeps. I had forgotten to put it on silent. So, for the next few minutes,I wonder who is trying to get hold of me and whether it is urgent. My intention of being present and focused on my 30-minute yoga practise is failing. I am going through the motions, but I am certainly not present mentally. With that the two kittens decide that my yoga mat looks like a great scratching post.
The Flexible Approach to Goal Setting
I press pause, move the kittens, check my phone, get a tissue for the poorly little person and take a deep breath. A big part of me is telling me to give up as I have a great excuse don’t I? My child is off school ill, so I should sit on the sofa with her all day, only moving to get supplies. The other part is determined to complete day four. I know I will feel SO much better for doing so, and in turn I feel I will be a more present and calm mummy for the rest of the day. So with that in mind, I roll my shoulders back, breath and focus my attention once again to my mat. As I do I think about an event I was speaking at last week. I used a very simple acronym F.A.B. Focus. Action. Belief. This really can relate to any area of life. We often set out with a particularly intention or goal and find ourselves getting distracted. Sometimes it’s about flexing our approach to complete the goal, whatever it may be. I smile to myself. I am doing the best I can with the resources I have available to me at this time. I have choice. My choice today is to complete my yoga practise and to be present with my sick child. That in itself is a goal. To be successful in both is enough. It may not be the day I had planned or the goals I have previously set myself, and with a more flexible approach to goal setting , it is time to let go of what might have been and be completely present and accepting of what is.