Birthday Parties and the Zombie Apocalypse

Birthday Parties and Zombie Gardening - Episode 108 of The Slow Home Podcast
(Courtesy AMC / FOX)

We’re in the thick of school holidays right now, which, if I’m being honest, has meant a significant readjustment since Ben and I began working together this year. On occasion we really feel the tension between living, working, parenting and adulting in the one place, and school holidays can be one of those times.

That’s not to say it’s a bad tension, but definitely a new thing we’ve had to learn to navigate since that super exciting conversation on New Years Day this year, and you’ll hear us navigating it a little today with the kid-centric noise ramping up in the background of today’s poggie! 

This is another hostful episode and, boy oh boy, did you ask some cracking good questions! We weren’t able to get through them all, but rest assured we will work on answering them in next month’s Q & A show, as well as any others you might want to ask over on Facebook or in the comments below.

Here are some of the questions we tackle in today’s host-only affair:

  • I’m a 20 year old university student and a big advocate of slow living, but I feel like a lot of the content out there is targeted towards a different age group. What advice would you give to your 20 year old selves regarding slow living and what would you have done differently at that age if you’d been introduced to this idea sooner?
  • Can you talk about school holidays and your thoughts on structured activities for your kids versus encouraging them to find their own fun?
  • How do you navigate birthday parties? With sport friends, school friends, parent friends with their kids …. it can turn into a party every weekend! Kids love parties and being invited so much so that I think saying a flat out ‘no’ is almost cruel. And if you go and celebrate one child’s birthday, then isn’t it nasty to say no to another child? I’d also love to hear your thoughts on actually hosting a party and the gifts and the lolly bags etc.
  • I am working from home and find myself distracted by laundry and dishes…I’d love to hear details about how you get work done. Specifically, your daily rhythm, how you set boundaries around work/home management etc.
  • If the world were presented with a zombie apocalypse, do you think it would still be necessary to live a slow life? How well do you suppose you both might fare in that situation?

I told you they were great! To go from 20-year-old versions of ourselves, to navigating the zombie apocalypse and everything in between – well, that’s just a whole heap of fun.

Turns out I have some very real thoughts about birthday parties and zombies (not necessarily together) and Ben has some really excellent insights into how he breaks his work days in to chunks that allow him to get a lot of work done without getting overwhelmed or becoming distracted.

Enjoy today’s hosts-only show, and be sure to leave us a comment with your questions so we can answer it next month.

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2 Responses to Birthday Parties and the Zombie Apocalypse

  1. On the questions of presents vs no presents… We have always said “no presents necessary” on our son’s party invitations (he is turning 5 so I’m actually putting another round in the mail today). Some people bring presents anyway but so far most of the people at the parties are close family and friends (thus they know us and the kinds of toys we like to buy or they don’t feel obligated to bring anything). This party will be interesting because it is the first party with school friends (i.e. people who’s parents I don’t know well). I’m hopeful they will give a sigh of relief and not bring a present. The other side of the problem is that my son has it in his head that parties mean presents so I wouldn’t want to do a party without my husband, his grandparents, and aunt and uncle etc. bringing our presents for him because otherwise he would be disappointed. He isn’t quite old enough to understand and would just think “so and so had presents at their party so why are people being mean to me”.

    I actually don’t usually bring presents to kids parties or adult parties (and my cousin is the only person I’ve ever seen who also says “no presents necessary” on the invitations” so I’m definitely in violation of convention). After the first few parties I realized that there were sooooo many presents. Like seriously, it isn’t unusual for it to take 45 minutes to an hour at some of these parties to open the presents. It’s so excessive. I only bring a present if I feel particularly moved to do so (like if I know the child well and saw something I really thought they would like or if I have a special relationship with the child as with my nieces). Not sure how they feel about it but I know that I don’t feel good when it is clear someone went to the “boy” aisle in Toys R Us and just bought a thing because they felt they had to.

  2. For my eldest daughter’s 5th birthday party I asked for no gifts on the invitation. EVERY child arrived with a gift and the parents apologised to me and noted that they couldn’t not come with a gift – especially if others arrived with gifts.
    It was very frustrating and made me feel obliged to ensure we had store bought gifts for the parties we attended. Meaning more $ and time to source and more items int our lives and those other families.

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