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Mom of the House: Freedom and simplicity are rarely a waste of time

Sometimes the best answer to the question "What are we doing?" is “I don’t know”
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Mom of the House with Brianna Bell

When my children were born, I made an intentional life decision to strive for simplicity in our days together.

As a stay-at-home mom, I have days of blank space just waiting to be filled with play dates, activities and fun events.

It doesn’t take long for the blank space to get full, with messy crafts, friends visiting, cooking and cleaning, and all those must-do tasks just waiting to be completed.

Motherhood, regardless of whether you work, stay at home, or work from home, can be overwhelming and busy. I have learned that quickly.

And although sometimes I do not have control over a particular busy month, I have learned that through intentionally prioritizing simplicity, I do find many days with blank space, and time to freely enjoy whatever it is I choose.

This summer in particular, I have wanted to embrace simple days with my children. It’s my last summer before my oldest starts school, and I know that before long busyness will force its way into our lives.

One of the ways we embrace simplicity is by choosing not to put our kids into any activities or sports, things we feel can wait until they’re much older. We are favouring evening walks to the park, or drives in the country that lull our children to sleep. 

We spend our evenings peacefully, with nothing to do, or nowhere to be.

My favourite days this summer have been the one’s that start slowly, with my kids still in their pyjamas at lunch time, toys and crafts all over the house after a morning of doing whatever we please. Quiet afternoons with a snack and a movie, my kids sun-kissed legs in a tangle on the couch. 

I love when my kids ask what we’re doing, and I simply say, “I don’t know!”

It’s the not knowing that breeds the most fun days. Surprise afternoons at the wading pool, picking up fruits and vegetables at the farmers’ stand on the road, husking corn in the backyard under the warm sunshine. Listening to my girls giggle upstairs while they plan a parade with their stuffed animals.

I love being able to answer “yes” when my kids ask to splash in their water table, or make a craft, or go to the park. I let them help me guide our days, with nowhere to go and nowhere to be, we are free to be spontaneous and let our hearts guide us. 

I understand that this freedom and simplicity is foreign to some, or not attainable to others, but I truly believe that we would all be calmer and more at peace if we allowed ourselves freedom from a constricting schedule.

Even if for a day, tear up the to-do list, erase the schedule, and bask in the freedom of doing whatever it is you want today.

This summer I hope my kids remember their stained hands from the popsicles they slurped in the backyard, the feeling of their wet clothes clinging to their bodies as they splashed in the backyard, and the quiet and unpredictable moments of our day, where we were still and quiet, inhaling deeply the simple freedom of an unplanned day.

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.” - John Lubbock


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Brianna Bell

About the Author: Brianna Bell

Brianna Bell is a Guelph-based writer who focuses on events, small businesses, and community stories. In addition to GuelphToday, she has written for The Guelph Mercury and The Globe & Mail.
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