Let me get real with you. In not such a distant past, I was overwhelmed with life – with trying to maintain a home with three young children, while homeschooling them and being a good mum to them. I was at a brink, with not enough hours in the day to look after the kids, teach them, feed them a healthy diet, keep a clean house, be a good wife, and be happy!
What most people saw, was a well organised, put together homeschooling mum with a clean home. I’m not disputing that that was true, I was achieving things, but what it took for me behind the scenes to be at that level, was not pretty and not seen by anyone.
Back then, we were buried under paperwork, toys and knick knacks! Many of them were things that we didn’t love, need, or use. Things that we held onto “just in case”, or that were passed down onto us and we held onto out of guilt.
I spent my days chasing my tail, striving to achieve something that seemed unattainable with little kids – a clean house. What suffered, was my motherhood and my sanity. As I dusted daily underneath and between all the candles, statues and photo frames, the joy of life was slowly getting sucked out of me. The kids were getting older and I felt like I was missing the best years of their lives.
I’d had enough and one day, as I was doing the same chores for the millionth time and sat the kids down to watch a movie while I got on with it, I figured out the source of my overwhelm: it was the amount of STUFF we had that led to me feeling so inadequate and miserable. That’s when I decided to purge what I could!
Benefits of minimalism – the things I have gained since taking that massive step back then:
There is nothing more precious than time. With having less things, less maintenance is needed on the home. I stopped wasting my time dusting under ornaments that gave me no joy. I took it a step further and sold the furniture that had all the knickknacks standing on it! Now, I spend that time actively playing with and homeschooling my kids. We go places. We catch up with friends. We’re creating memories that will last forever – that in itself is priceless!
I’m an anxious person, and when the house is out of order, I feel the overwhelm very quickly. Since minimising our possessions, it takes such a short amount of time every day to keep the house in order, that I never have to stress about the state of the house. As long as we all chip in doing our morning and evening routines (which take under 30minutes with all hands on deck!), I never have to panic when the doorbell rings, and I often get to sit down with a cup of tea and just enjoy being in our home.
This flows right in after the two previous points. The lack of stress and the time gained make for a much more joyful existence. Since minimising our possessions, we’ve been able to find joy in so many more simple activities, like walks and bike rides. I have been finding beauty in the simple gifts of nature, such as an incredible sunset or a beautiful, flowering bush growing along the footpath. All in all, living a slow, minimal life has provided our family with nothing but benefits!
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