Our No Spend Month: Two Weeks In.

Open Late Christmas

Hi there, my sweet sweet friends! I hope the first two weeks of 2018 have treated you well. I’m sure a lot of you are wondering how we’ve been holding up during our no Spend challenge. I’ll be honest with you, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done and it definitely hasn’t gone the way I planned. However, I’ve learned a lot these past two weeks and I’m looking forward to finishing this challenge on a positive note.

So what exactly went wrong? Well, the simplest explanation would be that we spent money when we weren’t supposed to. In the past, I probably would have just given up. I would have felt defeated, and probably would have never attempted a no Spend challenge again. This time, I decided to practice what I preach and just roll with it.

So here’s what happened. First, Walter had to have some blood work done (don’t worry he’s fine, I’ll be writing about this soon), so Tyler and I decided to treat him with a trip to the children’s museum. While we were out, we got lunch with my mother. Now, I could have used this opportunity to save money like I was supposed to. I could have easily told my mother that we couldn’t go to lunch because we weren’t spending money this month, but I didn’t. I chose to hang out with my mom instead of saving thirty bucks, and I’m glad we did it. Like I said, I could have easily said no, or we could have done something free but we didn’t. I’ve chosen not to beat myself up about. 2018 is all about being patient with myself.

Our second exception to our no Spend challenge was buying supplements for Walter. Recently we discovered Walter has some demineralization on his two front teeth. In order to combat this issue, Tyler and I have decided to try to remineralize his teeth with a homemade toothpaste, and some small changes to his diet. If you’re interested in our toothpaste recipe, and the exact supplements Walter will be on make sure you check back next week. I’ll be writing a post all about it.

If you decided to join us during our no Spend month, I’d love to hear how it’s going. Feel free to leave me a comment here or on my Instagram! I’ll be doing a full recap of the month, and going over exactly what I’ve learned from the experience at the end of the month. Make sure you subscribe so you get an email notification every time I make a post!

Until next time. I’m sending you lots of love, and all the positive vibes.

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I’m Just an Okay Mom.

 

REAL MOMI haven’t posted in two weeks; sorry about that. I’ve been going back and forth with myself, trying to decide if I want to post this at all. However, I think it’s important to be honest with you guys. I think it’s even more important that I’m honest with myself, so here it goes. I’m not perfect. I’m not a perfect person, I’m not a perfect partner, I’m not a perfect mother and I’m okay with that.

So, to the moms who feel crappy  because their kid’s lunch wasn’t Pinterest worthy, or because they missed a parent-teacher conference, trust me we’ve all been there. To the mom’s who are about week behind on laundry and had to send their kid to the sitter’s wearing a dirty shirt, don’t freak out cause I’ve been there too mama. To the mom’s who have ever felt like a crappy mom just because they’re stressed and need some space, know that you’re not alone.

I know this post was short, I know this probably wasn’t what most of you were expecting.  So many people refuse to tell it like it is, especially when it comes to parenthood. It’s because people are afraid of what others will think. It’s because people are afraid of being thought of as a bad parent. Well, I’m over it. The truth is, being a parent can be the most incredible (and I mean truly incredible) experience, but sometimes it kinda sucks.

Like I said in the beginning, I’m here to be honest with you guys. I’m not aspiring to be the greatest at anything, I’m just doing the very best I can. It’s taken me a long time to get to this point in my life. I’m finally comfortable enough with myself to say, I’m the world’s “okayest” mom…and I’m fine with it.

