In praise of Slow.

This is the title of a book. I haven’t actually read it, or even seen it, but I’ve heard it mentioned in passing twice lately. Yet without knowing too much about it, I’m already embracing the philosophy. I’m loving living the life of “slow”.

I used to find being a SAHM a bit boring. Endless days that I had to fill with activities. Last summer I looked forward to fall, when DD would start school and we’d have more structure to our lives. But as I’ve found out, it became a real pain. An interference in our lives. Mornings had to be rushed if we were to get anything accomplished before it was time to leave for school. Usually we didn’t make it anywhere until it was time to go. Then I’d have to either find something to occupy my time for 2 hours, or return home for a mere 1 hour before having to head back out and pick her up. DS was not happy being taken in and out of the car seat so often, and was really getting shortchanged in terms of what he got to do each day. I realized how good I had it last year, and longed for that freedom again.

Now that we are back to a free schedule, with no school, I am loving it. There are several activites around town, drop-in classes at the community centres (there are 2 within a 5 block radius of our apartment), there’s the park, the beach, the Aquarium (all within walking distance), 2 libraries within walking distance, and Science World is a short drive (or commute on the rapid transit if I’m so inclined). And, we went to the homelearners preschool group yesterday, They meet once a week at a community centre a short drive away. We had a great time there.

People all assume that as the kids get older we’ll have to fall into the “nine to five grind”. I actually assumed this, too. But as I consider it more I realize that, actually, that doesn’t have to be the case. We are looking at alternative schools that have shorter weeks (4 days instead of 5), and flexible schedules since the programs are self-directed learning (more on that later). I found a Kindergarten I like but it’s 6 hours a day 4 days a week and frankly, I’m finding that too much. My 5 year old doesn’t need to be away from me that long each week. I think it’s too much time.

But I digress. I enjoy mornings at our house. Nobody is in a rush. I never have to wake my kids up; instead we follow everybody’s natural rhythm. If we’re up late, we sleep in. Some days we’re up early, but most of us are not morning people. Our mornings are slow and enjoyable. I make homemade waffles or crepes for breakfast at least 3 days a week. I get to sip my tea and read the paper while the kids wake up with some DVD’s or cartoons. I do a bit of housework and, on a good day when things are not too out of control in that department, I’m freed up to be with the kids by mid-morning, and they are awake enough to want to go play. If we get to the park and it’s gorgeous out, we don’t need to rush home to be anywhere. We can change our minds out the door, and go to the beach instead of the library. It’s really nice to be so free.

With my own business, there is no reason why I can’t maintain alot of this freedom for years to come. My teaching schedule isn’t rigourous – I’m only part time, and it’s usually just a couple hours here and there, a few days each month. DH of course will follow the “nine to five grind”, but him being the only one it puts way less stress on our family. And with us considering homeschooling again, or at least some kind of part-time schooling, there’s no reason why the kids’ lives need be rushed either. And while I feel some pressure to enroll DD in “classes” of some kind, I’m going to keep that really limited. I know kids who have so many extracurricular activities they just don’t get to be kids anymore.

So here’s to “Slow”, and arranging a life that will keep the stresses of Modern Life to a minimum.

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