For this episode of Sustainable Style Wednesday I'm sporting the capelette I made from the Backwoods Mama Indian Summer Sew Camp (now available for purchase), the leggings that are also from the ecourse, and as well a tunic top I made from some fabric gifted from Mom (leftover from a top she made when I was kid so it's pretty surreal to look in the mirror and see my mom's top on me. Especially at boob height!).
I have a huge wish list of things to sew and have an inviting, freshly organized wall of fabric beckoning me but I've been busy with some other important projects. Mostly hunkering down on my Simplicity Parenting Leader studies. So off to the backwoods burners those sewing aspirations go for now!
One of our first assignments was to write an essay on our thoughts and experiences regarding the book the course is based on; Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne. For fun I thought I would share with you a portion of my essay so you can see why I'm so excited about this endevour:
I first read Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne when Edie was a toddler and was blown away by how much it echoed what my inner mama bear voice was softly growling to me all along; too much, too fast, too soon. The intensity of love I experienced from becoming a parent turned up the volume on both the techno colour beauty and the heart breaking dark side of the world around me. I wanted to expose my children to all the best the world has to offer yet keep them close so that they may safely bloom into their authentic selves.
Questioning the status quo upon issues that rise up when the pregnancy stick comes up positive led me down the path of homebirthing, attachment parenting, RIE approach, Waldorf principles and homeschooling. These choices are not for everyone but just so happened to work for us in our current life situation and mesh cohesively with our family values. But at times these personal choices were the proverbial can of worms when interacting with well-intentioned family members and friends. It was sometimes even suggested by some that I may be depriving our children of some important experiences and ‘head starts’. I often felt I had no concrete way to defend some of our choices other than a strong mother’s intuition. So it was with great relief upon reading Simplicity Parenting I was able to put another’s beautifully worded, and researched, reasoning behind some of my core parenting principles and also reap some practical suggestions that assisted me in recognizing new opportunities that arise as my children grow older and parenting seems to get somewhat more complicated.
As a new parent I was attracted to the aesthetic of Waldorf schools and homes; the natural materials that comprise the toys, the soft, ethereal gestures of the art, the sweet angelic sounds of verses and lack of media pollution. Learning more about the pedagogy I felt very excited to embrace the therapeutic effects of this holistic philosophy that honours the development stage of the child. I think this is another reason Simplicity Parenting resonates with me. It echoes aspects of the Waldorf tradition that I feel bring so much peace to our home and smooth flow to our day. Children thrive with predictability and not being rushed too much. I see in my daughter in how she gets excited about the start of home school year for she loves hearing about what our daily and weekly routine will entail. I notice how when the kids are out having Dada fun day they don’t notice the missing toys from their minimal yet abundant collection upon their return; and I notice too that there is definitely an ‘allergic reaction’ when I succumb to kid movies to buy me some time to get a task accomplished. Not a worthwhile investment!
Embracing the principles outlined in Simplicity Parenting I observe how more open-ended toys bring hours of imaginative play, which in turn, makes my home a welcoming environment for both children and adults alike. And with this quiet humming of kids hard at work being kids I relish in the side benefit of seamlessly carving out time for myself to engage in my personal pursuits which is what I require to reach my own personal potential. Something I especially feel good about modelling to my daughter.
With the principles from the book surrounding simplifying, recognizing ‘soul fevers’, decluttering, establishing rhythm and minimizing schedules, many aspects and dimensions of our family life have benefited allowing all of us the space to grow into and reach our highest potential.