A couple of weeks ago the biggest adventure of my life started – Lana Happy Waldburger was born. In the months leading up to her birth, the #1 question I was asked was: Can you still be a minimalist once you have a baby? Here are my thoughts.
Hey, I just started my biggest venture yet. A couple of weeks ago I became a dad for the first time. Lana Happy Waldburger was born. Luckily, everyone is healthy. Of course, we’re also getting used to this new situation a bit. But overall, we feel just super grateful and blessed to have this little worm in our life from now on.
Of course, the number one question I’ve been asked the past nine months while Elena and I were pregnant, was: Does having a kid now mean that you can throw out your theory and lifestyle of minimalism and essentialism, and constant travel out of the window? And finally, you’re going to be one of us. Cedric, you’re going to realize it doesn’t
work. And I want to share my thoughts regarding that question.
On one hand, of course, yes, a baby needs a lot of stuff, just the amount of diapers that you need, the amount of clothing, there’s quite a bit of stuff that you just need. That’s essential for the baby’s well being. For both. Elena and myself, it’s not about the numbers. I’ve said this probably 100 times within the last nine months. The reason why I’ve given up on a lot of stuff is because it makes me happy, not because the number was 64, or 55, or 72, or whatever it is at the moment. And so of course for our baby girl, we’re not focusing on the number we’re focusing on: how can we set her up to have a full enriching, and fun life? Now, at the same time, of course, we do think and we apply that same mindset that we apply to our own lives, also to our family’s life.
Now, that question usually is: what’s the right trade-off? What is the things that you really need? And what are the things that are just going to get in the way of experiencing life for the fullest? What are the things that are going to take time from you that you could otherwise spend with your daughter, with an interesting project, with one of your passions, or just plainly exploring life? Concretely, what this means is – Lana has plenty of clothing, she has plenty of diapers, everything that she needs.
But we, for example, didn’t go out and buy a stroller from the get-go, we figured we’re going to first try to have her in a carrier, the place that we live in right now doesn’t really lend itself to parking a stroller in our home anyway, because there’s no elevator. And then also probably will be a lot harder with a stroller. Similarly, there’s a few things that we thought we don’t have to get even before she’s here, we can just get them once she’s here. And she thinks or we realize we do need it. Because luckily we live in Switzerland and everything is easy to get within a one or two-day notice.
Plus, we’re grateful for a lot of our friends have shared items that they don’t need any more with us, let us borrow them. So for example, the little crib that Lana sleeps in right now, we borrowed from a friend of mine.
So that’s when it comes to things, I would say, we have everything that’s essential.
But we’re also conscious of not cluttering her life from the start. For example, with too many plush toys or toys in general, we do want to pay very focused attention on what she can actually perceive, what can she handle what is fun for her, and what’s just taking her focus away, because it’s a shiny new thing. So that’s going to be an incredible journey over the next few months. As we get to know our daughter.
We don’t plan on big travels within the next few months, but more long-term, to answer that question as well, both Elena and I do not want to go back to the kind of high-frequency travel that we have done a few years ago. And even more recently before COVID came around. What we do value though, is being in different environments growing up in different setups, we personally really enjoyed this the last 10 years of our life. And we think that for Lana, this can be very valuable as well. So what we do think is long term, we do want to move places, and stay there for let’s say six months at a time.
Of course, that’s just a plan. And of course, as you know, you only have a plan until you get punched in the face. So we’re totally aware of all the little surprises and fun changes that our little worm will bring into our lives. But for now, the plan is to stay in Switzerland until early next year. And then pick a location that we want to go to for a few months at a time and experience life in a different country in a different culture learn a new language. Elena speaks Russian almost perfectly. She was born and raised in Kazakhstan. And so that’s one thing that we want to pass on to Lana. And one of the reasons why you want to move to a Russian-speaking country sometime next year for a few months. We’re both I and a little one can learn the language. So just to summarize, I think there are lots of ways to look at this and I’m sure I’m going to be talking about my daughter and my new role as a dad many times in these videos going forward.
But for now, when it comes to things we try to be conscious of not cluttering Lana’s life early on, but of course, we make sure she has all the essentials that she needs. And luckily, we have lots of good friends that have shared items that they don’t need anymore at the moment. And then when it comes to travel both Elena and I really think that experiencing different environments is one of the best education that you can have in the world. And so we’re planning to make sure that everything is okay, and Lana is safe and healthy for the next few months here in Switzerland. And if everything looks well, we’re probably going to move to another country sometime next year, at least for a few months. That’s really how we want to live our life going forward is experienced places deeply instead of just hopping from one place to another. So hopefully that gives a bit of insight into how we’re planning to live our new life as a small family.
If you have tips to share, if you have advice, please let us know in the comments. And with that, hopefully, you’re having a beautiful day. Stay curious and I’ll talk to you soon.