How much do you love just watching your kids? When they’re sleeping, while they play, when they learn something new?
Some of my favorite moments with my stepdaughter are just watching her evolve. Becoming more distinct and her own person. Laughing, trying new things, getting back up after failing and then succeeding.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of giving to show love. Seeing a toy in the store I know she’ll love. Letting her know I’m thinking of her when she’s not around by buying a pack of Pokemon cards. Getting craft supplies in the hopes of spending time together.
But all the “stuff” turns out to just get in the way.
She’s excited for a few minutes, possibly plays with it for a while, but then it’s abandoned for the next new thing, or more often for one of her long-time favorites.
You know what she values more?
- Playing “Mr. Bellybutton” on the couch (basically this consists of a lot of tickling, laughing and talking in a funny voice to her belly button.)
- Sitting together and “inventing” a machine by drawing it out. (You should see the dog feeding machine we drew. I’m sure we should patent it. Lol.)
- Playing on the patio with her friends and a pile of cardboard boxes that transform into houses, schools, workplaces, tunnels and whatever else their imagination decides they are that day.
All the “stuff” we accumulated sat mostly untouched.
We wasted time putting it away, sorting it, organizing it and helping her find what she really wanted buried underneath the excess.
Now, we have less. She has her favorites and everything fits nicely in bins and drawers. Uncluttered and easy for her to find. We trade out occasionally - a new passion for something she’s grown out of. It evolves as she does.
But mostly, we show love with handwritten notes, postcards and playing together. She’s happier and so are we.
Create new traditions and habits for showing love.
Be grateful for all the wonderful things you do with your kids that have nothing to do with stuff. Notice and really soak in the laughter, hugs and special moments. That’s what’s truly important.
The 365 Project
is a simple program designed to help you change your habits and ways of thinking about your home. By using repetition of thought - reading a quick idea a day, usually about a paragraph long, you can create a mental shift that will reframe how you feel about your stuff. You'll reduce anxiety, feel less impulse toward things and will find yourself organizing your home because you want to - without all the dread!
Join all of the successful 365 Members and make a permanent change in your home.