I am happy to partner with Ivory today to share this message of simplifying our life so we can spend time on the important things.
In this day & age, we tend to think that our children need to be busy. We are told that they need to fill their time with activities if we want to keep them on the “straight & narrow.”
I don’t think that’s true. I think that what kids really need is time to explore. Time to play. Time to just be kids.
When we realize that it’s time to stop filling up their schedules, life becomes so easy.
Last week, we were given the choice to put one son on a travel team for the summer and another one a summer sports team, meaning daily practices between the two of them, and a trip every other weekend to play a game. We talked about it. We asked our kids about it. In the end, Becky and I said no.
We didn’t say no to the game, so to say, but we said no to the time. We said no to the schedules. We said no to the business.
Our summers are meant to be outside, doing whatever we want to be doing. On our own schedule… or no schedule at all.
Our kids can take a bike ride at the drop of a hat without worrying about getting ready for this or that:
We can take the kids (and our niece & nephew) to the beach whenever we feel like it because Becky and I work from home. If we had to be at a certain practice or game, this couldn’t happen:
It’s those days when you don’t have to look at the time constantly to make sure are somewhere on time.
It’s when you don’t have to send 20 texts to people to meet up at a certain place because you just go… and when you do get a text, it’s one like this:
With the caption “So glad we decided to do NOTHING this summer because it’s turning out to be EVERYTHING we wanted. Look at those smiling faces.”
It’s when you know that you can just relax and enjoy your day, because you have decided to simplify your life, which means saying NO to certain things, so you can say YES to the ones that matter.
They can take a bath and just PLAY in the tub without our constant nagging of “Time to get out. You have to go to bed. You have to wake up early for lessons in the morning.” They can play with their toys, make bubbles out of the Ivory soap and washcloth, put shampoo in their hair and laugh at the funny styles they try… just play!
They can have those memories that we had when we were younger. That certain smell that brings you back to childhood, like a bar Ivory soap – the smell that is pure, just like childhood. The Original bar is 99.44% Pure, free of dyes & heavy perfumes. It just smells fresh. Ivory started 138 years ago with a floating bar of soap, in 1879.
Ivory was (and still is) the original gentle family brand you could trust. Yes, times have changed, but want to keep our families safe hasn’t changed. They want to give our kids experiences that build character hasn’t changed. Life was simple then and it can be simple now. It’s easy to make better choices for your family, every day. We don’t need to spend hours researching where to go, what to do, which soap to use on our children. When we are shopping, we pick up Ivory soap. I know that Ivory is using only pure & purposeful ingredients in its products.
Simplifying life means spending more time with them just talking. We don’t need big plans to connect, we just need to be present with our children.
I know that when the kids say “I’m bored” it really means “I am forgetting how to JUST PLAY… I need more time to do nothing!” Our kids aren’t going to be in any camps this summer, they aren’t going to be coached this summer, they aren’t going to be scheduled this summer. They are just going to spend their time doing things that kids should be doing: playing tag, reading for enjoyment, swimming, biking, looking at the ocean and daydreaming…
It’s not an easy concept: simplifying lives. It’s not easy to tell friends that your kids are doing “nothing” when they ask which team they are on this summer, or which classes you signed them up for. It’s kind of makes you the odd-man out. It’s ok.
I’ve learned to deal with it because when we look back at our children’s childhood, we want to know that we chose family time over that specific activity. We want to know that we chose to give them time to play together over that game. We want to know that we gave them room to think, create, grow… without restrictions of time.
Our kids will still be learning, by reading a book that they have been wanting to read.
Our kids will still be active, by playing outside, swimming in the ocean and riding their bikes.
Our kids will still be responsible, by helping out around the house so they can get outside & explore.
Our kids will still be creating, by building sand-castles in the sand, forts in the woods and obstacle courses in the backyard.
Our kids will still be thoughtful, by being patient as they wait and learning to enjoy the sounds of nature.
Lack of play & lack of simplicity is pressing upon our families & our children…
Psychologist Peter Gray notes “As free play has become less common in the developed nations of the world, kids have become more troubled. Anxiety, depression, feelings of helplessness, and narcissism have increased in young people in an apparently linear manner that seems to mirror the decline in play.”
In fact, Jean Twenge, a researcher tracking changes in public mental health over time, has stated that rates of anxiety and depression among children and adolescents were far lower during the Great Depression, World War II, the cold war, and the turbulent 1960s and early 1970s than they are today.
Learn to say NO to everything so you can say YES to one thing. Simplify your lives and watch those little smiles show up a little more often.
Thanks to Ivory for the inspiration for today’s post. The Original Bar Soap reminded me that like life it can be new and still have the same old feeling. Their soap has a new look, with the same pure soap. It’s a Gentle Clean Trusted for Generations, free from dyes & heavy perfumes.
Ivory gives us peace of mind. This lets us free up our time, thoughts and feelings so we can use that energy on the important things in life: family time.