It's My Fault My Kids Have Too Many Toys
I admire minimalists, but it just isn't me
“I’ve got to do something about this toy mess,” I say, stepping gingerly over some toy blocks then sidestepping a pile of stuffed animals. “We have to purge the toy box,” I lament to my husband. He nods in agreement, knowing I’ll do the same thing I always do.
I’ll go through all the toys, pack a handful in a donation box and make excuses about the rest.
“They still play with this.”
“Remember when we bought this for them?”
“Baby will want to play with that soon.”
See, the problem of my kids having too much stuff is actually my problem. And it grows with every Christmas and birthday.
I don’t spend outside our means, but I overdo it on presents at Christmas. For me, it’s not about trying to outdo anyone, I just really enjoy shopping for my kids. I’m thankful to have more disposable income than my parents did when I was a kid. Yet, I feel this pressure to become a minimalist. In the past I saw parents trying to outdo each other in terms of who spent the most on Christmas. Now, I see friends trying to under-do each other as they share who spent the least and is giving the fewest gifts. This pressure plays tug of war with my consumerist tendencies, especially during the holiday shopping season.
Don’t most people worry about how their kids would react to a major toy purge? At our house, it’s me.
I’ve tried to purge and declutter, but I end up keeping almost everything. Sentimental value is one of the top reasons I can’t seem to part with stuff. All my life I’ve struggled to let go of things. Perhaps it’s because we didn’t have a lot of money growing up. I didn’t get everything I wanted all the time, so when I received gifts they meant something. Even if I didn’t like it or use it, I didn’t want to get rid of it.
Not getting rid of things wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t keep adding to the toy pile. My daughter has a lot of interests and there are so many products related to them. Then there are the nostalgia toys, things I wanted as a kid or, worse yet, stuff I think I would have loved as a kid, so I get them for my kids.
I admire minimalists, but it just isn’t me. Instead I’m trying to find a happy medium without letting the toys multiply too much. Now our book collection will probably always be too big!
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