Slow Family Living is...
Knowing you have choices
Consciously making decisions
Doing things because it feels right for your family
Continuously asking, "Is this working for us?"
This week the boys and I are heading to my parents for a few days. We could have made the 6 hour drive yesterday but there was something tugging at me that ended up keeping us home for another day....I am not sure if it was the beautiful weather, more time with daddy, the avoidance of the longgggg car ride, or the fact that next two weeks are going to be busy and overwhelming so I was slowing us down.
We all have quirks. One of mine is thinking I can do more than I probably should attempt. Kind of like taking more on my plate at a buffet but realizng my stomach is smaller than my eyes (how does that saying go?). I get myself all tied up in knots after I have had these great ideas, shared them, and then realized the impact they will have on our family. They seem like small things but the impact is exhausting. Too many playdates, too much travel, too many visitors, too long of a to do list, too many errands, too many days booked with fun outings, - and all of these things are great. However, they leave us all wiped out, tired, crabby, and exhausted. I do it to myself.
Take this trip to my parents. When I go to my parents I have the opportunity to go home and enjoy my parents. But also living within two hours is my brother in law and sister in law and MORGAN, my sister and brother in law and ELI!, many childhood and college friends, my grandpa, Ed's grandma, Great aunts and uncles, and the list goes on. So when I go to my parents my thought is to see all of these people. I suggest staying with them or meeting at various fun locations to hang out and catch up. But within a day or two of getting in the car for the 6 hour drive with my 2 and 5 year old, the reality sets in. By seeing all these people that means I will be putting my boys back in the car for another 2-4 hours each day. And I start to see the possible outcome of exhaustion.
For this trip, one of our outings was going to work around nap schedules, train schedules, drive time, restaurant hours etc. I had myself in a tizzy because the hour we would have at the restautrant would be fun but maybe stressful. We want to see the friends and family that we are meeting there...but the almost 2 1/2 hours in the train could get long - the day before we trek 6 hours home. Just as much as the parents of nappers were working around the nap schedules it is okay that I think about Henry missing his afternoon nap and the race it would be to get from train to restaurant back to train. I could forsee myself dragging the boys and telling them to hurry, hurry, hurry. Eat faster. Walk faster. Sit stiller.
So slowing down.
We stayed home yesterday. We played board games in the morning. We played outside in the afternoon. We had pizza with friends. We played with daddy before bedtime. I went to bed early and my boys are sleeping later than they usually do (yes, it is 7:10 and they are still sleeping! WOO HOO!).
Slow family living is stepping back. Thinking about how you intend for things to go. Slow family living is about making choices. Thinking about what will work for your family and how it will make everyone feel. And I guess I think that today is the day to make the trip in the car.
And the rest of the trip - we will play by ear.
What is a choice you are making today that feels right for your family?