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Simplify This Summer

I am a married, working, mother of two little girls. I am a member of several boards in town. I volunteer. I go to all the fundraising events in town (well, almost). Both of my daughters are in dance. Every weekend it seems that our family has something going on. We are running here, there, and everywhere.

Life, as I know it, runs very fast, and there always seems like there is so much to do and to coordinate. School, lunches, laundry, yard work, obligations, jobs, and of course, fun.

I am constantly trying to make sure that my children are at birthday parties, have play dates, go to extracurricular activities.

But these days, especially as summer is on its way, I am making a case for slowing down, for simplifying, for taking it easy, for staying home and playing at home, for reading books in the air conditioning with the lights turned down.

Everything is moving so fast. And quite honestly, I look at my children and I am stunned. How did they get so big? I mean, honestly, I just gave birth to them.

It is my intention to slow down, to drop into a place of slowness and spaciousness, and simply be. To spend time with my children in quiet moments, and to teach them that stillness is vital.

Here are a few things I intend to try this summer:

  • No over-scheduling. The children will go to camp, but will take a break from extracurricular activities.
  • Play at home more. They have a bajillion toys and a wonderful backyard…. We will play at home more and invite friends to play with us.
  • We will eat at home. Instead of the mad rush to get food on the table, we sometimes rely on fast food or restaurants. We will eat at home more often, even if it is cut up fruit and vegetables.
  • Have quiet time. We will schedule quiet time for everyone, particularly on the weekends. You don’t have to nap, but we will be respectful of everyone in the house.
  • Limit television, iPad, iPhone, and all technology devices. This one doesn’t need justifying, I think.
  • Practice yoga. My children love yoga. I love yoga. We should do yoga together.
  • Give more responsibility to the girls. They must learn self-sufficiency and should learn age-appropriate tasks and chores. Plus, it helps Mommy not lose her mind.
  • Dedicated family time. Eat dinner together several times a week, take walks together, read together, and definitely, have a family game night.
  • Create space to go on dates with my husband. Self explanatory, I think.
  • Spend more time in nature. Quiet walks on the greenway, exploring nature, is one of our favorite activities. The beach is another favorite that I hope we can get to more this summer.

If you want to explore more options to creating simplicity with kids, visit http://zenhabits.net/25-ways-to-simplify-your-life-with-kids/.dancing 2

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