Vision for this podcast came from my time observing and experiencing the joys and the challenges of motherhood and experiencing European culture.
So why "Sunday Afternoon Mama?" Glad you asked!
Sunday Afternoon Mama speaks to me of lazy, relaxed Sunday afternoons where you and your family sit on your front porch and just BE together. Your kids play in the yard or relax on the porch swing. You wave to your neighbors. Sip lemonade. Listen to French Cafe radio (a personal favorite!). I wistfully dream of a simpler time with less technology and distractions. And yes, I realize we aren't in the 1950's anymore, but I keep thinking we are missing something. That elusive (but promised!) JOY. The notion of REST on the weekend to recharge for the week to come. Having a Sunday Afternoon spirit means you approach life and motherhood with a sense of peace in your heart and deep joy that is not dependent on your circumstance, your children's moods, the weather, the latest sliced-avocado-on-toast pic on Instagram or even your bank account.
I have had the privilege of spending time in Europe and one of the main things I have learned is that there IS a different, slower pace of life that is possible. Rural France excels at this relaxed, slower pace of life. Tuscany is known for focusing on family, food, and time in nature. The Swiss will dine outdoors in the dead of winter, providing warm, fuzzy blankets for you to be comfortable! The assumption in many of these European cultures is yes, we will be outside and yes, we will spend time together! Shops in rural Germany still close on Sundays (I respect and love this fact so much). As I grew up in Canada, I remember that we would get outside, even when the wind was whipping up cold, snowy flurries. My mom has told me she would bundle me up when I was a baby and still go for walks in the snow!
Having a Sunday Afternoon spirit means we may feel like we are swimming upstream in our busy, go-go-go culture. Yet I promise you, slowing down on weekends with intention and purposefully planning your week leaving plenty of white space on the calendar is healthy! Our frantic, competitive pace is simply unsustainable and is not conducive to quality, relaxed time together as families.
There's an old Disney movie (hokey, but good) called Summer Magic. There's a scene where the family is just sitting on their front porch together just relaxing and enjoying the cool summer evening. In classic Disney form, they break out in song about what they're doing. I absolutely love it! There's something so sweet and pure about the idea of being together like that.
I also adore an episode of the Andy Griffith show (yes, yes I'm an old soul and I know it!) where a travelling preacher comes through town preaching a message encouraging the people to all slow down and take more time to relax on Sundays and in life. Again, after church, everyone is sitting on Andy's front porch; Aunt Bea is fanning herself, Barney is dozing off, and they're all chatting pleasantly about the sermon. They remembered a past peaceful memory of band concerts in the park, so they spend an exhausting afternoon trying to unsuccessfully recreate that experience.
How many times in life have I done this? Even in my TRYING to be calm and relaxed, I stress myself out! It's ridiculous. Instead of enjoying the peaceful moments I have right now, I get envious of someone else's idyllic Pinterest or Instagram photos. So here I am, alongside you, learning to walk in true joy and peace so that I can bring that to my family every day. I'm not perfect at any of it, but I'm growing! And that's a good thing.