A friend of mine recently got back from a holiday and was talking about how she was having trouble settling back into everyday normal life and a mutual friend mentioned something called ‘the Third Space’. I had never heard of it before and went in search of it and found Dr Adam Fraser talking about this Third Space all over the internet.
Basically, the Third Space is the transitional space or gap in between the role or environment you’re currently in – for example being a manager at work (the first space) to another role like going home to kids (the second space).
Dr Fraser says what you do in the third place is really important for balance, happiness and performance. He talks about going through a particular process in this third space which is:
Step 1: Reflect: Reflect on the day. Focus on what you’ve achieved (like having lunch or a shower or doing the dishes) and what had gone well.
Step 2: Rest: Take time to focus your mind on a single thought and relax your breathing. Or try the ABC method that I’ve talked about!
Become calm and present – this allows your physiology to recover from the stressful day. This phase also allows your brain chemistry to support more constructive behaviours.
Step 3: Reset: Become clear about your intention for the home space and articulate the specific behaviours you want to exhibit (i.e. calm, organised and fun). Think about how you want to ‘show up’ as a parent/partner.
The link to the video is below. I highly recommend watching it if you have 20 minutes free 🙂
It’s so important for mums – for all parents to be able to find this third place and be able to reflect, rest and reset.
SO, what does this mean for stay at home mums then?
Where is the third space opportunity for stay at home mums when we have the kids all day?
This can be hard to find and because the opportunity is rare, this can lead to overwhelm, lashing out at our kids, emotional outbursts and burn out.
One opportunity could be in the morning before the kids wake up if that’s not going to be too early! But using that time before they wake up is an excellent way to set your day up. Perhaps do a short meditation and set an intention for the day – think about how you want to feel during the day.
Another time would be after they go to bed and are asleep. That’s a great time to transition from busy day as a mum on the go to relaxed, present: woman, wife, partner and human in the evening. You could take 3 deep, conscious breaths and reflect on your day then set an intention for your evening and for tomorrow. Then go watch your favourite Netflix show! 🙂
Watch the video if you can (link below) and have a think about how you can create that third space and what you would do in it. I’d love to know your ideas.