Kicking Myself

Guys, I really did it this time. I have been so mad at myself the last few weeks…

If you have been here awhile you might remember that one time I said something like, “my kids are spoiled for Christmas and that won’t change any time soon”. Well, I done did it again. Way too spoiled. It was WAY TOO MUCH! Between what they had already, what they got at our house, relatives houses, and my daughter’s birthday shortly after Christmas, I have seriously been taking a hard look in the mirror.

What started as a harmless idea of, “make sure they all have the same number of gifts because heaven forbid one notices” turned into WAY TOO MUCH STUFF! Not only am I upset for the money wasted, but I am also upset that I have let this become a holiday all about materialistic things. Of course their whole love for Christmas is about the thrill of opening presents.

As I had finished wrapping everything, I thought, what is this for? They don’t need all of this. Who is going to manage all of this? Why did I do this to myself? After much reflection I came to the realization that I was unknowingly in competition with other people. Obviously it isn’t their fault and chances are it was not even a thought about competing for them, but how could I compete with families able to give their kids literally everything they ask for? I wanted to be able to do that for my kids. Then that turned into, “well this kid has 5 things, another has 10, and the other has 15.” Knowing my kids like any good parent would, I knew that for some, that number matters. It shouldn’t, but they are young and to them it does. I get it.

So of course what else could I do than to make it even for all of them? 🙈

BIG MISTAKE

What started as a mom trying to do right by her kids turned into a mom going insane over the unmanagable mess and overstimulated kids.

📢📢📢📢LESSON LEARNED!

My daughter had the worst of it. Between Christmas and her birthday, she had so much stuff! Even she would complain and cry when asked to pick things up that it’s “just too much”. I agree, but what do I do, this is people’s hard earned money spent on these things. I hated the idea of giving it all away.

Then I had this idea. I needed to create a manageable “mess”. I figured if there was less to dump out of the toy bins, there is obviously less to manage; to put away. But how do I get there? I had been texting my mom my frustration with the chaos. I told her I had had enough and was willing to get rid of all of it. I told her I was tired of living in squalor and the constant fight with getting my daughter to pick up even one thing. She said, box it all up and hide it. I thought, heck yes, I will do that! She even dared me to do it, knowing my daughter would likely have a serious freak out. I said, I am not scared, I will do it tomorrow! [This was this past Saturday].

I already knew Chris had planned to take the kids to see his family for our typical sunday funday festivities, while I was going to stay home and clean to my souls content. After they left, I decided my daughter’s room needed to be first. I boxed literally everything toy related up and moved it into storage. I figure, this way, when she asks for a certain toy, I will know what things to keep and what things she may not care that much about. I finished her room, went through my youngest’s room, and the living room. I basically kept the things that would fit in our bins, that I knew were played with, and was easy to keep picked up. This left me with 6 cube bins of toys, 2 playhouses, and our play kitchen (which I even went through and condensed it down A LOT). By time I was done, they were on their way back home. I was fully prepared to have my ears full of screams when they got back as they did not know what I was intending to do.

To my surprise, they were all amazed at how the house looked. Then my daughter went upstairs and I thought, “okay this is it, she’s going to lose her mind!” And what do you know, she was so happy! She didn’t even realize at first that all her toys and even her dollhouse were no longer there. Once she did, she was just sort of like, “huh, okay”. I thought at some point the realization is going to set in and we will have to deal with it.

It has been 2 days now. Granted yes, 2 days isn’t much, but…she has not asked for a single toy…not even one.

Today when she was helping cook dinner, I asked her how she felt about not having all her toys. At first she said, “I don’t know” and I asked her, “does it feel good not to have the big mess or do you feel bad that it is all gone?” Once again, to my surprise, she said it felt good to have it cleaned up. I asked her if that meant we should donate her toys to kids who might not have any or what we should do with all of it. She agreed that we should keep a few things and donate the rest. I am seriously shocked at her attitude about this! But, she has even said herself it was too much for her to clean, even before Christmas and her birthday. I just always thought she was trying to get out of doing it. But, to whatever degree it was in her mind, too much for her to manage. She noticed that.

I really need to quit letting what other people do for their families make me feel like I have to compete. I wanted to write this out as a reminder to myself going forward that it’s okay NOT to give in to the materialistic nature of things. THERE IS NO ACTUAL COMPETITION! I have even been contemplating how to go forward with celebrating birthdays so that we don’t aquire more things to manage. I want to be able to do things differently. I don’t want Christmas this year to leave me feeling so guilty and frustrated. There just has to be a better way.

If you are seeing this during the 2-3 months leading up to Christmas, feel free to leave me a comment so that I am reminded to read this. I don’t think I will forget this feeling, but, just incase, having the reminder would be helpful.

6 replies to “Kicking Myself

  1. I used to pack away some of our boys toys and then every 6 months switch them out. It was like getting new toys every 6 months.
    You are correct in that kids love to open gifts on Christmas. Santa would bring two nice, special toys then the other gifts would be things books, pj’s, socks, some card games, board games like checkers, coloring books, sticker books; little things.
    My adult sons would be disappointed if they didn’t get their socks for Christmas from Mom and Dad. Today my adult kids open two gifts each. My grandchildren are given pajamas, what I call a “snack bag”, then everyone gets a cash gift so they can buy something they really want. It’s not the number of gifts but the number of family being together.
    Don’t beat yourself up, you have 11 months to re-think and plan your next holiday.

    P.S. Lists help 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am trying to figure out how to go from “santa brings 10 things” to santa brings a few things. They did get some clothes, which is partially why things got a little crazy. My oldest had requested a lot of YouTuber merch and I realized after it all came in that my daughter’s pile was much less. I knew the older 2 would notice the difference and didn’t want to have tears. But let me say, they have hardly played with any of the toys they got. It’s a bit frustrating. Especially, my son had a meltdown when he thought his cousins got more than him qt our family Christmas. Though, I knew full well he wouldn’t play with anything he even asks for. 🙄 and what do you know, he hasn’t. Not even the video games he asked for. I have tried the rotating of toys before when I only had 2 kiddos, maybe I will try it again and see how it goes.
      P.s. my husband still gets socks from his parents for Christmas, he likes it lol

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Since they are not really playing with the toys they received, at some point, tell them Santa said maybe he brought too much last year so this year he’ll only be bringing 2or 3 things they REALLY want.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I actually was thinking about doing that!! Perhaps they will receive a letter from him 😊
      I hope you had a wonderful holiday season by the way! Thank you for your support!!

      Like

      1. It’s funny you mention letters from Santa. When my grandchildren were little around the middle of November, I would send them letters from Santa, mentioning specific things about each of them Santa was aware of and it worked lol. I typed the letters on Christmas letterhead. Luckily they never noticed the post mark. Good luck.

        I enjoy your posts very much.

        Liked by 1 person

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