Motherhood can increase the desire to live simply while also making it more difficult to reduce your consumption. You want to set a good example, but having a growing family means you have more things and participate in more events.
The first key to keeping your life simple with a growing family is to make sure that the values you’re teaching them match up with the ones you wish they had. You want to foster in them good habits about how they treat their stuff, not just now but as they get older and move out on their own. How you deal with your stuff can teach them a lot about how they deal with theirs later.
Over the years, as my children got older, I had to continually clear out my house. Whether it was too much furniture, excessive clothes, or an overabundance of toys in the children's rooms at the time, I didn't realize I was employing some of minimalism's key principles. Now that I'm able to look back and see how I was already practicing the art of minimalism, it's even more clear to me why my children gravitated toward a set of values that is synonymous with living simply. In particular, they were drawn to a way of life with less focus on consumerism and accumulating lots of stuff.
The kids didn't have huge rooms and shared with their siblings for most of their younger lives, so keeping the material possessions in check was very important. It was not uncommon to see outdated toys being given away or clothes being donated by the time they arrived at middle school. I wasn't fanatical about purging every single toy or piece of clothing, but if it hadn't been touched in 6 to 12 months then it was time for it to find a new home. As the kids grew older, I would replace worn-out items with higher quality versions that could be handed down to younger siblings. Unknowingly, I was starting on my path to minimalism back then. Now, I enjoy sharing the benefits and strategies of minimalism for busy mothers.
Whether you're a working mom, stay-at-home mom or work from home like me (which can be quite time consuming), we women tend to accumulate a lot of stuff! It could be clothes we haven't worn for months or even years, toys our own children have no interest in, or craft supplies we've collected during pregnancy.
Minimalism is not about having the least amount of things, it's about identifying what you truly value and letting go of everything else (tweet this). When you simplify your life, you're making room for more important things like family, friends, hobbies and passions.
We all know that having a bunch of stuff can feel stressful. When you have too much to deal with, it's common to put off important tasks or lose interest in your hobbies. Minimalism isn't about deprivation either; it's about minimalizing the things that don't matter so you can have more of what does.
Minimalism may save you money, but there are additional advantages that might be much more significant. You'll have less interference and more time and energy to spend with your family.
Whatever your situation or attitude, you can benefit from a simpler lifestyle. Maybe you're simplifying on your own or because of financial problems. Perhaps minimalism is defined as growing your own food and creating your own clothes, or just spending less money at restaurants and shopping malls.
Consider these ideas and methods to implement minimalism for busy mothers while determining what works best for your family.
How can you be more minimalist when you're busy?
Here are a few ideas:
• Embrace the idea that being a minimalist means living with less. You'll have less stuff. This is one of the great benefits of minimalism. But you'll also be more organized.
• If you decide to give up your daily cup of coffee, at least make sure you're getting enough sleep. This will help you feel less overwhelmed with tasks and stress.
• Develop a system for how you'll get things done. Create a daily habit of having something to read or do while you're waiting, such as listening to an audiobook, doing a crossword puzzle, or taking a walk.
• Keep a “do not disturb” list for family members and catch any issues in advance instead of waiting until they're in your face during the day.
• Free up time by getting rid of things that are simply unnecessary to you. For example, replace the clutter in your car with car seats, or keep only the essentials when you travel.
• Have a plan for connecting with others. Use group chats, video calls, or one-on-one conversations to stay in touch during the two weeks you're away.
• Establish a routine for yourself, which you can follow wherever you are. For example, go to the gym every day at the same time, or start reading books in advance that are waiting for you when you get home.
• Live in the moment, but don't forget to think about your goals and long-term plans.
• Use technology to streamline things and stay organized. For example, use a note-taking app to prepare and track your daily thoughts and activities.
• Commit to the two weeks, even if you feel overwhelmed at first. Start with one or two days a week, and keep increasing the time you spend on your goals until you reach 10 days. You can then be proud of yourself for having accomplished what you set out to do.
• Remember that the power of tiny changes is greater than the power of big changes.
• Read an inspirational book while you work on your goals. The more words you read while doing what you're doing, the better you'll become at it.
• If something is too big to do now, do the next best thing. Even if that means you have to put off your goal, at least you're making progress.
• Decide what you're going to do first. If you're not sure, then leave it until the last minute, and do that instead.
