A Simple Approach to Living With Less

Sharing the Love and a Peek into the Future

With all the holiday happenings and lots of fun family time, my writing here will be lighter than normal for the next few weeks. Since I’ll be taking a sort of digital sabbatical from blogging here, I wanted to leave with a BIG thank you to everyone that has commented here on Minimalist Moms. It is because of you that I enjoy writing and why I’ve been working on some big plans for the future.

In case you’re looking for some new blogs to read, I’ve included blog links to folks who have commented here. I’m certain you’ll find some great new treasures and insights. It’s just my little way of sharing the link love.

My Loyal Readers:

I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to comment on my blog. Everyday I am thrilled to know that I have readers who keep coming back to see what I have to say. It’s actually very humbling. For those of you that have contributed to the conversation here, I really appreciate your thoughts and input. You keep me thinking on my toes and looking at the world with fresh eyes. You help me grow and for that I am incredibly grateful.

My Minimalist Peeps who have shared their insights here:

Marc from minimalistfreak.com

Stacey from mnmlistmother.com

Meg from minimalistwoman.com

Rachel from theminimalistmom.com

Jenny from minimalismdefined.com

Tanja from minimalistpackrat.com

Ayesha from practicalminimalist.blogspot.com

Eric from elevatedsimplicity.com

Jo from simplybeingmum.wordpress.com

Freedom from rethinkingthedream.com

Jurino from jurino.com

Guys brave enough to comment on a “Mom” blog:

Steve from stevenkgriffin.com

Scott from scottkostolni.com

Jeff from expatyourself.com

Bernie from getoffthiswheel.com

My Fellow Bloggers that share their comments here:

Bernice from livingthebalancedlife.com

Clara from theeducatedlife.com

Abbie from thewilsonsjourney.wordpress.com

Jill from mamaloafblog.blogspot.com

Amy from journeymum.com

Sarah from teachafish.blogspot.com

Jill from jill-foleyjourney.blogspot.com

Jan from justawandering.blogspot.com

Meagan from thehappiestmom.com

Becky from rayandbecky.com

MJK from myfinancialtrek.blogspot.com

Crisa from cristina-gabriela.blogspot.com

Lisa from greenwoodfarms.blogspot.com

Vanessa from getsimplifized.com

Cheryl from sweatpea6797.typepad.com/my_simple_spot

Jenny from ignoremyramblings.blogspot.com

Mercedes from myfinancialtrek.blogspot.com

Cynthia from agirlwalksintoablog.blogspot.com

Jesse from survivingnarcissism.com

Robbie from going-green-mama.blogspot.com

Prerna from themomwrites.com

Kelly from lifeonourterms.wordpress.com

Laura from urbanmayberry.net

Jen from momalom.com

Deb from kommein.com

Merry from merrymakes.blogspot.com

Jaime from everythingidreamed.blogspot.com

Christin from joyfulmothering.net

Kaisha from kaishasimmonsphotography.com

Catherine from loveandfolly.blogspot.com

A Peek Into the Future

During my break I’ll be working on some big projects. Here is just a sneak peek . . . more info will be coming soon.

  • Minimalist Moms will be moving to a new home.
  • The site will be getting a brand new look.
  • A free ebook will be coming out on how to get started with Minimalism.
  • A more in-depth ebook on Minimalism and Family is coming soon as well.

With all these changes coming, now is the time to let me know if there’s something new you’d like to see around here. Anything goes. . .topic ideas, questions about minimalism, comments on the site, changes you’d like to see. I am here for you! So feel free to leave a comment here or use the Contact page.

Stay tuned for more and have a great holiday!

————-

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photo by chidsey


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Comments

  1. Many of the minimalist sites I read seem to be written by authors who have small children. I think it’s easier to adopt a minimalist lifestyle when the kids are young because they’ll adjust faster. My boys are 14 and 11. While I’m not a minimalist, I am trying to declutter alot from my life. Not just things, but time and energy sucking activities too. Unfortunately, one of the time-sucking things I’d like to get rid of is my kids’ homework (including enormous projects right before Christmas), and a few of their structured activities. But I simply can’t tell them they can no longer do wrestling or karate or band or whatever. So how does one minimalize things like that? And because I work full-time, am I just being selfish because I’m tired at night and I don’t want to drive them all over the place? Or that I have two boys and don’t find wrestling interesting in the slightest and I hate going to meets and tournaments?

