Being a mom is naturally busy and being a natural, busy mom can be even more overwhelming.
I am a work outside the home mom (a WOHM if you must) to a beautiful toddler. She has taught me so much and has propelled me into the world of natural and simple living. My journey began much earlier than January 2013, but only wanting the best for my new little family of three had me in full-blown research mode. Here are some tips I have for not only busy moms, but for anyone looking to for simplicity in life.
1. Choose one thing that is important to you and set goals. Our culture is about convenience and instant gratification. Living simple or natural is against the grain. It is against the way many of us grew up. I’m not speaking against any upbringing. I love my childhood but it consisted of a lot of Spaghetti-Os and Hamburger Helper. Maybe your childhood was full of after school activities or parked in front of a TV.
Set one goal and a plan to reach it. When you reach the goal, then pick another. Who doesn’t want grow their own organic produce and make every meal from scratch? That’s a great goal, but if you barely eat veggies and you work full-time this may be considered a long-term goal. It’s all about baby steps. You will adjust better if you go at a slow, but steady pace.
2. You will meet resistance. Change doesn’t come without resistance. For example, if clearing your life of all the clutter to make room for the things that truly make you happy is your goal (see No. 1) then do it with all your might, regardless of what anyone says.
Americans specifically are caught up with material things. You don’t have to be materialistic to have an obsession with things. This is one I face on a daily basis. When we moved from our 800 square foot apartment to a home twice the size people told us “it won’t take you long to fill this place up and then you’ll be looking for a bigger place.” This irritated me and I told many I accepted their challenge to do the exact opposite. Did you know even less than 50 years ago a three person family lived comfortably in a 900 square foot home? Now 1,600 square feet could seem cramped for that family’s descendants. Pick your battles and suggest different ways those with the love language of giving can give to you without giving things.
You may also meet inner personal resistance when you try to change. Do what’s best in the time you have. Don’t worry yourself because you aren’t moving as fast as you’d like.
3. Your life isn’t about you. This applies to everyone, but especially the working mom. I firmly believe we were given a message of hope and life that we must share with others. Any hobby that would get in the way of this mission is not worth it. I’m not saying we don’t deserve some time for ourself. Moms, especially will give to everyone but themselves. I’m guilty of that. I’m not advocating you don’t care for yourself and have “me time.” Please get plenty of that.
What I’m saying is don’t get so caught up in perfecting your little homestead that you forget about the world around you. Don’t don’t miss the opportunity to touch someone’s life. While at times seems some your life revolves around saving money, preparing meals, taking care of the children, or going to work, you must stop and pay show kindness and love toward those around you. Life outside of my home and workplace is where I want to find my joy. I personally get so caught up in the daily grind and worrying if what I’m feeding my family is healthy enough. I often fall short in making plans with friends or noticing a struggling new mom that could need my help.
Think about your journey into simple and natural living. Do you get caught up in all the hype and propaganda and lose sight of what is really important? I know I have. Take time today to reprioritize your reasons for beginning this journey and in every way share hope and love with others along the way.