We have been practicing the art of slowing down, trying to pack less into our lives. Reflecting on the fact perhaps our busy schedule that was perfect 3 months ago is perhaps not so perfect now. We need to do less. Sometimes life’s like that. And you know what, its great.
A bike trip to the park. Swinging in the garden while your babies ‘sleep’ – yup she put them to bed like that herself. We LOVE our curvy boards.A trip to the river with a buddy. 2h spent throwing stones, digging on sand and ‘chatting’ as toddlers do. Mama rather enjoyed chattering to her friend too. Tea in the car, muffins and crackers, sandy feet and sandy bottoms. Tired little people.
We try the ‘less is more’ in many parts so life. We follow the ‘Wear, Need, Want, Read principle for presents on birthdays and Christmas. The idea that overwhelming children with multiple gifts is counter productive, rather than feeling over-whelmingly loved and special, the child simply feels overwhelmed. Then struggles to truly identify or invest in any gift.That’s something we have seen ourselves. Our 25 month old last christmas, uninterested in anything but her first gift – us feeling like we were pushing her to open more and be ‘excited’. Removing that first thing to peel her attention back to the pile of presents waiting to be opened. We stopped. Wandered why we felt the need to interfere, then gave her back Nana’s Peppa Pig colouring book and left her to it. She was happy. Later she discovered her awesome puffy vest, her book, nd other treasures. Slowly.
This year there will be colouring pencils and a pad (she needs some new ones) a handmade dress, a new book. And her big gift. That’s it from us and ‘Santa’. Then she will spend the day with friends, and family. Playing, enjoying. Loved. Its not for everyone; but it works for us.
Her gifts from family she opens at her own pace and treasures because of the association to those she adores. They form bonds to those who aren’t there. A skirt that elicits a ‘Catherine chose me this’ every time she wears it, a book she chooses while remembering reading it with Nana. That is its own type of special.
We eat clean healthy food, keep it simple. We do not clutter the house with toys and ‘things’. I read some great articles about limiting toys for kids, and how even removing all toys from a kindergarten environment wasn’t detrimental (a little extreme perhaps but the study is interesting) and we try and keep our toy box fairly small.
I am ruthless at closet and cupboard clear-outs. Perhaps my mums ‘one in – one out’ policy when I was a child rubbed off?!
Somehow we have found the balance in those more material things but lost it living day to day. Becoming fraught and busy, panicky and hurried. And not enjoying. Always going and never just being still.
It has been amazing and enlightening this week watching Moo enjoy hanging out, stretching herself to find amusement and entertainment. Sometimes she invites me to join, often she just potters, checking back with me every so often. She’s frighteningly independent. I came in today to find her calmly sipping milk out of a tall glass. She was thirsty, she rectified the situation. No mess, no spills. She helped me clean the windows – messy but fun together. We read a book.
Less really is more in our house at the moment.