I have been shocked–even while I was pregnant, at how much stuff comes with having a baby. Sofia had her entire first year wardrobe hanging in her closet before she was even born and I hardly bought any of it. Part of this is because she is the first grandbaby on all sides, so years of pent-up Grandmother buying was to blame. Blend that with a modern family (i.e. Sofia has 3 Grandmas, and 3 Great-Grandmas) and voila–we are buried in trinkets and ruffly outfits and stuffed animals.
On the one hand I am so grateful that the people in my life are thinking of us, and I absolutely do appreciate their generosity. On the other hand, the type A anal-retentive side of me is getting stressed out from all this shit closing in on me! It is exhausting to keep tidy and tidiness is needed for me to think straight!
So, my defense mechanism is to organize, which in my world requires equipment, which requires money I don’t really have (God, story of my life!). It is astonishing all the neat structures that are out there for bringing order to children’s toy chaos. I found toy bins and boxes combined with bookshelves! Anal retentive heaven!
My husband and I have lately been fantasizing about moving to Copenhagen because they seem to have their heads on straight. Maternity leave is one full year with full pay, unemployment is four years of full salary, almost everyone rides their bike–most people don’t own a car, and life is much more simple there–too many things are seen as unhealthy. So, in preparation for our fantasy move, we have been trying to streamline and get rid of things that we have not used in the last year. Simultaneously, my in-laws are moving and gave us half a household worth of stuff.
As I write this I think to myself–why didn’t we just say no? The answer is we might use some of the stuff–like the porch swing will probably get plenty of use in the summer, but the rest of the year it will clutter my garage. The garden tools are a similar case. The pantry full of dry goods would be wasteful to throw away and we don’t like to waste.
We try and get rid of stuff on Craigslist, but that is time consuming. I wish I could trade all our useless crap for more time. I will give the universe the 4 boxes of honey grahams that I can’t throw away (that Grandma bought), and in return I should get a three-day weekend. I will gladly trade the 50 stuffed animals for a week off.
If only I ruled the universe…