Big News! And An Honest Chat

Over the past few months, I’ve started (and then abandoned) so many blog posts – posts about minimalism, intentional living, journaling, self-care, and more. Despite my best efforts, I haven’t been able to finish a single one.

Why?

Because what I’ve learned these past few years is I struggle to write when it doesn’t come straight from my heart – if I’m not being open and honest, the words just don’t flow – and the truth is, I’ve been keeping a big secret from you all … but today I’m ready to spill the beans 😉

Big news and an honest chat about what's been going on behind the scenes this year ...… we’re having a baby!

It’s our first and the little one will be joining us in September!!

(Regular readers might remember my last post, when I said: “After months of go go go I felt an intense and instinctive urge to just slow down.” – turns out my body knew about the bub before my brain did, haha!)

I’ve wanted so badly to share the news, not just because I’m horrible at keeping secrets (which I am), but also because it’s hard for me to write about anything when I don’t feel like I’m being authentic and open.

Simply + Fiercely isn’t going to become a mommy blog (not that there’s anything wrong with that) but I know without a doubt that the baby is going to influence and possibly challenge a lot of what I write about. I’ve always believed that minimalism and intentional living are for everyone, so it will be interesting to put my beliefs to the test moving forward.

I know from the many emails I receive that a lot of people are inspired (and often curious) about my life, so I promise to be as open and honest as possible about my fears, challenges, and also joys moving forward – starting with today’s post.

I want to share some of what’s been going on in my mind these past few months. Although I’m obviously talking about pregnancy, I think a lot of the fears and doubts I’ve had are relevant to anyone going through a big life change, so I hope you’ll all find this relatable!

LET’S TALK MINIMALISM

As I’ve already mentioned, I believe minimalism is for everyone.

I don’t subscribe to the idea that minimalism equals owning as few things as possible; instead, I believe it’s about making mindful, intentional choices about what you bring into your life. Generally, this means you own less – but it’s not one size fit all. You own just enough to make your life work for you.

So on that note, I obviously believe you can have kids and be a minimalist – but of course, it’s easy for me to say this without any firsthand experience …

What will happen once I have a family? Will I be able to walk the talk and live up to my own rhetoric?

Deep down, I believe I will, but to be honest I haven’t always felt like a ‘good’ minimalist lately.
I started showing quite early and very quickly found out most of my wardrobe was not very pregnancy friendly. Add to that a nesting instinct … and suddenly I feel like I’m at the shops ALL THE TIME.

My brain knows it’s ok – for the most part, I’m only buying things I genuinely need and I also know a few extra purchases does not undo years of life changes. I’m not going overboard (I haven’t bought a single baby outfit yet!!) and so far everything I’ve bought has added significant value to my life (I’m talking to you smoothie maker and fancy vacuum – I never knew I could love appliances so much!!).

But to be honest, I feel a bit guilty, even though I know I shouldn’t; after all, this is something I actively discourage here on the blog! I know minimalism isn’t about deprivation and if something makes your life easier, then there is no reason to say no or give it up just for the sake of ‘being a minimalist’. But apparently, my brain and emotions aren’t always communicating at the moment!

RELATED POST: 6 Tips to Stop Mindless Shopping

AND WHAT ABOUT INTENTIONAL LIVING?

In additional to minimalism, I’m huge advocate of intentional living, which I define as “asking yourself why you do things – and being happy with the answers.” Again, I believe everyone can practice intentional living … but on a practical level, this looks different for different people.

For example, in recent years I’ve had the freedom to make bold changes whenever I felt my life was out of alignment, like deciding to work part-time or to go travelling. Admittedly, I have this freedom because years ago I made slow and more painful changes, like embracing minimalism and paying off all my debt, but I’d be remiss in not acknowledging that lately, I’ve had it pretty easy.

Now I’m facing a future where, like many of your reading this, I’m going to have more responsibilities – and yet again, I’m wondering if I can walk the talk.

How well will I be able to live true to myself and also take care of another human being?

I know this is something every new mama probably wonders. I’m realistic and I know I’m going to be facing a steep learning curve, but I hope the basics will still apply. My personal mantralisten to your heart, do more of what you love, and let go of all the rest – shouldn’t change, but I expect I’ll need to be even more realistic about my available resources (time, money and energy). Specifically, I think it’s going to be more important than ever that I know my priorities and how to let go.

