My first year of being a mama was enlightening. I felt like I finally had a purpose and something worthwhile to put my energy into. I also had a little adventure buddy that was so fun to spend time with! I spent most of my time alone with my little man, going on walks, long drives, checking out local places like orchards, farms, and parks, and of course walking around Target. At this point, I had finally made some good like-minded friends in the area, so I had a playdate and time with other mamas usually at least once a week. My husband was juggling a gazillion things, so I did my best to stay busy and keep the little guy happy and healthy each day.
Another big focus for me at this time was getting rid of everything that didn’t help me to be a better mom, wife, and friend. I replaced bars with parks and coffee shops. Swapped lazy hungover Sunday mornings with church. I let go of people, places, and things that weren’t positive for me, and started working on letting go of perfectionism (that’s so tough and still something I’m working on!). I stopped listening to and watching things that made me anxious or depressed, and traded them with podcasts and blogs about minimalism, simple living, conscious parenting, debt-free living, etc. I became more and more convinced of the benefits of these things, and immediately started implementing what I was learning at home and in my life in general.
I sat my husband down and shared The Minimalists documentary with him, which by the way is a great place to start if you’re new to these concepts. We had been living the opposite of all of these things, filling our schedules to the max, spending money on buying things we didn’t need to fill a home that was much larger than necessary, and frankly far too expensive. My husband juggled multiple companies, dozens of employees, several rental units, and still did his best to be present for our teenager and our new baby. It was NUTS! I was filling my days with everything that was lighting me up, and he never had time to stop and breathe in between obligations, let alone make time for good quality friendships or take time for himself to fish or (fill in the blank with whatever it is he would have fun doing). He’s spent decades working this hard, I’m not even sure he knew what to do with his time other than work.
Fortunately, something clicked for us, and we got on the same page. We started selling off things we didn’t actually need: vehicles, boats, farm equipment, restaurant supplies… I even sold my little car that I loved, my VW Beetle Convertible. It was our only vehicle that we still made payments on, and it was getting a bit difficult to squeeze everyone in it at this point anyway, so it was the one to go. We shared a family vehicle, and (gasp), it was fine! We really dove in and as Dave Ramsey says, we were gazelle-intense, doing everything we could to minimize spending and maximize resources to reduce debt and liabilities. I got really into decluttering our things, taking dozens of boxes and bags out of our home most weeks, and then I’d get re-inspired and go through the same areas again! We were in this mode leading up to our little guy’s first birthday. And then, on the day of his one year photo shoot, we found out that we were going to have another baby!