LadyNerd. Mom of 3. Trying to live with less stuff, less clothes, and more intention. Lots of God's grace, Instagram, waffles and dry shampoo.
Shawna is a stay at home mom of three living in small town British Columbia. Her friends know her as their nerdy girlfriend who eats too many waffles and always has a reno on the go. You may know her as the mom seeking simpler living, simpler style and simpler wellness. You can find her at Simple on Purpose writing openly and honestly about her momfails, God's grace, dry shampoo, marriage and how her family is seeking a life with less stuff and less stress.
I remember watching a friend parent her five-year-old boy. I didn't have kids yet, but I saw how he would push the limits and anger her. I was so impressed that she kept her calm and always welcomed him into her arms for a hug and moved on with a good attitude. I knew I wanted to be a parent like that. Forgiving and moving on, like I meant it.
It is like a marriage. You will fall in and out of love from time to time but you stay devoted to them. You will have periods where you don't talk much, or talk enough. You will lose yourself, you will lose touch. But true friends don't drift away during those lulls. In true friendships you let resentments melt, and find ways to show kindness, you help each other find your path again. Most importantly, you make a time and space to hang out with them for the purpose of simply hanging out with them.
This lie shuts us down, blocks out others, isolates us, shames us and perpetuates those heavy feelings and weight of our already hefty burdens. So don't make another excuse not to call. Pick up the phone, my dear friend. I will listen to your story one more time, and one more time again.
There is a whole science to our habits, how they are triggered, carried out and the reward we get from them. There is a whole scientific method to shifting our habits so they stick and actually support real life changes. Part of that method is to start small with a new habit that you can't say no to.
Being hospitable is more about welcoming others, as they are, to come share your life with you, as it is. It is about opening up your doors, putting out an extra plate, sharing your space and time and relaxing enough to enjoy the company of another person.
Whether it's a simple letter from my husband saying all the things he knows I'd love to hear or a brand new food processor -- thoughtful gifts are ones that say, "You are someone special to me, I have gotten to know you, I want to make your life better with the ability to make beet hummus."
The Christmas you plan is up to you. You decide what foods to make, gifts to buy, which events to add to your calendar. You set the schedule of the holiday. This year don't try and do it all, say no to the OK stuff and yes to the great stuff. Let this be the year you reclaim the holiday, and make it simple, on purpose.
It is a simple notebook I picked up from the local dollarstore-slash-bakery that our small town relies on for local crafting supplies. And donuts....baked fresh each Wednesday. The first year I brought the empty book to the Thanksgiving table it was met with a little hesitation.
What is the original invitation to play? The word "yes." I just need to stop saying no. So when my kids grab at the bag of oatmeal, I remind myself to give them a measuring cup and bowl and let them mess up my floor.
We were conditioned to think success means getting good grades, graduating from a good school, always making safe decisions, maintaining a stable job, owning a nice new(ish) house, happily raising happy kids, having an effortless marriage to a passionate caring spouse.
We've had our share of faults and bad habits that we brought into this relationship. We've both done and said things we wish we could take back. And even though we've now found a groove as parents, there were months, years, where all of our existing problems bubbled to the surface under the pressures of having kids.
My kids are now four, three and almost a year. I have three very different kids with three very different entrances into this world. I can say one thing: as the space between birthing babies and parenting kids widens, all of my past disappointments no longer matter. Eventually yours won't either.
Like a good friend are looking forward to guiding her through the hemorrhoid-laden, mood swing-driven, nauseating ball of heartburn, nine months of torture that pregnancy can be. But as months pass, you wait for a sign that she has any pregnancy symptom aside from her perfect beach ball belly and constant gold and pink glow.
Aside from some wonderful mom friends in my real life, I've also found a mom community through Instagram. Turns out it's not just for hipsters at farmers' markets and it is scientifically proven to make your food taste better if you Instagram it! Yay Science!
I know they get a bad rap, but I love selfies. I love seeing my instafriends' adorable mugs as they go on a date with their kiddos; as they react to the little brown present their toddler just left them on the floor; at the end of the day as they cheers with a glass of their signature drink.
There are always more chores, events, crying kids in a day than there are hours, hands and consolation waffles. Over time I'd come to see this doesn't mean I'm failing. It means that we aren't meant to do it all, rather we are meant to make choices about how we spend our time and energies.
So come this past January, our family of five started a mission to live with less (minimalism for rookies). I know it's not for everyone, but it is for us. Our first long drawn-out step is to "remove the excess" of belongings. Since January we have done two toy purges and reduced the kids toys by over half.