When I had my first born, I was amidst friends who all had children before me. I saw them, learnt from them, often questioned their choices, but mostly applauded their strength. One thing though that was striking and different in every parent was their parenting choices. Every child was unique and every parent had their own understanding and application.
Coming from simpler times and a humble background where conversations were plenty, Fridays were ice cream nights, toys often hand-me-downs, and summer holidays were meant for grandmas and grandpas - I was both awed and intimidated. While some loved buying big fancy toys, some bought gadgets. Some of them were all about fancy feeding equipment and then there were those who enjoyed dressing their kids up expensive. Some wanted to keep it minimal, investing only in books and occasional free play toys, and then there were some who struck a great balance in my eyes.
In the midst of this diverse landscape of parenting choices, I found myself contemplating the right approach for my own parenting journey. As I closely observed the experiences of others, a realization hit, which has profoundly shaped my perspective on parenting. It became clear that, regardless of the multitude of possessions parents accumulated for their children, the true joy and lasting memories came from shared moments. I recognized that the essence of those cherished memories didn't stem from the abundance of material possessions, but rather from the quality of time spent together.
The babies remembered how you read a particular page, how you hid under the makeshift bedsheet tent and how you played peek-a-boo behind the cartons of those fancy toys. They didn't remember how filled their rooms were or how they got something new each day once they were a little older. And there was where I wanted to be – creating new memories every day.
I chose to invest in a modest number of things—but each carefully selected to facilitate engagement, learning, and shared joy. Whether it's a favourite book, an open-ended toy, or a simple prop for imaginative play, the emphasis is on the moments we create together, rather than the sheer quantity of belongings. I am still experimenting but I hope this sparks motivation for those of you confused at the moment.