A new year is a time for resolutions and virtuous plans for the months to come. This year, though, I'm skipping the official resolutions in favor of a vow to simplify life for myself and my family wherever possible. Our family is about to double in size through adoption, so I'm prepared to manage more clutter and drive to far more kid-related activities, but at the same time, I'm also ready to let go of the extra junk in our house that will only create more stress for everyone. Luckily, the theme for the January edition of the All About Parenting Blog Carnival is Simplifying Your Family Life. Here, you'll find stress-reducing and clutter-busting advice from the About.com Parenting Channel and elsewhere around the blogosphere. Here's to a simpler, and happier, 2011!
About.com Grandparents Guide Susan Adcox ponders whether it's possible to simplify our lives at all. She suggests taking a long, hard look at the activities you are required to do, and what you'd like to do, in order to cut out any excess in your schedule. In "A Happy, Simpler New Year," About.com Child Parenting Guide Katherine Lee advises that we take back our family weekends by not allowing the hectic school and work schedules to creep in on the time when we could be relaxing with the family.
That one little word, "no," is on a lot of parents' minds this time of year! Jane Cys, About.com Mom Recommends Guide, reminds us that supermom is a myth, and that we can simplify by choosing to say no sometimes. About.com Single Parents Guide Jennifer Wolf also suggests letting the word "no" simply your life, whether it's saying no to extra duties in your schedule or being consistent with discipline for the kids. Alexia from the Los Angeles Mamma Blog encourages parents to be firm and consistent with kids in order to reduce behavior issues in the long run. She says, "you are not hurting your child by saying no!"
My suggestion for simplifying is to keep only the items you truly need or will use often. "Less Stuff, Less Stress" offers suggestions for buying only basic baby needs to start, and adding tried-and-true products after that. Carey Bryson, About.com Kids TV & Movies Guide, ponders ways to organize DVDs and Blu-Rays so they don't take over the entire family room. At Raising Grandchildren, Sally Kabak is making life easier by clearing out old toys and taking time to plan menus a week at a time. And finally, Vivian Kirkfield from Positive Parental Participation gives a few simple tips for avoiding the last-minute blues that plague busy families.