Review: “Slow Family Living”

slow family living bookIs your family beset by the hustle and bustle of life?  Feel like the kids are growing up too fast and you’re missing it?

“Slow Family Living: 75 Simple Ways to Slow Down, Connect and Create More Joy” by Bernadette Noll is your solution.  The founder of, Noll briefly explains how she and her friend, Carrie Contey, came up with the idea, what it means, and presents “The Slow Family Manifesto.”  That is followed by 75 chapters with ideas to slow your family life.

The Good
This book is filled with good ideas on specific ways that you can slow your days with your family and do something different.  I liked that aspect of it; some of the ideas were really neat like making stuff together as a family and ideas for getting together with a handful of families on a regular basis.  There are even tips and ideas for changing up dinners or weekends filled with obligation.  And there’s something for everyone.  Some chapters are written for self-reflection, some for those who enjoy writing, some for those want to be outdoors more.

One of the “hit home” moments for me in this book came at the back in a chapter called, “How Did We Get Here?”  This reflective list of questions included this gem: “What have you gained by creating a family?”  It’s not something we often think about when we’re busy or sick or running around, but Noll’s questions on remembering the how’s, why’s, and benefits of family life made me feel really warm and fuzzy inside.

The Bad
The more interesting, unique ideas come at the end, and I felt that some of the earlier chapters were her trying to fill a quota of 75 ideas.  I think she would have been fine with 65, or maybe 60.  For example, “Picture This” seems like a waste of a chapter to me.  What I really wanted was tips and tools and ideas on slowing down and then filling that time with family, rather than lots of pondering.

Overall Opinion
I love the idea and the philosophy presented in this book and am happy to report that we as a family already sort of live this way.  Still, there were plenty of interesting ideas we haven’t tried that I know my kids would love, and that makes this book different, interesting and valuable.  “Slow Family Living” is published by Pengroup Group (USA) and is available for $15.00.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book to facilitate this review. All opinions are my own.


    • Gina B says

      Barb, I totally agree with you! We’ve always kept it slow, because Zoe gets mentally tired easily. Two years of full day school make her sleepy when she gets home, so I don’t tax her when she comes in. We even dropped additional therapy because it was too much. Now all we need is warm weather to unleash them outdoors!

    • Gina B says

      Yes, it is up to the parents! I’ve seen far too many moms and dads let their kids set impossible schedules for 20 or more hours a week of social activities. We need to be in charge of that.

    • Gina B says

      It’s funny how that goes, right? I learned a lesson about an over-stuffed unhappy life many years before I have kids (had a stroke in the midst of it), so I’m blessed that I will never overtax my kiddos with the same!

  1. Carrie says

    I think I need to slow down. I’d love to see more ideas. But we do family dinner parties with friends and love it!

  2. says

    Thanks for the review Gina. Glad you found it helpful. Slow isn’t just about the pace, it’s about pausing long enough to figure out whether what you’re doing as a family is working for all of you – as individuals and as an entity!

    • Gina B says

      True it is! Actually, slow for us has meant integrating new routines. I added back and changed up my girls’ night time routine now that they are older, and it really helps them sleep and us bond nightly. :)

  3. says

    Good book.. Hmm, but this book just for mom… haha
    u know, I’m looking for a book about ‘The Fast Family Living’