Documenting the ordinary moments after school | Free 52 project | St Neots and Cambridge Family Photographer

When you become a parent, you start noticing the inevitable time flying by and how quickly your children grow and develop. One minute they are little toddlers steadfastly holding onto your hands relying on your support to guide and encourage them through play. The next thing they are off creating their own games and improvising with tools or equipments to entertain their imagination. 

At every stage, I relish the ordinary times that I have to spend with my two boys. In our busy lives, I learnt that the moments that are created on a whim are some of my favourites. The unplanned moments when we aren’t dictated to be anywhere or do anything. Sometimes we wait until the weekend looking at our calendar hoping that I haven’t written something into those two days that we get to be off at home, which very rarely happens for more than once a month. Let’s be honest there’s always piles of mundane jobs to do in the weekends too, like a trip to the supermarket, gardening or housework.

Both my husband and I work whilst the children are in school, but I get to be home to collect them when they finish. I found that window of time between after school and getting ready to make dinner is actually quite a nice time when we are not feeling rushed. The children have done a day’s activity of learning and listening to their teachers in class. They refuse to join in any after-school clubs, apart from one, so this time is for them to just relax, play games with each other or watch television while I finish off some work. I get to listen in to their conversations or see the drawings or worksheets that they have made as well. They don’t have many homework at this stage, which I think is good.    

Now the weather is warming up, we’re spending some of that time outside. We would go to one of our local parks, which we have several that we are lucky to have within walking distance. My oldest is keen to show off his skills on the monkey bars. It took him more than a year to gain the strength and flexibility to do it all by himself, so I was really impressed when one day he learnt to do it. I also noticed how much bigger they look on some of the play equipments after a winter of avoiding the playground. Some things have become easier or quicker to climb and play on. I’m sure I’ll be reminiscing the days when I walk past one of the playgrounds seeing other children play on them that my children have long outgrown.

Then after a bit of play or straight after school, they would feel ravenous and it would be a good excuse to go to a coffee shop for a drink, get a cake to eat and talk about their day with them. It’s these ordinary moments of our normal day that I love to observe and hold onto; creating little visual memories that marks this period in our lives that we have together. 

Boy sitting on a swing in the park with his long shadow in front
Two children on the swings in the playground, Huntingdon, Cambri
Two children on the swings at the park
Long shadow at the playground swing
A boy in the park from a family photoshoot in Huntingdon.
A child on the lookout on the playground pole equipment
Going down the slide
Discarded shoes
Going down the slide
Two children in the playground in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire
A boy climbs over a yellow railing in the playground
Frog play equipment
Child sitting on the frog play equipment in the park in Huntingd
Two children in the playground, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire
Children sitting inside Tom's Cakes cafe eating cake at the tabl
Boy biting into a gingerbread biscuit
Boy eating his bakewell tart at Tom's Cakes cafe in St Ives, Cam
Close-up of a bakewell tart
Boy licking his fingers after eating cake in Tom's Cakes, St Ive
Child holding his glass of apple juice in both hands
Sugar cubs inside the jar
Tom's Cakes Viennese Chocolate shortbread
Window details in Tom's Cakes cafe, St Ives, Cambridgeshire

This blog post is my contribution to the Free 52 project. Go to the next person in our blog circle, my wonderful friend Lauren Frost Jensen, to read and see her beautiful freelensed images.