As we prepare to say goodbye to summer (I actually needed a sweatshirt this morning!), I also seem to be wrapping up a season where I focused on bringing minimalism, slowness, and simplicity into my home. Depending on the week and the activity, I would say I accomplished this goal with varying degrees of success. I hope to continue to build on the progress my family has made as we prepare for the school year to begin.
What I'm Reading
This book is full of ideas to minimalize everything from morning routines to birthday parties. The authors give busy mothers permission to adjust their expectations of themselves and their families (how many extracurricular activities does one child really need?) while living a life that feels satisfying and genuine.
One tip I really took to heart involves self-care. The authors suggest choosing a time after the kids are in bed to “clock out.” No more laundry, no more answering emails, no more work. I often spend the evening attempting to cram as much work into a short period of time as possible, and when I do, I’ve found my sleep suffers. The simple idea of giving myself permission to be off duty had never occurred to me. It’s a small act that has a significant impact on my energy level, and it’s an important way for me to avoid burn out.
“Part of the modern tendency toward overparenting seems to be driven by a fear of scarcity, whether it relates to material goods or spots at daycare or enrollment in the 'best' schools...But the idea that your child’s future success hinges on such a detail is an illusion...Their best chance for a happy adulthood lies in discovering and nurturing their strengths, cultivating flexibility in the face of obstacles, and developing the tools to forge lasting relationships” (Page 10).
“Most importantly, know that your child’s behavior does not reflect your worth as a parent. Good kids with good parents sometimes lose it (let’s be honest, good parents lose it too) - it’s part of learning how to handle the challenges that come with being social” (Pages 100-101).
“When kids are too busy to be bored, they miss the biggest creative motivator around” (page 142).
“When you treat yourself well, goodness trickles down into your relationships with your partner, your kids, your friends, and your community. It’s like a big circle of awesomeness” (page 204).