But as with everything … right now time will tell. I truly believe this type of mindful thinking is so valuable, but I know that sometimes survival mode is the best we can do and that’s ok. (To be honest, that’s how I felt for much of the first trimester; I often struggled to get out of bed!)

FINAL THOUGHTS

This is just a small glimpse of everything going through my mind right now but don’t worry, there is also a lot of joy and excitement as well! There are a lot of question marks but I’m trying hard to be present, enjoy the moment and go along for the ride!

Ultimately, I feel there will be challenges and, of course, compromise but deep down I feel positive about finding balance. Wish me luck 😉

PS: I know these last two posts have been mostly personal updates but stayed tuned for more varied content! I think I’ve got some interesting posts in the pipeline!

So, for you wise mamas out there, what are your thoughts? I’d love to hear any feedback about how you view minimalism as a family, or how you balance being true to yourself with your responsibilities (that one applies to non-mamas too!). Let me know in the comments! xx

Photo credit: me! (and the ultrasound tech!)

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60 thoughts on “Big News! And An Honest Chat”

  1. Omg congrats! That is so exciting. I love how you’re going to continue a minimalistic lifestyle when you have your baby. I think younger kids are so caught up in stuff and technology now, it’ll make a big impact in their long-term life if their parents are minimalist.

    I can’t wait to see how your blog and brand transition!

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  2. Congrats! What a great news! This is a whole new chapter in your life!
    My only advise to give you, as a fellow momma to a three-year old girl is to keep making mindful, intentional choices also about what you really need for a baby. Babies really don’t need that much, and it’s more us freaking out that anything else. I really kept it low with our baby, and there are still enough items that I wouldn’t buy for a second one!
    It is also super smart to only buy things when you really need them! Instead of piling up the house. Our girl first slept in a mini-crib, and then just when you decide to switch to a bigger crib, buy it; and sell your mini-crib. It is also really ok to try if you can do without items first to realise if you really need them or not. We received bottles and a bottlewarmer, and never used them because my baby never wanted a bottle. So buy one, try with one and see if it works or not. Same goes for so many things! We started with one cloth diaper, and after I felt confident we bought a bunch.

    To be honest, the biggest challenge is with given goods, and mostly toys from grand-parents 🙂 I try to be open to them without hurting their feelings. And yes, I’ve sold or donated toys she received and never played with.

    I can’t wait to hear more about your experience, and how you will make it work! Hugs

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  3. Congratulations! That is so exciting.

    I’ve been doing a lot, I mean a whole lot, of thinking about intentional living and asking myself why I do the things I do. I keep asking myself if the things I’m doing serve me and add meaning to my life. I seem to have gotten myself caught up in a constant state of striving. All inspired by the things I love. But still. It’s exhausting.

    Can you tell by my rambling your posts are always so thought provoking? xoxo

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  4. Congratulations again Jen! I was so excited when you first told us and I am so sure you will make an awesome mom! And I can’t wait to hear about this new adventure over time 😀

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  5. I love it that you are so honest here! I totally understand how hard it is to write about something that isn’t totally authentic. My blog has only really developed as I’ve started to see it as a sort of professional, useful-others-diary. Congratulations on the babe! I’m looking forward to witnessing your journey into mama-hood.

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  6. Congrats Jennifer!! That is such wonderful news 🙂 Looking forward to reading more about your life and the new changes coming your way!

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  7. Congrats (again!)

    It’s lovely to hear you’re doing well even as you’re gearing up for the changes that’ll be coming. Looking forward to seeing how you’ll shape minimalism and intentional living to suit this new stage of your life. And I’m sure you’ll be able to keep at it with kids, Jen. I’m cheering you on!

