Why the parenting world lost its mind over Kondo’s title.

Certain pieces of News come to me first via group chat. A tip a Washington Post reporter gleaned from attending a webinar with Marie Kondo and Posted last weekwas one of those.

Kondo, who was promoting her latest book, Kurashi Marie Kondo at Home: How to Organize Your Space and Achieve Your Perfect LifeShe admitted that since giving birth to her third child in 2021, she has “kind of given up” on achieving total cleanliness in her home. “My house is messy, but how I spend my time is the right way for me at this time in my life,” she said through a translator, likely not expecting her words to set the online parenting world on fire.

Well, they did. The fellow mom who sent the link in my group chat quipped, “Least surprising headline in history.” Tens of thousands of parents participated Similar feelings. After director Sarah Polley joked on Twitter, “Where is the official apology for those of us who I influenced to turn our clothes into little envelopes while we had three kids!” she I apologize She herself, after the backlash of the backlash, sided with Kondo’s defenders pointing That no one “makes” anyone do anything.

But I guess the parents who feel a sense of gloating over Kondo’s confession aren’t really angry at her. Kondo fell into a classic trap: She gave out parenting advice when her kids were too young to make a real impact. I, too, committed the cardinal sin of writing about parenting concepts when my child was too young to have a say. (I developed mine around age 3. Your mileage may vary.) Some of my intentions from that time period stuck: I still don’t Pretend to play with her. But This piece I wrote is about gameplay limitations, when she had just celebrated her first birthday, and you were convinced that the things you got her—a bunch of adorable and expensive Waldorf-ish items from Bella Luna Toys—would teach her to want quite a few wooden and canvas toys? This was just foolishness. My friends who have older kids love to pet her now and then, and enjoy a little friendliness.”I told you so. “

What parents of older children know is that there is not one person in the family home who can control how things go arranged.

In a twist that won’t shock many of you, at six years old, my daughter actively hates this kind of “boring sing-along for parents,” as she calls the wooden toys we still keep. If you could import Walmart’s toy aisle into our home wholesale, you would. in Kurachi at homeKondo describes the plastic objects as exuding the essence of it all “clattering”. This is clearly not to Kondo’s taste, and neither is it to my liking. But that “buzzing noise” is exactly what my daughter loves. She’s in school now, and she knows what’s out there. If a company makes something small and markets it to kids, they want it. Not only does she want it, but she won’t give it up once she has it; You will see in her abandonment a tragedy, an insult, a source of great and weeping grief. Not only do we not “sort” together, she has a serious condition The horror of the voidactively And– Tidying up, arranging her bedroom floor so that it is a sea of ​​used coloring books, vending machine trinkets, and dusty items. She told me that a mosaic like this makes her feel safer at night, when she has her “fear.”

Kurachi at home It has two inside pictures of baby things, both in Paige is sad Instagram friendly color palettes. The advice in the book to teach children the habit of tidying up – as in Blog post on Konmari.com It appears to have been produced when the Kondo kids were about two years old, a baby, not yet born (to judge by the pictures) — familiar to me from the days of my toddler idealism: parents should make tidying up a habit and donate toys if there seems to be too much Gain children’s cooperation by saying things like “We bought this new toy, but look, there’s nowhere to put it. We’ll have to give away one of the old toys, which you don’t play with anymore, to make room.” It’s been years since I’ve experienced this scenario, but I seem to remember “I don’t want some other kids to have my toy” coming towards me at high decibels. And no, it doesn’t matter if she plays with it anymore or not! You bring logic to a knife fight. Arrangement, as Kondo knows—and likely learns more every day—is mostly emotional. For children, those feelings take over.

What parents of older children know is that there is not a single person in the family home who can control how things are arranged. If some moms feel a degree of satisfaction when they hear about Kondo’s new life, it’s because implementing a piece of advice arranged like Kondo—or any other idea that requires supporting a resistant child—you decide if it’s so important to you that you’re going to fight for it every day, and devise strategies Endless gentle manipulation to make it happen, or just give in and do it yourself. All three options are exhausting! And yes, it does make you feel bad about yourself when you get tips on social media suggesting that you haven’t been persistent or persistent or persuasive enough to live an untidy life, and honestly it just seems really convenient.

This year, I finally unfollowed a parenting influencer on Instagram, a stay-at-home Montessori mom with a gorgeous house and five sometimes homeschooled kids who never seem to want to sleep on top of a stack of broken Kinder Egg prizes and Uno solo cards parted long for their groups. “I hate myself for wanting it so much,” my daughter exclaimed recently when we were in the midst of a fight over whether she should be able to purchase another Disney Princess Bracelet Activity Surprise toy set at CVS. This feeling coming from her did not rejoice in me. And so, like Marie Kondo, I gave up. Colleagues with older children told me that this too would pass. I hope they are right.

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