on minimalism

a rainbow in my cloudy sky of an apartment

Gwen has been away this week visiting Taylor’s moms and her cousins and I’ve noticed two things since she’s been gone: Nicky has been sleeping in every day and I have been doing half as many loads of laundry as I normally do. I can understand the former; Gwen is a very early riser and tends to wake everyone else up, but the latter??? Does she really wear that many clothes in a week???

I’ve been thinking a lot about laundry lately because it’s a frequent topic of discussion in the Minimalist Moms facebook group I mostly joined for lols (the group is a wild west mess of a place with something like 100,000 members, no post moderation and just a minimalist approach to moderation in general from the modmin team which leads to INCESSANT DRAMA in every post). I’d say a significant percentage of the group wants to minimalize their/their children’s wardrobes but there seems to be a disconnect about clothes washing? Theoretically it’s just a choice between washing more clothes less frequently or washing fewer clothes more frequently but I see a lot of comments asking WHEN will the laundry be DONE??? Tragically… never.

I don’t really consider myself a minimalist because I honestly try to never put myself in a box like that but I do have to admit that:

  • painting my whole apartment the same light grey (with the exception of the white powder room & hallway and the off-white in the kid’s bedrooms)
  • my carefully curated selection of decorative objects that are all white or were something found in nature, artfully arranged on shelves and windowsills
  • my constant donating of bags of clothing and housewares
  • my even more constant decluttering in general
  • living in a multi-family dwelling instead of a SFH and not owning a car, although those are less “choices” than “financial requirements”

… make a bit of a case for it haha. I know for me this all stems from the ten years of my apartment being painted an eclectic variety of bright colours with the playroom mural and kid art everywhere. It was so visually cluttered and just started giving me anxiety. I guess if I HAD to call myself a minimalist I’d say for me it’s really more of an ~aesthetic minimalism~ because I just want a nice-looking (to me!), peaceful environment, which is kind of looked down on for being superficial but seeing as how I’ve changed my space to better serve my mental health it’s really not, you know? I’ve also come to believe that a less visually stimulating space is better for child development so really it’s a business decision as well.

I kind of feel that minimalism can definitely mean different things to different people and subscribing to one set of beliefs about it doesn’t necessarily invalidate another’s set of beliefs about it, something I think some of the facebook minimalist moms should try to understand! The amount of posts that have descended into vicious name-calling because a homeschooling mom-of-seven takes offense to a person who’s chosen to be one-and-done saying they’ve minimalized their carbon footprint by only having one child is NEXT LEVEL and honestly kind of depressing they way people refuse to consider other people’s choices as valid.

Anyway. This post went in a completely different direction than I thought it would, and I’m not sure of my point? I guess this is just what I’ve been thinking about lately, and also… I should probably leave that group.

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