This week I was the mean mom. The super mean mom.
I’ll be the first to admit I’ve spoiled my kiddos a bit. I blame the working mother guilt (it’s real & it’s relentless). I always figured my kids should benefit as much as possible from me being away at the office while they’re practically raised by their nanny. The end result: toys, toys, toys, toys, toys. Everywhere. And anything I won’t buy them, grandma will.
My boys’ room is nothing more than bunk beds surrounded by storage bins and boxes and toy chests ready to burst at the seams. But do all these toys bring joy? No – all they do is turn our weekends into 2-day long fights over who has what and arguments about cleaning their room, complete with the kids throwing themselves on the ground in protest, shrieking empty promises that they’ll clean this afternoon, tomorrow, after a snack….
And I’ve had it! I’ve cleaned and reorganized that room and those toys more times than I can even count. And it makes me crazy. It even makes me yell! I’m sick and tired of having the “clean up your toys” song and dance dominate what should be fun weekends together (we should all be wearing matching outfits & making the crafts I’ve pinned on Pinterest!)
So I warned the kids all week that anything they didn’t pick up would be tossed away. They had all week! I even went into their room and set a timer. I let them know that anything they truly cared about and wanted to keep needed to be picked up.
They called my bluff.
So I threw away their toys. Five 13 gallon trash bags full. (Well, their “nice” father did salvage them from the garbage and hid them under the house in case I have a change of heart someday or they actually can’t sleep without their pillow pets and night vision goggles – but they don’t know that.)
At first they cried, of course. At first I did feel a little bad. But they didn’t protest as much as I expected. And do you know what happened the next day? They played together. With their Legos. They had FUN with their remaining toys rather than just throwing them around the room and fighting over them. They painted. They had a great day. And they didn’t complain once (or actually even seem to notice) the missing toys.
Less really is more!
Now I wonder what I can throw out to make my hubby’s life easier …