This is the third post in a series on minimalism. The first was about the relationship between minimalism and Christianity and the second one tackled reasons why minimalism can be a good philosophy while raising children.
It was not too long ago that my life--all of the responsibilities, saying yes, marital problems, and trying to stay afloat--nearly took over my life. I developed heart issues and made two trips to the ER. Even though I was a sort of minimalist, I had somehow forgotten that minimalism encompasses more than just our belongings.
My head and my heart were in need of a massive decluttering.
But isn't that the way of motherhood? We push ourselves to accomplish, complete, survive, and love like no other generation of mothers before us. Our progress reports are written before we've had the chance to finish the course, and we've failed ourselves before we've even begun. It's like the teacher who singles you out as a trouble-maker or the boss who gives you hard assignments, just because.
Except we're the boss of our own lives, and we're failing at managing it.
Instead of finding a way to reduce our burden so we can focus on what's most important, many of us just say yes.
But what if no became your stock answer?
What if you filled your own tank first?
Could you see motherhood as being something more authentic, deeper, and life-affirming than the drain that society perceives it to be?
Minimalism for Motherhood
We moved to Indiana to reduce many of the emotional and mental burdens that were so completely affecting my health and sanity. We moved to repair our marriage and to seek a fresh start.
Minimalism helped us to accomplish that. By saying no to many things, we've said yes to ourselves.
Yes to a life free of unnecessary burdens.
Yes to our children, their curiosity, wonder, and their need for love and lots of it.
I want to encourage you to think of ways to cut back on your schedule, to give yourself permission to not have a perfect house, or to give the house up all together.
To live everyday with love and purpose.
You'll mess up. I do every single day. But I wake up the next day, trying my hardest to focus on the most important task of my day: loving and guiding my precious daughters.
Yes, I get overwhelmed. And selfishly long to escape in a full-time job. And wonder if I'm the worst mom in the world.
But their love reminds me that I am doing the right thing. That now is the time to reduce our physical, emotional, and mental burdens so we have more to give.
Because mowing that lawn won't buy me more time with my girls.
Baking to impress someone won't add more value to my day.
So instead, I'll take one more small step toward being the mother I hope to be.
Being the woman I hope to be.
And I truly pray the same for you and that you know that you are not alone on this journey in motherhood.*
*and if you are a father, know that I'm thinking of you too!