I was always striving to be that Pinterest perfect mom, the one with the cute parties, the mom who only fed her kids organic, clean foods, and the mom that had an immaculately clean house (that was achieved by frantically cleaning for hours before anyone came over to our home).
I was working full time, making an amazing income. I was providing my children with everything they needed in life and then some. They did not know what it was like to go without. I was very proud of this accomplishment.
Yet, I wasn’t always a happy mom.
Sure, my children were the joy of my life. However, being a mom was hard, impossible almost. How on earth did so many generations do it before me?! It is bad when your husband says to you almost weekly, “I just want you to be happy”?
I hated not appearing to be happy. I hated that my anxiety and disappointment in myself to parent were so obvious. I hated that I didn’t have time to sit with my kids and just play. Everything had to be scheduled around our busy, messy lives.
Cleaning took a front seat to playing. Cooking the perfect meal took precedence over taking a walk with my family. Resetting the house and getting ready for the next day became more important than sleep.
Something had to give.
New Year’s rolled around, and I knew I wanted to simplify my life. I didn’t know how. My motto became one word, “Simplify”.
Since I had no idea where to start, I started going through my closet to find clothes I could give away. Then, I realized the sheer number of clothes I had was embarrassing.
I then decided to take a 30 day no clothes shopping challenge. After 30 days, I still had outfits not worn. Therefore, I decided to extend my no clothes shopping challenge for an entire year. That adventure turned into a year of not buying much at all.
A breath of fresh air
As I started to clean out my closet, I felt lighter. I started to learn everything I could about this concept called “minimalism”. I read books. I listened to podcasts. I researched everything I could find on the internet.
Making space in my life made me happy.
I felt lighter with every van load we took to the local donation center. As I started to get rid of stuff, our home became so much easier to clean. I was spending less time taking care of my home and spending more time doing what I loved. I couldn’t believe it was possible!
Simplifying my life
As we started to get rid of stuff, we started to simplify other aspects of our life. No longer did we go shopping for fun. We became much more intentional with our purchases, and we stopped stuffing our home.
As we stopped buying things, we had more money for experiences. We were taking longer and more frequent vacations.
We cut out obligations and activities that didn’t bring our family joy. We had more time together, and we were treasuring it more and more.
My own version of minimalism made me a happy mom
Living with less isn’t popular. People will often make fun of you for it because it is not the social norm. Our society encourages more. More clothes, bigger homes, the latest and greatest technology and toy stores for playrooms.
I was done with more. I wanted less. I saw the power of less. Having less in my home and in my life made me feel lighter. My anxiety lessened, my house is nearly always ready for an unexpected guest, and my time with my family has grown immensely.
Getting rid of our stuff made my home happier. Minimalism made me a happier mom.
Related post: Minimalism for Normal People
Here are a few of the benefits of living simply for moms:
1 – Less stress, more calm
If you aren’t consumed with trying to do all the things and focus on only what brings you joy, your stress reduces. You find more calm in your life, and you start doing the tasks that better align with your values.
2 – Less cleaning to do
When you have less stuff in your home, cleaning naturally becomes easier. Pick-up will take you five minutes rather than hours. Laundry gets easier, dishes get easier, and you always feel closer to “company ready”.
3 – More time to play
When you aren’t spending all your time trying to keep the house clean or go from activity to activity, you have a lot more time in your schedule to simply play. Minimalism allows moms to feel more caught up and allows you to focus on having a whole lot more fun.
4 – More time for self-care
Just as you have more time to play when embracing minimalism as a mom, you also have more time for self-care. It seems like when our lives are chaotic as moms, the idea of self-care goes out the window. When focusing on the things that really matter in our lives, we realize we are better mamas when we take care of ourselves too.
5 – Less busy
Minimalism isn’t only about clearing the clutter in your home. It is also about clearing the clutter in your day-to-day life. Say “no” to activities that don’t align with your family’s values or don’t bring anyone true joy. Take that time to be less busy and do things together that you all enjoy.
As moms, you deserve to make space in your life. Make space in your home, and make space in your daily schedule. The benefits will far outweigh the stuff and the things you think you “should” be doing.