    And one answer that is not an option for me is to quit my job or cut down on my hours to have more time for family things. Nor is it an option for my husband, who works shift work (nights/weekends, etc.).

    So I want to know: How will the minimalists of today deal with the pressures of society and older childrens’ activities/desires, etc., of tomorrow? How do I find the time and energy to minimize without depriving my kids of activities that they want/need to do?

    • Kathy, I can relate a lot to what you said.

      I’m a new to minimizing and am just starting to go through my many boxes and cupboards, which is the practical and easy side when you compare it to family ie. children’s needs.

      Our kiddos are 16 and 12 and I know the busyness that comes with school and activities. We homeschool now and the busyness that comes from outside pressures is gone (yay!!). We are still busy…I co-own a youth theater, run a food ministry at church, and then there is my 16yo who is in theater (at least it’s mine!!), youth group, bible study, on top of her studies….and then the parties. Who knew homeschooled kiddos partied this much?? lol!!!

      My philosophy is that this crazy busy time of life is a season. Our 16yo will be driving soon and that will free up some time for me. I know I will miss being a big part of her life in that way.

      Now, I’m just going to say this….but yes, you can tell kiddos that they have to cut down on activities. And, no you are not selfish for wanting more time with your family at home. I remember when my daughter was little…like 6…and was taking a tumbling class. There was a little girl in her class who would put on a Karate uniform after tumbling!! I was shocked at that at the time and yet I still see it in kids in high school. A girl we know gets to school at 7am and doesn’t leave campus until 7pm during swim season….then she goes home to do homework.

      I don’t know why people think that activities…multiple activities…enrich a child’s life more than down time where they can pursue their own thoughts or just think of nothing. I’m not saying you think that….I’m speaking generally of our culture.

      I’m very against homework from school taking up what should be family time. I hated the projects my daughter was doing in middle school that took hours out of our home life.

      I suspect this generation of minimalists goes into raising children with the same “less is more” mentality. They may overbook, rethink and then adjust…that seems to be the way we go.

      But it will be interesting to follow them as they have children and raise them through the teen years….boy, is that a time of life or what?? :)

  2. Thank You Faith – for the mention and also giving me a quick index to check out all the other sites I haven’t found yet! I’m really looking forward to your new look site and in particular the e-book on getting started in minimalism (I have a list of people I will be informing of it!! – they know it’s well intentioned :-)). I feel for Kathy above, the activities are a tough one. My kids are small (as she quite rightly points out) and so it is easier as I have ultimate say – but there is still the pressure to ensure your kids are doing enough and are involved as well as the peer pressure you face (when others reel off what their kids are doing it does plant a seed of doubt in your mind). I decided to reduce activities further this year for the kids as I really wondered who I was doing it for – they are only young but still there was a lot of opportunity to get involved. My daughter has a weekly swimming lesson plus one other activity which is directly after school on site so I just collect later. My son (has one swim session with me – too young for lessons) was doing dance class but I have decided to stop that in the New Year, as 50% of the time I had to persuade him (i.e bribe) to go. My suggestion would be (and this may not be possible) to see if you can buddy up with other parents so you take it in turns to do the drop offs etc… you don’t have to be with them at the activities in many cases. It can be awkward making the first move, but I bet there are other parents who would welcome a night off!

  3. Faith Janes says:

    Hi Kathy,

    I think those are great questions and concerns. My boys are 11 and 8 and my daughter will be 3 in a month. In addition to that, I live in a combined household of 10. My family’s version of minimalism is certainly not the cookie cutter version of minimalism. I still firmly believe that the foundational truths of minimalism can be applied to anyone’s situation.

    When we grew up, we were allowed one activity outside of school. Even just one activity per child can be incredibly time consuming especially when you have different children going in different direction. Personally I think parents have decided our kids must be involved in all these extra activities or there’s going to be something wrong with them. Right now our kids aren’t in any activities and it is really nice.

    If you are interested in one day quitting your day job, then try to think of little steps you can take now to get there some day. It’s not realistic for most of us to walk away from our jobs when families are involved. But that’s no excuse to give up dreaming or to give up looking for ways to create those extra pockets of time in our lives. It’s like the decluttering…even cleaning out one small drawer feels good and it encourages you to move on.

    Great questions, Kathy. That’s definitely the kind of thing I’ll be including in my books. Thanks for commenting!

