Capsule wardrobe. Minimalism. Curated home. These aren’t “new” concepts, but thanks to Instagram and fashion bloggers they are currently trending. After the birth of my son, I knew I needed to downsize my closet and my life. I had an outfit (and throw pillow) for every occasion, but with burp clothes, teething toys, tiny socks and bouncing saucers taking over, we just didn’t have room for my ever-growing collection of things. Like any good millennial, I took to Instagram to see how others were doing more with less. I found inspiration to stop the buying craziness and focus on my passions. Inspiration is great…but putting it into action?
It seemed like a simple idea. Stop buying things I don’t absolutely need and start giving away stuff I don’t use regularly. But, as a new stay-at-home-mom, I found that shopping or changing my clothes/décor/kitchen utensils gave me a purpose. It made me feel more like me—the old me. How could I go to Target and not grab that slouchy tee or a cute pair of sandals? Didn’t I deserve it for all the sleepless nights and spit-up covered days? I’m ashamed to even type this, but I regularly spend $200 per shopping trip. As I looked at our Target card statement, I couldn’t help but think, “Is this who I am? Is this all I am?” I was bothered. Bothered by my frivolous spending and bothered that to fill a void or connect with my pre-mama self I was buying more stuff we didn’t have space for and I didn’t need. I knew in my heart that these material gains weren’t getting me any closer to the inspired, passionate, Godly woman I wanted to be, but I wasn’t sure what to do.
I decided that for July, I would give up shopping for clothing and makeup/skincare. I’m the only one who shops for my son and husband, so I still had to buy items for them, but I eliminated shopping for myself. I even went to Target twice during this time and managed to only buy necessities. I wasn’t without flaws, or purchases (darn you Amazon Prime), but I gave myself some grace and mostly, stuck to the plan.
Like I said, I wasn’t perfect, and as I reflected, I noticed that I increased my purchasing in two pronounced areas: food and reading material. I subscribed to 2 magazines and bought 3 books during this time. I also made more trips to our local meat and farmers market. What I came to see was by buying interesting produce and ingredients and making a fantastic meal or learning more about parenting skills through reading I felt inspired. It left me feeling energized and motivated, something shopping for clothes never did. The initial euphoria of buying something new is great, but usually, I was left bored and uninspired soon after it arrived in my closet—that original feeling of glee long gone.
I’m still trying to figure out my passion, and I find myself envious of mamas on the gram with a creative side-hustle. I see you photographers, stylists, beauty product sellers, eyelash gurus, etc. and I hope I’ll find my niche and join you soon. Until then, I know that when I focus on the simple pleasures and steer clear of unnecessary purchases I feel more fulfilled. God is working in me, and I’m trying to put down my phone and credit card long enough to see His plan and find my true passion.