Minimalism & Parenting: Choosing Things That Serve You

You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need.

Vernon Howard

Hello there, Madame Woo here, welcome to Faithfully Madame and cheers to choosing things that serve you. As Spring comes to a close, how missed it will be, I look to finish turning over that new leaf. There is just something about spring that puts a pep in your step as new life is giving birth. As the last of the winter clothes are tucked away into storage and the swimsuits and sunbeams come out, there is a twinkle in the air of modernism and progression. It is all around us not just in fashion, politics, and even business but also in the way we raise our children. The world is screaming for change, it is time that we listen to her. It all seems just a little unconventional yet still a familiar way of life, as though we are returning to an unseen natural way. Do not let the critics fool you, this a sunrise not a sunset you must tear down a few structures to make progress. Creating new habits could just as easily be called getting rid of old habits. We can not focus on what we are losing but what we are gaining. Reality is just a reflection of the spirit.

I just finished up the last of my spring cleaning. What a tiresome journey it was yet I managed to get rid of all the clothes that no longer provide for the family. Making sure that through this shedding I bless those less fortunate than myself by donating. This being the usual end turn into an unexpected beginning. It all rather seemed incomplete, pray tell, universe, is there something I have missed. It is no surprise to me why this renewal takes a season to accomplish. It is a time of moving on from the past of a cold harsh winter and I think we can all resonate with that. As I attempt to ascend forward I feel dragged down by an enormous task of finding minimization for me and the children. A task that seems to be extending to all four corners of my life, a balance, which I so desperately need. These are the types of things that send me to the Universe for answers. Still a feeling of doubt becomes me as I question whether or not I will be able to accomplish an entirely new lifestyle for my family when I have no idea of where to begin. This project needs a to do list that has yet to be written.

Through my contemplation I found myself ignorant to the individuals of my family. I have only ever sensed us as a whole and how we relate to one another but never on the life journey of us as individuals. It has always just been from the perspective of me the front runner and the kids I now give care too. As if they are sideshow to my main stage. Surprisingly neglecting myself as a stand alone character but as well my very Amina, Khalilah, and Keelan, who are not just “The children”. What do we even like? What do they want our space to look like? Who are these people? Have I been lost in a day dream, have the details escaped me? In other words, what is my style? What is my lifestyle? I have just always been the type of person to just collect all the things I like, a lot of which over the years have been the color purple. I would like to think my taste has matured since then but what is my proof. Could I be this woman so out of touch with herself she has no clue of her style? How could I have walked about for so long and so lost? Why has it never mattered to me? This has just not been one of the things that I put practice into but why not.

I have always used that excuse that people should except me for who I am, all together with my chaos and craziness because hey that is just me right. Should my style reflect that or could other areas of my life be more organized including my personality? I feel I should have given it more thought, I should have been more mindful though its never to late for change. I hate to wrestle with these kinds of ideas for myself, I tend to have an indecisive nature, ‘oh I want it, oh no I don’t’. I never would want to tell a person who to be especially when I am still trying to figure that out for myself. I hear myself tell my children things and think, how dare you? I literally should be yelling that at myself and it feels hypocritical. The whole do as I say not as I do hoax. I work hard to incorporate them in the decisions, when I look up and realize that at 6 and 4 they are very opinionated about what they do and do not like. I wonder sometimes is this the proper way but I shrug off the notion that it is whatever way I deem it, mother knows best and all that jazz. Because does mother really know best, does she really know more? The answer to that is more serious than you think. How much stock should we put into the opinions of our parents but that is a talk for another time.

This is not about all of that per-say, about that control. I am just more focused on me, what I want, and what that looks like. And letting the children make their own decisions about what they want, except, candy intake, teeth brushing, and doctor visits. I am not saying I expect the best decisions, they are just little crackheads strung out on the power of innocence. Their choices are not always the best but no emergency room visits yet. Oh wait, there was that one with the television incident which total required stitches but it was mostly my fault. Do not judge me. I ask myself, What do your choices say about you? What would I like my decisions to convey about me? I take a leap of faith and decide to see how the modern and progressive life of a minimalist looks on me. As well as how that translates into sustainability, passion, hobbies, and financial gain for the Bermudez family.

Simplicity is the ultimate Sophistication.

Leonardo da vinci

Minimization has been calling out to me for sometime now. Although, I think how could my life get more minimal than this through research I find it is not about how little you have but how that little serves you. It just makes me think about what we buy, what we need, and what is practical. I look around and think am I making the most of this space and the things in it. It is a confusing idea when I think about my life, the things I own and how they serve me. There inside one conscious moment I find being a minimalist is more than just about style or organization, need or want, but about death and life. Even though it seems about letting go it is more about choosing, that inevitable choice. Who do I want to be? I step on the tender path to God with the lightest load possible for my journey. Realizing that parenting is about helping your children answer that crucial question for themselves. Telling our children that they can be whomever they choose. We must provide that blank slate, the foundation. Peace is love, Madame Woo.

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