Why Bother? With Kids, Less Is More

Why bother?

I ask myself that many times as a parent.

“I could mop the floor … but CeCe will track mud and peanut butter in the house within 15 minutes of cleaning. So – why bother?”

“I could pack this diaper bag in advance. . . but I know I’m going to forget 14 items after we pull out of the driveway anyway. So – why bother?”

Most of my “why bother” moments come during holidays, birthdays and any trip to Babies R Us. Toys are the biggest waste of money and packaging.

Here is why:

Someone buys: Stacking cups
Baby plays with: Tupper-ware and lids

Someone buys: Bathtub toys
Baby plays with: A colander and slotted spoon from the kitchen

Someone buys: Cute matching pajama sets
Baby plays with: Her feet, after she takes off the pajama pants and flings them out of the crib

Some-one buys: Singing, dancing, light-up toys
Baby plays with: A refrigerator magnet advertising last year’s college football schedule

Someone buys: Any toy at all
Baby plays with: The wrapping paper

The new toy is given attention for maybe the first day or two.

But the charm wears off quickly, and we’re left with a toy chest stuffed to the brim, and the baby outside playing with dirt.

So on my next trip to buy diapers, when I see a new stuffed animal that sings, or a Fisher-Price game guaranteeing it will teach my daughter to read before she is 2 years old – I need to seriously ask myself, “Why bother?”

Instead, I’ll hop on CeCe’s idea train that maybe the simple things in life are usually enough.