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Surviving Croup

My son came down with Croup two weeks ago. Honestly, it has to be one of the most terrifying experiences I’ve ever had. Croup usually strikes in the middle of the night, as the infected child wakes up with a horrible barking cough. For Walter, it started around 1 in the morning. I could hear him taking short, shallow breaths then, he sprung up and let out a series of loud seal like barks. My first thought was ” OH MY GOD, HE’S CHOKING!” I snatched him up, jumped out of bed, and immediately started smacking him on the back. A few seconds later (once I was more awake) I realized he wasn’t choking. Honestly, it still hadn’t dawned on me that it was croup. His cough sounded so bad that we feared he might have whooping cough!
Like I mentioned before croup usually starts in the middle of the night, so it wasn’t like we could take Walter to the doctor right away. At first, we debated taking him to the ER, but we decided that was unnecessary. So that night, we did the only thing I could think of, which was to take him into a hot steamy bathroom. We turned to shower onto the hottest we could get it, and allowed the room to fill with steam. The moist hot air soothed his cough, and we were able to get a few hours of sleep. The next morning, we took him straight to his pediatrician just to be on the safe side. We were able to confirm his diagnosis and start a treatment plan.
Before I jump into our treatment plan, I want to explain what croup is. Croup is a very common airway infection. It blocks breathing and causes a very distinctive barking cough. Croup (laryngotracheobronchitis) is caused by a virus, so antibiotics can’t be prescribed to treat it. The virus usually last between 3 to 7 days, and often symptoms worsen at night. Ya know, because getting a toddler to sleep isn’t hard enough already.
I do want to add, that I’m not a doctor. These steps are just the ones I took to treat my son. If your child is ill, always seek medical treatment from a physician.

CROUP GRAFFIC
The first thing we did to treat Walter’s cough was creating a warm moist environment for him. We turned the show onto the hottest water we could get, put a towel under the door, and allowed the steam to fill up the bathroom. We sat in the steamy bathroom for around 15 minutes, then admittedly went out into our cool bedroom. Going from a warm environment to a cool one usually helps with croup. If you don’t keep your house as cold as we do, you can always step outside for a few minutes. The sudden change in temperature can help soothe a cough.
The next thing we utilized was a nebulizer with saline. The nebulizer really helped keep his airways moist. I’m sure anyone who’s familiar with a neb machine you know that it’s normally used with a bronchodilator. Since Croup is an infection in the airway, and of the voice box, a bronchodilator doesn’t help with croup. For the first 4 days or so we did nebulizer treatments every 4 hours. After the first 4 days, we only did nebulizer treatments when it really seemed like he needed it.

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The next step we took was putting a cool mist humidifier in our bedroom. Again, keeping the air moist is key when it comes to treating croup. Along with the humidifier, we ran an essential oil diffuser with lemon essential oil during the day. If you’re interested in learning more about essential oils, you can check out the blog post I wrote right here. If you’d like to know the exact humidifier, and diffuser we used you can find a link to them here, and here. They were both purchased on Amazon, and they’re pretty reasonably priced. It’s been about two weeks, and Walter is feeling much better but we’re still using our humidifier every night. It was a good sent while Walter was dealing with croup, but it also has a ton of other benefits. Cool mist humidifiers help keep your skin from getting dry in the winter months, as well as preventing nosebleeds, and sore throat.
Next, we did everything possible to help boost Walters immune system. I’m still nursing so he was able to get the benefits from my breast milk. We also introduced more supplements, and homeopathics into his daily routine. The first thing we introduced was colloidal silver. This stuff is amazing! It’s a powerful antiviral and can be used for a multitude of things. We added ten drops of colloidal silver to Walter’s nebulizer treatments, and also placed it into his EO diffuser. You can find the exact brand we use here

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We also added a dose of elderberry syrup into his routine. Elderberries are a great immune booster, and where exactly what he needed to help him fight croup. It was pretty easy to get him to take because it’s really sweet. If you have older kids who put up more of a fight, you can try making elderberry gummy bears by mixing agar agar powder (or gelatin if you’re not vegan), and elderberry syrup. You can find the exact brand I use here. If you’re giving elderberry syrup to your kids, be mindful of the brand you use, some of them contain alcohol.

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The last thing we used to support Walter through croup where the Hylands tiny cold tablets. If you know me at all you know I swear by these things! The work within hours and they really helped with Walter’s cough. You can find them at most drug stores, or here online. Like I said, I swear by these things. We also use them whenever Walter gets a runny nose or a cough from teething.

