Over the past several weeks, I've been fantasizing about simplicity and what it would feel like if we ever mastered the art of simplicity. A kitchen island I would always be able to see the top of. A strong and steady routine to guide our days. Plenty of free, unstructured time for young and old(er) alike. Children free to just be children, without the cares of the adult world.
Today, I stumbled upon a little ecourse advertised on Amanda Blake Soule's website. It is for a Simplicity Parenting Virtual Workshop, courtesy of Kathy Stowell at Bliss Beyond Naptime. Her workshop is based on the book Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne. And while my husband and I are still talking about whether we will dive in and do the workshop, it was a good reminder to dust off the cover and re-read that gem of a book.
After being reminded of the book today, I took some time to consider what our days are filled with and whether they align to the principles discussed in Simplicity Parenting. There are some things I've already set up that I'm comfortable with, like developing a routine so that our children know what to expect in their day and their week. So far, a typical day looks like this:
~ Wake up and get ready to face the day
~ Hands-on time, where there is time to explore, discover and play
~ Lunch time
~ Free time
~ Supper time
~ Clean up, wind-down and bedtime
There is also routine within the week itself. We have a family meeting once a week to chat about the week ahead, particularly for the hands-on time in the morning. We strive to have one day in the week (we've selected the traditional Sunday), that is a free day for everyone in the family to do what he or she chooses. We aim to balance taking care of family work with taking care of the family's soul during our week.
Perhaps we will put the routine under the lens of a microscope someday, but right now there are other obvious areas in our home life that could use some more work. Like finishing that massive purge and putting expectations in place so that major purges don't need to be so time-consuming. I must confess, I cringe at going to work on my son's room. But once it's done, and if it's done well, he should be able to manage it himself going forward, like my daughter has.
Another area we'll target is overbooking our family calendar. While we've done well this summer, I wonder if we've overdone the fall activities, and how big the impact will be on that precious free time we've carved out of the day. On paper, our activities look do-able, but we don't really seem to grasp how big an impact they'll have on our daily life until we're actually living it.
In the meantime, I'll revisit the book and pull out some new insights that perhaps I missed the first time.