A boring home

Spark of the day:

Strive for a boring household.

I attended a talk on mothering and resilience on Saturday given by Pat Christen of Hope Labs. During the talk she shared some stories from her personal experience raising four children. She made reference to one of her chief goals as a mom: she cultivated a boring household.

She stopped striving for “enrichment” at some point, she explained. She just wanted the household environment to be predictable, safe, and filled with love. A boring place that valued stillness over bustle.

I had three reactions to this. My first was a knee jerk cynicism. She has four children, and she created a still, boring household? Not possible.

Once I got this reaction out of the way, I started wondering if it were true, and if so, HOW she did it. I could probably achieve boring stillness if I let my kids stay on their electronic devices all day long. But surely this was not her strategy. So, what did she do? I wish she had shared more about what boring meant in her family and how she achieved it, and what benefits were achieved as a result of it.

My third reaction was the most interesting: I experienced a sense of anticipatory relief. If a boring household were indeed the right goal, what a release of pressure on moms! To be freed from the constant pressure to enrich our children’s intellectual, physical, emotional and spiritual lives would be such a release.

I spend hours figuring out how I can engage my own two children’s interest in activities that will enrich them somehow. Or I spend energy feeling guilty that I haven’t done enough on that front. It can be exhausting, for me, and probably for the kids too. The idea of going for boring sounded kind of nice. And if there is some benefit to boring I have not previously known, well then, I’m all ears.

Bring on the yawns. It sounds like heaven.

What do you think? Are there benefits to cultivating a boring household, and how would you achieve it? I'd love to hear...


Spark of the Day is a blog series where I document and share the ideas that spark (i.e. resonate with) me. They are usually either ideas I come across during my day, or ideas I have as a result of my work and personal writing. Spark is the "one little word" I have chosen for 2015.

1 comment:

  1. That is an interesting thought - go for the boring! I know it works for me at least - the more structured and uneventful my days are, the more productive I am, especially where my writing is concerned.