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Kathy: Simply Sick

Normally the kids are like me, strong like ox, but a nasty bug has been making its way around the community and they are stricken like chicken. They’re on the mend but it’s been almost a week of being completely off our schedule and normal daily rhythm. Like, not even getting outside. Kale’s looking a little grey around the edges but his cough is unsettling so inside it is for a couple more days.

Though it’s weird to see my normally screen-free kids veg out in front of with that glazed ‘sicky’ stare, I decided to surrender to the novelty of it; letting them do nothing at all other than quiet activities and naps while I dove into my projects in my studio while stopping every few moments to warm up soup, make more tea, and assist with many, many tea pees.

I have to admit I fought it at first and was grumpy, a little anxious even and concerned about the effect of not doing anything would have on the kids. But then I heard the sultry voice of Danielle Laporte say how life balance is a myth. The essence of life is fluid so it’s only natural that shifts in what needs to be tended to will unabashedly morph constantly. The best thing to do is to see these as opportunities for growth and to reassess what is important and needed in the family right now.

In the meantime I made sure the kids were lubed up with lots of liquids and did implement the bare essential rhythms; mealtimes and bedtimes and our Smokey Sunday pancakes (whipping them up smokes up the whole house — just to explain). I surrendered to life that happens, was reminded of the balance myth (which was a catalyst for reviewing some major life decisions), and saw an opportunity to tend to my own needs at a pivotal time in my career while the children’s growing bodies took on the necessary challenge to strengthen.

Do you want to share your bare minimum rhythm you adhere to even in times of crisis, transition or upheaval? Perhaps a little ritual? Please share in the comments if you feel inspired.

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Editor’s Note: Kathy Stowell is a homeschooling, simplicity parenting mother of two small kids, and a hobby farmer’s wife who blogs and offers Backwoods Mama Sew Camps over at Bliss Beyond Naptime, from which the post above is generously cross-posted. Kathy recently released The Bliss Filled Mama: Self-Care for Soulful Mothering, an e-book and audio recording on proper crafty mama care.

Kathy: The Crafty Loft Nest Monster

Editor’s Note: Kathy Stowell is a homeschooling, simplicity parenting mother of two small kids, and a hobby farmer’s wife who blogs and offers Backwoods Mama Sew Camps over at Bliss Beyond Naptime. She recently released The Bliss Filled Mama: Self-Care for Soulful Mothering, an e-book and audio recording on proper crafty mama care. You’ll be hearing more about this new release here at Studio Mothers next week!

I remember the first time we laid our eyes on our home — it was like love at first sight. It was kind of like spotting a soulmate for the first time. After getting over the initial giddiness of its strawbale walls, I was stoked about the open loft smack dab in the middle of the floor plan, right above the kitchen. Typically the deep inhales of my day are taken while I prepare meals while my exhales are lavished all over any one of my many crafty pursuits so it was kind of cool how this setup offers both of my breathing spaces the opportunity to be literally layered on top of each other.

Regardless of where we ended up, I knew I needed a space of my own; even if it only consisted of a corner in the basement like in our two previous homesteads. But to have a space right in the middle of all the action — that was kind of a symbolic bonus.

And here I sit now. I call it my Crafty Loft Nest. And I feel at such times like a legendary Loft Nest Monster lurking up in the clouds. This is my happy place. Typically, I get up the earliest; before the little ones, and get my blog musings down (which often report on any sightings of or debris left over from the creature) or dive in deep into the current creative project. For the rest of the day I am able to dip back into the loft for mini bursts of spinning or sewing in between homeschooling my daughter, keeping the home fires stoked, tending to the farm critters, and minding my etsy shops.

These days the calling is pulling me deeper into the world of mama creativity and simple living. I’m in the process of pulling together my Bliss Beyond Naptime coaching practice where I will be serving mamas toward a life of more peace and simplicity while embracing and nurturing their creative spirit. And these last few weeks the Crafty Loft Nest has been the location for a Simplicity Parenting workshop I’m facilitating as I spread the word of a childhood well savoured as we embrace a simpler approach to family life in terms of mindful scheduling, more distinct rhythm, and less cluttered and filtered environments.

I’m so happy to be invited to share this space with you here and get glimpses into your creative nests. Your studio, mothers; in whatever forms they appear. With such a sacred task, this raising the next generation in the most conscious way possible business, it’s of the greatest importance to see that all our own mama needs are met and creative desires fulfilled. The key to help keeping me centred as I take on this divine endeavour is ensuring that the well of all my needs is continuously filled. And most of that filling happens here at the heart of our home — one of the major love hubs in my life.

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