A Weekend in Pictures – June 25th/26th 2016

The past week has been HOT. So we’ve more than relieved that this weekend has been much milder. Finally we were able to spend some time outside and to enjoy summer and nature.

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Our toddler loved to check out all those different tiny flowers at the playground…

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… and she also enjoyed climbing on those fantastic monkey bars! Who can blame her?

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In our family we all enjoy being barefoot and since that is something we can only do for a short period of time due to our climate being barefoot made this weekend extra-special for all of us!

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I love those lights and shadows – and can you spot father and toddler?

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I love my baby’s concentration, she could play with her baby sling for hours and hours! Well, not all the time of course…

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If you’re already a regular reader of Living a Catholic Fairy Tale you will most definitely know that in our family we love to bake and to cook. So this weekend we had pancakes…

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… and cherry cake.

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The end of the weekend:

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How was your weekend?

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Living a minimalist life as a family – and why that is something worth considering

This is a very special day for me because I want to share some ideas with you  that I’m very excited about: Minimalism.

Have you heard about Minimalism?

In case you haven’t I’m more than glad to give you a short introduction. Minimalism is a highly idealistic philosophy and a way of life that focuses on living a kind of essentialistic life.

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I know, that is very theoretical and I’m going to show what it means to live a minimalist life in practice and why that might be something worth considering in just a minute. But first I want to tell you why minimalism sparks me so much and why I think it is a deeply Christian way of living.

Do you know the saying “less is more”? I guess you do and if you do you also know Minimalism – because that is what minimalism is all about: owning less, consuming less, polluting less, harming less. Minimalism is all about focusing on what really matters and not getting bogged down in details.

So what does really matter to you?

Growing into a Minimalist lifestyle actually requires two things in the first place: Finding our what really matters and reducing things. Minimalists often refer to the “5 R’s”:

  • refuse
  • reduce
  • reuse (+repair)
  • recycle
  • rot

Those are actually not only the 5 R’s of Minimalism but also the principles of Zero Waste – but I will come to that later. So what am I trying to tell you here?

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We often get bogged down in details – simply because we own too much, we consume too much and we want too much. We kind of lose track of what really matters, what really is important and essential because we are so distracted. Other than that we cause pollution and harm others with these kinds of lifestyle choices.

Do you remember what Jesus says in Matthew 6?

No one can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

~ Matthew 6:24

This is Minimalism. Consumerism doesn’t only cause pollution and harm other people due to awful labor conditions in many countries – it also distracts us from what really matters: God and his message to us – the Good News.

Minimalism can do so much for us, for our neighbors and the entire planet. It can help us grow as a person, it can help us grow in faith, compassion, responsibility and love and it can help cure the planet.

I’m very excited about these ideas and how Minimalism can look like in practice. So be prepared for a whole bunch of articles about Minimalism and its benefits! How do you feel about that?

Why idealism and perfectionism are just not the same

Just last week I told you about my idealistic values and how that affects my life and the life of the people around me. This week I want to talk about perfectionism. And I want you to understand something very important: Idealism is not perfectionism!

Being idealistic means to stick to a certain value orientation, to believe in certain values and to be willing to always learn and become better at things. It’s actually an optimistic worldview – and it’s really not about being perfect. It’s just about getting better and better.

Perfectionism means to always strive for the best result possible. And that’s basically all, it’s not about learning and growing – it’s just about never being good enough, because no one of us is perfect. Perfectionism is a very pessimistic worldview.

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Do you know perfectionists?

I do. Almost every mother I know is to some extent a perfectionist. Moms tend to always feel they could do more and what they are doing is just not good enough. So many Moms always feel bad because of that. And that’s horrible.

So what is my goal with this article?

Actually I want to encourage you and tell you that you perform a whole lot better than you might think. You can’t do it all. I can’t do it all – nobody can. And that’s OK, you know? Just think about it: Do your children really mind when the house is messy? Do they mind eating pasta for the third day in a row? They don’t.

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And you shouldn’t either, because taking care of your kids is the most important thing you do. And as long as they are happy with you – no matter how imperfect you are – you’re doing a pretty good job.

So what am I doing here?

I’m striking a blow for imperfectionism. Be imperfect! You are imperfect anyway, so let’s celebrate it.

A Weekend in Pictures – June 11th/12th 2016 AND 12of12

So this weekend I don’t only participate in the well-known Weekend in Pictures – I also contribute to 12of12 which is another nice picture challenge. Be prepared for 12 pictures that show our past weekend and tell a very special tale.