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I’d love to hear what your must-haves are for a sick baby. Leave a comment here, or on my Instagram. I’ll be hosting a giveaway when I reach 1,500 follows on IG, so make sure you stop by @theholisticbee on Instagram to show me some love.

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All products mentioned were purchased by me. All opinion are my own. This post does NOT contain a paid Ad

Our Breastfeeding Journey

Breastfeeding has always been important to me. I knew I was going to breastfeed the second I found out I was pregnant. I watched tons of videos on how to get a great latch, I read anything and everything I could get my hands on. In the final weeks of my pregnancy, I felt comfortable with my decision to nurse my baby.

When Walter was born he latched within seconds and nursed for around thirty minutes. Natural I thought we were off to a good start. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. We struggled A LOT in the beginning. In fact, we still struggle every day. However, I am pleased to say we’ve made it to nine months, and we have no plans on stopping anytime soon.

If you’re a breastfeeding mama, and you’re struggling, I hope this post helps you in some way.  Remember to take one day at a time, and don’t be so hard on yourself.

STRUGGLING IN THE BEGINNING

In the beginning, I dealt with a lot of nipple pain. For the first two weeks or so I would cry every single time he latched. Literally every single time. The pain was so bad I honestly considered giving up and formula feeding. I’m very thankful that I have a loving, supportive partner who wouldn’t let me give up. Without his support and kind words, I wouldn’t have made it.

I want to take the time to say pain is not normal. It’s a sign that your baby isn’t latched correctly. This could be due to a lot of things, but the most common are a lip or tongue tie. My son has a lip tie, and unfortunately, we didn’t discover it until a few weeks ago. If you suspect your little one might have a lip or tongue tie make sure you bring it up with you pediatrician.

DEALING WITH NEGATIVITY  

I struggled with this a lot in the beginning of my breastfeeding journey. For some reason, a lot of people feel the need to comment of things that either has nothing to do with them or things they know nothing about. It can be hard to tune these things out, especially if you’re a new mom. I know I always hated hearing people say I should have formula at home “just in case”, or having people tell me to cover up while nursing in public. Unfortunately, it seems like people always have something negative to say to breastfeeding moms. My advice is to let it go in one ear and out the other, and if that doesn’t work don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself!

LOW MILK SUPPLY 

This is something that most new moms are concerned with. Honestly, it’s incredibly rare for a woman to not produce enough milk for her baby. Most of the time low milk supply is caused by a lack of knowledge and support. However, in some cases, low milk supply can happen with ample knowledge and support.

If you work outside of the home like me, you might experience a dip in supply when you return to work. If this happens to you, make sure you do everything you can to increase your supply before it’s too late.

Low supply is something I’ve faced since returning to work. I’m very lucky, and with the help of some amazing women, I’ve been able to supplement my son with donated breast milk. I can’t begin to explain how thankful I am to the ladies that have helped me feed my son. I will be forever grateful, I can only hope someday I’ll be able to return the kindness.

FEELING OVERWHELMED 

Feeling stressed or overwhelmed is something I still struggle with every day. Being the only person who can feed a tiny human being can feel like a lot of weight on your shoulders. I’m very lucky that my son was willing to take a bottle of expressed breast milk every now and then. If I wasn’t able to get these tiny little breaks, especially in the beginning, I might have pulled all of my hair out!

 

Nursing my son has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but the most rewarding. The bond we have is like nothing I’ve ever experienced and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. If you’re struggling with breastfeeding, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Every mom deserves to feel the amazing bond and love that comes with nursing a child, and every baby deserves the food nature intended for them.

xoxo

Destiny

Why I Regret Being a Crunchy Mom

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We all know that being a parent brings an immeasurable amount of joy. We also know that the happiness we feel is often accompanied by fear or guilt. At least I hope you all know this, and I’m not the only one who feels this way.

I personally feel it’s important to share the ups and down of parenthood. This is an absolutely insane roll-a-coaster we’re all on, and the more open we are about it the easier it is. I’m hoping this post will inspire you all to be more transparent. It’s okay to share your parenting mistakes, and regrets with others.

