You may have heard of minimalism before, but what does it mean?
Minimalism is a lifestyle that focuses on only owning and consuming as much as necessary.
It includes physical objects, time, energy, and money. It's about living life with less clutter to experience more happiness. In this guide, we will go over all the steps you need to become a minimalist and how the philosophy can help you as a parent.
How Minimalism Can Help a Mother with a Toddler
It may seem odd, but minimalism can be an excellent fit for mothers with toddlers. Many parents find that they have to work harder than ever before to keep up with the pace at which their little one is growing and changing. They are going through all these developmental stages so quickly, and it's hard for some parents to respond appropriately.
The best way you can do this as a mother is by decluttering your home while also taking care of yourself first, if necessary. It allows you to feel more grounded when faced with such an intense task as raising a toddler without losing your sanity or sense of self-worth. Something we all need to get better at doing!
Things You'll Need to Become More Minimalist:
A strong will. It takes courage because living with less stuff is HARD, especially when everyone around is telling you to buy more!
Time. Minimalism is not a quick process; it's something you need to take the time for and commit to on an ongoing basis.
An open mind. If you don't know much about minimalism before starting, make sure you keep an open mind, especially in the beginning stages of your journey.
A support system. As moms, it can often feel like everything depends on us (because it sort of does?). So having loved ones around who care about you can make things easier and help hold you accountable as you move towards minimalism. Bonus: They may even want to join in!
9 Steps To Becoming a Minimalist Mother
Often, as mothers, we get overwhelmed because there are just too many things to plan, and do, and buy. But in reality, this is all based on what you need or want at the end of the day.
Teach Them From an Early Age: To teach your children the value of minimalism from an early age, it's crucial for you as a mother to lead by example. You can do this in many ways, but the easiest way is to focus on having less clutter around you, and they will notice.
Teach Them What Items To Keep – Some items matter more than others, so these pieces must stay put no matter what. Keep this in mind when you are trying to downsized your “stuff”–you don't have to get rid of EVERYTHING you own to make steps towards minimalism.
Get Rid of What You Don't Need – It may seem overwhelming at first, but all this means is that it's time to start getting rid of what you don't need anymore. First, try going through each room one by one again and asking yourself if you should keep any particular object. If not, then ask yourself, “why do I have this?” or “will I use this?” and if the answer is “no,” then you should get rid of it.
Enhance Your Own Space: The best way to do this is by focusing on your own space before anything else because once everything clears out from around you, it will feel more accessible for others who visit.
Be Mindful of What You Buy: This is one step that I found to be the most difficult because so many things out are marketed to us as “must-haves,” making it hard to resist. But if you stay mindful of what you're doing, then chances are good that your kids will follow suit.
Practice Consistent Decluttering: This is a step that will seem straightforward at first, but after a while, it can become difficult if you're not consistent with your decluttering efforts.
Teach Them The Difference Between Needs And Wants – This is a BIG one (and I have to admit I still find myself needing to practice this). Children learn through experience, so it's essential to talk about needs versus wants as soon as possible.
Help Them Become Creative Minimalists Too: With creativity comes different ideas, which mean more chances for new creations out of old products.
Practice What You Preach: The best way to teach your child minimalism is by practicing what you preach. Be a good example for them and clean out the old without feeling guilty.
What is Minimalism in Parenting
Minimalism in parenting is a philosophy where the adults around children try to live with less clutter. They buy fewer things for their home and themselves, teach children that material goods are not essential, and declutter by taking consistent small steps every day. It will make our homes tidier, which also helps us as caregivers feel better too.
And because these habits have been proven to result in happier kids (clutter stresses everyone in the family out!), I highly recommend this way of life for anyone looking to become a more calm parent.
Advantages of Minimalism and the Qualities of a Good Parent
Being a parent is one of the most challenging and rewarding jobs in life. As new parents, we want to do all we can for our children but often find ourselves overcompensating by buying material things or making decisions out of fear. This is totally normal!
The result is an accumulation of stuff from which ends up sucking the joy from you. It becomes even more challenging as children grow older and their interests change.
Advantages of Minimalism
Of course, we have to spend money on basics like food, clothing, and shelter. However, some basic needs require less spending and can bring tremendous joy to our lives. Some things we can do that don't bring more “stuff” into our lives is;
- Leaning into our physical health through exercise (which doesn't have to mean spending on a gym membership!)
- Achieve more mental clarity by doing meditation and getting good sleep.
- Find happiness from spending time with loved ones.
- Begin valuing experiences over things.
When you have fewer material things, you can spend more time and energy on things that really matter.
Qualities That Make for A Good Parent
Many qualities make for a good parent, but here are two that are truly important: responsibility & empathy.
Many parents bring themselves joy through purchasing things, like an expensive car or clothes they don't need. We are often made to feel that we need to spend a ton of money in order to pamper ourselves. This is not true fulfillment. Instead, find your meaning in life within yourself, and you will have less anxiety which will allow you to be a better parent to your children.
How Can Minimalism Help a Busy Mother?
