Slow Living Series (Part 2)

How slow living has helped my family.

Slow Living with kids

Moments. 

Our whole life is compiled of moments.

And, the most precious moments are made with the ones we love. 

But, what if we aren't present during those important moments. What if we were distracted? Stressed? What if our life passed by and it's too late before we realized that we don't get a do-over. What if we blinked and our children were adults and we missed the extra snuggles and light lisp of their toddler voice? What if our significant others felt unloved or unimportant because we didn't take the time to just sit and listen and BE?

Most of my favorite memories are simple moments. The ones where I felt truly connected to another human being.  And my favorite human beings are my family.

When I embraced Simplicity and slow living I found myself savoring these moments so much more. I made my family a priority and I vowed to honor them by being present. What do our children want most out of life? To feel loved. What do our children need the most? Time with us. How do we strengthen our relationships with the person we love? By showing them we care by being present.

Yes, life has demands such as jobs and errands. That said, how much of what we do can be eliminated? Saying yes to too much, trying to please others can inadvertently dishonor our priorities. 

My mindset shift evolved slowly. I started doing LESS. Saying no more. Stopped the frenzy to keep up with the Joneses. I was driven to pursue my books but no longer desperate to out earn or out succeed the competition. I did things on my own time.

Instead I sat and watched. I put down my phone. I let the dishes sit in the sink and enjoyed my kids. I had long, leisurely dinners with my husband. I have days where we have absolutely no commitments and we do what we want. And sometimes that's nothing! What has it done for my family? Well, my kids are HAPPY, truly happy and tell me all the time. My husband and I have been together for 10 years and are stronger than ever. We aren't perfect of course, but our relationship is solid. 

At the beginning, living in the moment can be stressful. You may want to check your phone, you may worry about missing out (FOMO), you may worry if you are doing "enough". You are. Honoring your family priority.

I get that the idea sounds good in theory but may seem impossible. Start slow like I did! Take a few things off your calendar. Politely decline. Cancel if you have to. Put an alarm on your phone that says family time each evening. Pretend your on vacation and have no worries in the world and sit and look at your significant other and listen to their day. The laundry can wait. Better yet, delegate work if you can. 

Unhurried time with family is the BEST time. 

I strive to be an available member of this family. Here with them, present in the moment. I never want the people I love to think the phone, computer, self imposed deadlines, activities, or housework is more important than them. Nothing else matters.

Happy Slow Living!
Gretchen

Read more about slow living here: Slow Living Series Part 1

To delve deeper into embracing a Simple lifestyle and WHY, order my book Simplicity