Wednesday, July 23, 2014

At My Wits' End - A Plea to All You Parents Out There

I'm not shy about giving out parenting advice, whether I know what I'm talking about or not, but right now I am the one in need of some advice. There's one question that has been bugging me for a couple of years now, and I have finally worked up enough gumption to throw it out there. I am hoping there are some other parents who will feel my pain and help me through this troubling situation I have found myself in. It's almost too difficult to put into words, but I'm sure I will feel an overwhelming sense of relief once I do. So, here it goes....

How long do we have to keep all of the projects that our kids bring home?!?!? Our kids bring projects home from school, Sunday school, grandma's house, other people's houses, and I think there must be some secret kid-only project-making workshop they sneak out to when the Wife and I are sleeping. It's crazy how many projects our kids can bring home. And for the most part, it's only the two older kids who are making the projects! The Little One just acts as a pack mule to help get all the projects to our house.

Please, please don't get me wrong. I really am excited that the kids get to be creative and that they are learning new skills and exercising their artistic muscles. I just want to know what the cut-off date is for keeping things. We have two entire walls that are already completely covered in projects and artwork, and piles of the stuff sitting around in our house, car, van, and anywhere else we can set it. I am tired of having to shuffle sideways through the house!

Is it OK to throw some of the older stuff away? Do the kids even remember some of the older things they made, or are their brains incapable of such thoughts? Do we need to set up some kind of storage system so our kids can throw the projects away themselves when we're dead?  This is, by far, the part of parenting that I was least prepared for, and that's saying something, because I barely knew which end of a baby did what when we first started having kids. I am asking for help.

If you have any thoughts on the matter, or an extra large accordion file, or a super-sharp paper shredder we could borrow, please contact me. I am at my wits' end, which some people might say is not all that far from where I normally am... Please help!


  1. Thank you. That has made my day! I can't even reply I'm cracking up so much. One mum I know keeps EVERYTHING filed away, and I have no idea how she does it. I suspect she has a TARDIS hidden in her back yard. I, however, do not. I keep 1 or 2 things that I actually like, or have real meaning (e.g the craft project she did while in hospital when our lives were turned upside down - sentimental, not beautiful, and the picture she drew of the whole family - which was pretty good), but everything else is kept for 1 school term and then it goes. BUT... I never get rid of anything in front of her. She can't remember the pieces, but I if I dare throw something out in front of her, it's suddenly her favourite thing ever!
    My advice - be ruthless, but be stealthy.

    1. Thank you for the advice Sandie! I agree with everything you say, except I have no idea what a TARDIS is. I have had other friends mention it in passing, so I thought it might be something that is associated with the TV show Dr. Who, but the way you talk about it, it might also be a really big shed with lots of storage space for projects of all sizes. I will have to look into that...

  2. We have a glass door that goes out to our three season porch that we use to hang the works of art made by our 3 and 5 year old. They know that for something to go up on the door, something has to go down.
    We also send some of their projects to grandparents, cousins, etc. They enjoy seeing it and they can trash it whenever they want without my girls seeing it's gone.

    1. I am a big fan of your idea to ship it off to other people and have them trash it, Jesse! :) I think we will load up a semi truck and haul it all over to grandmas' & grandpas' houses!