February 12, 2010 at 12:50 pm , by Louise Sloan
I recently got an email about Shannon Honeybloom (that’s her on the right), who was touted as a “major voice in the slow home movement.” Shannon’s new book, Making a Family Home, promises to show me how to slow my home life down, trading microwave meals for home-cooked dinners and trading frantic trips to the grocery store for “simple trips to your own outdoor pantry: a garden.”
That last part made me laugh out loud (living off my Brooklyn windowboxes? Yeah, right!) and I send Shannon a challenge. “I am the single, working mom of a 3-year-old, living in NYC,” I wrote. “How the heck do I slow down my life? I need a slow-home makeover!”
Shannon wrote back with 5 tips, which you can check out after the jump. Turns out I’m already pretty slow. I cook most nights and we don’t even have TV—I shut off cable service to save money and because I never had time to watch it anyway. But I wrote her again, demanding to know exactly how I’m supposed to get home from work at 6, make a home-cooked dinner, spend quality time with my son, get him bathed, teeth brushed, stories read and in bed by 8 and do it all the “slow” way.
My son is quite excellent at slow eating and slow bathing and slow playing, I told her. But he needs to get to bed on time, and—especially on nights when there’s slow cooking—sometimes we’re so delightfully slow that he stays up until 9:30. How do we be slow and fast at the same time?
One new idea she gave me: Prep veggies on the weekends, as soon as you get them home from the grocery store. That could definitely save me a lot of cooking time.
Take a look at Shannon’s ideas and then tell me how (or IF) you manage to be slow… in a fast and efficient manner! I need more tips!
Five Tips to Slow Your Home, from Shannon Honeybloom:
Unplug. Turn off the TV. Turn off the computer. Turn off the
cellphone. Take a deep breath. Enjoy some family time or some alone time
without all the background chatter of technology. (Don’t worry, it will
all still be there when you reboot).
Play. Children need time to play freely (and adults also need time
to do something fun—such as reading a book, playing the guitar,
painting a picture). So cut back on some of the extracurricular
activities and let them play. Just play. If you have to schedule in
“free play” for your children and for yourself to make it happen, then
do so. Creativity and imagination can’t be rushed, to take the time to play.
Be Mindful. Be conscious of the choices you are making for your
family. For example, if you are purchasing something, step away for a
moment. Take your time. Ask yourself if it is really something your
family needs. Be thoughtful about the things you bring into your home,
the food you feed your family, and the activities that you schedule for
your children. In general, slow down your consumption, and be green
about the consumer choices you do make. For slow décor, choose vintage,
natural and homemade items.
Create Slow Routines. Healthy and slow routines help to make Slow
Living a habit. To start, create a slow bedtime routine for your child:
Bedtime with the kids doesn’t need to be cranky or frantic. Instead,
slow down and light a candle, read a story, sing a song and sit together
quietly for a couple of minutes before lights out.
Connect with nature. In general, nature has a lot of slow rhythms—
gardens take time to grow, and the sun never rushes the sunrise. Get out
in nature, take hikes, splash in a stream, have a picnic, lie down in a
hammock, walk in the park. Just walking, traveling by foot, helps to
slow us down, literally.
Feeling slow now? Slow down a bit more, and take a moment to leave me your comments and tips on how I can be fast and slow!
259 Responses to “Slow Homes for Fast Women: A Challenge (and Makeover!)”