Does your heart sing when you see those tiny shoes or faux leather jacket? Do you smile every time you walk by the kid clothes section at Target? Does your child have better outfits than you? Yeah. Same here. ?
With 4 kids and a small space, I had to figure out how to balance my love of tiny human fashion with my love of a minimal lifestyle!
I buy a lot of their clothes second-hand, but when I buy new, I usually buy from small shops, or Target, Old Navy/Gap, and Carter’s. I don’t buy high end items for kids, ever. Really the only things I consistently buy new and pay a little more for, are sneakers. They get worn the most often, and I quickly learned that buying cheap sneakers just meant replacing them twice as often. Not worth it.
Here are some outfit examples:
I tend to keep the kids’ outfits pretty neutral. I rarely buy super fancy or super casual items – their clothes are all comfortable but nice enough to wear in almost any situation by mixing and matching the right items. For example, Mikey might wear an outfit to school, then change his shoes and put his nice jacket on to wear to church.
Making lists for each child has been a lifesaver more than one time, so that I don’t over-buy or get distracted by “great deals” which then sit in drawers or are worn once. It’s much easier for me to sit down and come up with what they need, and then add fun accessories or unique pieces for a holiday or event.
My motherhood is about finding that happy balance.
One thing I’ve noticed in groups and pages for mothers is that everyone’s looking for an exact parenting formula. This comes up a lot in minimalism groups, especially. “How many toys/shirts/bottles, etc. should I have for my kid?”
The fact is, there is no such formula.
Minimalism with kids can and should look different than minimalism without them. Minimalism from one family to the next will look different, because each family is unique. Each child is his/her own person, with likes and dislikes, and it’s so very important to remember that when we’re planning our own version of family minimalism.
I absolutely believe that less is more when it comes to kids, and that by having less, we can enjoy more. That said, for me there is a special sweetness in setting up their little wardrobes, and watching them choose their outfits for school or parties. Some of our favorite items have been thoughtful gifts or handmade pieces.
Strictly minimal to have several handmade bonnets for my baby? No. 😉 But those bonnets are treasured and bring smiles whenever she wears them.
Making lists, sticking with a color theme, and doing seasonal purges all help keep the clothing to a minimum, and allow me to truly enjoy the gifted pieces or holiday accessories!
Their childhood “fashion” is a tender part of my own mothering, one that brings me joy, and I am quite sure will leave me with many happy memories.
What parts of mothering bring you joy? Are you minimal in buying clothes for your kids or do you go all out in the tiny human fashion department?