I am not sure about you, but I’ve surely found a new sense of appreciation towards owning “things”. The tangible items I now obtain I try by best to savor; knowing they’ll surely break, be colored over or pooped on by two little ones.
Not only do I appreciate my item’s presence more, I now shop with different intentions having my family in-mind.
Before motherhood, it was easily to splurge on items simply for the fact of spending money. I earned it… I wanted it… I would buy it. But, now living in a home with more than just I as its cohabitant, every single purchase has more thought put into it than ever before.
While single, not only could my shopping be considered a minor (ok, a large) addiction, it was an aid to fill voids I never knew I had. Now, it’s not about the quantity of items I own. I find my mind much clearer with less clutter, my bank account fuller without daily spending and my family happier with less time spent shopping.
Whether it’s a shirt that may ruin from baby food stains or a picture frame that will likely smash within the year, I run through my list: Do I need it? Do I want it? Will I use and/or wear it?
I do not mean to sound prude or stingy when I discuss how less frequently I spend money, but I do speak truthfully when I tell you it has significantly gone down compared to before I had children- for many reasons.
I now especially consider how quickly these little humans grow. In turn, I view clothing purchases completely differently. With the ability to access more information regarding the impact of fast-fashion, we all now know that the clothing industry is one of the top pollutants in our lifetime. Don’t forget there are far more seasons than four in retail years. Coming from someone with a Fashion background, it was heartbreaking to wake up to these facts while I essentially supported an industry that was so harsh on our world.
When I first welcomed motherhood as a full time Clothing Buyer, it inspired me to search for options other than fast-fashion trends for my little ones and myself. I searched for the brands that worked with organic fabrics while being ethically and locally produced. It was work all in itself, but well worth the time I put in.
I would (and continue to) hunt for vintage and pre-owned clothing that were still like new. Considering how quickly these children grow, most pre-owned items don’t even have a scratch or stain on them.
Do you remember how many clothing items you received as gifts while pregnant? Now, think about the ones you ended up re-gifting because your baby grew too quickly even to have the chance to wear them.
Now, no one is perfect. I tend to get sucked into those Aritzia sales, too! Of course we will want to indulge once in a while on items we know may not be practical or reasonable in price. We are only human. If we restrict ourselves from everything, what’s left to enjoy? And let’s be real- that Retail Therapy can be pretty darn necessary while we all survive this wacky thing called “parenthood”.
But let’s connect for a minute while I ask you: now that you’ve welcomed motherhood, don’t you too consider more than yourself when you hit that Proceed To Checkout button? Don’t you ponder how the money could be put into savings or perhaps tomorrow’s coffee run? If yes you’re not alone. And, if this is far from what you experience, kudos to you, Momma! Teach me your ways…
This may just very well be a case of the Mom Guilt sneaking its way back into my mind. But, whether it has to do with spending my cash, energy or time on someone other than myself- spending money can too be a bit guilt inducing. It’s not just about me anymore, people.
I keep in mind that by being more selective on purchases, it will help in more ways than one. Not only will I value the items I purchase more, I may also consider purchasing higher quality things- such as food.
There’s nothing worse than watching fresh produce rot in the fridge. Not only will it cause a gnarly smell that I will most definitely resent cleaning, I will consider the environmental toll it takes when each food item goes unused. It causes an incredible amount of emissions for these items to be transferred from farm to grocer then to your home. The amount of labour and machinery it takes to grow these items is quite substantial, as well. This is especially true if we do not purchase locally or organic.
The food industry impacts the world greatly. From packaging to fillers used within products, there are so many unnecessary steps that affect our world. And yes- our families directly. The more we educate ourselves on these facts the more our eyes open to the truth that we must make a change before our children experience first hand even more negative repercussions of our daily choices.
Purchasing quality over quantity in regards to clothing and food are just two simple and frequent habits that I now look at differently as a mother. There are many more such as the vehicles we purchase, the furniture we source and the appliances we buy. If you’re a frequent reader, you now know my view of the importance of keeping things simple. It allows us to make space for our thoughts, our time and our families. It is a value I am constantly reminding myself of because there are other, little influences within my life, now. But, keeping them in mind through all of my purchases reminds me of why I strive for a simpler life. It’s truly to benefit not just mine but theirs as well.
Words by Julian Jamie
Photographed by Mother Muse Studio