Monday 12 September 2011

It is that simple! - Part 1

If I had to write a book about my values regarding how I want to raise Alice, well, it would be a complete waste of time because this book already exist: Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne. The book is basically a solution to overscheduled and overwhelmed kids (and parents). The author, a Waldorf educator, divided his theory in four levels of simplification: environment, rhythm, schedules and filtering out the adult world.

This book is so awesome that I decided to dedicate the next few posts to it. Each post will cover an aspect of "Simplicity Parenting" that I want to incorporate in my family life. However, since Alice just turned 5 1/2 months, it is difficult for me to judge, at the moment, how efficient "Simplicity Parenting" is in reality...or is it just nice on paper?

Saturday morning is probably my favorite moment of the week because we all go for the same restaurant. And I won't lie if I tell you that I pretty much order the same thing every single time. It is our little ritual!

A big part of the Rhythm section is dedicated to food: family dinner (a necessary comeback for happy and healthy kids), simplifying tastes (did it exist 50 years ago or is it "new" food products?) and simplifying dinner (What's for dinner?).

I don't know of you are like me but "What's for dinner?" might as well be my baby's first words. It may sounds stupid but "What for dinner?" always come with its share of unnecessary stress:

Me: Dan, you decide.
Dan: No, you decide.
Me: I don't know!
Dan: Well, the public market closes in 30 minutes.
Me: Shit, really???

So Dan and I decided to apply a suggestion given by the author. Strangely enough, I find that this attempt at "simplification" is putting us right back in the 60s and I know that many of you (including me) will raise eyebrows : regular meals on regular know, Pasta Monday, Chicken Tuesday, Fish Wednesday, etc.

However, this quote from the book totally made sense to me: "Instead of marshaling tremendous energy, inspiration, ingredients, and creativity every evening, certain decisions are already made. There can be variation within each night's staple; pasta night could include a range of possibilities. But you are not staging a new Broadway production, from concept to performance, every night."

Silly or logical?!? Oh, and Monday is now pasta night :)

* * * * *
joeynomad: I totally agree with you. You will always find people who will think you are doing something wrong regarding childbirth. I hope that you will have what you desire but, as you said, a healthy and happy birth is what is truly important.

j: It is crazy the amount of women in this situation! It is wonderful that you had such a good midwife.

erstwhiledear: Oh, just like me (ten months reading about the birth and almost nothing on postpartum).

oscarlucinda: If I was pregnant again, I would still try to go for a natural childbirth. However, I would be more "relax" if things don't go according to my plan. I hope that things will go smoothly for you and baby :)

daniela: It was also the right thing for me at the moment. We have a lot in common!

mirella: Totally agree! It is wonderful to have options. C'mon, I gave birth to Alice on a birth stool! I just think that women should focus a little bit more on the baby and less on the way the child was born.

kim u: Hurray for healthy mom and healthy baby :)

ashley: Ah, thank you so much. Parenting is difficult enough without us comparing each other all the time and putting unnecessary pressure on us.

sarahvine: I totally agree with you. A natural childbirth, if possible (and we each have our definition of possible), should be a the best option. Oh, and totally true about the doula and her own agenda. And maybe I'm a bit negative but in practice, I do think that motherhood is too often a comparison game. I try to stay out of it but sometimes it is very difficult. Oh really, good to know that first births are notoriously difficult. Thank you so much for all the info. You rock :)

su: Thank you Su. Your mom's comment is actually pretty interesting. xox

sara: You did good Sara. You are awesome my friend! You are so courageous and strong. You have no idea how much I admire you!!! xox

one claire day: Oh Claire, I didn't know your birth story. You are so brave and, omg, 23 hours! And it is so sad that nobody told you about Lalie's position. This is so unprofessional. Don't feel sorry about your comment. I would NEVER (and I'm pretty sure that none of my readers...they are all so nice) judge you. You are such a incredible mom :) xox

roberta jane: You are awesome. I really hated myself when I asked for the epidural. Now that I think about it, I find my reaction pretty silly. I was so happy that my doula told me to be happy with my decision. So, just like you, my child's birth was a beautiful, mind-opening experience.

anna of (green gable): Thank you! I had a very good time traveling with Alice. I just changed a few things (no fancy restaurants for example) and voilà!!!

anneemall: Really? Oh no! This is horrible (bad, bad business practice)! I hope that the product that you will get will, at least, be safe to use with your baby.


lola said...

We've implemented the supper schedule and it's great. It makes grocery shopping so much easier. I'm glad you are doing posts on this book.

Daniela said...

Now I'm curious about the book! Meal schedules: genious! I'm looking forward for your next posts!

Lydia said...

I'm reading this book now too and am almost finished with it. So glad you're posting about this!

Little Gray Pixel said...

Actually, I really like this idea. I hate deciding what to cook for dinner, and it always falls on me. And I don't even get home from work till 8 p.m.! Hopefully my hours change as Alexa gets older because I really really want family dinnertime each night.

Becca said...

Thank you for posting this! What a wonderful book.

Lindsey [homegrown spud] said...

ooo I love your simplicity column! I am a montessorian by heart, so waldorf strikes me negatively... but I believe I need to get over that. I have heard so many wonderful things from this book...I can't wait to read more on your takes of it, then buy it. And good idea about DVD- happy baby on the block. Thanks!

luke and pamela said...

i am going to search for this at the library!

Jacinthe said...

1fois par semaine; on s'assoit et on décide tous les repas de la semaine. On note; on fait l'epicerie en conséquence ou les menus en conséquence des spéciaux.
Comme ça on de creuse la tête juste une fois!

sara-ananda said...

hum, my bf being a chef, food in our house HAS to be experimental, sometimes complex, sometimes dirty but ALWAYS full of emotions. Sometimes it just exhausts me! But oh well, this is how I am as well... passionate. About everything everyday. Maybe simplicity is a little too zen for me, but don't get me wrong: I SO wish I was!

However, I try to plan ahead meals of the week, but I have trouble to keep on track with my original organization.

I am going to try to read the book, though, it can only do me good!!

one claire day said...

Oh this books sounds amazing! I so agree about the these days just have too much and so they never really engage properly with any one activity. They spread themselves so thinly over everything...

not sure about the mealtime thing though... I like to be a bit spontaneous with food. I do agree with a proper 'family' meal where you all eat together though!