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  8. Oh, how wonderful!! CONGRATULATIONS, and may God bless you and your little growing family!!! My advice? To place it all in God’s capable hands and ask Him for His wisdom to guide you every, single step. He is faithful, and He will see you through and keep your life simple, if you follow His cues. To me, it is the only real path to true peace. Your natural instincts will still be there, even after you become a Mommy. In fact, they will kick into overdrive, and you will be FINE, my friend. Enjoy the miracle that God has chosen you to be a part of making happen! It will be so nice to follow along on your journey! God’s best to you and the little one. 🙂

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  9. Congratulations! On minimalism: I have three children. I gave birth to the first two and the third was adopted from an orphanage (she had been abandoned at 3, obviously from poor circumstances and the orphanage itself was rather poor). Shortly after we got home with our youngest, I went shopping for a niece’s baby shower and went into Baby’s R Us. As I looked around the aisles and aisles of baby gear, it occurred to me that my youngest daughter’s birth parents probably didn’t have anything in that whole store (except some clothes and probably a blanket or two) for their “baby” but yet she survived her baby- and toddlerhood intact (although she was malnourished). Although food isn’t optional, most baby gear is, and generations of children have been raised successfully without it. If it enhances your life, great, but don’t feel like you “need” it–that’s simply a lie. I recommend the documentary “Babies” for more on this subject.

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    • Hi Mary! Thanks for the documentary recommendation – I will definitely check that out. And thank you for sharing your story about your daughter! It’s definitely something I’ve thought about when I’ve travelled, not only about baby stuff but about all stuff in general – there is so much we “need” that that vast majority of people in the world live without. I really appreciate your perspective 🙂

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  10. Huge congratulations to you! So exciting! Our baby girl is 4 months old now. I neglected my blog the whole pregnancy, but I’m interested in it again now. Of course, now I don’t really have the time to blog haha! I would say you really don’t need a lot with a baby. Especially not the first month. Of course, it is hard to know what you *really* need until baby comes as every baby is different and likes different things (e.g even at 4 months we hardly use the stroller, just use a baby wrap to carry her. She never liked her little baby bath but loves being held in the big bath so she can splash around. etc). I’m going to try to do a post on it sometime but feel free to shoot me an email and I’ll give you a longer reply about what I felt we really needed and didn’t need for the first few months.

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    • Hi Joella! I’ve SO, SO wanted to comment on a few of your IG posts (and also your blog post about travel with baby) but I couldn’t because I had to keep mum about the bub haha! That’s definitely one thing I’m noticing – everyone will say how great something is, but then it doesn’t really matter if your baby doesn’t like it, does it? I may take you up on your offer closer to the date if you haven’t written your post yet – I’ll keep an eye out for it 🙂 xx

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  11. congrats! I am so happy for you!..I agree with all you say and appreciate that you strive to be honest and authentic. But most of all, like you said..enjoy the moments and the ride..Life is short and sometimes we try to control everything. We can’t. We can only do out best. Enjoy your soon to be bundle of love and do whatever you want to make yoru family happy..The rest will fall into place..Cheers and Blessings!

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  12. Wow! You’ve got a whole new person growing inside of you! Congratulations!

    Wisdom, hmmmm. The best words of wisdom that I ever got was from three grandmothers who raised, between the three of them, nineteen children.
    1. Sit down and rock your baby…. the dust bunnies and laundry aren’t going anywhere. But, in the blink of an eye, that baby will be grown and your lap will be empty.
    2. Babies and children don’t need much besides your love and time and attention. A place to sleep, food to eat, a few changes of clothes and a car seat and you’re pretty much good to go.
    3. No matter how expensive the toy, babies and young children will shove the toy aside and play with the box it came in instead.
    4. Even if you have ten, no two of your children will be alike. Each will be a unique individual and what works well with one will likely not work with the next one.
    5. Treat your child with the same respect you expect them to give to you.
    6. The baby/child you get will likely not resemble the baby/child of your imagination/dreams. Celebrate the real child in all of her/his uniqueness, mystery and beauty. Don’t try to force him/her into being your dream child.
    7. Doctors don’t live with your baby/child 24/7. You do. You know your baby/child better than anyone else. Wen your instinct/gut is screaming that something is wrong, don’t ignore it. Don’t accept a doctor telling you that there’s nothing wrong when you know that there is. Find another doctor if that one won’t listen. My son would have died at 17 months old if I’d ignored my gut instincts and accepted the diagnosis of an extended case of colic.
    8. You were you before you became a mother. Don’t let motherhood become your whole identity. Example:
    “Hi! I’m Matilda. Richard is my son.”
    Not, “Hi! I’m Richard’s mom!”
    9. You are human. You will make mistakes. It will probably be different set of mistakes than your parents made. Your children will make a different set of mistakes than you do. All parents make mistakes. All parents screw up their kids in some form or fashion. It’s okay. Do your best. That’s all you can do.
    10. Don’t be so serious about doing a good job of raising your children that you forget to enjoy them and life.
    11. Children learn more from your actions than from your words. Make sure what you say and what you do are in alignment.
    12. Pick your battles. Don’t make EVERYTHING a battle. Pick the five or six things that are non-negotiable…..manners, honesty, completing chores, grooming…..whatever yours may be. Other stuff? Negotiable.
    13. Enjoy being a family.

