(Article written 14th August 2013, and published September 2013.)
My name is Elle and I’m clutter-phobic. More specifically impending baby clutter (although adult clutter isn’t much better). I am currently 18 weeks pregnant and shops are taunting me with multicoloured plastic, pink blankets, blue onesies and baby animals on everything. I walk into a department store and feel pressured by marketing that targets those of us who are terrified of doing something wrong and destroying our future child.
There are women across the world giving birth, wrapping their child in a nice blanket, unconcerned about the purity of cotton, letting them sleep in a simple wooden box, and cleaning their adorable little bottoms off with water. In contrast UK shops sell bath-hats to stop water getting on my child’s face; a squashy thing to pull the goo from a babies nose; or iPad games – because books aren’t interesting enough for the modern day newborn. When did looking after a baby become so complicated and so much about the stuff you had to buy before you popped or else risk the guilt of the Bad Mother of the Year title?
Currently hubby and I are attempting to clear out the accumulated unneeded stuff; we may have had the best intentions to become asian cooks, or create oil pastel masterpieces, or simply read more, but the truth is we haven’t. We are now a couple in a quaint little rented cottage, with more stuff than we can remember, a puppy enjoying the taste of everything, and a baby on the way. We have been extremely fortunate to have been gifted some of this, and had the money to buy other items, but right now what I would really appreciate is my space back, and a little to accommodate my bouncing bundle of joy.
This is my fight: limit the plastic, the duplicates and the impulse items as I birth and raise our child. You may laugh, scoff and shake your head at my naivety but I have a feeling this yearning for less stuff in our lives is growing. Why not go “vintage” and have reusable nappies? How about perusing Freecycle for secondhand onesies and offering up your extra teddy bear? The clutter monster does not need to win. Clear. Donate. Freecycle. Trust yourself that your baby doesn’t need a department store – they need you.
- Expanding My Writing OutPut: UrbanTimes, Motherhood Diaries & Knowle Parish Magazine (ekmcronin.wordpress.com)
- I’m Not A Minimalist But… (ekmcronin.wordpress.com)