This post won’t transform you into a minimalist. Not that it’s not an admirable goal. As a mom, any ethos that offers hard and fast “rules” needs to be chucked into a closet somewhere and forgotten. Aren’t we inundated with enough diatribes on how to live our lives? Do you really (really) want to adopt another ethos to drive yourself, and your family, crazy?
Probably not, but there is something to be said for the efficiency minimalism gives you. Case in point—it’s the holidays. That means visitors, which means one must open the doors of our homes and welcome in guests. And while we can sit here all day and discuss how “no one cares” about the state of your home (they just want to see you!). Let’s be honest, the bra that’s been sitting on the counter for a month straight (what were we going to do with that again?) does put one off a bit.
Truth be told, I used to love “stuff.” Growing up, my room was filled with collections and carefully curated designs and art. I never gave much thought to how much actually accumulated until my husband and I moved into our house. The sheer enormity of “stuff” we had to move was astounding. A little sheepishly, I realized I had been hanging on to things I never once used. It took a few more years, but I slowly improved in my relationship with things. I tried to buy less, and certainly gave away more. The result? A more sane space that can be easily “fixed up” when company calls. Case in point, how many of you can relate to this conversation?
HUBS: “Oh, I invited my brother and his girlfriend over for dinner.”
ME: “Nice, next week or something?”
HUBS: “No, they should be here in like 10 minutes. Wait, I think I hear a knock at the door, that must be them.”
With the number of baby/kid “stuff” that seems to take over, you’ve no doubt held on to a few things—maybe old pads from the hospital, or those ubiquitous swaddle blankets every newborn is issued. As your child outgrows your need for these things, evaluate carefully what you like to keep. Many schools of thought operate in this space. The “Spark Joys” of the world; insist you only keep those things that bring intense joy. The death cleaners (morbidly) asks you to envision your now-adult chi
ld inheriting all your belongings. What would they toss or put aside?
Memories are in our hearts. God has equipped us with everything we need to be effective. Truly, you don’t need to keep anything. What I’ve learned is, if you find something connects you deeply to your child and the experience of the birth, keep it and use and/or see it in a prominent place. Making space for what we truly love, now that’s an ethos I can follow.
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