Are you struggling with a super busy, exhausted and overwhelmed mom life? You are most certainly not the only one. Welcome to the club! Up until about a few months ago (and every so often when things spiral out of my control), I struggled with feeling overwhelmed, constantly tired, and just frustrated with my home, family, and just life in general. I was WAY too busy. I’ve always been interested in and dreaming about slowing down my life just a bit, but I had no idea if it was even possible with a baby, now a toddler.
So many blogs give tips on how to live a slower, more peaceful life, but many of them aren’t practical when you have kids. I mean, what’s silence? A peaceful, relaxed home sounds almost impossible. But never fear, there are some aspects of slow living that can work for moms and their families. Today, I will share with you 8 slow living tips for moms with toddlers.
What is the meaning of slow living?
Slow living is taking a slower approach to everyday life, to consume less and enjoy more out of your life. It’s not doing things so slow that you miss deadlines or don’t get anything done. It’s taking the time to be present, and savor the moment.
Slow living was actually a concept that came from the slow food movement – a campaign that treasured healthy local and traditional foods over unhealthy fast foods. The slow food movement savored cooking and eating with friends and family, and treating it like a celebration. “Slow” essentially means “quality over quantity” in food, work, and home life.
What are the benefits of slow living?
There are several benefits to slow living. For one, slow living allows for you to save money. Slow living puts the focus on relationships and experiences over things. So you’re more interested in spending time with others or doing the things you like doing instead of going out shopping.
Slow living also allows you to experience your life more deeply. When you have the time to pay attention to what you’re doing, you’re able to experience the joy and fulfillment of the moment, which leads to more meaningful experiences and relationships.
Despite popular belief, slow living actually helps you to be more productive. Several studies have found that multitasking provides the illusion of high productivity, but in reality, productivity decreases the more people attempt to multitask.
Living slower is also beneficial to your health. When you’re not trying to multitask and do everything at once, you have less stress and anxiety. Not only is this a positive boost to your mental health, but your physical health as well. Without the stress, your body will experience less muscle tightness, headaches, aches and pains, gastrointestinal symptoms, and exhaustion.
8 slow living tips for moms with toddlers
You’re probably wondering “But how can I practice slow living with a fast-paced toddler that gets into everything and makes messes everywhere?” As a mom, it’s important to remember to set your expectations and know that you’re not going to be living that picturesque ideal of slow living.The house is not always going to be peaceful or immaculate, and as soon as you sit down to read, you’re little one will more than likely come running to you, crying, with paint all over their face. But it IS possible to practice slow living with your child. Here are 8 tips for incorporating slow living in your life when you have toddlers:
1. Be Present.
First things first – put your phone away and live beyond the screen. Technology can be so helpful, especially when you need to find out quickly how to fix your overly salty food when the cap popped off your salt shaker. But many times, technology can hinder our lives, preventing us from really enjoying precious moments and deepening our relationships with others, especially our children.
Not only can putting away your phone help you feel more present, but it teaches your children to be less concerned about technology and encourages them to live more in the present as well.
2. Minimize your belongings
You don’t have to jump on the minimalism bandwagon to accomplish this. You just need to par down on the amount of stuff you have just enough that you aren’t stressed trying to clean everything, or pack everything. The less stuff you have to clean, the more time you have to enjoy with your little ones.
3. Stop multitasking.
As I covered above, multitasking doesn’t make you more productive, but rather it makes you less efficient and accurate. With kids, it can be hard to try to comfort your little one and make sure to get dinner done. Trust me, I’ve been there. But since I started practicing slower living in my home, I’ve just had to keep my little boy either in his room with the security gate closed or in his walker with a kitchen barrier while I cook dinner. It’s hard to hear him cry sometimes (he hates being alone), but I have to do what I have to do in order to get some stuff done.
4. Be mindful in your routines.
Develop some healthy habits and routines so that some things on your to-do list become second nature to you. And while you do your routine, practice being intentional and mindful. Pay attention to the smell of your coffee or the sound of the washing machine. Take your time, and enjoy the moments of changing diapers, making breakfast, and doing your skin care.
5. Underschedule the family.
Don’t schedule too many excursions or activities with the kids on the weekend. Allow for relaxation and enjoy quality time together as a family on the weekend. Time spent relaxing with the family is the most enjoyable.
6. Spend more time in nature.
Every single day, you and your little one should go outside, breathe in fresh air, and get some Vitamin D. Not only is it healthy, but it makes you appreciative of the world around you. The outdoors also act as a great classroom where you can teach your child about the seasons, weather, and various critters around.
7. Designate work, play, and rest times.
Strategically carve out times during the day when you can work, play with your little one, and rest. If you plan out when you’ll do what, you’ll feel less rushed and more focused and present on each activity.
8. Cuddle more!
Did you know that cuddling is actually good for your little one’s brains? When we spend quality time with those we love, we feel more satisfied and refreshed. Quality time with our children, cuddling with them, reading to them, and spending time talking with them, help us to feel connected and keep those relationship bonds strong.