“Slow Family Living: 75 Simple Ways to Slow Down, Connect and Create More Joy” by Bernadette Noll is your solution. The founder of SlowFamilyLiving.com, Noll briefly explains how she and her friend, Carrie Contey, came up with the idea, what it means, and presents “The Slow Family Manifesto.” That is followed by 75 chapters with ideas to slow your family life.
This book is filled with good ideas on specific ways that you can slow your days with your family and do something different. I liked that aspect of it; some of the ideas were really neat like making stuff together as a family and ideas for getting together with a handful of families on a regular basis. There are even tips and ideas for changing up dinners or weekends filled with obligation. And there’s something for everyone. Some chapters are written for self-reflection, some for those who enjoy writing, some for those want to be outdoors more.
One of the “hit home” moments for me in this book came at the back in a chapter called, “How Did We Get Here?” This reflective list of questions included this gem: “What have you gained by creating a family?” It’s not something we often think about when we’re busy or sick or running around, but Noll’s questions on remembering the how’s, why’s, and benefits of family life made me feel really warm and fuzzy inside.
The more interesting, unique ideas come at the end, and I felt that some of the earlier chapters were her trying to fill a quota of 75 ideas. I think she would have been fine with 65, or maybe 60. For example, “Picture This” seems like a waste of a chapter to me. What I really wanted was tips and tools and ideas on slowing down and then filling that time with family, rather than lots of pondering.
I love the idea and the philosophy presented in this book and am happy to report that we as a family already sort of live this way. Still, there were plenty of interesting ideas we haven’t tried that I know my kids would love, and that makes this book different, interesting and valuable. “Slow Family Living” is published by Pengroup Group (USA) and is available for $15.00.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book to facilitate this review. All opinions are my own.