Less is more
I started my journey to minimalism in 2016 when I was working in London and living in Hampshire. Living in a little cottage in a picture perfect town was supposed to be my haven. A place where I could while away the weekends on our allotment and not think about work. Instead I found myself constantly decluttering in a battle against stuff. I couldn’t relax and I couldn’t get things done.
I’d seen online a book that promised to break the constant cycles of tidying – yep, Marie Kondo. I got the book out of the library and read it over a weekend, itching to get started. And while I didn’t follow the Konmari method in full I did discover the joy of letting go.
Fast forward four years, one house move and the addition of a child later, I’m still embracing minimalism. Sure we still have lots of stuff (although probably less than most) but I’ve found my balance. I know when it starts to feel like too much.
For me, minimalism is about creating space for the things that are important – people and experiences rather than things. It’s something that I’m passionate about in developing my parenting style.
I’ve always been fairly environmentally conscious but becoming pregnant with my daughter really focused my mind. I want her to grow up on a planet that is thriving not dying under the pressure that humans have put on it.
I’ve been gradually making swaps to more eco-friendly products. I truly believe that making little changes and encouraging others to do the same is the way to much bigger, lasting change. For me that includes using cloth nappies and other reusable products. I want my daughter to start with a clean slate and be able to make her own decisions about her impact as she grows.
Of course it’s not just about eco-friendly products. To me living a low impact lifestyle means caring about other people too. In turning to minimalism I have embraced slow fashion, seeking out brands that are ethical not just in the materials they use but in how they treat their workers and market their products. I am also committed to raising my daughter with anti-racist principles, and of course learning about racism and unlearning my own prejudices too.
It takes a village
Being a parent can be isolating and I’ve often felt dismayed by the advice offered from well-meaning friends and family that comes with a hefty dose of opinion and judgement. We’re all muddling through this parenting adventure but sometimes it can feel like you’re the only one striking out on your path. I’ve felt this way too, which is why I started writing about my own experiences and choices. I hope you’ll find here the reassurance and encouragement that you need that you are doing a great job, free from judgment.
Through this blog and Instagram I’ve discovered my online village of like-minded friends – if you ever need some gentle support you’ll find me @aminimalistmother.
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