How to Be a Mom and a Minimalist: Start With This Step
A minimalist mom is not something I would have ever thought I would become when I started my motherhood journey. In fact, the minimalist lifestyle wasn’t even a thought in my head. But then, six months ago I came home from the grocery store one evening and everything changed. My husband had been home with the kids (ages 7, 4, and 1) that afternoon. And I was shocked at the amount of chaos that was occurring in my home. My husband was trying to take a phone call for work, the kids were running amok, and toys were strewn from one end of the house to the next. In that moment I became frustrated. Not at my children or my husband but at myself and the mess. “How in the world did I let our home become this way?” I thought.
For years I have told myself that this type of chaos was normal. Being tired, constantly picking up around the house and never getting a break. “They are only this age once,” I would say to myself on a daily basis. One day I’ll have a tidy house. Not long after this I stumbled across a mom of four on YouTube who was sharing everyday life with a twist. Her family was living a minimalist lifestyle. I was so intrigued by this that I found myself watching her videos daily, looking at her Instagram posts, and thinking, “There is no way she lives like this with children!”
Deciding to Become a Minimalist Mom
I became so motivated by seeing these women on social media living a minimalist lifestyle. One that seemed less chaotic and more peaceful, while having a home filled with small children. On a whim, I decided I would just go for it. I began purging and donating and I came up with a plan to have our life be more simple. Of course, I wanted to snap my fingers and have our home look like these Instagram homes I have been so fond of lately. But when I told my husband my plan, he responded, “That sounds great! You need to realize though, that this will be a process. It’s not going to happen in a couple of days.” They just know us so well, don’t they?
Here we are six months later and we still have a ways to go before I think we will be complete. Our family is moving in a few months and I think that is the perfect push we need to finish this process. I made sure when I started this journey that I would allow myself time to make it happen. I knew that if I put an unrealistic deadline on this, that I would still be stressed and overwhelmed. So we are taking it slow and steady and loving the changes!
Make the Move to Minimalism with One Simple Step
The one simple step that I have found that makes a minimal lifestyle with kids possible is setting a 15 minute timer each day with one project. Some days if I had time I would do two 15 minute sessions. For example, one day I worked on the kids’ closets and was amazed that I accomplished the entire thing in 15 minutes. Set a timer while your cooking dinner and work on the stuff in your cabinets (pots, pans, plates, cups). The next night, work on your spice cabinet. Continue to work your way through the house and make a concentrated effort to purge things from your home you no longer need, use, or love.
Since starting this journey to becoming a minimalist mom, our home has felt so much more at ease. Are there always going to be dishes that need to be done and laundry to be folded? Of course, but do our children need 32 shirts each? Should we really be stuffing clothing in dressers and doing five loads of laundry a day? We don’t have to live in this daily struggle of having so much to get done that we aren’t spending that time being present with our children. Having less stuff filling spaces lets us have more time to tidy the house, do that one load of laundry and to be able to curl up on the couch with your family after a long day.
More Peace, Less Stuff
“They are only this age once,” I still say this to myself daily but for a different reason. Now I say this to keep myself motivated to living a more minimalist lifestyle. I want my children to grow up and remember all of the times we had reading books, cooking dinner together and having me in the same room as them while they play. I don’t want them to remember a mom that’s always busy cleaning, tidying, or worrying about where to put all our stuff.
People have this misconception that being a minimalist means you own three white shirts, a pair of jeans and have one chair to sit in. My idea of being a minimalist is someone who is living within their means and only with the stuff they actually need and love. Someone who wants a more simple life so they can focus on their family. Someone who chooses owning less so that they actually have more. Our journey to minimalism is still in the works, but every day I feel more at peace with our choice to make this transition.
Are you a minimalist mom? Is the minimalist lifestyle something you want to try? I promise, it’s worth it!