I’m writing this post mostly for myself, but also for the parents who feel just like me. I constantly see photos of perfect little families, and I wonder why parenting seems so easy for them. In order to not fall into that same cycle of only sharing the good stuff, I’m airing out my dirty laundry. Here it is folks, the main reason I regret calling myself a “crunchy mom”

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1.I put myself in a box

Being a new mom is terrifying. It’s even harder when you’re young, and there’s no one around you who really understands what you’re going through. I knew I wanted to raise my son differently than how I was brought up but I didn’t know how. Then I discovered attachment parenting and all the other “crunchy” parenting advice. I latched onto the term crunchy so much that I didn’t give myself enough wiggle room. I started to stress about every little thing, and I felt disappointed when I would turn to less natural options. Now I realize that it isn’t all or nothing and that it’s okay to not be perfect. Yes, I’m trying to give my family the healthiest things I can, but it’s not worth losing my mind over. Now I’m trying a more balanced approach to parenting and life in general. There are certain things I will never compromise on like bed-sharing, or giving my son candy. Other things I try not to stress about too much.

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2.I opened myself up to A LOT of negativity 

I’m sure this goes without saying, but people can be pretty shitty. I’m not sure why this increases when you have children. It’s like people come out of the woodwork with their unnecessary comments. People told me I was selfish for having a home birth because my baby was most likely going to die without a doctor present. I can’t even begin to tell you the horrible things people have said because we don’t vaccinate. Choosing to parent outside of the norm has opened my family up to an unbelievable amount of hate. If it weren’t for the like-minded families I have to lean on I don’t know how I would get through it.

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3.It’s inconvenient 

Before you say “well who told you parenting would be convenient” just hear me out. There are times when I understand why so many parent choose to parents a more “conventional” way. In some ways, it seems a lot easier. There are times when I understand why parents sit their kids in front of the T.V, or why they use disposable diapers instead of cloth. If I’m being perfectly honest there are times I wish I was a “normal” parent, because I wouldn’t have to constantly defend my choices. However, my partner and I choose to do thing differently because we believe it’s what’s best for our family.

 

If I’m being completely honest I can’t imagine myself not parenting the way I do now. The only thing I truly regret is labeling myself. Defining myself as a crunchy mama made me feel like I needed to hold myself up to unrealistic standards. And when I couldn’t meet those standards I felt like I had failed as a parent in some way. My advice to parents who are feeling the same way I was is to be gentle with yourself. No one’s a perfect parent, and that’s okay.

xoxo

Destiny

Why I’m Raising my Son Vegan

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I know this post is probably going to receive its fair share of negative commentary, so I’d just like to remind everyone that what works for your family might not work for mine, and I don’t expect everyone reading this to become vegan (I can dream though). Please, do what you think is best for your family, and I’ll do what’s best for mine 🙂

So I’d like to share a few reasons why I became vegan, first and foremost it was for the animals. I know some of you are rolling your eyes right now, and that’s okay. I would like to point out that I wasn’t raised this way, I was brought up eating the standard American diet. However, for as long as I can remember I’ve always hated eating meat. When I was younger my parents made me because they thought that was what was best for me. When I got older I continued to eat animal products because I didn’t know there was any other way to be healthy. I ate this way until I stumbled across a few documentaries on Netflix and Youtube. After watching these I stopped eating meat cold turkey (pun intended). I’ll include links/ titles for the documentaries that I watched at the end of this post. Even if you think being vegan is insane I think you should still take a look at these films. Everyone should know exactly where their food is coming from.

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The second reason I decided to go vegan was for the environment. Factory farming has a huge impact on our environment. The methane gasses the animals produce is contributing to global warming, and the runoff from farm cesspools is being dumped into our water supplies. You can find more information on how factory farms are impacting the environment here.

