Feeling lighter

I’ve really enjoyed reading emails and content from the website ‘be more with less‘. The founder of the website, Courtney shares online how she simplified her life in all areas. Cleared out the possessions she didn’t use from her house, reduced her clothing down, paid off her personal debt and removed most processed foods from her diet.

There’s so much more that she did to simplify her life and I’ve felt inspired by her to, likewise, remove the clutter in order to feel lighter.

I used to enjoy having lots of possessions – as a child I had a huge collections of cuddly toys and collected anything pig/frog related. Skip forward a decade or two and I had a wardrobe full of irregular choice shoes which although stunningly beautiful I rarely wore because let’s be honest, they’re made for their looks, not for comfort. But  as the years have passed, I started feeling that all this stuff around me was weighing me down and just causing more busyness in my life.

So I started to de-clutter. I thought I would share some of the things I’ve done to take a step back and see how far I’ve come but also to hopefully give you some inspiration about how you could take some steps to find freedom through less…

Walk away

Living with less first started for me when I needed to budget – probably in the lead-up to my wedding or saving for a holiday. When shopping for any ‘indulgent’ item (a new dress, make-up, stationary – anything I wanted but don’t really need), I walked away from it and only went back to buy it if I still was thinking about it later on and really, really wanted it.

Now with a baby, things have changed. I have less time to mooch around looking at beautiful things and he’s not really a fan of over-heated stores so we tend to stay clear of them…so perhaps Jenson is helping me to never shop again 😛

Marie Kondo your wardrobe

Encouraged by my university friends who said how amazing she was, I turned to Marie Kondo for advice about how to organise my wardrobe. Apart from her clothes folding technique I’ve used to fit all my clothes into a reduced wardrobe space (see the video below for an idea of how she does it), I’ve slimmed down the amount of clothes I possess by asking myself about each item ‘does this bring me joy?’. Each piece of uncomfortable clothing I bought because I thought it made me look slim, each worn out top and each bargainous charity shop item which never really suited me has been put for sale on Facebook marketplace or donated to charity.

I know I’m in the fortunate position – one I won’t be at the end of my maternity leave when money is really tight – to have a surplus of clothing and be able to give things away knowing I can buy anything I need, but the principle of ‘will this bring me joy’ can apply to anyone when it comes to buying clothes. And what brings me joy?

  • Wearing something which make me feel gorgeous
  • Wearing something that is so comfy and not restrictive
  • Having clothes in my wardrobe that I love putting on each day

Easy peasy!

Ditch the ‘shoulds’ and forget the ‘what ifs’

I’m fortunate to be the owner of a kitchen aid. It’s a brilliant cake mixer which can also whisk eggs and knead dough. The only thing is that vegan cakes are best if mixed by hand, I don’t eat eggs and when I make bread I enjoy kneading it with my own hands. So my kitchen aid has sat around in my kitchen for about 5 years not being used.

I feel I should keep it because it was an expensive gift given to me and I’m worried about what if I ever want one again and have to spend money on buying one. But the truth is that I’m unlikely to want ever one again and, if I find I absolutely can’t live without it in the future, I can always save up and buy one again.

Focus on the benefits

I’ve started to sell my unwanted clothes and other items online, have got rid of the DVD collection I never watched and gave away the books I knew I was unlikely to want to re-read. I really love having less stuff around.

Knowing how great de-cluttering makes me feel has inspired me to continue to shed and simplify my life. The items I’ve sold have funded some lovely trips out with my son and I enjoy having a house that is less cluttered. It is so great to live with less – it makes me feel lighter and keen to keep on shedding stuff I don’t really need.

These are a few things I’ve done to simplify my life. I’d love to hear any ideas you have.

And I want to toast with you, dear friend, to a simple life. One with less stuff and more space. With money spent on experiences with loved ones, not on unneeded possessions. Where everything we own fills us with joy instead of weighing us down.


Double standards

I’ve been having a bit of an issue with breastfeeding. Sorry if this is TMI but it’s true.

I’ve loved the experience of providing sustenance for Jenson and have no problem whipping my breasts out in public to do so. That’s not the issue. It’s that I’m not producing quite enough milk for him and so he’s been slow to put on weight.

I don’t know where the issue stems from, although there are a number of potential reasons why my supply isn’t quite enough for him. The blood loss I experienced just after giving birth that left me anaemic, that Jenson was tongue-tied for the first 3 weeks and perhaps didn’t feed strongly enough to bring my milk in fully, my genetics, my diet (although I don’t think that being vegan has any impact on milk production)…

Regardless of where the issue stems from, I’m potentially not providing enough milk or Jenson isn’t getting quite enough and, although my health visitor isn’t overly worried, there’s a chance that we may need to top him up with formula.

I’m not the only person I know who has been having feeding issues. A few people in my anti-natal class have had to move fully onto formula and others are doing a mix of bottle and breastfeeding. And when they shared their sadness at not being able to fully breastfeed their baby, I was understanding about how they were feeling, but also had a real conviction that as long as the baby was getting sustenance (through formula or breastmilk) and was loved, there was no shame in switching to formula.

That is, I felt this strong conviction until I was faced with potentially having to use some formula myself.

What double standards!

That other people can be human but I need to be perfect, that good enough is enough for others on this journey of motherhood but that I need to get everything ‘right’.

I started writing this post feeling sad and a bit ashamed but now I just feel pissed off at the bar of perfection I find myself yet again trying to vault over – a bar that is never achievable because it’s too high.

Because if I was perfect with my ability to produce milk, I would fall short in how I’m playing with him. Or if I did both those things perfectly, I’d worry about how he’s sleeping compared to others. Or how he’s developing or interacting or what clothes I’m dressing him in…and the list of self-judgement could go on and on.

I’m so glad I started to write this post because I see how far I’ve progressed. Yes, that bar of perfection may still be in my life and I may still start to measure myself against it, but I’m able to step back and see it for the unrealistic, cold, unhelpful measure it is.

It doesn’t take into account how I rock my son when he is crying for the 100th time in the day, or how my days are planned around what will bring him peace, or how I cradle myself around him at night so he can sleep soundly. It doesn’t measure the depth of my love for him or the effort I put in to be the best Mum I can be. Not a perfect Mum, but as good a Mum as I can be.

So what if I can’t produce exactly the right amount of milk. I’m doing my best – my body is doing its best – and that is good enough.