    • Great points about one activity per child. I grew up with four sisters and one brother and that was our rule too. Just too many kids to have people doing more than one activity.
      While I only did one sport per season at one point I had to decide between volleyball and rowing as there wasn’t time for both. I picked rowing: I loved it and was good at it. Ended up getting a full athletic scholarship and later going to the World Championships and getting a medal in the sport I chose. Better to be focused on one thing than spread yourself thin over many and be mediocre.

    • I completely agree with the one activity per child “rule”. Growing up my brother and I (Who are 2.5 years apart in age) only did one activity at a time, and it was the same activity for both of us. T-bal to gymnasitcs and dance to Karate. Come highschool we didn’t do sports until we had friends who could drive us and that is where we spilt up and did our own thing. But it was always required we ate together as a family at night and I really enjoyed that time.

      I think good quality time is more enriching to a child than any sport or afterschool activity can ever be. I’m not against them in any way, but I am against them disrupting the family dynamic.

    • Thanks Faith and Laura for your insights. Good to know I’m not the only mom with a teen out there! One thing I forgot to mention is that my husband is of the mindset that the boys should be kept active (although he has been coming around to my point of view a little more lately), so we’re definitely trying to find a middle ground.

      I look forward to reading your blog next year.

      • Gosh, no problem!! We are all doing the best we can and I love how the internet can connect us to thoughts and people that we otherwise would never know!! The exchange of thoughts and ideas are so inspiring and often comforting as we realize we are not alone.

        As parents we learn as we go, don’t we?? Dads know boys and your husband is wise. Busy comes in lots of forms and maybe with your help he’ll see that building something in garage together is busy, but in a different way. :)

  4. Hi Faith!! Thank you so much for including me on your list and for the list itself!! I love having new minimalist blogs to check out; I learn so much from everyone!!

    I’m excited about seeing your new site and all that you will be doing!!

    Have a wonderful Holiday with your family and I will be looking forward to seeing you in the New Year with your New Look!! :)

  5. p.s. – Just wanted to say I quit my day job when my first born was 15 months old in 2006 to become self-employed and have autonomy. It wasn’t premeditated – I just woke up one day and handed my notice in. I have never looked back… it was tough at first (it’s an odd feeling – making yourself redundant), but up to this point it was the best career decision I have ever made.

  6. thanks for posting! I’m always on the lookout for new minimalist blogs. I think it’s amazing how many mommy bloggers are out there!

  7. Thanks for including me here Faith!

    Looking forward to all the new changes and e-book rolling out- super stoked for you!

    Eric

  8. Faith,

    Thank you very much for including me in this list. I love reading your site and I look forward to the new changes!

    ~Scott

  9. Thank you Faith for the link and all of the help with my blog. Hope you have a great Holiday and best of luck in 2011!

  10. Thanks for the link!

    I really enjoy it when bloggers share links to other blogs. It’s like getting the inside scoop on hidden treasures. I’m off to check out some of these other blogs you linked to.

  11. Ayesha Gallion says:

    Thanks for this kind note! I have been busy finishing up with grad school and now that I am in my last semester, I am aiming to make a minimalist lifestyle a goal more than ever. I hope to continue reading your insightful posts.

  12. Oh, and thanks for adding me to the list! I can’t wait to check out everyone else’s blogs! I learn somethign new from each new blog I run accross that really seems to help me on my journey to declutter!

  13. As I do yours!! :)

  14. Hi Faith!
    Thanks for putting me on your list! I def enjoy coming here to read and can’t wait to see what you have coming ahead!
    As far as the older kids and activities subject, it is more difficult once they are used to doing so many things, but as parents, help them consider what activities are the most beneficial, whether that is growing skill, gaining character or looking good on a college resume. My kids have all graduated now, but we tried to stay close to the 1 activity at a time rule. Another thing we did was try to involve them in the same activity so that it cut down on the running around. My kids played on co-ed community softball teams for 10 years! They also were involved in community theater, some acted, some worked behind the scenes.
    As far as the wrestling mom goes, I didn’t love meets either, but my son dropped out after 1 year, said it was too hard, and ended up getting into some trouble because he had too much free time. Things are better now, but I would give anything to go back and sit and watch him wrestle again.
    Have a Merry Christmas!
    Bernice
    http://livingthebalancedlife.com/2010/a-major-tip-for-weight-loss-success/

  15. Thanks so much for the great list! I know how you feel; there’s nothing better than an insightful comment to make all your hard work worthwhile. “See” you in the new year!

  16. Thanks for the mention! I am loving this new look and new site – congrats!

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