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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Simplicity Parenting

I didn't technically make a New Year's resolution this year.

I guess I half forgot to and half thought it was pointless since I never really stick to them anyways :/

But as I think about it now I did make a very simple resolution at the beginning of 2010, whether I was intending it to be my New Year's resolution or not. I decided to temporarily close my Etsy shop.

I know, I know, I've built it up for so many months and business was going great and yada yada yada.

I think actually part of the problem was that business was going so well that I sort of lost focus of my first two vocations in life...that of being a wife and mother.

I needed to start my Etsy shop last year, I needed to have a creative outlet all the while being a stay-at-home mom. I needed to know I could bring in the dough on my own accord.

So I proved all those things very well.

Yes I could do it, yes I was capable.

I also proved a lot of other things.

I was a much testier person when I had deadlines to meet and orders to fulfill on time.

I let my cooking slide and lost the joy I once found in preparing healthy and yummy food for my family. I often got annoyed that I had a little person tagging at my shirt because I just had "one more thing to finish!"

So I am taking a break.

And I must say it feels...very good. :)

So after I had started to simplify my own life a little I read about a book called, "Simplicity Parenting" by Kim John Payne, M.Ed.

Perfect, I thought, I SO need to read that.

Well I am about a chapter into in and I have to say that I can already tell it is one I will have to buy very soon because I am hating the fact that I can't highlight like every other sentence in my borrowed copy!

Basically, here's the gist of it all. The author has been a school counselor and family-counselor therapist for many years and has found that the missing piece in many children's lives is simplicity. As a result so many children are suffering from anxiety, ADD, ADHD, OCD. Children are being so bombarded with toys, books, activities, that they don't have time to be children! Take out 3/4 of all they have in their life and they will be happier, less anxious, more attentive, etc.

He outlines 4 ares of life that need to be simplified: their environment, rhythm, schedules and filtering out of the adult world.

Now since I haven't read the entire book yet I can't go too much in-depth but I have to say I love what he says about a child's environment. Much of it goes along with the Montessori principles that I already love and have put into practice. He suggests only having half a dozen books on the shelf at a time. The rest can be put away and used as a sort of library to borrow from every week. Toys should be kept at a bare minimum and should be mostly limited to those items that foster creativity in a child. So think of all those toys that are supposed to "entertain" your child...pitch em. In their place put building blocks, puzzles, creative materials, construction toys, etc.

I have mostly tried to keep the amount of toys my daughter has down to a minimum anyways but I went even further in the past couple of days...I mean honestly there are so many things in our living room she hasn't touched in weeks! So off to storage they went!

The same with books too....we have SO many books I didn't know where to keep them all, plus I was going to the library once a week too, and i noticed that my daughter really was losing interest in reading all together. So out went the books. And literally, like magic i swear ( which I don't' even believe in) she was super interested in her books again.

I will definitely write more about the book when I read more....stay tuned!


  1. Hey Leigh! Good for you taking a break...I am taking one too, actually :) And I am reading this book also. It's great to know someone understands what I'm going through, trying to keep priorities straight, etc. I'm excited to make my way through the book with you!

  2. I'm curious about how you will implement the ideas in this book. I have been meaning to ask you if you would share your daily routine. I have summers off and our girls are about the same age it appears. When I have had days off with her recently, I have been thinking about what I want our summer to look like. Laid back of course, but I want some structure, too. Maybe your routine will be changing with this book or maybe you don't have one at all, but if you are willing to share, I would love a little insight! Maybe I am really overthinking this. (And yes, I know it is only January...but I can't wait for JUNE!)

  3. I ran across your blog completely by accident, but I'm so glad I did! I find myself in the same season of life you describe here. I am very interested in this book, and I'm glad you've found inspiration from it.