How did your two kids respond to the process?
Slowly! I knew from the start that I wanted minimalism to be a lifestyle, rather than a fad, and so I introduced it to them gradually. I decluttered my clutter with them around, and let them help me. They came with me to donate the things I no longer used and I spoke often of how fortunate we were. Slowly but surely they got involved with decluttering the things they no longer played with, until it just became a way of life.
I think that we are in a good place with minimalism in the season we are in. We certainly embrace less, whilst still appreciating the mess that a family home can create!
You homeschool your kids – how and why did you make that decision? How does that fit in with having a slower, simpler life?
The decision to homeschool was born out of my son not fitting-in with what was expected of him. I didn’t want to try to fit a round peg into a square hole, nor I didn’t want him to lose who he was by conforming to what society expected. For me home educating was the only answer and what a wonderful thing it has been! We could not have anticipated how well it would fit our lives but it has. It has meant that we can gift our children the simple childhood I always wanted for them. We can go slow or pick up the pace, depending on what they need. And what once started out as the great unknown, has shaped our lives into something incredible.
You’ve written recently about the joy of a simpler childhood – what is that you hope your decision to live a simpler, more intentional life will give them?
My biggest intention as a parent is to allow my children to be their authentic selves. I believe that the hours of play, outdoor time, and togetherness will set the foundations for a beautiful childhood and go some way, to keeping mental health struggles at bay as they grow older. Our younger years and the relationships we have, set the tone for how we view ourselves in the world and I want my kids to value themselves and each other, above all else.
I also want to encourage my children’s creative pursuits and let them have the time to be bored. I want them to get muddy knees by climbing trees and find uninterrupted wonder within the world. I want them to be outdoors looking at the sea instead of at screens. I guess at the core of it all, I want them to realise that life isn’t a race, it is something to be treasured and lived.