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Motherhood. It’s beautiful. It’s challenging. And while I feel incredibly blessed to have been entrusted with these three tiny souls, a few years ago… I wasn’t enjoying motherhood at all.
My husband and I had decided I should stay home with our children when our youngest was only a few weeks old. And I envisioned all of these fun, beautiful days of raising her and her siblings up. Enjoying our days together. Having fun. Finding the joy in motherhood.
But as time went on, I found I was spending more of my time, this precious time with my children, picking up messes, cleaning, organizing, and being overwhelmed.
Taking care of all of this stuff was sucking the life and joy right out of my motherhood. And it needed to stop. I wanted my children to remember all of the fun we had. Not how many times I hollered for them to clean up their toys while I did yet another sink full of dishes.
And out of this, the idea of embracing a minimalist lifestyle in our home was born. I knew if we had less stuff, I would have more time doing all of those things I had imagined doing with my children.
Can you be a minimalist with kids?
You betcha, you can! We have three little girls, all very active and imaginative that I homeschool. And if we can do it, trust me, you got this mama.
However, you need to realize that minimalism isn’t about owning as little as possible. It’s all about balance and living with what you need and want and ditching all of the excess.
Minimalism is about intentionality, not deprivation.
You don’t need to live with less than 100 things, without a car, without books, without a TV. It’s not at all about what you can live without. It’s about making intentional decisions to live with what makes you happy and makes your life better.
It’s all about making sure your stuff doesn’t own you. It’s not at all about having blank walls and nothing in your house. At least not to me. I believe that minimalism looks a little bit different for everyone and extreme minimalism? That’s not what true minimalism has to be or even is.
Our kids still have toys, we have pictures and artwork on the walls, we have things on the counters, etc. It’s not about any of that. It’s just about making sure that we have what we need and what we love and not so much that it is constantly taking up my time and space without any true value.
Minimalism is about having time to embrace motherhood. The time our children have as children is so fleeting, it shouldn’t be wasted by us constantly cleaning up. It should be embraced and enjoyed. Minimalism affords that opportunity.
Why You Need Minimalism in Your Motherhood
1. Less to Clean
Who doesn’t want to clean less? I was so incredibly tired of spending all of my time cleaning. Even if I wasn’t cleaning, I was thinking of what needed cleaned and it was tiring.
If you have less stuff, you’re going to clean less. We only do a handful of laundry loads a week now. The girls can pick up their own toys, quickly, and I don’t have to do it. There is less stuff that needs moved around so that I can actually clean. It’s amazing. And probably one of the biggest benefits.
2. More Time
When I envisioned stay at home motherhood, I envisioned being at home with my kids and spending time with them. When reality set in? That was far from the truth. I felt like I was spending as little time with them as I was when I was working away from home. There was constantly something calling for my attention, and consequently, my time.
Once we started to embrace a life of less, the time started packing back on. I had time to live my life the way I wanted to. More time for me, more time for my kids, and more time for my husband. More doing things I wanted to instead of feeling burdened by a chaotic schedule of tidy, clean, rinse, repeat.
3. Less Stress
Motherhood is stressful. There’s never a dull moment and we are constantly on the go and on the alert. Excess stuff just adds to that stress.
This is especially true for women. Research has shown that clutter causes increased stress hormones in women. Clutter itself causes stress, but it also causes stress from contributing factors like busy schedules and debt.
Less stuff will greatly reduce your stress levels, guaranteed.
4. More Moments & Memories
Minimalism is about more than just getting rid of the physical clutter and the consumer mindset. It’s also about shedding the calendar clutter. No more FOMO mindset here. It will be okay if your kids miss out on ballet this year, or don’t go to that birthday party.
When you have a less cluttered calendar (and home) you’ll have more time. Duh, right? But think about it… how much time do you actually get to spend making memories with your kids? How often is that time spent carting them from activity to activity while they make memories with their youth pastor or baseball coach?
This isn’t to say that your kids shouldn’t have structured activities or that you’re a horrible mother if they go to ballet and make memories with their instructor. Not at all. It is just saying we live in a culture that’s always on the go and constantly feel the need to sign our kids up for every single activity under the sun and stay busy.
That’s not necessary. Pick the things they enjoy, then spend some time having fun and making memories with them doing other things that don’t have a real schedule. We’re mothers forever, but they’re children for such an incredibly short time. When you have a less cluttered home and schedule, you have time to make those moments and memories you always dreamed about but thought you didn’t have the time for.
5. Happier & More Energy
I don’t know about you… but my kids are all little balls of energy. They are constantly in the mood to play and be active. I went through a phase that no matter what I did… I just wasn’t feelin it. I had no energy and I just wasn’t in it when it came to my motherhood. Do you know what I mean?
It was all that overwhelm I felt from the constant list of to-dos. The constant cleaning up after my kids, after life. I had no energy left to do anything else. I was down and depressed because it was just doing the same things over and over and waiting on everyone else instead of doing things I wanted to do, that we could all enjoy together.
Once I started getting rid of all that excess, things started to change and it was amazing. I started feeling better, I had more energy, I felt happier and actually wanted to do the fun things.
That clutter, physical, mental, calendar, all of it. It’s weighing you down, mama. It’s time to let it go so you can lighten your load. It’s transformational.
6. More Money
Stuff costs money, that’s no secret. But it costs money even well after you’ve bought it. You have to maintain it, keep space for it, and take the time (and time is money, my friend) to clean it.
Also, once you embrace minimalism, you’ll change your purchasing habits. There are so many things I don’t buy anymore since becoming a minimalist. And, when I do buy things… it’s a well thought out purchase, not just something I am buying because something somewhere told me to or because I think it might bring me joy (because, the reality is, it won’t improve my life).
7. Less Decision Fatigue
Decision fatigue is a real thing! As moms what little decision making power we have when we start the day is often used up before we’ve finished breakfast.
I mean, think about how many times you’ve given in to your kids because you’re at a point where you’re too tired and just don’t care anymore?
When you have less stuff, there are less decisions to make. And, you have a clearer, more free mind to make quick decisions instead of stewing over it. Decluttered wardrobes and capsule wardrobes take away having to decide what to wear, menu planning and meal prep take away the task of deciding what’s for dinner, less to clean takes away the decision of where to even start.
You’ll have more power to make important decisions and not be so worn out you can’t think straight to decide if your kid can wear shorts when its snowing outside.
8. People Can Drop By Unannounced
No more chaos ensuing all over your home means that if someone drops by unannounced, you won’t feel too embarrassed to let them in the front door.
Even if your house is the worst it ever is, you can still have people stop by and not feel bad. It’s easier to clean, it’s easier to maintain and its worst isn’t really all that bad.
Wouldn’t it be great to know that you don’t need to clean for 7 hours before your mother in law drops by and thinks you live like a slob? Or your neighbor can’t come in the front door because it looks like a tornado ripped through? You’ll feel so much more confident about the appearance of your home when you don’t have so much stuff taking up all the space inside of it.
Motherhood is difficult enough without all of the excess junk cluttering up our lives, our time, our minds, and our calendars. With minimalism I have time to actually spend enjoying my kids. I have the time and space to spend enjoying motherhood, and you can too.
Are you ready to embrace minimalism in your motherhood?
Other Minimalist Motherhood posts You’ll Love:
- How to Easily Declutter Toys for a More Abundant Life
- 9 Ways You Can Simplify Life with Kids
- 6 Amazing Reasons You Need to Get Up Before Your Kids