Or is a simple life with children just a pipe dream?
Lovely, wonderful, cute, cuddly children.
I’m not going to pretend that living simply with children is easy. Far from it, actually. The reality is that for every good, relaxing and productive day you have, there are five more tiring, hectic and lazy days to deal with.
As much as I love my kids, they are an energy suck. Most days, I feel as if I’m running on fumes. How am I supposed to clean up the kitchen when my toddler is throwing a fit? When will I be able to take a shower since my newborn just wants to be held? How long before I can have a date night with hubby, you know, since its been a year? WILL THE MISERY EVER END?
Okay, maybe that last line was a little dramatic, but my message is clear- good things in life are never easy, and the easy things are never worth it. Having it all together, all the time doesn’t mean children are loved more. Being a parent doesn’t mean that you can’t have a breakdown or can’t have time to be alone on a regular basis. If there’s anything I’ve learned from being a mom, it’s that life is a series of ups and downs, and I cannot be my best self if I’m too busy worrying about others to take care of me.
That being said, children will always be a priority, so the key is to simplify your mind. The house will never be spotless, so don’t kill yourself trying. You can’t always have a home cooked meal on the table, so don’t hate yourself if your kids have had McDonald’s for the second time this week. Need a time out? Call the sitter or the grandparents and go to the local pub for a drink. Yes! Do it! Don’t feel like going to that party? Don’t. Your kids won’t grow up hating you because you didn’t take them to that barbecue that one time when they were four.
On that note, if you’re teaching your child how to “live simply”, don’t lose heart if they don’t quite grasp the concept of minimalism just yet. Every child is different and they all go through phases. I live rather simply, and as much as I try to instill that in my oldest, she still asks for presents ALL THE TIME. Don’t allow their moods to deter you. You are doing absolutely fine.
The job of mainstream “thinking” is simple – to make us think that we are unworthy if we don’t live up to the expectations of society. I don’t know about you, but I can no longer pretend.
All we can do is live life the way we see fit. The way we can. Sure, having toys strewn all about the house is hardly anyone’s idea of a good time, but living simply with children is possible once you’ve accepted reasonable expectations for yourself and your family.