Living Simply at Home

Flowers on porch - Living Simply at Home

I’ve been thinking about home, recently. My family’s little home is our peaceful pocket in an often chaotic world.  This is where we come to recharge ourselves, and this is where most of the important moments in our lives take place. We connect with each other here. We’re not afraid to be our true selves. We can relax and enjoy life within these walls.

Which got me to thinking about all the ways people are making home a greater part of their lives. Homebirthing can be such a beautiful and meaningful way to bring a child gently into the world. Homeschooling has been embraced by so many, recently, and being a homeschooling mother myself, I can’t imagine doing it any other way. Home churching is gaining in popularity; religious families are leaving the big box mega-churches to worship in their own personal, private ways. And home businesses, of course, are booming.

And what do all these movements have in common? Well, for one, they’ve taken the experts out of the equation. Over the past few decades, experts have become commonplace in daily life.  We visit them in their offices, hand our children over to them, watch them on television, read their articles and books, and often trust them with our lives.

But many people have been returning home and trusting themselves over experts. Homebirthing removes the doctors and insurance companies, homeschooling removes the teachers and bureaucrats, home churching removes the pastors/ministers/preachers/etc., and home businesses remove the bosses!

Family in Kitchen - Living Simply at HomeAnd then, I thought about all the other ways my family has bypassed the experts (in addition to homeschooling and working from home). Instead of handing our health over to doctors, we’ve learned to research our symptoms and to use home/herbal remedies to boost our overall health and to treat as many ailments as possible. If we need the medical establishment, it’s there, but we try to use it only when necessary. Instead of consulting multiple books, magazines and websites, I parent from a place of love, compassion and empathy, making decisions based on instinct and common sense. We’ve learned to make many of the products we use – shampoo and conditioner, cleaning supplies, toothpaste, skin care products, etc. – all from natural, safe ingredients. We’ve been working on growing food in the backyard, and we cook meals from scratch, eating them around little kitchen table. I’ve been learning to knit and sew and have been dreaming of creating homemade clothing and linens. We sometimes make our own music.  We take our own photos (no Olan Mills for us). We clean our own home and do our own yardwork. We wash our own clothing (no dry cleaning or laundry service). We exercise at home (and by walking through the neighborhood), rather than at a gym.

Am I against experts, then? No, of course not. In fact, I consider myself an expert in a few fields. But, for me and my family, living simply includes taking responsibility for our own lives. We try to rely on experts as little as possible. Will this prove helpful in the long run? Perhaps. Right now, though, it serves to bring us closer together as a family. Instead of relying on experts, we rely on each other.