Sewing things for my kids...

and not for "work."
Today I took the time (husband is home today) to sew a wool play mat for my girls, ages 3 and 4. As a work-at-home mom, I sometimes feel guilty for not taking time out of "my" sewing time to make things for them. When I finally have time to work in my studio, I like to make the most of it, and I focus more on profit than my kids. That is embarrassing to admit, but I'm sure I'm not alone.
I just signed on as a sponsor over at Clean, and I've been very inspired by the simplicity in Rachel's parenting style. Her kids are being raised without TV or commercialization or plastic toys.
I threw out almost all of our plastic toys the other day, and no one seemed to notice. Today I sat down with F, age 3, to make the wool play mat.
My living room while making a wool play mat with middle child
She played with it all afternoon by herself, and she and her sister played with it all evening together. Unlike most days, she didn't whine for a movie because she was bored: she had her little imaginary world and she was lost in it for hours.
Wool play mat complete
We still have too many toys, but I am going to keep working on it. As I'm sure some of you can relate, we have grandparents who like to buy toys for our kids that we don't need or want. Then the kids see the toys, want them, play with them for a day or two, and forget about them. These are not quality, handcrafted toys; these are mass-produced, McDonald's Happy Meal, (Chinese), plastic, and imagination stifling toys. I don't want them in our lives, but rejecting gifts is hard, and you can only express your desires about gifts so many times before just giving up.
The whole sentiment of "quantity over quality" with regards to food and possessions is just so ridiculous.
So how do I switch to being a toy freak who doesn't let her kids accept gift bags at parties, or presents at Christmas, or candy and toys at Easter? How do I control other peoples' gift giving, without being rude or ungrateful? What about those people who don't listen to your multiple requests?
Sorry this is a little vent on my kids' grandparents--but I could use some advice. I think I need to start with just screening what actually comes into my home.


  1. donate, donate, donate. I think it's fair to let our families know our preferences for what our children play with, but when it comes to refusing gifts from people outside the family, accept graciously, then donate the toys to the thrift store or wherever. It's not worth insulting other parents or well-meaning friends. In my opinion anyway!

  2. Thanks for the responses. Siobhan, I have never received presents from other parents or well-meaning friends that I didn't love and use. I'm talking about weekly amounts of crappy plastic that I am sick of dealing with. I don't have the time, energy, or space to have to weed out toys every week. And I don't want to continue the cycle of plastic, either in the trash or in a thrift store. It wasn't like this when my kids were little, it's gotten worse as they are getting older.