Editor’s Note: This is a post in the series, Simplicity in Action. If you’d like to submit your story of how simplicity has worked in your life, please read more here. You can write about anything from decluttering a junk drawer to simplifying your diet. Let your small and big changes inspire others.
I used to only think about simplicity in regard to things. I love reducing the amount of stuff I own, and I love the calm that a simple household brings.
When I had children, my notions of simplicity changed. For one thing, it became much more difficult to stem the tidal wave of clutter making its way into our house. That continues to be a work in progress for all four of us.
What I learned after my babies were born was how important simplicity is when it comes to daily life and routine.
We live thirty minutes from the grocery store, library, park and restaurants we enjoy. Before children, my husband and I went to town once or twice a week to get what we needed and to run errands.
After children, I realized that making an extra trip (or two) each week was worth it.
It does not work with two small children to have a list of errands as long as my arm. Everyone gets tired, hungry and petulant – including me! Choosing two, maybe three, things we need to accomplish each day is just right.
I’ve found that the same is true at home. The days with a simple handful of items on my to-do list are more enjoyable for all three of us than the days I race to accomplish as much as possible.
We have space on the simple days. Space for activities the children choose, space for long walks with no destination, space to simply breathe. I feel most connected to my little ones on these days, and isn’t that the point of simplifying your life after all? Feeling connected to those around me, giving them the attention they deserve, is one of the most rewarding benefits of making simplicity a priority.
Do we have crazy, complicated days? Of course we do. Life is only life with both sides of the coin, with the ebb and flow of energy and activity.
What I want my children to remember is that the simple days are the ones we come back to. Those are the days we know will come again when the latest burst of chaos is finished. Those days are the ones I look forward to the most, and the ones I hope they will remember fondly when they create homes and routines of their own one day.
Read more from Jennie at Bighorn Mountain Mama, where she writes about life with small children, depression, spirituality and how to learn to love yourself as much as you love the people you gave birth to.