I have been thinking back to when we were trying to break the pacifier habit with our toddlers. Many of you can probably relate. Breaking the habit is as hard on the parents, as it is on the kids. Throughout the time you allow your child to use this pacifier you have back-ups stashed all around, one in the diaper bag, in the car, on the changing table and probably a new one in the closet just in case. If one went missing you just grabbed for another, when too many disappeared you’d buy more. We were good at losing pacifies, in fact we once found one several years after all our kids had outgrown them. But when we were determined to NOT buy another, that last pacifier was like gold! It was well cared for and always put in its place. If not we would hunt until it was found.
As the piles of Christmas presents move to the past and the New Year has begun with hopes of cleaning out and getting organized. At the end of January my head is still spinning from all the chaos and all the STUFF that has accumulated in my house. We are drowning in our things, and having too much, like having too many pacifiers, is causing us to be lazy and careless with what we have. Having too much has caused us to lose appreciation for having and getting things.
Too many pencils, markers, clothes and toys you name it. When a Poly Pocket is left on the floor, a threat to throw it away doesn’t pack much punch when it is 1 of 100 Poly pockets that inhabit the house. Nerf bullets disappear during a battle, no one takes time to find any that are not in plain sight. Why take time to look for your shoes if you can just wear another pair. Basketballs and soccer balls sometimes don’t make it home or get brought inside because there are others to use. I can’t tell you the amount of times I have heard, “That’s OK we still have more”, when something gets broken or lost.
I am caught as much as my kids in the laziness of having too much. No hurry to get laundry done there is enough clothes to last another week. When a Sippy cup goes missing, I may not look for it right away and then when it shows up with a special scent and color, I just throw it away.
Then the electronics, we do not have one I-pads per kid, but we do have multiply options as a family. So what happens when the I-pad battery dies? It is put away and plugged in to charge. WRONG! It is left and they move onto another option. Waiting in that location for the next unexpected user to find it with only 1% battery left.
I do not think we are alone in these habits and some of it is just kids being kids. But parents have a part in it too. As parents we want to make our children happy, we want them to be able to have and do things that they love and enjoy. With this good intention I think many times we overdo fulfilling their wants thus they lose the chance to truly appreciate what they are given or already have.
So as we wrap up our season of giving and look at all of that has been added to our bulging tubs and closets, I realize that that we are there, we have TOO MUCH! As we move forward into 2014 instead of opening the sales adds searching for new and bigger storage options, maybe we can get down to having only the things that we truly love and enjoy. Hopefully then keeping this thought in the back of our minds throughout the year. We don’t have to fulfill each request just because the money is in our wallet. Maybe this year if we give less to our kids, we will truly give them more.
I am not saying our resolution is to not give our kids things and everything we own is going to the poor. We have more than we need. I do think it is obvious that if we had less we would care more and it may make life easier around here. We may care enough to be sure things are put in their place, and all things may have a place. Wouldn’t it be easier to put clothes away when the drawers and closets aren’t overflowing? If we could get down to that last pacifier we would create more appreciation for the things we have and hopefully break some bad habits along the way.