Tuesday, August 12, 2014

fun hating dictator or minimalist mama

There are times that I have a hard time conveying how I feel about certain things.  My need for Natalie to have fewer toys is definitely one of those things.  I have had countless arguments with Brandon about this.  I have tried to explain it to my family, my co-workers, my friends and my in-laws and I come off sounding like a totally insane fun hating dictator.  I swear to the high heavens - that is not at all what I am trying to be!  Natalie has so many people in her life who want to spoil her rotten.  Can you blame them?  She is the greatest little human ever and I absolutely believe that Natalie deserves the world.  I just don't think it needs to be done with material items.  

I recently found an article that so absolutely perfectly sums up my feelings on this.  It was like finding a shiny new penny.  This article so perfectly says what I am feeling in such a nice way that I felt like my heart was literally jumping for joy.  I sent it to Brandon. That went over like a fart in church.  I then had to explain that I was not trying to bring up a topic that is so touchy and ugly, but I was so excited to find an article that makes me feel so validated that I wanted to share it so the topic can become shiny, pretty and understood.  

Ok, so I know I totally over linked to the article just now, but I cannot help it.  It makes me so excited to sound less crazy.  I feel so incredibly validated as a parent and a person.  The article talks about how fewer toys will help children do the following things:

  1. Learn to be more creative and more resourceful.
  2. Learn to be more respectful of their things and take better care of them.
  3. Develop a greater love of reading, writing and art. (Bring on the books!)
  4. Learn better communication skills and social skills.
  5. Experience more of nature and the outdoors.
  6. Live in a cleaner and tidier home.

How does that not sound perfect?  While there are some points in the article that I don't quite agree with, the points above are the ones that I liked.  A day at the park does not require any purchased toys, but creates so many incredible memories.  Last Sunday is total proof of that.  When we took Natalie to Jersey, Brandon's dad took her for a ride on the tractor - memories like that are going to live with her forever.  Story time snuggles are something I live for that don't require toys either.  There has to be a balance.

While I absolutely believe that toys are necessary, I think moderation is key especially now when she is so young.  As Brandon said last night - quality over quantity.  I have no doubt that in a few years when Natalie is playing dress ups, my mom will be over the moon to make Natalie a princess dress or two and my mother in law will be just as excited to be buying tiaras, miniature human high heels and costume jewelry - especially after having two rough and tumble boys - and I want that.  I am beyond excited about that.  It's just hard now to find that balance right now.

I hope all of the people that I have tried to explain my feelings to read this article and understand that I am not a fun hating dictator but rather a mom trying to do the best she can for her daughter.  Isn't that the case for any parent, though?

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