Minimalism, motherhood and women’s rights

madi-robson-113926There is more to life than shoes. Back in 2007 and 2008, I wrote a weekly column for a mass website called The Vine – it’s still around today but most of my posts have been deleted.

At about 23 years of age, I was pretty obsessed with things like shoes and clothing, as well as going to parties and seeing my friends.

I knew of feminism but I didn’t really understand it the way I do now.

Women’s rights must be equal. For a woman to earn less than a man, is not fair. But beyond equal pay, there are a myriad of issues that are frequently dissected and argued by better writers than I.

I want to talk about minimalism and its impact on women’s rights. How does minimalism help women be better and happier mothers and what impact does that have on women’s rights?

At its core, minimalism is the intentional practice of life. It’s about waking each day, and being conscious of the decisions we make. For many, there is a strong environmental imperative to minimalism due to excess waste, pilfering of our resources and the degradation of our environment. For others it’s purely about debt and money. Or it could be lifestyle, it could be stress.

As I’ve said before, I’m seeing a trend that mothers are embracing minimalism. Mothers have never been expected to do so much. We cook, clean, parent and drive. But we increasingly work as well, go to the gym, cook healthy and nutritious 10+ ingredient meals plus have an active social life, practice mindfulness and self-care plus we are supposed to do all of this without a care in the world… Uh-uh. We can’t possibly do it all, not at all once.

Early parenting is enough of a challenge without immense expectations of all the other things we are supposed to accomplish at the same time.

Embracing minimalism – setting your intention for your life, and focusing on the few things that are really important to you – is the key to being happier, less stressed and more capable as a parent.

Minimalism may bring you more time, money and freedom, and hopefully a greater ability to consider your small part of the world, and of course the many benefits you enjoy. As a very privileged white female, I know I’m lucky. I might not have a lot of money by Western standards, but I’m still incredibly wealthy compared to women in third-world countries. I’ve experienced an excellent education and am about to add a postgraduate qualification.

And those gifts, the things that I am lucky enough to enjoy, I should be using them to bring more equality to the world. I care deeply, but I have not acted. Minimalism means I can stop worrying about earning enough money to pay for all the expensive things in my life, and I can focus on bringing more awareness to you. Perhaps, like me, you see that there is more in life than shoes and pretty dresses – that we owe it to other women, other mothers to work towards equality, not just for women but for all.

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