The third and final reason I stopped eating animal products is for my own health. While doing research about the vegan lifestyle I stumbled across The China Study. This is ” the most comprehensive Study of Nutrition ever conducted”. You can read more about The China Study here, and you can purchase a copy for yourself here. I don’t want to go into too much detail here but the study examines the relationship between consuming large amounts of animal products and long-term health issues such as diabetes, breast, and prostate cancer. Meat and animal by-products create and acidic environment within the body. I’ve touched on this before but cancer cells thrive in acidic environments. Having an acidic body can also lead to poor bone health. Studies have shown that countries that consume dairy at high rates also have high rates of osteoporosis. This is because dairy contains lactose, which breaks down in the body as lactic acid. This obviously makes the body acid, so to combat this issues the body leaches calcium from our bones creating weaknesses in our skeletal system.

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Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I’ll get to why you’re all here. So why am I raising my son vegan? Well, for all the same reason why I don’t consume animal products of course. Plus a few more.Number one being I want my son to have compassion, and love for all living beings. I don’t think we can teach our children to be kind to cats and dogs while we ignore the torture and suffering of farm animals.

Now I know there are a ton of you who are thinking ” why don’t you let him decide if he wants to be vegan?!” Well, are any of you letting your little ones decide if they want to eat animal products? I think it’s only fair to give our children a full understanding of where food comes from, unfortunately, that means teaching them about death. My partner and I have deiced that our son will eat a plant-based diet until he is able to fully understand the consequences of eating animal products and make his own choice.

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If you’re interested in teaching your children about where their food comes from there is a fantastic children’s book that will help. It’s “Why We Don’t Eat Animals” by Ruby Roth. This is the book we plan on using to help us explain things to our son. You can purchase a copy here.

Like always I’d like to point our the importance of being kind to one another. My goal here is never to shame people for their parenting choices. My only goal is to create a safe space for parents who choose to do things differently.

LINKS TO GREAT INFORMATION!

If you’re interested in raising healthy vegan kids here are my favorite blogs and YouTubers

Mango Island Mamma: Here’s her blog, and Youtube

Sara/ It’s All Ways Beautiful: http://itsallwaysbeautiful.com/test/, and Youtube

Both of these women have been raising healthy vegan babies since conception. They have Amazing e-books, and they’re a huge inspiration!

Here’s a link to the Youtube video that changed my life

101 Reasons To Go Vegan

Some more Great Films

“Forks over Knives”

“Cowspiracy”

Both of these can be found on Netflix

xoxo

Destiny

WHY WE BED SHARE

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Trust me I’ve heard it all, so if you have something negative to say about my family’s choice to bed-share, save it. I’m very confident in my parenting decisions, and I trust my instincts.

I would like to say that there is a correct way to bed share. There are do’s and don’ts, and a million and one things to learn, but after making the decision to bed share with your baby don’t waiver- trust your instincts and don’t let others make you feel bad for it.

Our son has slept in our bed since day one, and he will sleep with us until he’s old enough to not want to anymore. I know some of you think we’re crazy, but trust me this wasn’t always the plan. Before our son was born my partner and I planned on co-sleeping. Okay, so I’m sure some of you are confused because you thought co-sleeping meant having baby sleep in bed with you. Don’t worry you’re not completely wrong. Co-sleeping is an umbrella term which basically means sharing a sleeping environment with your baby.

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Like I said before our plan was to just co-sleep. We had a side-car sleeper set up right next to our bed and our son even slept in it ( for about 2 minutes). I hating seeing him in there. Every fiber of my being was telling me that he needed to be held and cuddled so that’s what we did, and we’ve never looked back. Bed sharing is just what works for our family, call us crazy if you want, but our son has slept through the night since day one 😉

So for those of you who still don’t understand why we bed share, or for those of you who are interested in bed sharing with your littler ones here are my top five reasons for bed sharing.

1.Safety and Peace of Mind 

Studies have shown that sleeping within arms reach of another person significantly improves baby’s heart rate and blood pressure. Sharing the same bed as your baby also helps to regulate their temperature. A mother’s body with cool, or heat to meet baby’s needs. This helps to prevent overheating, something that is very common in cribs.

