You guys! I'm so excited to present my good friend, Laura, who has started her own blog, Peace and the Pen. She has graciously offered her writing skills as a guest blogger for The Cozy Den. Her approach to minimalism is inspiring, even though I'm no longer pregnant. Please enjoy the following <3
Step into my house and look around.
There are toys piled in a basket in the corner and books scattered across the floor. Little grains of rice from yesterday’s sensory activity adorn my kitchen table. The laundry is piled in baskets, waiting to be put away. My houseplants are half dead and I don’t own a single succulent.
It’s clear that I can hardly be called a minimalist.
Truthfully, I’ve found that minimalism is a journey, not a destination...and much of it takes place inside your head. Living a minimal life is hard when you’re in charge of the daily functioning of many people, and the result is far from perfect.
I’ve found that minimalism consists of letting go of the things that aren’t beneficial to you and clearing your head of negative thoughts.
Today I’m going to share how I put those theories into place in my pregnancies. Please keep in mind, this is just one approach to applying minimalism to pregnancy. My journey will not work for everyone, but I hope that it inspires you to take some time to truly consider what is beneficial to you and your baby during pregnancy...and what can be tossed away.
SuppliesWhen I arrived at the hospital to deliver my first baby, I was 9.5 cm dilated and only 1 hour away from holding my sweet child. I brought a water bottle and a rosary because those were the only things things that seemed necessary when I realized that my baby wasn’t coming out without a little help.
I have also been known to tie a receiving blanket onto my baby’s bottom in lieu of a diaper and to let my baby sleep on the floor.
That doesn’t mean I’m going to tell you to ditch diapers or toss the crib. In reality, it will take some conversing with your partner--and a bit of trial and error--to figure out what is necessary for you and what you can do without.
I will offer you one piece of encouragement. There WILL be times when you aren’t completely prepared. You will forget the wipes on an outing, or you will run out of diapers at an inconvenient time. Your baby WILL be ok. You are a resourceful momma. You will make do, or you will reach out to a mommy nearby and maybe make a new friend in the process.
That being said, here are a few things that are essential to me during pregnancy and a few things that I’ve learned to do without.
Medical TestingI’ll preface this section by saying that my husband is in the medical profession, and I make a point of discussing medical needs with him during each and every pregnancy. I’m always open to change, depending on what Baby and I need.
That being said, these are the tests we consent to during pregnancy:
Hubby and I decline genetic testing, because an unfavorable test result won’t change how we feel about our baby, and will likely cause extra stress during our pregnancy. Some parents disagree and feel that they’d prefer the extra time to prepare for Baby’s special needs. We understand that thinking, too
We also decline further ultrasounds because they are not medically necessary after 20 weeks in a healthy pregnancy.
Preparing your mind for birth and beyond is just as important--if not more so--than setting up Baby’s nursery.
Here are a few tips to help you get your mind in shape for labor and mothering:
Try clutching an ice cube in your hand for 10 seconds. Breathe through the discomfort. Relax your body. Work up to 30 second intervals.
Try lying down and taking slow, deep breaths. Allow your muscles to relax. Envision a place that feels safe to you. Do this each day, starting in your third trimester (or sooner: Meditation and deep breathing are great for your health).
Try the ice cube exercise with your partner. Lay down and clutch the ice cube in
your hand. Allow your partner to point out the areas where you are holding tension. Make an effort to relax completely. Allow your partner to guide your breathing.
No matter how you approach your pregnancy, I hope you can find peace in the knowledge that you are doing the very best for your baby. In the end, all your baby needs is you.
Share with me…
What things did you use during your first pregnancy that you ditched in subsequent pregnancies?
"I am a freelance writer with a background in homemaking, early childhood education, and toddler wrangling.
When I am not writing, I am reading, relaxing outdoors, or negotiating the terms of nap time.
My writing inspires me and helps me process, celebrate, grieve and grow. I hope it does the same for you."
Mama Bear of one Baby Bear, Bean, who both love Papa Bear, and live in a crafty, gluten-free cozy den.