The Art of Slow Living During a Busy Season
I’m going to be honest: life with two young children feels like a busy, chaotic season all the time. Literally all day every day. But during the holiday season, we find our calendar stacked with work projects, playdates, community events, and family gatherings. I might be losing my mind a little bit. Even though my husband and I both work from home in an effort to really be present during these formative years, we still sometimes struggle to live slow and make the most of the small moments, and the busy holiday season certainly doesn’t make this any easier. Our weekdays are filled with mornings at the library or the park, with afternoons set aside for work time. But our weekends are less structured and we try to go with the flow.
Here’s a peek into our weekend and some of the small, loving moments.
A few weeks ago we bought a donut pan on a whim and now every Sunday morning we test out a different donut recipe. Wolf loves to help by sticking his hands in the bowl, licking everything, and dumping out entire bottles of sprinkles. It’s become a lovely little tradition I think we’ll continue as long as we can. Also, this week’s recipe was the best yet! Next, I had plans to go toss a football outside and read books, but both the kiddos really wanted to play with train tracks. So, we played with train tracks. When taking it slow, sometimes it's best to just go with the flow. I like to be in control, so this isn’t always the easiest thing for me to practice. But we’re all happier when we’re listening to our minds/bodies and doing what we need.
We took naps and then headed to the swimming pool for an afternoon swim. Wolf jumped in over and over (and over and over) while Violet and I relaxed in the nice warm therapy pool. Afterwards we washed and folded laundry while the kids played with my parents, and then we all had a nice meal together. Finally we finished the day with baths and books - we always end up reading 5-10 books each evening and sometimes bedtime really stretches on, but I enjoy this quiet time together. Some day they will be big and won’t want to snuggle in to read together and I’m happy to squeeze out these moments as long as I can.
Like I said before, I’m certainly no expert at slow living, but it is a major priority in our family. We have made a lot of intentional (and sometimes unpopular) decisions to live our lives this way, and we’re still figuring it out as we go. Below are my top notes/tips for anyone looking to slow things down a little.
Time to unplug
While we’re not by any means a screen-free home (I don’t think we could get any work done from home without the XGames Women’s Skateboarding Final 2016 on Youtube) we like to take some time to put our phones out of reach, turn all the screens off, and just play, eat, and just enjoy each other as a family. It’s easier to play with my children without a screen fighting for my attention. I find I’m more mindful of what I’m doing and present in the moment instead of checking the newest email or racing the clock to complete a project.
We try to set aside time on the weekends for our hobbies. For me that means reading a book, weaving, or taking a bath. For my husband that often means going skateboarding or trying a new recipe. If we’re lucky this means a date night to give our relationship some TLC! If we have to call on family for help, then we do it! Takes a village, ya’ll.
Move your body
While often our weekdays are active just in nature of chasing around our children, we try to move our bodies for fun on the weekends. Our local rec center offers a winter pool pass to a couple intermediate school swimming pools and we try to go every Saturday and Sunday. Both of our children LOVE to swim and it gets us all moving and giggling.
Focus on relationships
We try to spend time with family or friends on the weekend - usually just at each other’s homes so that we can really focus on conversation and playing with one another without outside distractions. It’s good for our personal relationships to have leisurely time together where we can all behave freely - and let’s be honest, taking a group of children to a restaurant or fun community event (while definitely fun!) is not super relaxing.
One thing at a time
I multitask A LOT. I frequently type with one hand with a child in my lap. Or I take a break from my projects to play football every 20 minutes. And I eat more meals at my laptop than I’d like to admit. So it feels really good to take everything just one at a time, giving each task my full attention.
As you can see, we don’t really have a luxurious life - and it’s not nearly as photogenic now that we’re in the Midwest instead of Hawai’i. But we’re living life intentionally, and that’s really what it comes down to for us.
How do you practice slow living? Or even just stay sane during busy seasons of life? Let us know on our latest post on Instagram - I can’t wait to try some of your tips!
P.S. Thank you mom and dad for letting us (temporarily) live in your basement and make your kitchen messy every day.