Slowing down and simplifying my life

Slowing down and simplifying my life Ever-changing Life of a MumRight now I feel like my head is a whirl of information. There has been a lot going on in my ‘space’ lately and I am feeling a little overwhelmed and it’s not where I want to be.

Juggling a baby and my blog has been tricky. I’m also completing an online blogging course to give me the tools I need to take my blog to the next level. As I started to set goals for my blog I became super excited for what lies ahead, but in the process I have started to fall back into some old habits.

I feel hurried and on edge again. I feel rushed, like there is always something else I have to do, and my mind is unable to focus and enjoy the present. These are feelings I know all too well and it’s a path I don’t want to travel again.

Since leaving work a year ago I have been trying to carve a slower, simpler lifestyle me and for my family – to enjoy the little things – but niggling in the background has been the pressure of surviving on one income.

While my family has been handling this massive change well, it is quite challenging at times, particularly as I have always worked (either part-time or full time) since having my children so we have always lived quite comfortably.

Despite enjoying this much needed slower lifestyle, I have slowly started to put pressure on myself to bring in some sort of extra income – to feel like I am once again contributing to this family in some way; perhaps guilty for pursuing my passions while my husband heads off to work each day, something I’m ever grateful for.

So I am stepping back for a moment to re-centre my focus and take a moment to remind myself of the important things in my life and the positive changes I have made over the past year …

Family comes first. I made the decision to leave work for one very important reason – to spend more time with my family. My girls were crying out for their mum … and I heard that cry and acted on it. My family needed stability and seeing the happiness in my daughters’ faces each day is truly special. The contribution I make to my family may not have a monetary figure but it means so much more than any salary I could ever earn.

It’s ok to say ‘no’. This blog has provided me with so many wonderful  opportunities. It’s easy to feel if I don’t take them up they are going to pass me by and I will be left behind in the process. But that simply isn’t the case. I made a conscious choice to slow down my life for a very important reason and that needs to drive the decisions I continue to make now and into the future.

When I am ready, it will be waiting for me. I have developed some great goals and exciting plans for my blog, but I have come to realise that right now, right this instant, isn’t the best time to implement them. I have a 16-week old baby and, if anything, my life needs to be even more simplified and slowed right down at this moment. There is plenty of time to pick it back up again and to use the knowledge I have learned when I am ready. There is no rush. Slow and steady wins the race. I have great plans and will action them when I feel I can give them the attention they deserve, rather than rush through them half-heartedly right now.

Stop comparing myself to others. It is far too easy to compare myself to others, particularly when it comes to blogging and statistics. It is too easy to wonder how other bloggers gain so much traffic and followers, how they find the time to post so often and create wonderful materials for the readers of their blogs. Instead, I should be celebrating all that I have achieved in the past seven months with a young family, throughout my pregnancy and now with a newborn. I should be proud of the wonderful, engaged community I have built online. I need to reflect on the emails and comments I have received from lovely readers who have taken the time out of their busy days to tell me how much they relate to my posts. That is what it is all about.

I am enough. For now, I am going to keep up my passions, and that is my family and my writing. I am giving all that I can for the moment. What I am doing right now, right at this moment is simply enough.

Have you or are you trying to slow down and simplify your life? What steps are you taking?

21 thoughts on “Slowing down and simplifying my life

  1. Ahh gosh, Erika. Yes, you definitely need to slow down more than ever with a 16 week old. You are spot on when you say there will be more blogging opportunities down the track for you. You are great at what you do and your time will come. I know it is hard to wait though. I’ve been aiming for a simpler life too. My job is incredibly busy at the moment and I’m doing a lot of after hours work. This has meant my blog has had to suffer. It’s just one of those things. I know it won’t be this way forever. Take care, lovely x #teamIBOT

  2. You have a sixteen week old baby. Enough said. I like the idea of ‘slow blogging’. No reason why your attitude to blogging shouldn’t match the attitude you’ve taken on in choosing a slower lifestyle. In fact every reason why you should take that approach and not turn it into work. Good luck.

  3. I didn’t blog till my youngest was about 8 months, and I can only imagine how hard it must be with a newborn. I love that you’ve taken the time to be with your family, and I think that is something that has meaning for so much longer than anything else. Enjoy the baby snuggles. The rest will come at the right time.

    • Blogging with a 10yo, 8yo and now a baby has certainly provided plenty of great content and post ideas 🙂 I absolutely love blogging and it provides me with a perfect creative outlet, I just need to make it fit in with my family and my decision to slow down my lifestyle. Lucky for me, blogging will allow me to do that … I just need to quell all those great ideas I have for a little bit 😉

  4. Trying to stop comparing yourself to others is a hard one, and one I struggle with all the time. I made the decision to walk away from work to spend more time with my family too. A choice that needed to be made but I also struggle at times, thinking I should contribute in other ways. If you figure out how to balance it all and feel ok about it, please let me know!

    • Finding that balance is so very hard, but I know in my heart that I have made the right decision for me and my family and I’m sure you have too! I guess a little but of the ‘old me’ reared up again and I started questioning whether I should be contributing more but deep down inside I know that I do enough 😉

  5. “When I am ready, it will be waiting for me”. This one is such an important principle to grasp. I swear, the moment it clicked with me it was like a huge weight of pressure lifted off my shoulders. I felt like it was OK to take time out to slow down and focus solely on motherhood for a little while. The other stuff will still be there when you are ready x

  6. Oh Erika I’m feeling much the same way, the course has made me feel a bit overwhelmed! But also excited for the future. You’re totally right, there’s no rush, you need to focus on what’s important – your family 🙂

    • Thanks so much for your support. The course has been fantastic and I got so excited and started to come up with some really great ideas and goals for my blog. Then I felt a little overwhelmed because while I’m keen to make a start on them right away, at the same time I have a young family who always comes first, so I think I need to put those ideas on hold for a little while until I am ready.

  7. Erika, this is such a great post. I love that you blogged out loud about this, I totally hear you. How amazing that you have been able to achieve what you have in this year, you write beautifully. Slowing down is a wonderful thing, it gives you time and perspective but also it gives you time to think of great ideas 😉 The hard bit is to balance it all out. I agree stepping back a little is a great way to reset, I’m glad you have found your way back to centre.

  8. Pingback: How I See Time as a Gift Worth Giving | The Simplicity Journey

  9. Oh Erika I can relate to this so much! I also gave up working just over a year ago to spend more time with my family. I have recently taken up blogging and am also heavily involved in some great voluntary projects.
    It is such a world of opportunity out there – it would be so easy to fall back into old habits and run round as a made slave to my to-do list. Instead, I have very much adopted your “when I am ready, they will be waiting” approach.
    Remember, its very much okay to be content with where you are at and what you have now.
    When I do have busier times, I make a conscious effort to approach my tasks with a slow mindset – do one thing at a time, remember to pause and breathe.
    I often get the guilts about pursuing my passions while my husbands works so hard to earn our income. However, a quick chat with my husband usual alleviates the guilt.

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