Minimalism can be a great way for busy parents to prioritize what is essential in their lives. It will quickly become apparent that by owning less, we can focus on the things that matter most – our relationships and our well-being. Here's how minimalism can help you as a busy mother:
Feeling overwhelmed with excess material possessions leads many of us away from the enjoyment of life because there never seems like enough time or money to enjoy everything at once. Minimalist living allows us all more freedom from worry, and this improved mental state has been shown to lead to higher levels of happiness and satisfaction with life.
You would think twice before you buy something. After you have decluttered, you would realize that you do not need more and that less is enough. When you commit to having fewer material things, there is an awareness that helps you stop focusing on wanting more and impulse buying.
Minimalism becomes a philosophy and a way of living. You start with objects that you have. Then it becomes a mentality that you will unconsciously use for almost everything else, including work and time management. Minimalist time management allows you more time for yourself, your family, and your personal passions. You can enjoy yourself again by spending more time on things and events that matter to you.
A minimalist viewpoint allows you to spend more time on yourself and your health. The great thing about taking care of yourself is that you also take care of your family. Your family begins to follow your lead because you are modeling self-care.
With more time for yourself, you can have more time for creative things that light you up.
Relationships with others.
There are fewer distractions and more time for other people, especially your family.
Guide to Minimalism in Parenting
You can apply minimalism in parenting to everything from clothes, toys, and children's books; the idea is that it will help you create more space in your home by not buying too many things for your child or keeping anything around if they're never used.
The focus should always be on what we need, so there are no wasted purchases at all! But, on the other hand, it may mean getting creative with those who want new stuff all than learning essential lessons of generosity and gratitude.
- Do not buy too many clothes, toys or children's books. If you want to buy something for your children, wait a week and see if you still think you need it!
- Try to limit the number of things you stock up on. If it is something they will often use, then get more than one if required; otherwise, wait until it wears out before replacing it.
- Only keep items you love. Don't feel obligated to collect everything because kids want new stuff all the time!
- Consider donating any clothing, furniture, and other household goods that no longer serve a purpose.
Minimalism does take some time but helps make life more leisurely and less stressful overall.
A Busy Mother's Guide to Minimalism
There are many ways to incorporate some aspects of minimalist living into your life without feeling like you have to change everything.
Here's a guide for busy mothers who want to find time in their day-to-day lives to be more mindful:
- Start by taking five minutes each night before bedtime and reflect on what you're grateful for that has happened that day. Think about specific things and all the small moments.
- Take a walk during your lunch break or while the kids are napping, and try to focus on small things you see or smell.
- If you're cooking dinner for your family or cleaning, try putting on some upbeat music that everyone enjoys listening to together.
- Make a list before you go shopping to know what is needed in your home and only buy those things!
What is the Aim of Minimalism in Parenting?
The aim of minimalism for parents is the same as it would be for anyone else: live more mindfully by making conscious choices while reflecting on how those decisions will affect our family, friends, neighbors, and world at large.
The benefits of adopting this lifestyle include having time available for other things we enjoy doing. It includes cooking healthy food or going out into nature together as a family, instead of running around all day trying to keep up with household chores and errands because there don't seem to be enough hours in the day.
Minimalist parenting also means being present for our children, being able to back away from the screen and talk while we're cooking dinner or going for a walk. It's about living life mindfully together with less – so that you can make more time for what matters most.
Minimalist Mothers and Raising a Child
Many articles about minimalism focus on the notion that it's a way to save money and simplify your life. In reality, though, anyone can access many benefits – even those who don't live a ‘minimalist lifestyle.' One example is a busy mother exploring how she might make time for mindfulness in her day-to-day life so that we can be more present with their children.
How Can a Mother Use Minimalist Concepts in Raising a Toddler?
The minimalist concept can be applied in a raising toddler by minimizing the time spent with technology and screens, eliminating excess toys and other distractions at home. Doing this will create an environment that is calm, clean, free of clutter but still stimulating to your child's senses.
It also means limiting access to television for toddlers and having them play outside instead of inside when possible or necessary. They can focus on playing with their parents or exploring whatever is around them rather than being glued to a device.
Every family has its own set of values and preferences when it comes to raising children, which is one reason why there can't be a single guide that fits every situation. Values are different for everyone, so don't let someone else's ideals influence your decision-making process too much.
A minimalist philosophy also helps create the foundation for respect later in life as kids learn how to make decisions based on what they believe in themselves rather than doing something just because others want them to do it.
Strategies for Minimalist Mothers in Raising a Family
The day-to-day life can often feel like an endless stream of errands and chores that never end. A guide to becoming a minimalist mother offers strategies for mitigating the stress, clutter, and exhaustion in this active role by simplifying habits and routines at home with children.
- Identify which tasks are truly necessary during the day
- Simplify your surroundings through decluttering
- Develop systems that work specifically for you and your family's needs
Examples could include organizing the clothes closet or finding time during the week to clean up toys instead of doing it all on weekends or right before bedtime. The key is to figure out what works best and not get caught up in the whirlwind of life as a mother.
It can be challenging to maintain a work-life balance when you're juggling responsibilities and obligations at home with children, but it's not impossible.
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