Thursday, February 17, 2011

Where I’ve come from - the last straw

My second son was born two weeks after my 30th birthday.  He’s three months old now. The pregnancy had taken it’s toll on me.  I get tired so easily, and pregnancy makes me tired.  I spent the whole nine months with very little energy, and what energy I had was given over to my older son, who is four, and has an incredibly active mind needing a lot of stimulation.  Plus, I spent a lot of time procrastinating. 
The baby was born, and I was then really unable to do much more at all than looking after the baby.  Just like his older brother, he isn’t so keen on sleep. I could not see any time in the foreseeable future when I was going to do all the things on my list that I had procrastinated , and I had a little meltdown.   The house was getting messier and messier.  The list of things I needed, not wanted, needed, to do was getting longer because I was putting them off too.   
And gifts were pouring in. Gifts for the new baby.  Gifts for my older son, congratulating him on becoming a big brother.  Gifts for my husband from his students for the end of year. Then Christmas.   I was feeling ungrateful every time something else arrived for the baby because he didn’t need any new clothes or new toys - we had everything left from our first baby! 
I was craving simplicity.  I just wanted things to be simple and straightforward. That way I could have time to spend with my husband and my children, and not feel guilty that I hadn’t finished things or that I wasn’t meeting other people’s expectations.    I had been striving for simplicity for so long, but was making it too complicated.  
But then signing back in to Google Reader on the iPod Touch while rocking the baby one night, I was reminded about minimalism.  I used to read lots and lots of blogs, and after culling them by half to try and regain some time back, I simply stopped reading all together.  Some on finance, some on housekeeping, some friend’s blogs.  So I’d read about minimalism before. 
And that’s what I wanted.  Just the basics.  Just what we need as a family.  Not what everyone else tells us we need.  It’s what I had been searching for all these years. 
I’m starting to feel a little freer already.


  1. I have a daughter your age ,, i hear your frustration,, I understand,, i have always craved a simpler way of life and really never was a major consumer,, I lived the minmalsits style years before it became trendy,, but i will tell you this,, don't try to convince anyone,, pick and choose who you discuss it with,, calming tell nay sayers your beliefs and let it go.That you are pleased with youself is all that matters and who knows the inlaws may just come around to your way of thinking,,you have a very common sense attitude and your children are lucky to have a mum that cares for more important aspects of life other than the newest design trends or not having the biggest or most of anything,,, good girl,,

  2. What an encouraging comment! Thank you. :)

  3. I'm a little more passive-aggressive. If someone were giving me gifts, while at the same time judging me because I don't want to spend a lot of time maintaining their gifts, I'd probably say something along the lines of "then stop giving me more clutter to waste my cleaning energies on".

    Thankfully I don't have that gifting problem anymore (my daughter is 15 now). But now I'm spending time clearing out junk that I've collected over the years. Seeing me clearing stuff out sometimes prompts her to work a little on clearing out her own stuff. I've been impressed. Not pushing for it, but impressed when she does do that. I'd expect that your children will learn from watching you.

    Aside from her sometimes efforts on her own stuff, my partner doesn't understand my desire to reduce our belongings. We have two sheds filled with stuff that we don't even go out to get. We don't even know what's out there. His idea is to get a bigger home. My idea is to get rid of the junk and get a better or smaller home, not bigger more expensive.

    But for me, it's not just the desire to have less clutter. If something happens to me, I don't want him to have to delve through all my crap, never having known what was most important to me. And frankly, I don't think I could even deal with his junk if something were to happen to him. The sense of loss and overwhelming of dealing with his stuff?? Not acceptable. Dark, I know. But it's one of my motivating reasons for decluttering.

  4. Anndelise, your partner sounds like my husband! He thinks we need a bigger house with more cupboards.


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