Having my little one next to me at night also keeps me from worrying nonstop. Knowing my son is safe helps me sleep better at night, in fact, countries with the highest rates of bed-sharing have the lowest rates of infant mortality, including SIDS. ( This is not to say only babies in cribs die of SIDS. Babies in bed sharing environments can die of SIDS, it’s just rare)

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2.Happiness and Comfort 

Bed sharing with my son means we both get to have happier mornings. Nothing is better than waking up to baby snuggles. Plus the comfort he gets from being close to me at night means we rarely wakes at night (usually he only wakes to nurse), so we’re all able to get a full nights rest.

3.Bonding

I believe sharing a bed has helped develop a strong foundation for our family as well as for the relationship I have with my partner. A healthy, happy relationship can be hard to find once babies are introduced to the mix. After talking to both families that bed share, and crib sleep I’ve concluded that those of us sharing a bed with our little ones have the best sex life. Let’s face it bed sharing forces you to get creative.

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4. Creating REAL Independence 

The first thing people bring up when they hear that my partner and I bed share with our son is his future independence. Often people think that because we allow our son to sleep with us now that he’ll become a whiny, clingy little brat in the future. I personally don’t believe that’s true. Having our son close to us means that he feels our constant love and support, this includes night time. I don’t believe parenting ends when the sun goes down. In my opinion leaving your child to comfort, and support themselves overnight is cruel.

5.Laziness 

Honestly, this is one of the main reasons we bed share. I’m simply too lazy to get out of bed every time my son wakes up. It’s easier for both of us if I can just roll over and pop a boob in his mouth. This way he doesn’t have to wait, and I don’t have to open my eyes 😉

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Now I couldn’t make a post about co-sleeping/bed-sharing if I didn’t discuss how to do it safely. Here are a few rules you need to follow if you’re planning on bed-sharing with your little one.

  • Bed-sharing should NOT take place on unsafe surfaces such as couches, or water beds
  • A parent should NEVER share a bed if they’re intoxicated, taking sleeping medication, or a heavy smoker.
  • NEVER place baby on the edge of the bed without a side rail or bumper. Here is an example.

Every single bed-sharing death is tragic, however, these deaths should not be related to those who bed share safely. Just as the deaths that occur in cribs does not mean that crib sleeping is deadly and should be eliminated.

As always this post was not created to shame anyone who doesn’t bed-share or agree with the topics discussed on my blog. I’ve said this a thousand times, but I feel it’s important so I’ll say it again PARENTING IS HARD ENOUGH WE DON’T NEED TO MAKE IT HARDER BY BEING HATEFUL TO EACH OTHER.

Like always make sure you’re subscribed so you never miss when I post. Enter your email and you’ll be notified as soon as a new blog post goes live. If you’d like you’d like to see what I’m up to on a daily basis follow me on Instagram I post there almost daily.

xoxo

Destiny

PS. Happy Easter to those of you who celebrate!

An Open Letter to The Love of My Life

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I’d like to take a moment to point out how difficult it will be to summarize the immense love I have for you, but I will try my hardest.

There are a million and one ways I could begin this letter, but I think the best place to start is by saying thank you. For everything.

Thank you for loving me, even when I think I’m unworthy of it.

Thank you for being my Dwayne Johnson.

Thank you for always allowing me to speak my mind even when I cut you off, or make you feel like I don’t value your opinion.

Thank you for holding me when I feel like I have the weight of the world on my Shoulders. More importantly, thank you for being willing to carry my burdens for me.

Thank you for reminding me it’s okay to laugh at myself.

Thank you for standing in the kitchen with me every night after work and letting me unload my frustrations on you.

Thank for you wiping my tears, and for the many forehead kisses.

Thank you embarking on this amazing journey with me.

Thank you for trusting me with our son, even when I didn’t trust myself.

Thank you for not thinking I was crazy when I told you I wanted to deliver our son at home.

Thank you for always being supportive of my choices even when you don’t always agree with them.

Thank you for respecting my body when I’m too tired, you offer a back rub with no motive.

