Living a simpler, slower, more intentional lifestyle comes with many benefits…
One unexpected benefit I’ve realized over the years is that I quickly notice when our home feels too crowded, when our schedule feels too full, or when our family life feels strained… and (most importantly) I have the time and energy to take action and make the necessary changes immediately.
I don’t wait long… just ask Dave!
Whether it’s rearranging the kitchen pantry so the kids can reach their own snacks, adding new email subfolders so I can find old emails faster, changing up the laundry routine that worked fabulously for me for almost 5 years, saying no to certain opportunities, or implementing a new morning routine as the kids get older… I LOVE being intentional about the ways I run our home, our family, and our lives in the midst of so many ever-changing dynamics.
I remember back before we had children, so many people made comments like:
- “Just wait until you have kids, you’ll never be able to keep your house clean anymore.”
- “Once you have kids, you’ll look back and wish you would have changed your priorities.”
- “You’ll never be able to do ___________________ after the kids start coming.”
And then after having kids, I’d get comments like:
- “But that will never work once your kids get older. “
- “It will be harder to stick with your digital photo books as you add more children.”
- “Just wait until you have teens in the house… you’ll never be able to get to bed early.”
- “You’ll need to do laundry every day if your kids start playing sports”
- “Why would you renovate your home that way… you’ll just have to change it when the kids are older?”
- “Your kids are missing out on experiences because you don’t travel with them.”
- “You’ll regret having a pool when your kids move out.”
SPOILER ALERT… I actually agree with most of those comments!
Our home IS messier now than before having children — but I’ve also implemented various systems that allow the kids to help keep things relatively neat and organized most of the time.
There ARE things we no longer do now that we have 4 kids — but, we do other things instead (children’s programs at church, family fun night at school, and craft days at the library).
It IS more difficult to keep up with my digital photo albums — but I’ve kept up with them for now. If I feel like I need to drop them in the future, I’ll worry about it then.
It’s quite possible that we WILL start to travel more now that our kids are older… in the meantime, we all love being home and the kids know that we are always game to have friends and neighbors over!
And about the pool (seriously, you don’t know how often I get these types of comments)… we’re just going to focus on enjoying the pool for the next 15 years while our kids ARE still home. We’ll worry about what to do with the pool when the kids actually move out!
This is real life, my friends!
Changing and tweaking and re-doing and reevaluating does not mean we did something wrong or messed up the first time around… it simply means we are sensitive to our CURRENT needs and willing to adapt to the inevitable changes that happen over the course of time.
Yes, it takes a bit of extra effort to swap bedrooms, to rearange the pantry, to adjust to a new morning routine, to find the best work/life balance for my current season, or to finally admit that my beloved laundry schedule needed an update… but I can literally feel the tension, stress, and angst melt away as I tweak and change and alter various parts of our home, schedule, and life in an effort to simplify and prioritize what we want to prioritize right now (not forever and ever).
I wish there was a 5-step process to enjoy a slower, more intentional lifestyle — but unfortunately, there’s not.
It just takes time, and practice, and consistent effort.
Boring, I know…
But it’s worth it!
There’s no need to fix something that isn’t broken… but when you feel the angst and tension rising in your home, your schedule, and your life, I encourage you to take a step back, catch your breath, and consider a change you could make to alleviate some of the pressure.
It might be a small change like bumping bedtime up 30 minutes so your mornings aren’t so rushed. Or it might require a bigger life change — moving, quiting your job, or switching to a different school.
Whether you’re single, married with 5 kids, or a newly-retired empty-nester, there are countless benefits to intentionally stewarding your time, energy, and space — a simpler, slower life being one of my favorites!