I am Joshua Mapstone. I’m father to my beautiful daughter Rosie, she’s 9 months old. Thanks to my wife Pip, she’s an absolute legend.

As always, on becoming a small family we all adjust to our new, busier lives.

I am quite naturally a very ‘busy’ person, filling every minute with something – work, family, friends, sport, etc. Over the nine months since Rosie has come into our lives, my ‘busy-ness’ rose to the surface. Without knowing it, being ‘busy’ was having a significant impact on me and my family.

Does this resonate with you?

Anyway, I had a beautiful point of realization that sparked change. As Rosie neared the end of her first block of swimming lessons Pip asked me if I could reschedule my week so I could join the lesson with her?’

My initial reaction was to focus on the difficulties involved: it’s hard to reschedule, I don’t want to let down the people I work with… and any other excuses I could think of. Aware of the moment though, I said yes and went about rescheduling my following week.

When Thursday came around, at 10.30am I met Pip and Rosie and shared the swimming lesson with them… Believe me when I say, I cannot encourage this any more than I will in the following sentences.

For the rest of the day I was on a high! That night Pip and I shared our impressions of the lesson remembering Rosie’s joy and at times her complete disinterest (which is fairly normal for a 7 month old I believe), both of which we smiled and laughed about. In terms of my well-being and the well-being of our family this simple experience could potentially be one of the most valuable moments we have shared together.

We put our family first, during a time when we would normally be separate and it was so meaningful.

It may not happen every week, maybe not even every month. However, when we’re all getting exhausted because of life it serves as a reminder to me that a simple shared experience can make all the difference.

For us, it was a shared swimming lesson and in an hour where I confirmed with action that our family comes first. For you, it might be anything from swimming, to bath time, to visiting friends or family, to going to the local markets, to spending quality time at home and so on.

What shared experiences have made a difference to your family recently?


Joshua Mapstone works for Bluearth as the Regional Coordinator for Central Australia region, covering NT and SA.

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