When we first heard that Asha Dornfest of Parent Hacks and Christine Koh of Boston Mamas, two of the women I love and respect most in the world, were putting their clever heads together to write a parenting book, well there was no doubt in my mind that it would be awesome. As it turns out, it’s more than awesome–Minimalist Parenting is easily the new must-read parenting book of the year. And hopefully, every year.
Minimalist Parenting: Enjoy Modern Family Life More By Doing Less is the right book at the right time: an antidote to the pervasive uber mom archetype that none of us can actually live up to. (I’m talking to everyone here who’s ever looked at a Pinterest photo of a decoupaged toilet paper dispenser and thought…really?
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What this incredibly smart, common sense book does is help create an attainable mindset and actionable goals for streamlining family life and finding satisfaction through all the clutter and noise of daily life.
I love that this comes from the minds of two busy moms who blog, work hard at their own businesses, have kids, and admit to cramming a lot into their own busy lives. In other words, two parents most of us can really relate to. They’re not like moms with two nannies and billionaire husbands telling us to “Just relax! Do less!”
Throughout the book, you’ll find worksheets, helpful tips, and personal anecdotes that really help you prioritize and set goals. The smart part is, there’s no one-size-fits-all solutions here; Asha and Christine take into account the fact that there are all kinds of families in all kinds of situations. What’s important is that you assess your own and do what’s right for you.
As a mom with a smallish apartment, I really appreciate the sections on new ways to think about your stuff and minimalize your home, like decluttering, acquiring mindfully (very Cool Mom Picks!) and experiencing the joy of empty spaces–something I came to embrace when I first read Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project. And reading about Christine as a “ruthless photo editor” who’s quick to delete “uglies” pretty much makes her my digital photography hero.
There are also chapters dealing with finance and savings, maximizing playtime, simplifying school and extra-curriculars, mealtime planning, and how not to get too crazy with holidays and celebrations.
Plus, if I may be so bold, don’t miss pages 36-37! You’ll find Kristen and me offering up our favorite time-saving smartphone apps for busy parents.
One of the most important take-aways of the book, for me at least, is one that I think a lot of parents, especially mothers, tend to forget: the premise that self-care is not selfish. There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself well and scheduling it into your calendar, whether it’s running a few minutes a day or finding a little time to read what you love. In fact, your personal happiness will end up creating more harmony in your household.
Can’t we all get behind that?
I wouldn’t say that this is the book you’re ready to read when you’ve got a newborn and your biggest concern is whether your baby is getting enough sleep. But once you’ve settled into a bit of a parenting groove, and you’re ready to maximize your life, the book that teaches you about minimizing is just the one to do it. In fact, I imagine a world filled with more minimalist parents and it’s a happy image indeed.
Trust me, you want take a quick minute right now now to grab a copy of this book. As for me, I’ve got some photos that need paring down.
Buy Minimalist Parenting: Enjoy Modern Family Life More By Doing Less on our affiliate Amazon or at your local indie bookseller, and learn more about Authors Christine Koh and Asha Dornfest on the Minimalist Parenting website.