Katie Puckett on raising two littles, and how she's learned to prioritize and protect the meaningful, slow lived moments in her family's rhythm.
Meet Katie Puckett, mama of two littles: Mia (7) and Charlie (4). Katie is based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and is forever pursuing joyful practices: like growing her own flowers using regenerative practices for stunning floral arrangements, beekeeping, creating homemade sensory kits for her community, and more. She also works as a dental office assistant while her husband Jared works as a firefighter. We sat down with them to ask how they prioritize intentional, slow living and purposeful routines amidst all the chaos of this stage of life.
Q: How do you monitor screen time for your family? Do you have tips and tricks for how you ensure screen time is intentional?
I have found that for our family specifically we don’t rely on a set plan for monitoring screen time. We take each day at a time. Some weeks seem to fill up with activities (sports, social gatherings, school related activities and such) more than others. On weeks that are full with everyone going in so many different directions, we usually take time when all the activities are over to hang out together in our family room, turn on a show we all like or grab the Nintendo Switch and just enjoying that slow intentional time together. It’s important to give our bodies and minds the rest they need.
On the other hand, we have slower weeks in our schedules too. After coming home from work or walking the kids home from school we might take 30 mins to grab a snack and watch a show or talk about our day. After that we like to grab our climbing shoes and visit the indoor climbing gym by our house. It’s a great place to let the kids climb and have fun and build their strength. It’s also a good way for us to use our problem building skills. Sometimes when starting a climbing route, it’s not always obvious on how you are going to make it to the top, so it provides good problem solving and decision making opportunities for our kids to learn from. Our kids also like to just hang out in the backyard too. We have a few hammock swings hanging from a tree out back and my daughter has figured out how to use it as a trapeze. We also like to keep their creativity with play open. My daughter has learned how to tie a few knots with a climbing rope and regularly uses our climbing rope to climb the tree. For us it’s more of a balance game – we don’t have timers or set rules for screen time. We just like to adjust to our schedules and listen to how we are feeling day to day, week to week.
Q: I know you guys are always trying to stay active with your littles! What's your mindset on having them experience new activities?
We recently enrolled my son (4 years old) into basketball. It was a little YMCA lead team where several of his school and neighborhood friends were playing on. We thought he would love it. Instead it showed us how much of an introvert he is. He did not enjoy it at all. There were WAY too many people watching him, telling him what to do. We still went to several games but knew it was not something we would further pursue with him unless he starts to seem interested.
We had gone on a double date with some friends around this same time and they took us climbing – we loved it! We thought it would be a great way for our son to use his energy and critical thinking on the wall. There aren’t a lot of rules and people telling him what to do. He just gets to walk up to a wall, “turn into Spider-Man” and do his thing. I also felt like it was a great way to bond with my kids because it’s something active we all get to do at the same time and near each other. We all get to cheer one another on and challenge one another. While I highlighted my son mostly here, my daughter loves it too. She has great balance and coordination. She really excels at climbing. She is also our socialite and loves playing soccer with her YMCA team.
Q: What advice would you give parents struggling to find balance amidst life's often chaotic and over-scheduled moments?
Life can feel especially chaotic after becoming a parent and the chaos is ever changing. As newborns you are learning how to nurture this small new life while also taking care of yourself and your spouse. It can all be very overwhelming.
Then, you might add more babies to the mix. Then the kids grow and have friends so you add your kids social life to the balancing act, then school, then maybe back to work you go. It can get overwhelming but the things I think we forget sometimes is that we can be in charge of our time and space. The truth is, we don’t HAVE to attend the birthday party of the school friend we barely know. We don’t have to be a part of the sports team just because everyone else is.
We can sit out of this event this week because we have hit our cap. We get to decide where our cap is. We can protect that space. Our kids might not always be happy about some of these decisions but part of our job as a parent is to be the protector over our family and how we spend our time.
Q: When you think about your life, what do you feel you want more of? And what do you wish you had less of?
I am an introvert and a homebody so I tend to want to be at home more and with my close group of people. It’s hard for me to want to stretch out and pull new people into that. I also like a slow lived life. I don’t like the manic hustle that a lot of people like, or say they like. I want more intentional time being around the people I love doing things we love, cooking good food, growing great flowers and vegetables in our yard, taking walks and having good real conversation, exercising our bodies and minds. I want less of the piddley stuff. Sometimes I feel like people just create more and more busy work because they feel like they have to. Somehow we get dragged into other people's busy work. I want my family to be aware when that happens and feel okay to say no to things.
Here at Hearth we strive to help you create more family time and less havoc by simplifying and organizing your life. Pre-order your Hearth Display starting July 12, 2022. Know someone who embodies what Hearth stands for and would be a good fit for our Q+A series? Nominate them via email to us at hello@HearthDisplay.com.