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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Journey Renewed

As the holidays hit and the stress of life took over, I am sad to say I veered from my path.  My path of simplicity collided with too much and I hit over load.  As I hit over load, so did my family and my life. 
We began to spiral back into old habits that I had thought we left behind... no more dinner rhythm, less structure, and more clutter.  I sat back the other day and wondered...

How did I get back here?

I worked so hard to find a simple rhythm, begin to declutter my environment, and to cut back on technology.  All of this was lost in the face of too much.

Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids

Luckily about the time I came to this realization I was asked to do a book study with some parents at my school.  The school wanted me to read Simplicity Parenting.  Of course, I jumped on the idea.  What better way could there be to help put myself back on track?

After only 2 meetings and without copies of the book yet in hand, the group has made huge strides.  We are a small group of 5 moms trying to simplify. 

Here is what we have accomplished thus far:

  • lessened the amount of adult conversation that was being heard at home... the benefits are already being noticed by one mom in only a week
  • organized the family art table by simplifying the available supplies... the children are showing more creativity as they play
  • implemented a daily schedule to enhance the rhythm of the home... the house has run more smoothly with less stressful interactions among family members
  • toys have been cleaned out and decluttered... the new organization has given a new life to old favorites and destressed the clean up process
  • laundry has been sorted and donations are bagged... still more to go on the laundry issue, but it is definitely much better.
Simple ideas for the future...
  • weekly meal planning:  Designate a theme for each day of the week & stick to it.  This makes meal planning a snap.  For example: Mexican Monday, Italian Tuesday  Chicken Wednesday, etc.  You have tons of freedom, but less stress on coming up with ideas.
  • organize your To Do List:  Divide one piece of paper into several boxes.  Label each box as needed.  For example: grocery list, appointments, must do, need to do, etc.  Cross off items as you finish.  On Sunday night, write a new list including any items that you did not complete.  No need for several calendars or organizers.  Plus, a sheet of paper can go anywhere tucked in a pocket.
  • create a routine:  What part of your day is most hectic?  mornings?  evenings? dinner time?  How do you want that part of your day to run?  What feeling do you want to achieve?  Think about some simple things you can implement to bring about the change you want.
Question to ponder...What is the most stressful part of my family life?

What small change can I implement to help make that part of my life run more smoothly?

Think simple. 

I implemented making lunch in the evening to take something off my son's morning to dos.  It has worked out in everyones favor. 

I also created a schedule of events for my kids to follow both in the morning and evening.  It is a daily rhythm that keeps the boys on track and helps to lessen stress from too much.

The schedule of events has the added benefit of peace of mind.  My peace of mind.  I am no longer having to repeat request over and over.  I can refer to the board and have the boys take it from there. 

So... does this story have a happy ending?  I think it does.  When life gives you lemons, make lemondae... and lemon pie and lemon cupcakes and lemon...  Turn it into something that truly makes you happy.


  1. Those are some really great tips. I'm big with to-do lists and weekly meal planning. I also set aside some time on Sunday nights to do prep work for the weekly meals, such as chopping veggies. Dinner is the hairiest time of day and I find if I can cut my prep work it makes it a bit less bumpy. Great post.

  2. "Create a routine" resonates with me, maybe because that is the only thing that keeps me going (writing, studying and living) without losing my mind.

    I'll add this link to the Simply Stylish list too.

  3. Eclipsed... I never thought to do the chopping up front to save time later. I might need to think baout incorporating that small change into my life. Dinner time is definitely an area of concern on most days in my house and I would like it to run more smoothly.

    Routine seems to work miracles in my house. It helps instill such a sense of peace that is lost when the routine is turned upside down. Did you check out my Dinner Time rhythm. I think you and the Piano man might like to incorporate ti with the little princess every now and then.


Thank you for visiting Natural Simplicity. I hope I have helped you on your journey to getting back to the basics.
One Pink Fish


*All remedies mentioned on Natural Simplicity have been found on the web or in books as I learn to heal my family in a more natural manner.

* Always remember to consult a health care professional before trying any form of alternative medicine.