For the first two years of motherhood, I felt very alone.
I didn’t expect myself to feel this way. I thought I would feel joy and love and happiness the minute my daughter was born. But instead I was unmotivated, depressed and riddled with anxiety. I felt guilty for having these feelings - shouldn’t I be grateful? So many women who want children don’t get to have them and here I am with a healthy child and I’m not happy.
I searched for women out there like me. Mothers that didn’t have it all together. Mothers that felt anxious in their new roles. Mothers that hated all the “stuff” that is attached with being a mom: the extra laundry, dishes, driving to baby rhyme time classes and errands.
I missed the old me. The one that felt confident in my career. The one that enjoyed going out with her friends for a glass of wine. I missed my independence.
This new girl lacked confidence. She was unsure of herself.
It was hard to get out of bed most days. I had no plans - just watch the baby and do some housework. I missed setting goals for myself and anything that didn’t involve baby life.
To make things even harder, our money was tight. We went from two incomes to one. My husband is a full-time artist, so the income wasn’t as steady as some. Some months we were really broke. I was tired of it all. And I missed when things felt easier.
I asked friends and moms from older generations if this was normal. I was answered with either a blank stare (because they couldn’t relate) or they told me that these were the hard years and I just had to get through them.
But I didn’t want to “get through it”. This was my life and I didn’t want to waste years of my life just trying to get by.
So I decided that I had to figure this out.
I wasn’t going to live my motherhood on autopilot - just trying to make it to my kids’ bedtime. I needed to take control.
The things I did next are what changed everything for me. They are what made me the woman I have become today.
I TOOK CHARGE OF MY TIME AND MY LIFE
First, I purged the hell out of our house. I started with the basement and went around the entire house. I got rid of storage stuff that we’d been hanging on to for years (and didn’t need), I downsized the closets, my clothes, the kitchen dishes and even my daughters toys.
Not only did I feel lighter, but the housework started to decrease as well. With less “stuff” in our house, I less to pick up. Less to organize. I wasn’t washing as many dishes. The laundry was easier to manage. And I felt like cleaning the house wasn’t as big of a deal anymore.
Next I started simplifying our meals. I let go of the high expectations of feeding my daughter “perfectly” with the most healthy foods. I learned how to use my slow cooker, and create one-pot which took the stress out of dinnertime.
And last, I took charge of my to-do list. I started writing down everything I was doing in my days and how much time it was taking up. I took notes on what was making me happy, and what was causing me stress and overwhelm.
SIMPLIFYING CHANGED MY LIFE AS A MOM
Slowly, bit by bit my life started to change. Things felt so much lighter. I felt like I could start to breathe again. As the space opened up, I found room to add new things into my schedule, like yoga. At first I only went once a week, but over time I invested more time in that area of my life.
Looking back I realized that the choices we make to fill our homes and our schedules with too much stuff affect us more than we realize. Living an abundant motherhood is totally possible when we begin to simplify it.
Today, three and a half years later, I’m a completely different mother than I was in those early dark days. I am able to enjoy the simple things without feeling anxiety and overwhelm. My life is more balanced and I feel more like myself again.
These days, my daughter doesn’t have a ton of toys. But she does have a huge imagination. She’s creative and loves to play with the simplest of things. One of my goals in raising her is to help her enjoy her childhood through the outdoors, in the same way my husband and I did in the 1980s. And I believe we’re doing that.
WHY SIMPLIFYING WORKS SO WELL FOR MOTHERS
Clutter in our lives creates stress. No really, it does! It affects our cortisol levels, our ability to focus and even how we feel pain. It’s not just the piles of “stuff” that we have in our homes that causes this stress. It’s the clutter in our minds as well through the neverending to-do list we tell ourselves. And the overconsumption of digital information - through social media, the news, and stuff on our computer. The digital clutter creates the same level of stress on our bodies because it doesn’t know how to differentiate between the two.
This stress will affect every corner of your life. Your moods, your decision making, your happiness. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
If you’re ready to make changes in life, like the ones that I made more myself. Then I created a Simplifying Starter Kit for you. It’s free and I made it for mothers who want to stop living in stress and start living in abundance.
All over the world there are mothers that are starting to wake up to the fact that life doesn’t have to be so stressful. I want this for you too. You can make changes in your life that will create a huge difference. You can overcome the darkness and overwhelm that keeps moms on autopilot. It’s totally possible, and you just have to take the right steps.
GET STARTED WITH MY SIMPLIFYING YOUR MOM LIFE STARTER KIT:
I want this for you too! I want you to feel what life with less overwhelm and clutter can feel like. You deserve to take charge of your life so that you can enjoy it and the short amount of time when your kids are little.