Simple. Minimal. Effortless. Undemanding.
These words have grown quite a following lately. Not because they are simply calming words, but because they are a new lifestyle. A lifestyle that strives for being totally 100% present, limiting chores and to-dos, and being able to do anything on a whim. And yes, if you have children, doing all of this with them.
It sounds amazing, and I know many can and do achieve this lifestyle. But what about the rest of us? What about those of us that live in the complicated? The calendar-filled, tricky, and complex world of after-school activities, ingredients I don’t always know how to pronounce, and screen time? Are we living as our best selves?
My answer is a resounding…yes.
I grew up in the complicated with a military father being deployed, a mother who handled it all, and no extended family around to support it. As a child, I loved staying busy, learning from my experiences, and even enjoying a nightly Kid Cuisines. I was
forced encouraged outside until sundown, played in the street and loved a good rainy day where I could veg out and watch Nickelodeon. Even as a kid, I felt I could balance the calm and the crazy.
Now that I have a family, I often find myself wondering if I am doing them a disservice by rewinding Paw Patrol, ordering a pizza and watching the craziness that ensues? Am I modeling poor habits? Should I get rid of the TV? Should I cook something with hidden veggies? Should I totally disconnect from home responsibilities to marvel in my family in this one particular moment?
I can live and love in the complicated.
I can make my kids feel like the center of the world and appropriately ignore them. I can make life simple through happy family moments, like jumping waves at the beach, and succeed in today’s fast-paced world, like running a million errands a day, babies in tow watching “surprise eggs.” I can teach my kids that signing up for everything is awesome and rocking one sport is really awesome. I can teach them to enjoy their TV time and that books are by far a better storytelling method.
Complicated is who I am. I love nature and Bravo TV. I love de-cluttering and then driving around with donations in my trunk for three months. I love cooking Velveeta macaroni and cheese and green smoothies.
It’s this thing we all call life, and complicated is the name of the game.
But above all else, it is beautiful, no matter how you choose to exist as a family.