Minimalism And Children
I was very fortunate growing up. While many would think that losing my father at ten years old and my grandmother (she called me her companion) at sixteen would equate a difficult childhood, I was fortunate to have a mother, sister and support system that ensured I had the best childhood. A part of my heart left with both of them. I developed anxiety and some irrational fears as a result, but they also became my angels who guide and protect me through all things. I did not go without, have less, or struggle, and as a result I always felt I had more than enough and never felt less than despite being raised by a single mother of three.
What still baffles me to this day is, for some reason, when I became a parent, I felt I had to give my children MORE. I went nuts. More clothing, more toys, more shoes, more activities, more experiences, more everything. It felt like the noble thing to do, to give your children more than you ever had. But why? Why did I feel this way, when I felt I had all I ever wanted and needed.
Birthday parties were over the top, Christmas was ridiculous, their wardrobes exploded. Eventually, I became overwhelmed with it all, with all that I had accumulated, what they had, the maintenance of it, it just became too much.
I decided to get rid of all of it and adopted a mindset of moments over things. I redirected my money and energy to providing quality memories and experiences for my children and myself. I realized that the clothing for the experience mattered little and what mattered most was the fun they were having and what they would remember of the event. I wanted them to remember the love, the scenery, the emotions; not that they had a ridiculous amount of presents or that their mother was fussing with them for a cute outfit and photo op.
Since that decision, we have traveled to Trinidad, Costa Rica, Maui, Mayakoba, Tulum and London with just ONE suitcase for myself and my two girls (my teenager likes to have her own suitcase). Not spending time in malls, overthinking packing, traveling with so many suitcases and instead spending the time exploring and experiencing the world together has been magical.
Pack light and travel far is such an underrated statement.