Reader Erin asks if minimalism would help while trying to go to nursing school while raising toddlers.
As you already know, minimalism helps everything.
When I was in nursing school, I had only one child and I lived in a town far away from family. So I did not have the usual resource of relatives to help. Even my son’s father lived in a different town.
We rented a studio apartment near campus. We shared a fold-out couch for the first couple years, and later someone gave us a toddler bed. There was a table and three chairs, so we could even have company for dinner. The space was small, so it didn’t take much time to clean it. I had a set of four plate and bowls, so it was impossible for the kitchen to overrun with dirty dishes.
My son had eight outfits, and I did the laundry at a laundry-mat weekly. I had two pair of jeans, a week’s worth of tops and the all-white student nursing outfit.
The first two years, we didn’t have a car and we walked where we needed to go. I had a red Radio Flyer wagon that transported groceries and laundry. I typed papers on free typewriters available at the school.
I was able to get work on campus, both as an English tutor and as a model for the art department, so I scheduled work in between classes. Any free time during the day, I studied.
I took my son to day-care in the morning, walked to school/work, picked him up around 5pm and then we would have dinner and play and read books. After my son went to sleep, I would study for 2-3 hours before going to bed.
I didn’t date, I only went shopping when we needed something and my entire focus was on providing the things my son needed and school.
I had a friend with a son abut the same age as mine, and once a month or so, we would go to Chuck E. Cheese and nurse a beer for a couple hours while the boys played.
It was tough at times, but it has allowed the rich and abundant life I now enjoy…so very much worth it.