Posts tagged parenting
Haus-Mann / Haus-Frau
I totally understand why parents decide to stay home with their kids. I knew in theory that taking care of your own babies is great, but I honestly couldn't quite believe it. Before I had my baby, I was always so happy to return a baby back to their parents, and go home without a child. This is because it was not my child. At times it is hard to be at home with Vigo (my child), but this love that parents talk about is real. As a non-parent, I was sceptical about whether it really was great to raise kids. But honesly it is great and I get why parents are a bit crazy about their children. 

I am staying home and playing with Vigo as my priority 3 days a week. In these days I love on him and talk to him as my main job. Then whenever he is sleeping or he is content to play on his own (which he can handle for -5 minutes now! Woo Hoo!), I can get something done, like my morning pages, wash the dishes or take a shower. The dishes and mail can wait. I can do the laundry while babbling at him about the nice clothes he has or brushing the fresh towel over his face as he blinks and smiles. I can even take sold artworks to the post office on a walk with him.  You may be thinking, well just wait until they are running around or you have two. I know. 

But right now, I am loving, loving on Vigo and he has changed my life and priorities. He has interrupted my life so much and I am so happy that he has.

What an amazing job. To be home and be present with my child. That is all I have to do. The rest, Domink and I have agreed can happen if and when we have time throughout the day. Or when we really want to and the dirt is bothering us. Dinner is not even expected. That can be a joint effort. I love living this natural, creative and collaborative lifestyle.

On the road when we were splitting all the duties and were both always responsible for Vigo's needs. We were providing for him, but not really with him, we gave him 50% of our attention often times. It doesn't feel good. I know we all have to do this sometimes, just to get things done. But with this sharing of "Vigo Days" we can give him 100% of our attention much more of the time because he is our main focus. This baby is the luckiest! He gets childcare from either one of his parents. He gets our full attention frequently throughout the day and we all love it.

The only way we can keep this lifestyle up is by getting a bit of parental leave money (about 500€ a month), and making money selling art and playing music. We also have been trying to skim down our expences to the bare minimum. We're going to be skimping and saving here and there for these two years away from our day jobs. We are finally out of debt so we can earn less if we need to, but with art sales and music gigs and sales we are going to get through!

Thanks for reading lovelies.


SUPPORT US! *shameless plug
-If you'd like to buy an artwork of mine, there are still works on sale on instagram @olivegreenanna.  -You could buy Dominik's record or a t-shirt.
-Or if you'd like to book Dominik for a show, you can book his folk pop band, his jazz band, or his elecro-synth band.

Vanlife with a Baby
Our first week on the road was filled with amazing views and lovely times meandering south towards the coast. We are ultimately headed to Spain. We’ll see if we ever get there.

Newborns are snoozy. We’ve been on the road now for two weeks. It’s our first longer trip with a baby. Vigo was 6 weeks old when we left Heidelberg, Germany. He has done well on the road. He finds home in the two of us, so being on the road is home for him, I suppose. We have been making several stops on his account, if he’s hungry or needing a snuggle. We can travel for a few hours at a time before he begins to squawk. He’s still at the multiple nap a day stage so we time our travel for after he’s been fed, changed and snoozing.

Tiny space, loud cry. Dom recently learned that our ears are specifically attuned to hear the frequency of a baby’s cry. Is that why they sound so loud? The toughest part about having a newborn in vanlife is when he is in an unconsolable state at night.  Sometimes he gets very worked up and then he just has to cry it out. Being in such a small space with such a loud little human is tough. Luckily there are two of us parents and we can pass him off when one of us has reached our limit. I don’t know how you single parents do it without going insane and feeling like a failure as a parent.  Dom was doing laundry at the laundromat the other day and Vigo cried in the van with me for 45 minutes straight, I cried for about 20 minutes of it along with him. But this kind of thing was happening at home too. It’s just that now it’s happening in a 8 square meter space. There is sadly no second room to escape to except the great outdoors, which sometimes is not very welcoming, like when it is raining and stormy.

Breastfeeding is so great for living on the road. I have the pleasure of breastfeeding my little babe and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve always got my boobs with me and they are all that Vigo needs in terms of sustenance. How cool is that? I don’t have to worry about bottles and formula. And as I have heard breastfed babies poop smells a lot better, so when there are dirty diapers in our trash in the van for a few days it’s no worries.

He doesn’t make special requests or require extra entertainment. We have spent most of the last week stuck in southern France. Our faithfully shitty van has broken down again, but we have been making the most of our time, heading to nearby beaches and cooking delicious meals in the parking lot at the mechanic’s. It’s somewhat embarrassing to have bought such a p.o.s. but we still love her and are willing to invest in her a bit longer. We’ll see if we get through the rest of this trip without another repair, or just leaving her here, down south. For Vigo, luckily, it makes no real difference whether we are parked at a beautiful ocean view or in the parking lot at a mechanic’s. So in this respect he’s a great travel companion when things go south, without actually heading south. ;)

Tiny babies don’t take up much space. We have a little nook at the side of our bed for Vigo, which makes night feedings easy peasy. We also have a baby hammock for him above our bed, which we rock him in sometimes during the day. His car seat fits in the seat between us in the 3er front seats when we are driving. Well, I take it back, his THINGS take up a lot of space. His stroller takes up a big portion of our under the bed storage and he has more clothes than the rest of us, but anyway, he’s tiny. He fits wonderfully in a carrier for urban and nature hikes.

Newborns don’t need many baths. We haven’t bathed yet on our trip, don't judge, but we have all been making use of the baby wipes. They keep our most sensitive areas clean and it hasn’t been hot and sweaty yet so we haven’t “needed” showers. We can't afford fancy restaurants anyways, so a bit of greasy hair and cradle cap are fine with us. Pretty soon we may go to a public pool and get a nice hot shower in. It’s about time.

Overall, I don’t think we are too crazy for bringing a newborn along on the road. Vanlife is working out with our newborn baby. He would have just as many fussy times at home as he does in the van, I think. He’s definitely not an easy going baby, he needs a lot of attention and movement, so I think the road and staying active is what he likes.

We’re two weeks in now, we’ll see whether our tune changes after the 8th week. 8 weeks my goodness! We are so grateful to have this much time on the road, what a privilege.

Thanks for reading lovelies,

Home: Minimalist Nesting

I'm having this baby in just a few weeks/any time now and I haven't gotten much or bought much, I have borrowed most of the main things, a baby bay bed, car seat, chair and been given some clothes, cloth diapers, etc. But there is this overwhelming feeling like I need to buy a whole bunch of shit. A changing table, a play pen, breast pump, a new home to fill with many more things. The new baby shopping lists online and in books are incredibly long...

On the other hand, I feel a strong desire not to acquire anything at all. To just let this little baby lie naked in my arms against my breast. How much can this tiny human really need? He just needs love, snuggles, and boob right?

I'm getting the essentials ready and then just going to play it by ear. If we need something later on when he's (our babe is a boy, we recently found out) here we can get it.

The past few months I have been consistently getting rid of things in our home and garage that don't bring me joy. It seems when you have the space you fill it. I am not a minimalist by any means, but I have been paring down my possessions to the ones that really bring me joy. I'm really noticing a change in how I feel about our home because I've gotten rid of a lot of clutter. The minimalist struggle is real, especially when you are adding a family member to the mix.

To those mamas and papas, how do you keep your home and space from being cluttered once children join your family?

Thanks for reading lovelies,