It’s taken me a while to write this post, but I’ve been stewing on it for a few weeks now so feel I have to write it out. It started on Christmas day, we had been to my in-laws and were on our way to my family’s house, the kids were asleep in the car and I just felt sick.
Not sick from too much food (although the excess chocolate probably didn’t help) but sick from the shear amount of gifts the kids had received. They were still to get their gifts from ‘Santa’ (as we’d stayed Christmas Eve at my in-laws) and my family, but our car was already overflowing. I was getting anxious about where I would put all these new toys (I have a thing with mess which kids obviously don’t help with), anxious to get home while the kids were still sleeping in the car and hide some of ‘Santa’s gifts’ and anxious about Audrey’s reaction to some of my in-laws presents (kids can’t hide emotions very well and she was disappointed).
My kids are already spoilt rotten, they want for nothing and get new toys regularly. Not to mention the advent calendar in the lead up to Christmas had meant Audrey was now accustom to waking up every morning to a little present from the ‘Elves’.
With their birthdays in Feb and me sitting in the overloaded car scrolling ikea for storage solutions (I went with the trofast), I knew something had to change and it had to start with me. I couldn’t just blame my MIL (although she does go for quantity over quality), I also buy a lot of their toys.
I’ve been following Kaitlyn at Simply Learning for a while, she has an awesome tot school program on her blog and instagram, but she was on my mind this Christmas. I’ve been following her journey to minimalism and her approach for Christmas gift giving. It had resonated with me prior to Christmas and I had cut back on the amount of gifts I bought for the kids and others, but sitting in the car I didn’t feel like I’d done enough.
This is obviously nothing new, minimalism and decluttering was a sweeping craze in 2016. Marie Kondo probably started it with her book and there have been countless articles and blogs about giving up this or that to save money or find ‘happiness’.
To me, following this mindset of minimalism isn’t just about decluttering or reducing the number of things we already have, but showing my kids that what they have is enough and teaching them to appreciate and respect their possessions. It won’t be easy, I am a notorious shopper, and I don’t plan on setting any goals (mainly because I’m not sure how to measure it) it’s more of a change in thinking. Particularly around toys and items for the kids, I find this is a big weakness for me. I’m looking at their toys differently and working on ways we can use the same toys for different uses without buying more or something new to keep them entertained. Perhaps it will lead to something (hopefully me feeling less anxious about our ‘toy shop’ house), we’ll see how it goes. The first big test will be in a few weeks during birthday month!