Becoming a parent is a big change. Suddenly, you are not just responsible for yourself, but also the life of another human. Life isn’t getting simpler…

However, don’t believe when people say that becoming a parent is a life sentence to a busy and complicated life. By parenting intentionally, you can continue to embrace simple living as part of your lifestyle philosophy.

15 Simple Living Tips for Parents

  1. Acquire As Needed – As a parent, it’s easy to buy a lot of itemsĀ in caseĀ you need them. However, children, like adults, really don’t need that much stuff to live well. Outside of essentials, wait to acquire items until you know you need them.
  2. Make Your Wishes Clear – Friends and family want to be a part of your child’s life. They almost always mean well. Unfortunately, since many in our culture still equate material gifts = love, you’ll likely get showered with toys. Make your wishes clear about wanting to limit the material items in your house. Let people know other ways they can be loving to your child.
  3. Adjust Expectations – When our daughter was first born, I remember being upset when my (sleep/work/leisure/etc) time was interrupted by a baby issue. I learned quickly that I needed to adjust my expectations of what it meant to be a father. Coming to terms with your new life allows you to respond in a more realistic way to whatever your dear child throws at you.
  4. Be Present – More than anything else, kids need a parent that is present in their lives. It’s easy to kill time staring at your phone or watching TV, but what lesson is that teaching your child? Show them what it means to be engaged.
  5. Teach Simple Living – Encourage your kids to understand what is important in life. Teach them simple living practices in how they view their time, resources, and relationships. Remember that you are setting the example for them.
  6. Don’t Feel Guilty Removing Toys – What grandma doesn’t know, doesn’t hurt her. Don’t feel guilty donating or tossing toys that your kid does not need. You should not feel guilty for wanting a clean and organized house.
  7. Don’t Compare Your Kids – We’re told as adults not to compare ourselves to others, yet many parents fret over how their kid is developing in relation to peers the same age.
  8. Save Time For Yourself – Your children need to see that it’s important to take care of yourself. Set aside time to continue both your social life with others, and also your personal projects.
  9. You Probably Don’t Need More Space – It’s fun to watch what sort of ridiculous lengths people will go to justify “needing” more space for their families. Bigger cars and bigger houses are fast way to add financial stress to your life.
  10. Use Parks and Public Spaces – Take full advantage of the local parks around your home. They are a great place to spend an inexpensive afternoon with your family, as well as provide interactions with other kids.
  11. Be Financially Intelligent – When you become a parent, your bad financial decisions are not just effecting you anymore, you are putting the well being of your children at risk. It’s more important than ever to be financially sound.
  12. Correct Bad Behaviors – Having well behaved kids makes your life much easier. While no kid is every going to act perfect, staying on top of meaningful correction will allow you to have less stress.
  13. Quality Over Quantity – Buy less, but by better. For items that you are going to need for a while, make sure to purchase from a quality product that works as you need it to.
  14. Create a Family Calendar – Use a tool like Google Calendar to add a family calendar that can be shared amongst your house. Since schedules fill up faster with kids, being on top of what’s happening will help simplify your life.
  15. Embrace Change – Every week is different with a kid. Learn to love the fact that things change, and that you won’t be able to predict what is coming next. Even after being a parent for just a couple of years now, I look back and am amazed how much growth our family has gone through. While there were moments of frustration, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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