Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Keeping It Simple

"Hurry up and eat breakfast kids, it's Waldorf day" -- Me in the kitchen this morning.

"Waldorf, really?  Oh no."  -- Not my kids, but my husband.  He can't put his finger on it exactly, but he knows that the one morning a week when I take both kids to playgroup at the Madison Waldorf School I tend to be....stressed.

The morning progressed.  My husband went off to work.  It looked like we just may make it there on time.  Even though my son had not eaten much for breakfast, a dangerous mix for him.  No protein and lots of kids equals meltdown in T minus ten and counting.  My daughter, normally happy and easy going was fussy and uncooperative.  Yet I ignored these signs and pushed forward.  Then I glanced at the coffee pot, it read 9am, and the group starts at 9am.  Then I realized I had a dirty diaper to deal with.  Poof -- I walked away from my driven Type A disciplined path.  The plan to go to playgroup, with homemade corn muffins, faded away.  Off came my coat. Diaper changed, and we settled into a cozy morning at home.

Simplicity parenting is a big thing in the Waldorf community.  And that is what I did today.  Less was far more in the course of our day.  My son eagerly helped me with laundry and a few chores; he is attempting to earn money for a toy I'd rather not buy.  And then we headed to our backyard.  They climbed in the compost bin, perched themselves on the hay bales, and poked pumpkins that are decomposing.  Simple, outdoors, no fossil fuels used.  Just what we needed.

And it got me to thinking about the knee jerk plan I have to sign the kids up for another semester of Waldorf playgroup.  The cost is equivalent or a bit more than one airline ticket to DC.  We want to travel there in the Spring.  Why do I feel compelled to rush them out the door to go and play?  If I had a very relaxed scheduled it might be a nice option.  But I don't.  No, after a morning of play -- yes, the parent attends this playgroup.  I then drive us home, cook lunch and prep dinner before morphing in the role of attorney at 1pm.  I then spend 6 to 7 hours counseling clients on illness, death and taxes.  Simplicity parenting, yeah I could use some of that.

Frugality is not just about the expenditure of money, but time as well.  When I push myself too far, my energy falls.  My productivity falls.  Time is finite, so I want to spend it wisely.  And when I don't, you can usually see the fall out in my spending habits.  Drive-thru coffees for an afternoon boost. Take out meals to save time in the kitchen.  More money spent on gasoline.  And it goes on.

When you examine a frugal life, don't forget to think about how you spend your time as well.  It was a very frugal day in our home.  And my commute to work was via foot today.  Something I would have skipped had I rushed about to playgroup this morning.  Yes, I'm glad I veered from the agenda in my planner.  The group is wonderful, but that does not mean it is wonderful for our little family, right now, today.

Thanks for reading and I'll be back with more on frugal living.

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