aThis one gets a little more personal. After having my second child, there were moments during the first few weeks I felt overwhelmed with the responsibility of two children around the clock.
Organizing pick ups, clothing, feeding, schedules, routines etc. The containers, water bottles, hair pieces, clothing for three kids (including my step daughter) all started to weigh me down. Family members wanted to help, but it was exhausting to tell them what clothing to iron, what containers I used [now] (good bye plastic, hello stainless steel), what hair pieces matched which outfit, what bag to pack for the school outing. The constant pick up of toys and habitual tidying. You get the picture!
I realized then, in those early two weeks of the new normal, that something had to change. There were so many items that have just lingered around year after year, season after season, child after child. At the end of each season, I had a bag of clothes and shoes from each child barely worn or still with tags to give away or donate. I needed to recharge not clean, tidy and organize.
What was I doing wrong? And then it dawned on me: we had way too much STUFF. It may be really organized stuff but it was still STUFF. And in many cases: Unnecessary STUFF.
So what was I going to do about it? I knew based on my clean eating, that simplicity is usually key. How can I implement that simplicity in my life? I had a couple coworkers who were living minimalists. They seemed pretty normal to me: organized, relaxed and light. Neither were parents, but I knew that implementing the lifestyle into my home and parenting style could only reap positive rewards. What is there to lose about owning less and feeling lighter?
And then I stumbled on it, the quote that changed it all:
"Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it."
I read the quote and felt immediate motivation. It is important to understand that minimalism is not about deprivation. Rather it is about the promotion of the essentials and that which we value.
So what did I do?
I researched: documentaries, Facebook groups, Instagram pages
I purged. I removed anything that I felt distracted me from focusing on being the best mother I could be to my girls.
I focused on me. By removing that which distracts me (clutter, unnecessary purchases, multi-tasking) I realized how important making memories with my girls implementing a clean, eco-friendly lifestyle was to me.
I also connected to my passions: babies, birth and motherhood.
So here I am today. Blogging about my journey and connecting my passions to the new lifestyle.
Minimalism is a continuous journey, but as I said before and will continue to say, the benefits of minimalism have been undeniable in my life. The clarity of mind and spare time I have unearthed as a result open up so many opportunities for quality family time, self reflection, hobbies, mindfulness and rejuvenation.
Remember, minimalism looks differently for everyone so no, not everyday is perfect, and there are days when I feel "cluttered" both physically and mentally. But the benefits are so addicting I quickly reset and get back to a life of calm.
I truly hope that you too can reap these rewards. You deserve it!