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Saturday, January 7, 2017

Motherhood and The Minimal Lifestyle

     Facebook does this thing now, where it brings up your memories from the past. It will show you whatever you posted a year ago, 2 years ago and so on. They call it "memories". A few days ago facebook reminded me of a status update I posted 6 years ago. In that status, I had asked my friends where they saw themselves in 5 years. Reading through the replies was great.

     I'm not good at seeing myself in 5 or so years, though. I can't say specifically what I want to do or where I want to be in that moment. I'm more of a person who lives in the moment rather than past memories or future plans/hopes. 
     If you would have asked me 5 years ago where I saw myself today, my reply probably wouldn't have been "married, with 3 children all under the age of 3". The last 5 years of my life have been a whirlwind. From the interesting way I met my husband, to our super fast courtship and engagement,  moving out of the state where I grew up, having 2 kiddos 14 months apart, to a spontaneous move back to Utah, finding a new church, and having a third baby. All within 5 years. My head spins just thinking about it all.
     I've always been the type of person who thrives off of doing things and getting stuff checked off my "to-do" lists. I guess that's why God has lead me down this path of life the last few years. But even as someone who thrives on getting things accomplished, since having my third baby I've become so overwhelmed by all the "to-do's" on my list. All the homemaking and mothering responsibilities that I used to thrive off of have completely taken over my mind and life. Time seems to be going by so fast, and my children are growing up overnight, yet I'm drowning in the pile of dirty dishes or laundry that needs to be folded. 
     I had to stop myself and ask, am I really enjoying my children? Am I taking on this responsibility of raising them with joy in my heart, or do I look forward to them growing up faster so my load would ease up? I'm sad to say that most days it's the latter. I realize this, and it makes me sad. My family is my happiness. I'm so thankful that I have this blessing of being in a family unit and raising these 3 little ones, but all the responsibility of homemaking and child rearing makes me dread this season of life rather than enjoy it to the fullest. 
     After some thought, I decided to simplify my life. I need to prioritize better. I need to spend less time in the kitchen or laundry room, and more time with my children, building relationships and memories. 

     I don't want to look back and remember the endless pile of dishes on the counters, or the huge pile of laundry I could never get finished or the long hours over the hot stove. I want to remember sweet moments with my little ones before they grow up, leave my nest and start lives of their own.

     I want to share my goals for 2017. So here are a few areas I'm going to strive to work on in my life in this upcoming year...

1 - Accept everything as a gift from God, and not something I "earned/deserve". 
     I think cultivating this mindset in myself will help me find contentment with what I already own, and being more thankful for what God has already blessed us with. When we look at objects as blessing from God, we value them more.

2 - Live minimally. 

     Living "minimally" can look different to so many people. There is so much detail behind this small sentence, but I'll try to keep my thoughts short. 

- Have less clothing. Fewer clothes = less laundry & less time wasted picking out an outfit to wear. Ever heard of "closet capsule"? Search Pinterest. You will be amazed! 

- Have less kitchen "stuff". Fewer dishes = less dirty dishes at the end of the day to wash & less time spent washing them.

- Simplify meals. This little bit has 3 parts to it. 
     1st, I want to make our meals more simple. Having grown up in a Russian family, I'm so used to the idea of a fancy dinner and something home baked for dessert every evening There is no reason to have a fancy dinner each night. In this season of my life, my children need my attention more than they need a beautiful meal.
     2nd, I have started using a "rotating" menu. I shared a little bit about this in an earlier post.
    3rd, I want to dedicate 2 days out of the week specifically for cooking up a few meals. So the rest of the days can be freed up for other things. 

-Buy less, Do more.

     I want to be a better steward of our money. God has blessed us greatly in allowing our family to live off of 1 paycheck, but we haven't always been wise stewards of this blessing. This year, I want to try to manage our finances better. I want to invest it into trips or activities rather than toys or useless "stuff". And this brings me to my next goal...

3 - Spend more time "living" with my family. 

     By living I don't mean living in the same house as them, preparing food for them, cleaning up after them, etc. (although all of that DOES need to be done and it happens to be my share of running this household) I mean actually living. Spending time playing games with them, reading books together, just talking to get to know each other's characters and personalities better. As my children get older, there will no doubt be struggles in their lives, and I want to be there for them during those times. I want to be able to pray for each child and each struggle specifically with detail. I want to be able to give them "customized" advice that they can actually put to use, rather than blanket statements that might not help them in any way. 

     So those are my goals I hope to make into habits within the nest few months, hope you all can hold me accountable (; 


  1. Great goals! And I know you'll attain them ❤

  2. I love this! Your goals and mine are so much alike this year .... in this season of raising littles abs keeping a home ( something a really wanted, prayed for , and looked forward to) ... I often find myself overwhelmed with the To Do's and the neediness of the children. ... being in this "little kid" stage with exhaustion, sleepless nights, never ending messes and thevknstant "mom, mom, mom" ... all too often I find myself "surviving" rather than really living, thriving and enjoying it all. I now realize I really, really don't want to "miss it". These little years, these hard years... I want to be fully present. And I've come to realize the only way to do that, for me is to make some big changes to simplify and minimize our lives. To eliminate as many of the things that cause me stress and anxiety as possible and just enjoy life.