    A baker’s dozen, lol!

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  13. Jen, So so happy for you!!!! Yes it does change things dramatically, but for me, it put a focus in my life that I had been missing. I found it was easier to simplify and easier to set intention because of that focus. After having four kids, the only baby thing I found I needed was a sling to carry the baby in, and that lasted thru the toddler stage. I wish you the very very best on this journey! ❤

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  14. Congrats!

    Parenting doesn’t change who you are, it only brings another facet. When I had my son (14 years ago) I remember looking over the list of things they recommend for parents and thinking we didn’t even use half the things they want you to buy. I was so disappointed, and felt duped. Minimalism is achievable as a parent. My son is even a natural at it (has his own capsule wardrobe, keeps his possessions neat and tidy, only spends money on experiences and things he absolutely loves). It’s going to be great! Looking forward to more posts when you are ready. 🙂

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  15. First of all I want to offer Congratulations! You will be an excellent Mom. You are introspective and intuitive. All great Mom skills. I’m excited for you, it’s another chapter. I just joined your site and I’m happy that I did.? Keep us posted!

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  16. Congratulations, that’s so exciting! Don’t be too hard on yourself, things change all the time and you have to adapt and sometimes buy things 🙂 Best wishes on a healthy pregnancy and baby.

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  17. Congratulations! That’s so exciting! I started my blog as a method of self-care 4 months after I had my daughter. It gave me purpose and and work when I felt like all I was doing was focusing on how different and difficult motherhood was. I’m sure you’ll make an easy and excellent transition into your new role – AND, I have a friend here who lives in a tiny home and practices minimalism to the extreme, and she has an almost one year old and it hasn’t thrown her off track – so it can totally be done! You’re going to rock this! 🙂

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    • Hi Mackenzie! Nice to hear from and so interesting to hear your perspective as a blogger. Even though the bub isn’t here yet, I can definitely imagine where you’re coming from. Even now, it’s nice to have a place where I can feel valued for my thoughts and ideas – separate from what I do on a day to day basis – and I can only imagine this will be more valuable during motherhood!

      Oh – and that’s awesome about your friend! I love hearing stories about different people challenging the status quo and being true to theirselves! Thank you for sharing 🙂 xx

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  18. Jen! This is such awesome and exciting news – congrats to you and the hubby!! You’re going to be an amazing mother with so much wisdom and love to give. I can’t speak to being a mom (yet!) but I know a lot of it will be learning as you go and figuring out what works for both you and baby. You got this!

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  19. Congratulations! Thanks for being so honest about your struggles recently. My husband and I are wanting to add to our family soon, and I’ve been thinking so much about how we could be minimalistic and intentional with a baby in our lives. So I would definitely be interested in hearing how you handle it! Especially since my in laws just had their first and their home has exploded with stuff – kind of scary!!

    Best wishes for you in every area.

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  20. Hello Jennifer,

    I hope I am a wise mama since I have raised three beautiful and intelligent children. The one thing I learned after having my second baby was everything I learned with the first baby was crap! When you have your first baby, you get advice from everyone. Some useful but mostly crap. After the second baby, I learned that I can make intelligent choices and decisions for my child and myself based on how I have been living my life. You will be a wonderful and loving mama as long as you stay true to yourself. No self doubts. You are intelligent and wise beyond your years.

    Reply

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