Sometimes when you are in the midst of life, of circumstances and of non stop chaos - you think - WTF. This is what life is supposed to be like?
I know I am not the only mom who has thought "If I see one more lego on the freaking floor, I am going to scream" ...or "These clothes are going right back in the hamper because I am not folding one more piece" or "how much for paint and baseboards?!"
All while looking and feeling like crap because we are overwhelmed in our schedules, our homes, our stuff, our brains and more.
We are living in a consumer world. We buy, we swipe, we fill our heads with nonsense articles on the royals and their crazy traditions, we swipe some more, we buy more again, we add more to our schedules and our to do lists because of what we just saw on Pinterest, we swipe some more, and we buy some more. We believe bigger is better and more will satisfy us and make us happy.
And while I am so guilty of this, I knew life needed to be different for my family. I knew I didn't want to raise my family that way. I knew we needed serious change. And when you want big changes, you need to take big risks.
A few years ago, my husband and I bought our first house. We were so ecstatic. We watched way too much Chip and Jo and thought we had it all worked out. And while we were so thankful for the opportunity to own our own home and fix it up exactly how we wanted it - we soon realized that it was a money and time pit. And it wasn't what either of us wanted, at least not right now. Not in the season of raising babies, soccer games, work meetings, first steps, first words, family vacations and more.
I realized that I didn't want to spend one more dollar on a freaking baseboard or a tune up on my AC. I wanted to go to Disneyland with my kids. I wanted to travel through Italy with my husband. I wanted to fly to NYC for my 30th Birthday!
So what did we do? We took big leaps and made big changes.
We sold our house. We left Phoenix. We donated more crap to goodwill than I can even calculate. and we pursued a life of less. A life of simplicity. And a life of experiences. Maybe not a whole life, but a season of life...
We chose to leave our 4 bedroom, 3 bath, 2,400sf home in Phoenix, Arizona - that we had just spend a whole year renovating. We fit comfortably there. We had a huge backyard, each child had their own bedroom, we all had our own closets, our own space, an office, a play room, a big living room and dining room and a big kitchen with a gas stove that I had always wanted. We sold it and didn't look back. And instead we moved into a 2 bedroom apartment in Dallas, Texas. All 4 kids share one room. And guess what? They freaking love it. The room is huge, it fits 2 bunk beds, all their toys and all their clothes in one big walk in closet. Outside of our front door has a huge grassy area which is their new backyard. They can ride bikes in the "neighborhood" and they play outside all day long. Yes, even in the summer.
Because. It is simple. It is easy. It is calm. It gives me more free time. Less time cleaning. Less money poured in upkeep of a home. More of a budget to buy things I actually want to buy. And that is what we ultimately needed. And - I have more time for ME. More time for SELF CARE. More time to fill myself back up - because I am not a slave to my life.
Was it because of finances? NOPE. We can afford a home, and a really big one at that. We have money in savings for a down payment. We are not living paycheck to paycheck. But it was a choice we made, intentionally.
Society implies that because we have a big family, we need a lot of stuff and a lot of space. And thats a lie. People survive all over the world in smaller spaces and with a lot less stuff.
Kids don't need millions of toys. They don't need every outfit on the planet. You don't need every knick-knack and kitchen appliance.
You need to fill your space with things that bring you joy and you need to pursue less to lighten your load as a mom. And you need to make decisions for YOU and YOUR family. Not for other people, not to please your in laws or your parents, not to show off on social media, not because thats what you "should or shouldn't" do.
Not being authentic to yourself and your life pushes you down a road you don't want to walk down.
Are you in an apartment right now because thats all you can afford? Awesome! Make it a place you love! (The big house and big mortgage is not all its cracked up to be!)
Are you drowning in stuff? Get rid of it!
Are you unhappy with the state you live in? Move somewhere else!
You do have control over things in your life. And while I personally believe that Christ leads our life, he still has enabled me with the ability to make decisions for my family and our life.
While this decision may not be permanent, it has been a really good temporary one. And when we feel led to pursue a different lifestyle, I know that we can and we are able to. And we will make that decision - confidently - because its what we want NOT because society or anyone else says we should or shouldn't do something.