parenthood

Why Mothers Need Minimalism

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When people think of minimalism, I think most of them picture one IKEA couch in the living room, cold white walls, no TV, no toys, and plants hanging by the kitchen sink. That's not the point at all. 

Three years ago, embracing minimalism changed my life and transformed my motherhood from angry, frustrated, and overwhelmed to happy, light, and free of stress. I fell in love with the way of less, and never looked back. My marriage improved drastically, my kids became less anxious around me because I wasn't a yelling basket case anymore, there was no longer clutter everywhere I looked, and I found myself doing things like sitting on the floor building train tracks with the boys, watching old James Bond movies with my husband, cooking more meals, and taking walks with my little girl. Suddenly, I was much less busy, and I was a better person in general. All because I got rid of the stuff I didn't need. 

I could go on and on about how minimalism has impacted my motherhood, but instead I'm gonna break it down into a few main points, because I truly believe in two things: Jesus and minimalism. I know it's the answer to the epidemic of overwhelmed, tired, frustrated mamas. 

WHY MOTHERS NEED MINIMALISM


Less cleaning.

Do I really need to go on here? LESS CLEANING! I have about two days a week where I do a couple loads of laundry, clean the bathrooms, run the vacuum and the Swiffer, and wipe down the walls and baseboards. That's it. I'm not pulling your leg, exaggerating, building up a false reality- this is my actual life. I have to do the dishes (much less than most people though), make the beds, and pick up shoes, coats, art supplies, and a few toys, but that's it day-to-day. 
 

I don't think cleaning up and being frustrated and overwhelmed is a very good way to spend these precious, short years of raising kids. Minimalism has created an escape from that for me. 


I don’t remember my mother ever playing with me. And she was a perfectly good mother. But she had to do the laundry and clean the house and do the grocery shopping.
— Patricia Heaton

I'm always ready to have someone over.

My house could be at it's very worst, and I would still feel okay having someone drop by. Why? Because there simply isn't enough stuff in our house to ever allow it to be that messy. It's so wonderfully liberating. 

I have more time.

We create the life we want, time is in our hands, and I decided to create more time for myself by eliminating the excess. I have so much more free time these days versus my pre-minimalism life. And I have two more kids since then and I work from home now, so really I should have much less time. Minimalism, you win again. 
 

from  my instagram feed

 

STOP SETTLING FOR OVERWHELMED. 

LET’S UPROOT WHAT’S WEIGHING YOU DOWN AND UNCOVER YOUR ABUNDANT MOTHERHOOD.

 

I enjoy my home more

I don't like to cook, but I like being in my kitchen. I love putting on some music or a podcast and creating a delicious, simple meal for my family. I don't like doing laundry, but I love sitting in my living room while my kids play Legos on the coffee table and I fold their clothes. Minimalism has allowed me to actually love my home and love spending time in it without having to spend hours or days getting it perfectly clean (then having it last all of three seconds). 

A better marriage. 

Maybe you don't see the connection between minimalism and marriage, and I never would have either, but it's there and it's really strong. Since becoming a minimalist, my brain is so uncluttered and clear, which made me a happier person, which has made me a more available wife. Brian can't believe how much more I laugh, how much kinder I am in general, how much more available I am to listen to him, be intimate with him, spend quality time with him. Our bond is stronger and our relationship has improved by leaps and bounds since we purged our stuff. 

Brian_Allie_Cheek_Kiss.jpg

I'm able to be a mom who plays. 

I've already harped enough on how my mind is clearer and I am a happier, freer person, but it fits in again here. Because of minimalism I'm free to be the mom who plays with her kids instead of saying "go play". I spend a lot of my time in the yard kicking the soccer ball around, dancing to Taylor Swift in the living room, and playing with tiny toy unicorns. I run a business from home and it doesn't put a dent in the quality of my motherhood because I spend no extra time managing stuff. 

I'm a happier person. 

I just have a lot of joy these days. I don't really know what else to say on this point, except, life is simple and sweet and good, even when we're going through something hard. Because it's intentionally focused on what matters most. 

WANT A LITTLE EXTRA MOTIVATION?

