When our first child was born, my husband and I were committed to being as minimalist as possible. We eschewed most of the baby accessories deemed “necessary” and put away many of our son’s unwrapped birthday presents from friends and family, eventually reusing them the following year. He’s a child, we thought. There’s a big wide world to explore. He didn’t need stuff.
Yet when we moved to Japan, we realized how very far we were from the life of simplicity we wanted to instill in our family. While struggling onto a priority train car with an overladen stroller and an enormous diaper bag, I looked for a moment at the Japanese moms. Their babies were snuggled comfortably in backpack-style carriers; no heavy bags in sight. They looked nothing like the pack mule I felt like and I knew there was still a lot to learn. Moving to Japan had made it perfectly clear — it was time to simplify.
There are three main lessons I’ve observed from Japanese moms, which make their lives — and their outings with their children — far easier.
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