I’m going to be a new mom, and I think that new moms can be minimal. I am twelve weeks pregnant, nearly at the end of the first trimester. And right from the moment I discovered I was pregnant, I knew that I didn’t want to go nuts with maternity clothes and baby paraphernalia. Our homes are already cluttered enough, and adding in all the stuff that’s marketed for babies would just be overwhelming. In fact, a lot of stories I’ve heard of others making the journey into minimalism usually begin with exhausted moms who are tired of picking up after kids and trying to keep the house in order and never feeling as the house is in order. So I vowed, I that would not be me.
I am not going to pretend that I know exactly how to be minimal and be a mom because I’m neither yet minimal or a mom, but there are some things that I am consciously doing so that I don’t get caught up in a wave of all things maternity and pregnancy.
Buy Maternity Clothes in Stages
The one thing I have not done is gone crazy buying new clothes because mine don’t fit. And, even though I’m not exactly showing yet, my clothes do not fit. I was carrying around extra weight before I was pregnant and what I did fit into I grew out of very quickly. Far more quickly than I thought it would. In fact, for a while I was wearing leggings everywhere because I had nothing else to wear.
But, when I did sit down to order some clothes (we are still in lockdown) I settled on four pairs of pants—two leggings, one denim pair and another causal pair. I’m not due till August, so I am definitely going to wearing pants for the majority of my pregnancy. I also only bought two tops, knowing that I could still fit into a few larger fitting tops of my own. And last, I bought one maternity/nursing bra. Because I outgrew my bras quickly too. I wasn’t sure I would like what I was ordering, so I decided to only get one and see how it went. This is one way new mom can be minimal; don’t go nuts buying maternity clothes. By the end of the pregnancy, we’ll never want to see those maternity tops again.
I know that later I will likely need a couple more tops, and possibly even shorts come June and July. But I decided to err on the side of less is more because I am not really going anywhere, and also because what on earth am I going to with a pile of maternity clothes once the baby is born?
Shopping for Baby Later Rather than Sooner
At three months pregnant, I’ve known I’m expecting since practically the day I got pregnant. But I have not started baby shopping yet. Instead, I am making a list of must have and would like items. Must have would be things like a car seat, crib etc and would like would be things like particular outfits or bedding. This way, I’m buying intentionally and consciously and really thinking about what we need as opposed to buying on impulse or in uncertainty. New moms can be minimal by really consciously thinking about what they need, and not just getting sucked into the marketing pushing baby items at you. Let’s dive into my list!
Must haves for me are: crib, car seat, stroller, breast pump, bottles (as I intend to feed formula as well as breast milk) nipples, bottle cleaning equipment, formula, nursing pillow, infant tub, booties, mittens, onesies, bibs, pacifiers, diaper bag, blanket, bouncer seat.
See how long that list got? It all adds up fast.
Would like items for me would be: baby sling, change table, cute outfits (though I’m not saying I won’t buy one or two) cute or matching crib bedding complete with crib skirt, baby monitor (I live in an apartment, so I don’t think I’ll need one, but I am not going to pretend this wouldn’t be nice to have either) diapers purchased in bulk for various ages, hooded towels (I think regular towels will do just fine), baby hangers for the closet, shoes, swing.
Imagine getting all of that (in some cases, in multiples!) on top of everything else. That is a lot of stuff. If I started shopping now and kept on shopping after baby is born, I’d likely have enough to open up my own little store and that is not something I’m interested in. So I’m buying later. It’s more cost efficient because I’m less likely to drop hundreds of dollars in one or two shopping trips than I am if I am spending thirty to eighty dollars every other week. Over the course of seven plus months, that is going to add up fast.
Registering for Your Baby Shower
New moms can be minimal on their baby registry too. Honestly, I may not be able to have the traditional baby shower with friends and family gathered, because Covid. But that doesn’t mean us expectant moms can’t register for things that we need for baby and that make our family and friends aware of the things we need. I am even playing with the idea of adding a line that if they wish to give a gift of cash, it will go towards future purchases for the baby as it grows or even in a savings account.
Some people might think that’s crass, but I personally would give money knowing that it’s being spent on a need or helping to pay a bill than giving an item that may never be used and then ending up in the trash or a donation bin. With both options available, the gift giver can decide what they are most comfortable with. I have heard that Amazon and Wal-mart are good places to register for your baby, and there are few others I am looking into as well before I make up my mind.
Why New moms Should Be Minimal
I’ve already touched on this a little, you likely don’t want your home turned into a dumping ground of toys, piles of clothes that are never put away and plastic bibs and cups that just don’t fit into the kitchen cupboards. Managing stuff (by that, I mean the things we own, clothes, decor, jewellery, dishes, cutlery etc) takes up a lot of time and room, and it does have a mental toll on our minds and therefore, on our bodies. And as I’ve said before, I have enough stuff already and am looking to minimize. Having a baby doesn’t change that lifestyle goal for me. So not bringing in an entire baby department into my home (or the home of any mom to be) ought be a priority.
Yes, we want cute things for my baby. But that doesn’t mean we need every bouncer and rocker and snuggle sack on the market. Babies outgrow things in a blink of an eye and then you’re stuck with something you and your little one doesn’t need. You can’t always sell items on mom groups either because some people want a new item (say a crib for example) for safety reasons. Others just won’t sell. These are all very good reasons why we should be minimal as moms: we don’t need to manage more stuff, it’s more cost effective to get less, it’s wasteful to have more than you need, and it’s stressful to constantly be picking up and putting away.
Are you thinking of minimizing as a mom? What are your thoughts about living minimally with young children? Share in the comments below.