Maternal guilt

Christmas is over, and so the maternal guilt has begun. Specifically, I am currently feeling guilty for throwing away toys. I mean, I stand by the decision – the house is finite, and the toys were taking over the world. I’ve ditched almost nothing that arrived this week (almost nothing), and the vast bulk is soft toys that Daisy’s never really played with, or else hasn’t played with for a very long time. If anything, I’ve probably not thrown away enough. But every single decision left me rocking in a corner, in case I was getting rid of the wrong thing.

Seriously, folks: my kids do not need any more soft toys. Possibly ever again. Also, I think we have all the toy tea-sets we’ll ever need, now. I reckon we had the right number of presents under the tree – sadly, we were three sacks away from having finished, at that point.

I sound so ungrateful, don’t I? It’s just that I’ve spent the last five days looking at the pile of Stuff in my living room, and wondering where I’m supposed to put it all. Fighting the urge to wonder why my friends and family hate me so much as to fill my life with all this Stuff, when they all know that I’ve spent the last five years trying to simplify my life – to live the Flylady way.

And of course, I know. It’s not about seeking to make me miserable, it’s about loving my children enough to buy nice things for them. I do get it, really. But then, that leads back to the guilt. Because we cannot possibly keep it all, but it’s me that has to throw things away, knowing that they were bought with love, for someone who isn’t me.

If I had just one wish, I think it would be for less volume. When I was a child, we never got more than one present from one person, and I was taken by surprise by the literal sackloads that some people sent. We only gave the kids one thing each – and with no particular reference to monetary value, either. One present is one present, especially at this age.

I did my bit – I bought a bigger toy cupboard. Now it’s time for someone else to help me out.