HERE ARE SOME EPISODES OF THE PURPOSE SHOW THAT ARE RELATED TO THIS TOPIC!

 
 

Why I Let My Kids Feel the Weight of the World

Written by Allie Casazza

Written by Allie Casazza

We were driving to the store listening to the music of his request, indie rock, as usual. Cage the Elephant played their modern rock ballad about cloudy days and fixing your eyes on the sun, and in the rear-view mirror I saw his face distort to the shape of a true rock star in his element as he bounced his head back and forth. I have always known his love of music was different, and I remembered him in my womb, kicking rhythmically to anything we played loud enough for him to hear.

He interrupted my memories by asking me to turn it down and asked, “Can you be a guitar player when you grow up?” When I answered yes I watched his eyes light up and gaze out the window.

“You can be whatever you want when you grow up, and you should do what makes you feel the most alive, but find a way to change the world with it, because that is your responsibility.”

We pulled into the parking lot as he unbuckled and climbed to the front seat to look at me.

“It’s my responsibility?”

“Yes, bud. The world is your responsibility, and it needs help. It needs someone to change it, and make it kinder and more like Jesus.”

He stared out the window behind me as it sunk it, or at least I was hoping it was.

from my personal  instagram

from my personal instagram

 

“Actually Mom, I would like to be a train track builder. Can I change the world with that?”

“You can change the world with anything you do. It’s about the person you are and the attitude you have. You can find a way to change the world with anything.”

“What about a motorcycle rider?”

“Yup. A motorcycle rider can change the world too.”

He thought some more as he watched people walk by and I got his brothers out of their car seats, then I took his hand and we walked in to buy diapers and new shoes. I knew I was holding the hand of a world-shaper. I was pushing a couple of them in the cart, too.

 

As I ran my errand I thought about a Jonathan Edwards quote I had read once.

“Lord, stamp eternity on my eyeballs.”

Eternity. What we do on this earth should last for eternity, otherwise, it’s pointless. I take that seriously; it’s why purpose is my favorite word. I want my kids to know that they have a purpose and what they do will last for eternity. They have a legacy to leave behind and I expect them to rise to that occasion.

from my personal  instagram

from my personal instagram

Some might say they’re just children, let them be little, or that I’m being too hard on them. I disagree. I am letting them be little, I’m pretty big on that, but letting them in on their purpose doesn’t make them grow up, it sets the stage for a small person to grow into a big person who knows exactly why they’re here. And that’s what I want for them- to know exactly why they’re here, that they matter, and that they play a crucial role in changing the world, in the Kingdom of God.

I want to put the weight of the world on their shoulders, because that’s where it is whether they know it or not. The future generation is the shape the world will take when we are no longer here. I'd be doing them as well as society a huge disservice to shield them from their responsibility. 

I don’t want my children to be selfish adults. I don’t want them thinking that life is about them or even that it’s about their happiness. I believe that’s a big misunderstanding in this world.

The responsibility of changing the world gives kids an automatic purpose, and young adults need purpose. When they have been infused with it from a young age, they are less likely to doubt it or be unsure of themselves. They will have been taught that life isn’t about them, it’s about using your passion and your talents to make the world kinder, better, brighter.

Life is about being Jesus to people. Jesus sat with the lepers when no one else wanted to go near them and caged them off. Jesus dined with the hated, the despised. Jesus held the faces of prostitutes and dined with the poor.

So instead of saying things like, “You can do anything you put your mind to! The sky’s the limit!” I want to pour purpose and intentionality into my children.

Your passion is music. How can you use that to change the world? What words can you pair with your music to shape the minds of those listening? How can you love on people with your music?

Your passion is riding motorcycles. Instead of only riding and seeking out sponsorships, fame, and money, how can you use those things to change the world? Maybe you can start a program for troubled boys- a camp where they can come and be boys and ride motorcycles and learn about the God who loves them wildly, just as they are. 

How can you use what you’re made to do to be like Jesus to the world? It is your responsibility to change the world. It’s on you, love. And you’ve got this. 

Find what sets you on fire inside, and go change the world with it. 

from my personal  instagram

from my personal instagram