07 May Jodi Wilson: Practising Simplicity
Jodi Wilson chats to us about mindfulness in motherhood and balancing her time between the digital world and the simple things in life.
I was working as a freelance writer when I met Daniel and we fell pregnant (much sooner than expected). So, I was pregnant at 22 and for the first few years of motherhood I was finding my way…teaching yoga and so scared about re-entering the freelance world. In retrospect, I’d lost a lot of professional confidence because, let’s face it, it’s hard to string a sentence together in the first year with baby. But blogging was my constant, so I kept writing there (I began in 2008).
As my blog Practising Simplicity grew, I opened it up to sponsorship and since then it’s been a major part of my work. Along the way, I’ve learned to take photos and now I work as a professional photographer, shooting campaigns and editorial for brands who know me through the blog. Writing stories on Practising Simplicity remains the most enjoyable of all my work.
I practise simplicity, but I have in no way mastered it. I suppose it’s a little bit like practising yoga…somedays it all just flows and at other times everything is clunky and disjointed. When you’re attempting to live simply and raise children and work freelance and keep a home ticking along, the clunk is far more pronounced than the flow.
I like to write about our home, my desire to buy a little house to call our own (which is something I really struggle with, considering the housing market and the overwhelming expense of it all), parenting, motherhood, pregnancy, photography, gratitude and mindfulness.
While I may curate a space that’s calm and inviting, I try really hard to ensure it’s not all picture perfect. I love to share beautiful photos, but my words are honest and when I find things challenging or sad or difficult, I always write about them.
I don’t have an ethos behind my blog. I don’t write editorial calendars or create lists of to dos. It is what it is, dependent very much on my mood and available time. If I have something to write about I share it and, if not, I’ll step away for a few days. My only intention is authenticity.
We can all get so caught up (even our children) with the digital age nowadays. But I must admit I find it very challenging to explain to the children that screen time isn’t essential when there’s rarely a day when I’m not typing or scrolling or editing on my phone and laptop. On the flip side, I think it’s healthy for them to see me working in a job I’ve created for myself…a job in a creative field that I’ve managed to grow while raising children. Sometimes the juggle is really hard and at other times I manage to catch a glimmer of that elusive thing we call balance.
But of course there are times when I find I’m spending too much time online and when that’s the case I literally close the laptop, put the phone down and step away for a few days. It’s so easy to get entrenched in the virtual and it’s all so pretty and perfect that it can very easily skew your perspective.
I’m a big advocate for opening the door and telling the kids to get outside, especially if moods are foul and fighting is rife. “Go, play” I bellow and while they may struggle in the first 20 minutes or so to find a rhythm, it doesn’t take long for them to climb a tree or make mud pies or create a game.
For me, stepping away from the digital means immersing myself in nature. I close the door on the messy house and we go to the beach for an hour or so – soaking in all the salt and the sand. The ocean heals all.
How Jodi brings simplicity to…
Raising children… Daniel and I have always embraced simplicity when it comes to the kids. We live a very privileged life but in no way do we indulge in the unnecessary. They never go without, but we try to focus on experiences over possessions and as they get older we’re doing our best to teach them about responsibility in the home and explaining that they really need to contribute to the day-to-day running of the house. Granted, it’s easier to do the jobs ourselves, but we refuse to raise kids who can’t pick up after themselves!
Banishing negative thoughts… I recently wrote about letting go of simple living ideals because I feel like simplicity is unrealistically perched next to perfection, on a very high pedestal, too! In this day and age, with Pinterest and Instagram, it’s very, very easy to feel a sense of failure when it comes to life, parenting, the house etc. Simply speaking, I counteract a negative thought with a realistic one: “Let it go, this too shall pass, be here now.” As someone who can be very dreamy, I seek a realistic perspective if I’m getting too down on myself, and Daniel is brilliant at presenting the facts. Alternatively, I write my problems down and when I do so, they’re not nearly as daunting.
Daily routines and habits… I like to embrace rhythm over routine as it’s a little easier to bend and stretch with the varying moods of toddlers and young children. I suppose one thing I really try to do every day is have an early dinner as it really does save the witching hour.
What does it mean to you to be an Australian creative, who’s also a mother?
If I can raise my children in this country and work in creative fields that I love I am very, very privileged. The powerful, ever-present intuition of a mother is beyond description but it leads me, guides me, and comforts me.
Jodi Wilson, is a writer, photographer, yoga teacher and author of the blog Practising Simplicity. Jodi lives in NSW with her partner Daniel and three children, Che, Poet, and Percy. She’s quite content with the simple things in life such as baby giggles, childhood wonder, coffee, nourishing food and a good book. You can find more of Jodi’s work via her blog, Instagram and Facebook page.