So let’s get started:

We had a wonderful relaxed weekend, lots of family time – and rain. And we love rain! Honestly, we do! And who doesn’t?

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I found these beauties on a walk that we took while the rain stopped for just a couple of hours. Somehow they look like gems to me…

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I also love the sound of the pouring rain on our window – it is like soft and peaceful music.

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I think you got the picture by now: I really REALLY love rain. And so does our toddler. And I can’t blame her for doing so, I mean, you get the chance to wear rain boots, rain pants, rain coats…

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That’s not all, though. As you can see our toddler is a baby-wearing mommy – just like me.

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Our playground, however, seemed to be abandoned this weekend.

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Balancing and climbing is always fun – no matter whether it’s raining cats and dogs.

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Well, yeah, we also needed our umbrella…

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This is a little construction area that our toddler is smitten of, we needed to take this picture for her!

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What else did we do on this rainy weekend? Well, we had home-made pizza…

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… and home-made waffles.

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The end of a rainy weekend:

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How was your weekend? Do you love rainy days, too?

Idealism and parenting

I’ve always been an idealist. I’ve always been called a do-gooder and a goody two-shoes. And you know what? I agree.

I think being idealistic is a wonderful virtue. And I think there is a dramatic lack of idealism in our society. Being idealistic doesn’t mean to be naive. I know my ideals will never come true – but that doesn’t stop me from striving for them.

The way is the goal – remember?

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When I first became a mother people laughed at me because of my idealistic parenting values. But I still stick to them. I know I will never be a perfect mother, or a perfect wife or a perfect Catholic – that’s not the point. The point is that I’m confident that I will learn and grow so much along the way that I will benefit from that. More than that: Others will benefit from my ideals, too.

I am pretty confident that my children will not only benefit but also learn from my idealism. I strive to teach them that it’s a good thing to treat others well, to act responsibly, to be eco-conscious and to honor God. I want to teach them that it is worth striving for ideals.

How do you feel about idealism?

A Weekend in pictures – June 4th/5th 2016

What an eventful and hot early summer weekend! Actually our weekend started at the local zoo – where we met this handsome fella.

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I’m not necessarily a peacock-loving person – the peacock, however, seemed to really like me…

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Anyhow, fortunately we also encountered my favorite birds: Sparrows!

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We sure enjoyed our time at the zoo, but at the same time we gave this whole imprisoning-exotic-animals-in-order-to-preserve-the-animals-we-are-killing-in-other-parts-of-the-world-due-to-pollution-thing a lot of thought. I always get kind of sad at the zoo – and it always makes me so pensive. I think I’m going to share my thoughts on that topic with you in a special post some time this week.

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These baby chicks seem to be imprisoned, too – but really they are not. We met them at a small farm that we also visited this week. And they had lots of baby chicks…

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… and laying hens.

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We spent so much time outside that our Baby was able to take her nap in the middle of trees, laying hens and baby chicks.

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We also picked peppermint and elderflowers. The peppermint is going to get dried…

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… the elderflowers are going to be our favorite jelly this summer!

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But what would I be without my precious big helper around the house?

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How was your weekend?

 

Setting limits as an Attachment Parenting family

Sometimes we get asked whether we do set limits at all as an Attachment Parenting family. Some people seem to believe that being responsive to your children’s needs and treating them respectfully would require to just let them do anything they want.

But that’s not need-oriented, that is permissive. Attachment Parenting is all about love, care, respect, freedom and communication – but it is not a permissive parenting style. To the contrary, Attachment Parenting is an authoritative parenting style.

Parents who want to raise their children in this way do discipline their children but in a gentle way – and they do set limits.

The question is not if Attachment Parenting families set limits but which limits they set – and how.

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Attachment parenting is a highly communicative parenting style. As parents we communicate our own needs, we respond to our children’s needs, we communicate the needs that we have as a family and we also communicate the needs other people have. We also talk about our values concerning faith, manners, ecological awareness, humility, generosity and so many other things that are important to us.

And that is also the way we set limits, we talk about what’s right and wrong in our family and how we can do things better. Setting limits doesn’t mean to force your children to do certain things or to behave in a certain way, it’s not about punishing misconduct or conditioning our children’s behavior. Setting limits in an attachment parenting way means to communicate and to ask our children to do or not to do certain things.

This is a beautiful way of growing together as a family in love and respect and yes, it does work. Sometimes it works better, sometimes it doesn’t work at all – like all things. Give it a try!