Thank you for telling me my body is beautiful, and that it’s okay to have loose skin and stretch marks because I made a person.

Thank you for being patient with me when I freaking out for literally no reason at all.

Thank you for reminding me that it’s just a panic attack and that I’m not going to die.

Thank you for remaining loyal, and faithful to me.

Thank you for always making time for me even when I don’t make time for you.

Thank you for loving Jordan as much as I do. And thank you for helping me pick up the pieces when I almost lost her forever.

Thank you for pointing out when I’m being selfish, and unreasonable.

Thank you for supporting me in raising our son differently than how we were raised.

Thank you for doing the diaper laundry.

Thank you for being an amazing father, and a fantastic role model for our son.

Thank you for rearranging your school schedule to stay home with Walter after my mom’s surgery.

Thank you for always packing my lunch for work.

Thank you for being my best friend, and loving me even when I couldn’t love myself.

Thank you for the best two years of my life. I know we have many more trials, and tribulations to go, but I wouldn’t want to be on this journey with anyone else.

I hope you never question my love for you.

xoxo

Destiny

 

5 Tips for Minimalism with kids

Hi there! If you haven’t seen part one STOP and click here to get caught up.

Like always I’m going to start by saying this post isn’t about bashing moms. Parenting is hard enough without all the added drama social media can bring. I’m a supportive person, and I try my hardest not to judge others on their parenting choices. Please keep that in mind while reading this post. If we want our children to grow up in a kinder world, we need to start being kinder to each other. ❤

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Now I know some of you are thinking I’m full of it. I only have a 7 month old, I don’t understand how difficult older children can be. Well, you’re right, I have no idea what that’s like. I’m not here to tell you to throw all your kid’s stuff away and move on. I know these kinds of transitions take time, so below you’ll find a few tips that I hope will make things a little easier.

  1. Speak openly to family members 

I want to give you my most valuable piece of information first. The biggest problem parents can face when they choose to do anything outside of the norm is their family. I hear all too often ” oh I can’t get rid of that, ____ got that for her.” Well, the easiest way to combat this problem is to let family members know your policy on gifts ahead of time. When doing this always be respectful, but firm. You’ll encounter some family members who don’t agree with your choice, and that okay. Try your hardest to explain what brought you to your decision. If you find that doesn’t help, just move on. You’re no required to argue with anyone.

To try and avoid hurt feelings as much a possible, my partner and I have decided to have a families and friends follow a few simple rules when getting gifts for our son.

  • We limit gift giving to special occasions ( I’ll touch more on this later)
  • The gift much be something he needs, something he wants, something he can read, or something he can wear
  • We prefer sustainable materials. This basically means no/ very little plastic

 

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2. Activities over possessions 

I know this one can seem kind of like a splurge but just stick with me. What’s more logical, buying a toy that will sit in box or room unused like the 4,000 other toys your kid has or buying an annual pass to a theme park you can use over and over again. Honestly, the choices are endless hear, find an activity your child is interested and do that instead of buying another toy.

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3. TEACH THEM TO GIVE 

I put this one is all caps because I wanted it to really stand out. This is something that I believe is incredibly important. It doesn’t matter how old your children are, it’s never too early to teach them to be generous. Something my partner and I plan on doing with our son when he’s older is allow him to go through his toys and decide what he wants to keep, and what he wants to give to another child. I personally don’t see the point in hanging on to things that aren’t being used.

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4. Only keep what they’re interested in

We all know kids go through phases. I’m sure all of you reading this could walk into your kid’s room and find something that hasn’t been played with in months. Why are you holding on to it? Find a few things that they’re loving at the moment, and donate everything else.

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5. Limit new possessions to special occasions 

How many times have you walked into a store and allowed your child to grab something off the shelf just to avoid a meltdown? Don’t be embarrassed everyone does it. The only problem with this is, it creates a habit. To avoid this try limiting getting new items to special occasions like birthdays.

