“I just want to be a stay-at-home mom and spend all my time with my kids. I don’t know how you guys are doing it, but whatever you are doing keep it up.”
This was from a tearful conversation I had with a friend a few weeks back. I didn’t know how to respond because I had never thought of my situation that way. What is being done so I can stay home? Is this a luxury? Oh my gosh, it is. I don’t want to loose this.
I am able to stay home because we sacrifice a lot. We don’t go out shopping just for fun and we eat very few meals out. We rarely give each other gifts. I stopped buying new clothing for myself a year ago, forgo fancy beauty products, keep a grocery budget, never enter a store without a list and more. All of this and we are barely breaking even, BUT I get to stay home with Sabine.
Which is amazing.
Our barely making ends meet lifestyle is getting harder, though, and we need to seriously consider saving for retirement and college. Bottom line is we need more income.
Or do we need more?
Enter a minimalism class by Joshua Becker and his new book The More of Less. In this book, he talks about getting rid of the clutter in our lives to make room for what really matters, and then changing our consumption habits to continue living that way.
The course walks through your space one room at a time discussing new ways to view your possessions. Do you own this, or does it own you? Do these things distract from what you would rather be doing? Does this clutter take time that should be spent with your family?
Through this new lens, I have been able to step back and detach from my possessions. In the last seven weeks, we have seen our closets thin out, an entire dresser sits empty and many shelves are bare. It is an exhilarating experience and at the core of it sits my desire to live more and work less.
As I work through our home I see thousands of dollars of stuff that we did not need. Piles of fabric, books, clothing, kitchen gadgets and toys sit unused, stealing our time, energy and ultimately our hard earned dollars.
I want us to live with less stuff so we can live more. We can do this by editing out the unnecessary and changing how we consume. I can continue to stay home with Sabine until she starts kindergarten if we make changes today. When I do return to work, I can choose the work based on passion and not a salary figure.
So to my friend, that is how we are doing it.
My name is Belle and I am becoming a minimalist.