The Key Elements of Minimalist Motherhood:
Relax. Slow down, take a deep breath and get rid of your urge to speed.
Make sure you are being creative by thinking about what you need to do before doing it rather than just jumping into each task head on without any forethought or planning. This will allow more work done with less effort so that the day is not filled up with running around trying to complete all tasks at once, but builds one upon another in succession for an efficient workflow.
Let your children get bored, but don't let them be unsupervised, so they can learn from themselves through play that is not guided by adults or other outside influences. When you allow yourself to experience boredom, it allows us to rely more heavily on our imagination. This leads into self-discovery rather than just being passively entertained in today's society, where we are constantly surrounded with entertainment options without having to use much effort for this stimulation.
Connect with nature to improve your physical and mental well-being
Our proximity to woodlands, marshes, and seasides helps us feel more relaxed while improving our health. When you go on vacation or take your children for a walk in the park, explore forests or oceans that are near by!
Celebrities with full-time nannies or Super Mom blogs might make anyone question their parenting abilities, so don’t judge your own ability based on the standards of other people. Just be confident in how you choose to raise your children and strive for improvement rather than perfection, which is something that no one can achieve anyway!
Find new friends in your area by meeting with other parents
Connecting with other families in your area means the opportunity to share parenting tips, get opinions or ideas you haven't considered before, and give away outgrown toys that don’t fit your family anymore.
Learn to deal with stress
Not only will it benefit you, but it will show your children healthy ways to deal with stress in life. If you want your children to develop a healthy lifestyle, teach them how to take time for reflection and recuperation. For example, they could try taking deep breaths or meditating temporarily until the stress is gone.
Specific Strategies of Minimalism for Busy Mothers:
In today’s world, it’s difficult to sit down at the dinner table every night and even more challenging for some working parents to find time during their day to eat as a family. In order for your children to develop social skills, bond with their family members and have healthy meals; it is important for them to eat together as a family. Try to schedule one family meal a week, at least, to benefit all of you.
Divide up responsibilities.
You can give your children a sense of responsibility and prepare them for adulthood by assigning age-appropriate duties to each family member.
Taking charge prepares youngsters for adulthood. Instead of attempting to handle everything yourself, assign age-appropriate duties to each family member such as making the bed in their own rooms or setting and clearing the table after dinner You can give your children a sense of responsibility and prepare them for adulthood by assigning age-appropriate duties to every child so that everyone knows what they need do when you are not around.
Get things done together.
Taking your kids on a grocery run could be beneficial for both of you. Your children can get comfortable with numbers and words while you're picking up fresh produce, meats, dairy products, frozen items and other necessities.
Although it is important to make sure that the child has some fun during the trip by playing games or watching cartoons in their stroller if they are too young to walk around themselves yet – this time also acts as an opportunity for them to develop social skills and basic arithmetic.
It's difficult to avoid the proliferation of toys, especially around birthdays and holidays. Make a plan for keeping the overall amount in check. You could try rotating toys by giving your kid only a few each week. Alternatively, help to support children's organizations that assist with toy donations.
Purge your home.
Consider everything you have at home that you don't use very often. Those clothes you haven't worn in years can be donated. Think about selling the gadgets or knickknacks you haven't even taken out of their boxes. When you declutter your home, it will be easier (and faster) to clean and seem more pleasant and attractive.
The internet can be used for productive things like communication and education, but too much screen time can hurt your child's development. Create house rules like no phones at the dinner table and turning off all devices two hours before bedtime to make sure they get enough sleep.
Make family time a priority.
It is important to prioritize family time over other activities during the week. Schedule one family activity each night of the week, even if it's just five minutes at home playing catch or getting the family together for an hour of board games on Saturday night so everyone has something fun to look forward to.
You are in control
However far you decide to go with minimizing your consumption, you’ll be teaching your children to value a more mindful and meaningful life. Buying and owning less stuff will give you the freedom to enjoy what you already have, instead of working constantly to afford the next new thing. The benefits of minimalism for busy mothers are great and rewarding.
With these simple suggestions, you can choose how far you want to go with minimalism in your life and set an example for your children. Set aside time every day to spend with them and teach them values like mindfulness, patience, generosity, compassion, gratitude and mindfulness. You can also teach them the importance of ownership and less material items by encouraging them to give away toys and clothes that they don’t use.