Spend More Time….. Doing Less

The more time I spend at home, the more I’m convinced of the importance of taking things slowly as a parent with your kids, creating a calm space, being in it and just seeing what comes up. Don’t get me wrong; I love getting outdoors in to Nature and travel is one of my huge passions but once kids come along, I strongly believe that there is something extremely powerful for you and crucially, for your kids in just doing very, very little. I get asked a lot so here’s how we keep things slow around here:

1. Clear your diary – resist making plans and just block out a whole day with “n o t h i n g”. It might feel daunting, as if you’ll be bored (and maybe you will – but I have a feeling you won’t) but it’s the first and most important step in slowing down.

2. Tune in – we listen to music non stop throughout the day to keep things calm. It also helps me remain in an adult world and lifts my energy as and when. Here’s my playlist that we tend to put on first thing in the morning but we also listen to a lot of BBC radio 4, podcasts, Ted Talks and chill.fm (it’s a digital radio station which is ad free – it’s awesome and seems to be the magic ingredient in getting the kids to fall asleep in the car)

3. Burn one down – environment is everything – there anything more relaxing than a lit candle? The first thing I do when I come downstairs is switch on the fairy lights and light some candles. Soy ones, for the win.

4. Get yourself a cuppa – and preferably find a favourite mug that just makes you feel good (because life’s too short to not have favourite mugs) and yes, I spend a lot of time re-heating my coffee on the hob because #mumlife.

We spend a lot of the time on the floor. Anyone else?

5. Good pjs – ever tried get your child dressed in a rush? It’s one of my least favourite things in the world. We sometimes don’t get dressed until midday and sometimes if I’m being uber lazy, I might just throw a jumper over the top of the kids pjs. I currently hardly take off my Laura Ashley pyjamas, they’re just ridiculously comfortable and I love pink pinstripes. Most of all, don’t feel guilty about not getting dressed – it’s the stuff that dreams are made of, in my opinion.

6. Get cosy – blankets are a must and sometimes Sonny will just fall asleep on the floor which means having blankets around allows me to just grab one and lay it on the ground, and he’s off.

7. Entertainment  – We try not to have too many toys in the house (I especially avoid plastic) mainly because I don’t like having too much ‘stuff’ in our space and I think it ensures a calmer space. But we do have lots of puzzles, building blocks, trains and wooden toys. And a tonne of toys that aren’t really toys, like tupperware, old keyboards and pieces of string. I personally feel less toys creates more creative minds in kids and helps them (and me!) not feel overwhelmed. We also have a pack of Mindful Kin playcards which we love for when we need some ‘inspiration’ –  they’re a pack of cards with mindful based activities and such fun.

Woah, my plants need some attention.

8. Use technology – whilst we definitely avoid TV, there are moments where TV can help create a calm and chilled out environment and I’m totally not entirely against it. We use it most when Sonny naps and Jack has exhausted playing alone (which he does so well), then I might pop it on for 45 minutes. I always set clear goals when switching it on though and always let Jack switch it off himself – I think that makes him feel like he has the control (!). We’re also huge audiobooks fans.

9. Get some fresh air – if you have access to outside space, be sure to pop out into it – even better in your pjs and a pair of wellies. I absolutely swear by fresh air; a quick run around a garden can turn around a funky mood.

10. Busy yourself with simple tasks – I’ll often think about dinner and start prepping first thing in the morning – and these days, Jack is more than happy to help too. It’s lovely to be able to take your time thinking about a meal (recently I’ve been making this sweet Moroccan soup a lot and this easiest ever vegan banana bread is a total must have in our home), have your little one contribute and then be able to pop to get any ingredients you need during the day – this makes the perfect little trip outside! Equally, sounds dull but whilst the kids are playing this is when I’ll do the house chores and again, the kids are surprisingly interested in this too 🙂

We tend to feel the need to leave the house arise naturally but I hope you might feel a little inspired to spend more time doing less, just be-ing at home with your little ones without rushing to get from A to B. If you give these sorts of mornings a go, I’d love you to tag how you spend your time using #zeroplansday !

I hope you enjoyed this post and thanks so much for reading. What would be your one tip when it comes to keeping things “slow”?

Emma x

P.S Let your kids be bored and How to encourage independent play


  1. Kate
    April 11, 2020 / 4:19 pm

    Currently in lock down and am so pleased to find your blog. I used to follow you on YouTube 🙂 Slow days are where it’s at right now. With being altogether all the time the children – 5 and 9 – have loved creating games with each other and carried them on the next day.

    • Emma Ross
      May 22, 2020 / 9:56 am

      hey kate! allll about the slow, lockdown days, right? hope you guys are doing well x x

  2. Katrine
    November 7, 2018 / 7:32 pm

    Love this! One question though: do you have any good responses or go-to tips and tricks when the children keep insisting that they can only play when you are playing with them? For instance, when my daughter wants me to be the fairy/sister/teacher/witch or whatever in a role play and I tell her that I am sure she can play by herself and that I am busy doing the dishe (for example), she has such a clever comeback: “then let’s say you are the good fairy doing the dishes”… I can never escape her fantasy ?

  3. Leanne
    November 7, 2018 / 5:32 am

    I LOVE spending my time at home with my 9 month old having a slow routine and being together exploring (he’s almost walking) but I’ve recently had this feeling that I wasn’t doing enough. We go to the park and a music class, but I’ve felt guilty thst I haven’t been exposing him to enough or doing enough with him because we stay in our pjs and play or have multiple quiet days in a row. So this is perfect. We have a lot of music and stories and non-toy toys and I see that I’m ok. I’m doing a nice job of being with my boy and cooking. Im not a lazy, boring mum. I’m a quiet, happy mum and that’s ok.

  4. Jessica Dutton
    July 1, 2018 / 9:51 pm

    I work afternoons which is great for me because I’ve never been very good at mornings! But now I have my daughter who is 17 months old and most days we just take our time getting ready, a slow breakfast, play time both inside and outside and a nap. I used to beat myself up about the fact that we’re not dressed and ‘ready for the day’ by 9am but then I realised that no-one is timing me so what’s the point? If we are enjoying our slow, calm mornings then it’ll prepare us for the rest of the day which is usually fairly busy. Thank you for this post, it’s given me a lot of reassurance.

    • Emma Ross
      July 2, 2018 / 10:21 pm

      ah we’re alllll about taking it slow. there’s no rush at all, so enjoy it xxx

  5. Lindsay Cox
    March 1, 2018 / 11:22 am

    This playlist is ??????

    • emmaross
      March 1, 2018 / 12:55 pm


  6. Jenn
    February 22, 2018 / 6:27 pm

    Love this. Love love love it. Thanks for sharing the playlist- it’s amazing and currently my go-to!

    • emmaross
      February 22, 2018 / 9:18 pm

      so welcome – enjoy!

    • emmaross
      February 23, 2018 / 10:21 pm

      YAS! so glad x x x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *