Here in the United States, we are entering the official start of summer with the celebration of Memorial Day. I find this time of year a great time to take stock of my home.
What needs to be decluttered and gone through over the summer before school starts?
How can I streamline errands?
How can I get costs down on necessary items, such as food?
One way I declutter is to sit down with a calendar at the beginning of the summer, pencil in days for vacations and day trips we want to take, and then pencil in what areas in my home need attention on certain dates. I have the garage on my list, plus the school room and other areas.
Recently, I have been attempting to streamline errands by Continue reading
Whilst it is snowing today in some parts of the United States, the end to the school year is coming, and I look forward to Whole Days of Nothing.
Life, and the rhythm of life, moves in seasons. And summer is a perfect time to slow down, re-charge, re-evaluate and take time for the moments that matter. Continue reading
“Many of us parents take our children’s “emotional temperature” several times a day. We monitor their feelings, asking them to describe those feelings, to express them, to talk about them. We expect our children to have a complex awareness of their own emotions, with the insight and vocabulary to convey that awareness. While our intentions are well-meaning –“Honey, do you think your anger at your sister might also be a little jealousy? Can you tell her how feel inside?” — this emotional monitoring has an unexpected effect. It rushes kids along, pushing them into a premature adolescence…..To dissect and parse that, to push and push, imagining that they are hiding a much more subtle or nuanced feeling or reply, is invasive. It is also usually unproductive, expect perhaps in making a child nervous.” — Simplicity Parenting, Kim John Payne
Just for today, think in your head how your child feels and connect with that through Continue reading
“In their consistency, rhythms establish trust. They offer children a sense of order…the joy of anticipation and the security of things to be counted on, every day.” — Simplicity Parenting, Kjm John Payne
This is the time of year when many mothers lament to me that they feel like a failure. “We haven’t gotten enough done in homeschooling! We will be homeschooling in July!”
“My one main goals this year was to establish a rhythm to my home for my small children and I am still struggling with it.”
Or it can be very black and white: “I have a rhythm, I stick to it…but there is no joy, no spontaneity, no room for the unexpected.” Continue reading
We when think of simplicity, we often think of harmony….Yet, I love what Kim John Payne notes in his book , “Simplicity Parenting”:
“As parents we must not become “harmony addicted.” It’s tempting to hope that every day might be a sort of “rainbow experience” for our children. Wouldn’t that be nice? If only we could suspend them in a sort of happiness bubble. But they need conflict. As Helen Keller noted, “Character cannot be developed in quiet and ease.” Children need to find ways to cope with difficult situations; they need to learn that they can.”
The important part of this, for children of all ages, is to have parents who are steady and connected to them during these sorts of touch points of childhood. Continue reading
Balance means weaving yourself into the fabric of your everyday life. What moments are for you and you alone? Continue reading
Watching a sunset.
Eating an unhurried dinner together.
Having weekends free for a hike or a visit to the lake.
Being able to kick a soccer ball around the yard together or play catch and watching the dog steal the ball. Continue reading
I was thinking today about how activities are like circles in our lives: that circle that is a place of worship and all its corresponding activities, this circle that is a beautiful homeschooling group, here is a circle for the activities of this child and here is a circle for the activity of that child…
The circles can be beautiful, like overlapping flower petals..But they can also be so numerous that the center of the circles, the family, is dissected into little bits. Continue reading
Do you feel happy and joyful most of the time? Or consistently exhausted and overwhelmed?
Are you in good enough shape to bike, run and chase your children around?
I have spoken with so many families this month who are in the position of having too many things to do, too little time…and what frequently suffers is the basic need of the body and soul for health. Sleep, cooking from scratch, having time to relax and rest, time to exercise, time to just BE can all be really difficult to come by when you have small children, (and I think especially when one is homeschooling and has small children about all the time). There is no turning a walk into an aerobic exercise with a small child in tow who wants to stop and examine every cute little ant on the ground. That is just the reality!
But, the other reality is that one cannot neglect one’s health for years on end either. Some mothers seem to have this idea that if they can just wait until their youngest child is “X” age, then this is when their family will be getting into shape and will take better care of their health then.
My husband and I are working on revolutionizing our family life this year toward even better health. We have always been fairly health conscious in terms of our food, using alternative health care, getting outside daily, not watching media (which is time you could spend in getting outside!), but this year we really wanted to put some specific things into place. And sometimes that is hard, because we are apart most of the week, every week, all year long due to my husband’s work. It is harder to urge each other on to do healthy things, like exercising without the children, when you are not even together to support each other in person! So, here are some things we are trying: Continue reading
(For those of you new to this blog, we have gone/are going through the series “Twenty Days Toward More Mindful Mothering” for the second time; you can find the back posts under the “General Wisdom” tab in the header).
Humor is such an important tool in mothering and in generating positive outcomes in behavior that it had to have its own separate day! I think this is one place where many mothers, including myself, can fall short if we are not truly careful in cultivating this.
Is everything in parenting really that serious? So many times I think we see a behavior in a small child and feel we must somehow change it because otherwise our teenager will have this behavior. So many times I think the expectations we have for our children are so high for their age that it leads to joyless and humorless interaction with our children.
Using humor does not mean we never set clear boundaries. However, it does mean that we use warmth and love to set boundaries. We can say no gently, and stick to our “no” even through the persistence of a child. Boundaries are okay. Humor and playfulness does mean Continue reading