I’ve always been an overachiever. I had to be first at things. I was excelling at tennis, academics and later at work.
But then once our son was born, I wasn’t first anymore, and I started looking at things differently. Being first gained a whole different meaning. Also, the perception of time changed, and we become much more mindful in the sense of savoring the moments of togetherness.
Synchronizing my sleep patterns with my baby, I established a considerably healthier sleep routine. I started going to bed early—and rather waking earlier too—and using the extra time in the morning to do some work. Positive mornings also lead to overall more successful days.
I also take time to prepare healthy foods and, therefore, we eat better. I even grew my own garden, so we are stocked on fresh fruits and vegetables almost all year. I also like to use our daily nature wanderings to pick berries and nuts from trees.
While there are a lot of fruits and vegetables to grow anytime from early spring to late summer, the rest of the year is not so fruitful. So, I like to store excess foods while they are still in good condition. There are a couple of ways of doing so. While nuts are easy to store, fruits and vegetables go bad quicker. With fruits, I either make a compote and freeze it; mix them in baby porridge and store in the dark, dry places or make fruit jams; sundry, or even freeze them as they are for later use. Vegetables are less versatile, but freezing them for a little while might prolong the summer vibes on your kitchen table for an additional month or two.
As every good meal needs a delicious dessert to follow, another thing that I learned is to make home-prepared sweets. I am normally a skeptic when it comes to ingredient labels, and sugar is not something I like to see in abundance. I am also partial to giving my two-year-old sugar and being his number 1 role-model, I need to lead the way. After a while of not indulging in processed sweets, I’m happy to report that the home-prepared ones surprisingly taste much better.
Speaking of processed things, I use fewer products and more natural ingredients. Without thinking, we use so many products that are chemically based—from hand-wash to cleaning products. There can be natural substitutes found for almost all the hygiene and cleaning procedures our every day requires. I prefer to keep my home chemical-free, which might not always be the easier choice, but it is definitely a healthier one.
Nature is not only my inspiration but, since becoming a parent, I spend considerably more time out in the fresh air. It results in me feeling more energetic, less cold during cooler months, and physically stronger.
Undoubtedly, investing more time in the family relationship leaves me with less time to work. However, on the other hand, I learned how to spend less and evaluate the quality of things that I buy before completing the purchase. So, that the things either last me longer or the foods have more positive effects on my well-being. In life, you certainly can’t have it all. But, the satisfaction of sharing quality experiences with your loved ones surpasses the power of material wealth. At least it does for me.