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I can not stress this enough, this post is not able shaming parents who don’t follow this lifestyle. This is only a guide to help those who feel like they can’t rise above the chaos. My goal with this blog is to create a safe space for like-minded people, and show people it possible to live a life that’s focused on the things that matter.

xoxo

Destiny

Minimalism with kids

I’m positive this post will ruffle so feathers because there’s something about kids and their toys that always gets someone’s undies in a bunch. I want to start by saying I’m not making this post to shame anyone. I’m sharing this for the mom out there that are feeling overwhelmed with all the clutter. And for the moms that are just like me, and what their child to appreciate the things they have.

I hate that I have to say this but, again this is not to shame anyone! Do what you think is best for your family. Whether that means your kid has two toys, or two thousand!

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I’m not going to lie, guys I am by not means the perfect minimalist. I’m not even sure if I should call myself that. Before I had my son I was like so many people, and thought that the more things I had the happier I would be. So as you can imagine I had a TON of crap, and I was miserable. I was constantly feeling overwhelmed and would find myself having panic attacks if things weren’t where I thought they should be. While I was pregnant I stumbled across the minimalist documentary. This is kind of embarrassing but I think I watched twenty times. It was eye opening! After watching I started to pair down my things. Again, I’m not perfect and to be honest I still have a ton of stuff but I try not to beat myself up about it ( and neither should you). It’s a work in progress, and I’m okay with that.

Now for those of you who read the title, I’m sure you’re wondering what the hell any of this has to do with children. Well don’t worry, this is where I talk about that 😉

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Anyone who has ever had children knows you end up with a bunch of stuff and most of it you never even use! For example, my partner and I still have boxes filled with baby stuff up in the attic and for some reason, we felt the need to hang on to it. Even though we never plan on using it! We’re constantly being told to hang on to things for the “what ifs” well my advice to you is just get rid of it! If you don’t absolutely love it, or use it on a regular basis there’s no point in hanging on to it.

For my family, this also applies to my sons toys. My partner and I are very selective when it comes to the toys we buy for our son. If we don’t think he’ll absolutely love it  we don’t buy it. If he has fourteen other toys just like it, we leave it at the store. I’ll be honest ,right now it’s pretty easy because he’s only 6 months old and can’t have a melt down in the middle of Target. If you’re a parent to older children just take one step at a time, and remember it’s not about being perfect. Minimalism is what you make it. It’s not about who has the least amount of things, or never buying anything ever again.

I’m sure some of you are thinking I’m cruel. I’m sure some of you are thinking my son will grow up feeling deprived, and thinking I don’t love him. I can assure you that is not the case. I want to raise my son to appreciate the things he has,and to understand that monetary things don’t bring happiness. I want to show him that its possible to live a life that’s in line with your values. If you’re one of those people who think I’m crazy I’d like to share with you some of the things I hope my son gains from minimalism.

  • Creativity and Innovation 

Fewer toys will enable him to be more creative and imaginative with the toys he has available to him.

  • The ability to share with others

By having fewer toys, he’ll be able to develop good communication skills by practicing sharing with other children

  • Less stress 

Clutter creates stress in humans of all ages. I’m sure you’ve all heard someone say “all these toys and my baby only wants to play with ___.” When given too many choices children can become overwhelmed and stressed.

  • Independent play

By having fewer toys around he’ll be able to stay engaged longer. It will be easier for him to locate toys, as well as clean up after himself.

  • Conscious Consumerism 

By helping him to be selective with his toys I’ll be able to teach him the importance of spending your money carefully.

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Above all I want my son to value our time together as a family. I want to teach him that moments are more important than material things.Again I’d like to state that this post ( none of my post actually) isn’t about shaming someone. Parenthood is difficult enough. My goal here is to build a community of like-minded people, however I don’t intend on doing that by tearing others down.

If you found today’s post helpful, make sure you check in later this week because I’ll be continuing my series on minimalism. Make sure you subscribe to get notifications every time I post! If you’d like to see more of my day to day life follow me on Instagram . I make new post there daily!

xoxo

Destiny