In the Ultimate Post-2020 Move, We’re Reclaiming My Office as a Family Quiet Room
We have space a few doors down from our toddler’s playroom that we call the Quiet Room. The sunlight from outside hits perfectly on the two single window panes, and moments of deep sighing are shared with tri-color leaves waving in the wind. Our interior designer recommended a soft green meditation mat and singing bowl for one corner, and all the books perched on the tower-style rack are self-help or “how-to-care” for plant titles. Old stacks of Oprah at Home, Domino sit on wooden magazine holders. I have a station with frankincense and myrrh incense and a fat wad of sage.
But now, the energy of this room reeks of deadlines. I work in this room now, instead of rest. Although every day I strike a match and ignite a smoky cleanse scent, I never meditated on the pillow or purchased the muted gold bowl. I’ve squandered the opportunity to alter my family’s rest routine by underutilizing a zone meant for calm and inspiration. The room has morphed into a 24/7 office with 5 electric cords on a surge protector—electronics land. The room is a home office, the headquarters for all things work because it’s quiet, it has a door, and the background imagery is decent for Google hangouts and FaceTime happy hour. The lower level location keeps my kid out.
Entering into the holiday season, small shifts to our rest health will be my gift to my husband and son. Reclaiming this portion of our house and making a real respite statement is more important than the Christmas tree and Kwanzaa cards. Join me as I embark on the ultimate pause and commit to using the quiet room for its purpose.
This piece was created for Cubby, our weekly newsletter for families at home. Want more? Sign up here for a weekly splash of fun and good ideas for families with kids.
Cubby. Real solutions for unreal times.
Join us for a weekly dose of fresh, modern ideas for life at home with your kids.
We’ll create restful playlists.
Music is the heartbeat of our home. We wake up to music, and Sundays mean spinning all vinyl. From Rev. James Cleveland to Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, tunes accentuate our mood. Being intentional about rest playlists is a part of my 30-day challenge resting transformation. My son Garvey is 2 years old, and I’ll need to test selections before programming Alexa to play his jams. Honestly, curated bedtime or naptime music fled my mind after he started solid foods. Here is what I’ll play to keep him mellow while relaxing downstairs.
We’ll trade in screens for restful reading.
During Covid-19-times, it has become increasingly hard to remember daily bedtime reading — I’m wiped out from juggling WFH and parenting. Who says it needs to happen at a particular time? I’ll attempt to add more mindful board books to the quiet room collection and bring the entire family into that space. The more material that allows our mind to wander, the less the need to pick up our phones or hand the little one his iPad.
We’ll slow down to drink more water.
I use the WaterMinder app, and I’m still bad at staying hydrated. Despite the hourly push notification on my phone — accessibility is vital to drink the natural resource. Taking the time to stretch and enjoy clean water is meditative, a budge to slow down. I’m adding an enormous ceramic vessel that uses a Berkey water filter called Walter. The kiddo’s water consumption outweighs dairy and juice, and an out of reach system might be the draw to keep him in a resting nest for longer than a hot minute.
We’ll add more pillows for softness.
Although my son doesn’t have a pillow in his crib yet, it’s his favorite thing. More soft cushions for the entire family in the quiet room is a goal. I used Nook’s nursing pillow and now have the all-in-one Pebble mattress; both are hypo-allergic, organic, and no extra padding needed. A white one for his bed and a misty-colored pillow for new digs.
The past year has taught me that making other people comfortable is fine; making my pod healthy is even better. My definition of “home office” is a reliable chair, a surface for my laptop and Moleskine — no dedicated room needed. I’ll keep subscribing to the no laptop on Saturday rule and do an inventory of nooks in our home that function as a desk. Taking back the quiet room is more than making a pretty place; it’s transforming the soul of all of us.