I’ve written little about simple living lately, which feels odd to me. Writing about my journey to minimalism was a huge part of why I started this blog back when it was The Nested Nomad, and I didn’t intend for it to fall off my writing radar completely. Looking back, there are a few reasons for this lapse:
- Motherhood consumed me this past year, the way it’s biologically meant to. That made it hard to write about anything that wasn’t my immediate reality: motherhood, marriage, work, self-care.
- My life has felt anything but simple since I had Selah, so I felt like an impostor every time I tried to write about simple living.
But here’s the thing: as I look back on my first year of parenting, I see a different pattern emerging from the chaos. Simple living was a tool I wielded without realizing it—a tool that allowed me to immerse myself in motherhood and enjoy Selah’s first year.
For me, simple living has never been only about having less stuff; it’s about having more time for the things that matter. I sort of equate “simple living” with “values-based living,” meaning I make time for what I value and minimize everything else.
In the throes of being a new parent and having my identity completely upended, I clung to what was most important: faith, family, creativity, rest.
Sometimes my house was a disaster. Sometimes I went months without seeing friends. Sometimes (a lot of times) I skipped my workout and ordered takeout. Sometimes I did the laundry and never folded it, picking clean clothes out of the basket until it was time to do another load.
I made these small trade-offs—the ones I wouldn’t make if I had unlimited time and energy (but who does?)—to preserve some semblance of balance. These choices were healthy in some ways (I stayed sane) and not healthy in other ways (I ate a lot of tacos). But at a time when I was operating at max capacity, I had to prioritize my values instead trying to do it all.Thoughtful trade-offs helped me maintain balance in the chaos of new motherhood. Click To Tweet
Often, I went to bed at 8:30. I used Selah’s naps for reading and writing instead of cleaning. I connected with Dan after she went to bed, sometimes with words and sometimes over our shared love of Netflix. I prayed in the tiny cracks of time and in the moments when I was about to crack.
I lived a boring rhythm most days: shower, Selah, Bible, work, pump, Selah, pray, dinner, Dan, sleep. Day in, day out; day in, day out. But it’s this simple, over-and-over rhythm that sustained me in a season that felt at once mundane and ever-changing.
Now I can see the positive effects of minimalism on my motherhood: Selah has a few toys she loves, and we can clean them up in 2 minutes flat. I choose events and outings carefully, making sure my family gets the balance of rest and the interaction we all need. I get my fill of self-care. I sleep enough (most weeks) to be Nice Mommy and Loving Wife and Sharp Copyeditor.
I hope to write more about simple living in the future, but for now, I’m still getting my bearings. I’m trying to figure out how this lifestyle looks in this phase of my life and how I envision moving forward in simplicity with my family.
In the meantime, I would love to hear from you. Feel free to comment below, find me on social media (Facebook and Instagram are my faves), or e-mail me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- What questions do you have about simple living?
- What obstacles prevent you from living as simply as you’d like?
- What parts of your life feel especially overwhelming right now? What do you wish you could take off your plate?
- What would simple living feel or look like for you, if you could “achieve” it?