Balancing family and blogging - slow parenting

I'm been reflecting a lot of late. Turning 40 last week brought an influx of emotional analysation with it. It's hardly an epiphany but I'm not the only one getting old round here. A spate of fallen out baby teeth, trousers that once needed turning up three times now hanging above the ankle means one thing - my children are growing up and I'm not entirely comfortable with it. Not because I don't want to want them blossom and grow, but because I am constantly feel that I'm pre-occupied and missing on just spending time with them doing 'stuff'.

It seems I've been so busy thinking about 'slow blogging' and how cool the concept of 'slow living' is that I've totally missed the blatant simplicity of 'slow parenting'. 

When you live so much of your life online, or share so much of it with people over the internet it can be easy to get swept up in the online community and lose sight of what's really important - your offline community.

I started the year by vowing to walk a different walk every day of the year - and it's been really good for me. A new Range has meant that I've been learning to bake more and more. But there's been a significant shift in my mindset - these things are no longer viewed as blogging fodder. That's not to say that I won't share some of these thing occasionally but actually just enjoying the process of kneading dough or walking in the forest is rewarding enough for me, without having to attach it to blogging.  

I am walking more with my camera - but behind the lens less. I take way more photos than I share and keeping some back for us feels important, special. Kitty and Oz have started taking photos with my camera and despite my body image qualms I am seeing how important it is that I am in photos with them.

It can be terribly easy, as I know many of us have discussed in the past, not to compare our blogs to others. And moving on from that thinking, if you read blogs regularly, it's also easy to start to feel like you should be doing more with your children - making, baking, going places, creating memories. Inspiration is a wonderful thing, in moderation. Stepping back and just spending time together outdoors is so special. It's free, it requires no glue or glitter, there's no end product to aspire to - it's stripped back quality time with the people that matter the most - and those natural moments when you are close, walking and talking, they are just as special and memorable (if not more) than an action packed day out or the mother of all homemade cardboard fairy princess towers a la Pinterest.

More and more now I find myself segmenting 'blog life and content' away from 'family time' and I don't think that's a bad thing. I'll still share things on here - but there'll be other moments that I'll hold back and keep close, to look to on grey days.

Now, coming up to my 4th year of blogging I feel I am finally getting the balance right - how about you?

NB: Have just read this magnificently written post from Wordathlon and have to share this quote:

Some moments are not meant to be captured. Some moments are just for the heart, for the time that they happen, like smoke from a blown out match. Beauty and fascination can and should exist in a temporary state, too. Sometimes it’s important to just be right there and to drink something in, deciding not to focus on the possibility that you’ll forget what you’ve seen and knowing that it’s OK if you do anyway. Life’s tapestry is rich. If we hold onto everything we deny space for surprises and spontaneity. Sometimes it’s more important to hold someone’s gaze and give them a memory than it is to point and shoot.