Practicing minimalism is helpful for me as a mother as it allows me the space to play with my child, to reduce the amount of time I spend cleaning or organising and most importantly for me, it reduces the stress I feel from a busy life.
However, items invariably start stacking up again in your home, and the pull of consumerism is always there, at the end of the remote or just a few clicks on a keyboard. The busyness of life can be so overwhelming and despite my best intentions, I often notice thoughts and feelings popping up in my mind and heart that don’t align with my values. I am not immune to thinking I should have a nicer home, live in a better suburb or have a second car. I’m not immune from wanting nice things, more things, different things. However, I do have the knowledge and experience of practicing minimalism to know what it brings to my life and how positive and impactful the change has been.
We live in a relatively large home which we purchased not because of its size but because of the yard and the views. Our toddler Ripley loves the yard, the dogs love the yard and we love the views and the layout of the home. However, because we co-sleep, we have a very large second bedroom that is essentially a storeroom. It feels so strange not to fill it with things, such as a spare bed or perhaps exercise equipment. I keep toying with the idea of moving my desk in their instead of sharing with my husband, but then I find reasons not to. So I have this large room, approximately 3 x 6 metres, essentially unused space. It is out of the way for a playroom, and renting it out would affect our income status and be too difficult given our child’s health. So I do nothing with it.
As an average person I feel the pull of needing to fill it with things, but on the other hand, I know paying money for things to fill it means I have to work to pay for it, something I’d rather not do. We don’t have many house guests so it would likely be wasted. So I remind myself of my values and my minimalist mindset and say ‘it’s OK to have an empty room’. White space is good for the soul.
Practicing minimalism or simple living is a practice, a journey not a destination (sorry cliche!) but it is so very true. If you are thinking about how to remove overwhelming things from your life, question your assumptions about what it means to be an adult, a family, to have children. Do you really want all the things you think you need?