Kristina

I’m Kristina - freelance graphic designer, backyard farmer, cookbook reader, project starter, and new mom to a gorgeous little boy.

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April 24, 2014

Spring Cleaning

I have been enjoying spring more this year than any other year in recent memory. I usually think of spring as being fairly annoying in it’s tease between summer and winter. It’s usually sunny and windy, except when it’s grey and blah, and generally neither here nor there. But this year for loads of reasons it’s just been really calm and lovely.

The fava beans are blooming, the peas are curling up the trellis, the trees are flowering, the boys are eating dinner in the backyard, and one way or another I feel like we are going to have more living space this year, at some point. And it’s been timed perfectly with finally finally finally finishing Simplicity Parenting, after many months of coming and going from it’s pages. I’ve loved it so much that it’s been nice to spread it out and digest it slowly. To me it feels like the eternal spring of parenting. Less a parenting book and more a sort of manual on family life. I suppose it’s not for everyone but it is certainly for me and I’m so glad I finally moved it to the top of the stack on my nightstand, after many years waiting in the wings.

Now that we’re out of the trenches (how I refer to the first year as a family of 4), it’s been nice to start to focus some energy on something other than surviving and juggling and adjusting. And truly I think that’s what this book is about. It validates so many of my natural tendencies as a parent, it’s like ahhhhhh. There, see? I was right after all. Not unlike binging on NPR as a liberal. So satisfying and affirming.

I’ve been gleefully purging over the last few months, which is actually a near and dear hobby of mine on the regular. But now I have validation that it’s okay to put things directly from the wrapping paper into the Goodwill pile! Maybe it sounds extreme, but in my mind it’s the perfectly sane thing to do. (Side note, it also makes you feel just the slightest bit crazy; like when you ask friends to only bring one book as a gift for your 4 year old’s birthday, and then freak out because there are TOO MANY BOOKS. Koo-koo.) Which is just the tip of proverbial iceberg that this book discusses. There’s so much goodness to take away for both your children and for you. And even if you feel that you have a fairly rhythmic household, which I feel we do, I’ve found so many great lessons within it’s pages and so many interesting ideas that I can see being helpful for all of us now and for the years ahead.

I’m rambling. But really, it’s so worth a read. So perfect for spring, when one’s inclination is to refresh what you already have in one way or another. If you’ve read it, do tell what you think. If you haven’t, I couldn’t recommend it more.

Simplicity Parenting.

comments

  1. Clare said on April 27, 2014

    Totally timely post Kristina..as I prep to for our soon to be family of four I have been spring cleaning like crazy. After years of baby and toddler and renovations and new jobs and what seems like survival and lining up ducks, I feel like just ‘living’ is so close I can taste it :) I look forward to reading Simplicity Parenting! So nice to hear your voice in this space!

  2. MJ said on April 28, 2014

    Totally read this book and LOVED it when my daughter was 3, she’ll be 5 Friday. We also did the books as gifts for the 4th birthday and also felt crazy when i felt like there were too many, ha!! But honestly I’m struggling with the simplicity as she gets older, its not as easy to give the gifts to goodwill or sort through the toys and store in the garage. She wants to keep everything and have it on hand. Maybe I just need to revisit this book and will find answers to the challenges we are having with stuff. BTW most of my friends would think we are pretty minimal with the amount of toys but they really need so little…now I’m rambiing.

  3. Jessica said on April 28, 2014

    Read ages ago for the first time & still reference during patches of “hanging on”. .

  4. Sheila@Chinaberry said on April 30, 2014

    I love the idea of purging in spring and have been doing so myself The book sounds great ~ I’ll have to check it out.

  5. sally mae said on May 2, 2014

    I’m only a few chapters in (thank you for recommending by the way!) and so much of this is confirming what I’ve felt for a long time…that I want to quit my busy teaching job. I rarely have time to cook for my family and I’m always so stressed out that I can barely enjoy my first child, let alone think about having another. My head tells me I need to work, but my heart (and this book!) tells me I need to step back for awhile and experience this childhood thing. I would love to work a little and find something creative and personally fulfilling to do once my children are a little older. The daily grind is sapping my soul big time and I don’t want my son to grow up with a mother who is always in a state of panic and stress. I was hoping I would figure it out by now, but it only seems to be building. Anyway, thank you for letting me vent via the comment section on your blog, but this book is sort of getting to my core right now.

  6. Laura said on May 3, 2014

    Agreed! First and still the best parenting book I read

  7. Cynthia said on May 15, 2014

    I read this book b/c my son and DIL were modeling their life with two littles based on it. So inspiring. We, as grandparents, have been given an edict of only one item per Xmas and birthday and said gift is to be hand made by us. I have learned to sew via youtube so I could make a felt ball for my grandson and my husband and I together made a lovely wool stick horse for our granddaughter. It really puts meaning and soul into “things” and my DIL also rotates the items in and out of the play room so there’s a very limited quantity on any given week. It inspires fresh play as well. LOVE.

  8. Lisa Fyfe said on June 12, 2014

    I just finished this book and it was life changing for me. We recently moved to San Diego so getting rid of a lot of the “stuff” came naturally. Plus I was getting overwhelmed with a lot of the toys and things accumulating in our home and the book really helped to encourage me to make some bold moves as a parent.

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