Modern moms feel like executive managers, without the fancy offices. We manage households, calendars, family drama, food menus, the molding of little hearts and stuff (so much stuff)—and that’s all usually before 8 a.m.! Many mothers feel like the management of stuff takes over our lives.
We feel buried by the piles on the floor, the avalanche zones we hide behind closet doors, the constant mess of toys, clothes, dishes. Is there any hope that we could be more like what our hearts yearn to be—a fully present, slow-home focused, peaceful mama?
Yes. I believe that mothers can uncover their best by living with less.
Before my first son was born my husband and I drastically reduced our living space in order to financially accommodate me being a stay-at-home mom. The small one-bedroom apartment we called home for nearly five years limited the amount of stuff we could own, and I discovered that I liked living with fewer belongings. I found great freedom in having a smaller space to keep clean.
It was easier for me to stop the constant stuff-management and simply be present with my little ones. I learned my best style (this term is used loosely!) when I paired down my closet. I even cultivated a more vibrant spiritual connection when I disconnected from the overwhelm of stuff. I uncovered the best of what I had to offer my kids underneath all the life clutter. And you can do the same.
When moms choose to own less stuff, they can uncover abundance in many areas. Four of the most common areas moms find freedom in are space, time, attention, and appreciation.
Owning less stuff can create more physical space in your home. De-owning a significant amount of things in your house could lead to fewer bins hiding in corners, fewer stacks of books on the table, fewer toys to trip over, even fewer clothes to wash. Think through how often your family truly uses things, and remind yourself that you don’t have to own all that stuff. A ruthless clean out and donation run could free up precious square footage in your house and make it feel bigger.
Moms can uncover more time for themselves when they have less stuff to manage. Fewer total items in the home means that overall there are less things to keep track of and put away. It doesn’t mean that your house will look Instagram-perfect 24-7, but you might find more time to sit and read or sip a cup of tea while your children play.
Owning less junk can create a margin of space for self-care. Did you think that self-care was a unicorn-dream reserved only for the ultra-rich? Think again, friend. Choose to own less and you can discover wiggle-room in your day to breathe.
When you are not so focused on stuff, you can give more cherished attention to your family. Owning fewer items allows mamas to stop the constant management and look her children in the eyes. When you have less junk in your home, you can afford to take walks as a family or play a round of Uno together. I even found that I’m more apt to attempt a messy craft or experiment with the kids because I know that the house can be cleaned again in 15 minutes if we all pitch in and work together.
Mothers who have less stuff can gain a keen appreciation for what they choose to own. The belongings which remain after a ruthless junk purge are allowed to stay because they are useful or beautiful or beloved. Owning less stuff allows for the things which you do own to be appreciated more because you have taken time to think about why you own that item and weighed the value it adds to your life.
This principle applies to adults and children alike. I have a fairly small wardrobe, but I wear all my clothes and love how I feel and look in all of them. My children have a modest amount of toys, but I notice that when they have fewer toys out, they aren’t overwhelmed by the bulk and play more sweetly with their things—or each other!
Motherhood is so much more than stuff management. Mama, you can find more space, more time, more attention and more appreciation in life, and the key is owning less. Underneath the junk, your best is waiting.
Evelyn is a writer and speaker who encourages women to uncover their best by living with less. Her days are spent homemaking and home educating her four young children, and she is happily married to Dan. Evelyn is passionate about functional minimalism, faith, intentional living, mothering well, quality coffee, and earth tones. She blogs about “intentionally living small” at www.smallishblog.com.
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