A few months ago I wrote a blog post in which I wrote out my frustrations as a minimalist working mom. Partly in jest, but partly truly frustrated with how hard living a simple life can be.
Then it dawned on me. I wasn’t frustrated with minimalism or simplicity. I was frustrated that what I thought those looked like was not how my life was looking in that moment.
I wasn’t sitting in a cabin in the middle of a lush green forest getting to ponder away the hours, make bread, and fold my clothes Kon mari style.
But I don’t have to be there to live simply. That’s the whole beauty of this lifestyle. You can live simply wherever you are and in whatever stage of life you find your self in.
I needed to readjust to what my life looks like right now. I have two active kids and a husband. We are two full time working parents. We have a home in the suburbs. So what does simplicity and minimalism look like with those in mind?
Stuff Its continuing to fight the battle of excess stuff in our home. If our home is overflowing we are going to be more stressed. Stressed does not equal simplicity. With two active and growing kids, they require stuff and because they’re growing and changing, sometimes we go through items quickly (sports gear, school supplies,clothese tc). But rather than let those things accumulate, I’m making it a priority to sift through and pass it on.
We are also trying to be very mindful of purchases and not buy stuff just because we can. For the first time in our lives we have two incomes. We are working really hard to get out of debt (except our house). But it has been tempting for me to buy things here and there.
Here’s a few practical things I’m doing:
*Weekly decluttering (even if its for ten minutes its amazing how that helps)
*Daily paper purge
*Staying mindful and diligent when shopping
*Delaying purchases of non-essentials
*Paying off debt
Time More than ever our time is very precious to us. With both parents spending 37-40 hours a week outside of the home, we realize that our time together is limited. How do we want to spend it? Not shopping. Not taking care of stuff. Not saying yes to everything we get invited to asked to do. We would much rather have few chores and more time together taking hikes, traveling, playing cards or games, building a bonfire in the back yard.
Again, a few practical things I’m doing to help with time:
*Knowing our priorities
*Scheduling our priorities and saying no if it doesn’t align
*Assigning chores to kids (mama cannot do everything)
*Deciding and knowing our limits (not just mine) and truly taking time to rest
Once again, I’m relearning that this lifestyle is a journey. Its not a magic pill that you take (or in this case do) once and life is perfect. But the benefits are tremendous and far outweigh the work. Minimalist living is not something I’ll arrive at. It will look different at different stages and circumstances in my life and that is part of its beauty.
So I’m taking this season as one that needs some adjustments. I have a few things I need to do and tweak. By the time I get those under control I’ll probably need some new adjustments and that is fine. I hope that rather than get frustrated, I will remember this lesson and enthusiastically look to see what needs simplifying at that point. Has your life changed recently that you need to make some adjustments as well? Do you have any tips or wisdom from being a minimalist long enough to have already done this? I’d love to hear from you.