In becoming a minimalist mom I’ve started incorporating house rules into our life. Read along and see my three Minimalist Mom “don’ts”.
Trying to live as a minimalist mom is hard. Moving from a modern American lifestyle into one of minimalism is a big undertaking, and it’s even harder with four kids. I’m not sure about your littles, but our kids seem to have a deep attachment to every toy they’ve ever owned and every piece of art they’ve ever made. How can we be minimalist with all this kid-centered stuff around?
I’m going to share with you six ground rules we have for our family: three “don’ts” and three “dos”. These rules aren’t things we sat down and write out when we were expecting our first baby. We came into minimalist through seeking peace in our home. These Dos and Don’ts help us keep our home full of kids relatively minimal and definitely peaceful.
As Minimalists we don’t have a television
My husband and I made the decision to get rid of our television when I was pregnant with our oldest. We never intended on purchasing one in the first place, but when it was gifted to us we accepted it. Nick worked with someone who needed a television. When we offered ours to them, they gave us stroller and car seat in return. Since then we haven’t looked back.
Not having a television in the house keeps me accountable to the ideal of being a minimalist mom. The kids aren’t inundated with commercials for the latest toys. Our living room is conversation-centric. It is focused on people rather than a television. This allows us choose what influences our kids’ lives and make sure what we’re exposing them to lines up with our family values.
As a Minimalist Mom I don’t keep batteries in toys
We organically ended up with the philosophy “toy batteries don’t work inside our house”. Creating a peaceful, nurturing environment is very important to me. When the girls were all toddlers I easily became over stimulated. One way I reclaimed a little peace in the home was by removing the batteries from any toy that made noise. Our home was instantly more peaceful! Now this is just a way of life for us. We’ve asked grandparents and other people who give our kids gifts to please not include anything that makes electronic noise.
Thankfully we have respectful family members. Over the years they have learned what our kids like to play with. The kids have received awesome books, Lego sets, and block sets. This is an area of life I’ve given up control over. If a gifts bring the kids joy, of course I won’t minimize them from our lives. Toys with batteries are kept in the basement out of earshot. Once the batteries run out I don’t replace them. Running a household as a well-balanced minimalist mom means recognizing the individuality and personhood of every family member. Because of this I try to extend mercy and make concessions when appropriate.
As minimalists We don’t have screens for kids
Our kids don’t have screens. This was a natural continuation of not having a TV. This means we don’t have tablets, phones, watches, gaming systems, or any other screen-centered technology for the kids. For a while they would bring it up when a friend or neighbor got something new and cool. Now I’ve begun to see a shift to them embracing this difference between us and most families. There is an element of pride in their voices when they talk about how much they like to read rather than watching a tablet.
What are your minimalist mom or dad don’ts?
No television, no batteries in toys, and no child-centered technology are my my three don’ts. Together they keep me accountable to being a minimalist mom. Do you have any minimalist mom or dad don’ts in your house? I would love to hear about them in the comments!