So, I took a few days off around the new year to do some thinking and the last couple of days I have tried to ignore the pile of toys in my living room while I tackle the pile of papers on my desk. Christmas as it is now in our life is not what my husband or I are happy with. It´s just stress. I have a huge family with lots of kids and I have 5 siblings and most of them have husbands or wives and then there is my husband´s side of the family as well. After all the presents came in this year I felt overwhelmed. It was too much stuff. Stuff that was loud. Stuff that has become pollution in my home that was meant to be a sign of caring and love. Thankfully, Alex is too young to know any better and I can return some of his ”toys” and get something useful and needed. I´m hoping the family does not take offense to this since I would much rather people return what I give them and get something they want or need rather than keep something that they really didn´t need or want in the first place. My older boys on the other hand want to play with their new toys of course. I understand that. I have such a hard time getting rid of their toys too. But the flimsy plastic toys are taking over and are against all I want for my family and they don´t play with them most of the time because they get lost in the mountain of toys just taking up space that I don´t have available. There are enough cancer causing chemicals in their life, adding cheap plastic toys to their life where the chemicals leach through their skin doesn’t help. I´m trying to live a simpler life with less stuff. I’m not saying that my children shouldn’t have toys. I love the toys that are well made and something that even their children or grandchildren could play with. Like Playmobil or legos are the plastic toys I´m OK with. They are developmental and help them use their imagination and work through some of their day to day issues. I also love wooden toys like Thomas and friends wooden trains and tracks and art supplies. My boys have their plastic trucks that they play with in the dirt. I don´t mind them as long as they stay out in the dirt pit and they don´t need any more of them until something brakes and needs to be replaced.
After having kids myself I am a firm believer in asking the parent first before giving a gift. Ask what the child needs. I remember getting sheets for my bed for Christmas, socks and sweaters. things I needed not just toys. Yes toys are fun and you want to be the fun maker but how about giving a ticket to the local aquarium or zoo or a children´s play and then take the child. That memory would be much better than any cheep flimsy toy and the parent would love it too.
I only have a 3 bedroom home for a 5 person household. That should be no problem but it is when there is a constant flow if things coming in but little going out. I´m restarting my 52 week challenge with my first post being on Monday about organizing papers to get ready for tax season.Wish me luck!
As I finish writing this I my heart is warm as I hear Magni play with the Playmobil that Santa gave him and his brother this Christmas. I hear him grow developmentally and not be overwhelmed with sounds or violent characters as I have managed to keep their bedroom clean of that stuff. My living room on the other hand has been overtaken as you could see on Monday´s post.
Magni´s birthday is on the first Saturday of next month and sadly I think toward it with a mix of anxiety and joy. The anxiety of having to find space for more stuff but the love that family and friends will be here to celebrate his 3rd birthday.
As I try to do what I believe is best for my family I believe that I will offend some people. I´m sorry about that. I do have very understanding mother in law that is willing to take some of the toys to her house.
What is the hardest thing for you to keep control over at your house?