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Keeping up with the Joneses...

So...I know I'm not the only one. I'm a SAHM of a 13 month old and I absolutely LOVE what I do and don't regret it whatsover. That being said...it's so tough to be friends with moms of babies your age that are able to give their children EVERYTHING! I know that it's just material items, but it's so hard! Being on one income we have to be careful with what we spend, but my child's BIG one year gift was a membership at Gymboree and a ride on toy. A party we went to a month ago they spent well over 1000 on the party and gifts GALORE including a jungle gym, playhouse, smart trike, dollhouse, crazy coupe buggy etc....and this was just from the parents! It's so hard, and although I KNOW that he's small and only one, I can't help but feel guilty that I can't give him all this stuff. Any advice on how to cope with those feelings?

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Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 9:04 PM on Jun. 19, 2011 in General Parenting

Answers (12)
  • Look at it like this, your child will learn the value of a dollar, and appreciate everything he gets. My brother in law and sister in law are very very well off. For their sons 5th birthday, he got a huge jungle gym, had a petting zoo, clowns, magician.... It was insane. Anyways, when we get him things for his birthday or chirstmas, he doesn't even want them. He normally says something like, that's it? Besides, your child knows that you love him, and no material things will make a difference.
    BabyBugsmama

    Answer by BabyBugsmama at 9:08 PM on Jun. 19, 2011

  • I was the oldest of 3 kids (now 6 with 3 adoptees). My mom was single parents in the Air Force. I know she struggled to give us everything we wanted and a lot of the time we did not have the trendiest clothes or brand new things. Was it hard to grow up seeing my friends get things while we went to the thrift store and wore hand-me-downs from moms troops? Yes. But today I am a happy, intelligent, (frugal) woman with a 3 yo of my own. I am this way because my mom taught us that while we were not rich in material things we were filled with the wealth of love. I never doubted that my mom wanted to give us things but I also knew I could talk to her about anything anytime and that is more powerful that walking though the school halls with a new backpack. My mom is my best friend and I would not have changed my childhood or how we lived for anything. Your child knowing that you love them it was matters. I promise.

    LadybugTash

    Answer by LadybugTash at 9:10 PM on Jun. 19, 2011

  • I wouldn't feel bad. He is only one. He won't remeber that stuff anyway. That BIG party that was thrown for the other baby sounds more for the parents. The gift your baby had sounds more appriopiate to be honest don't let it get you down sweetie. Now when he gets to be 10 or 13 then worry lol
    kyheavensmom

    Answer by kyheavensmom at 9:12 PM on Jun. 19, 2011

  • I agree with BabyBugsmama. It's true. Out of all my dd's friends today (kids that got everything handed to them) don't appreciate ANYTHING. In fact, they treat their parents like garbage too. My daughter tells me now...'Mom, I know you&dad couldn't give us everything we wanted and it seemed to hurt at the time but I see what my friends are like now and I'm glad I'm not that way." That's coming from an almost 20yr old. I've seen the same things you have. Insane parties with mega gifts. We could never do that but I just always told myself that....sometimes people are making up for something maybe. ?? and that ...it's material, we are NOT taking any of this junk with us when we go...it will all stay right here still junking up the earth. That's the best I can do...I'm short on time. Love, Love, Love your child with all your heart....that's giving them everything! IMO
    KellyGirl_TX

    Answer by KellyGirl_TX at 9:15 PM on Jun. 19, 2011

  • I worked PT and my kids (now 24 and 20) had/have a great deal, but they also saw their father and me work very, very hard for their entire lives. Both kids know how to work hard and how to save a dollar. IMO, seeing parents walk the walk makes a huge difference in their expectations.

    Sisteract

    Answer by Sisteract at 9:32 PM on Jun. 19, 2011

  • Kids that get everything handed to them don't appreciate anything. They grow up to be spoiled selfish adults and your kids wont be like that at all! My uncle spoils his kids rotten and they are very rude and selfish kids!
    momavanessa

    Answer by momavanessa at 9:56 PM on Jun. 19, 2011

  • I was that mom blowing alot of money on my sons first birthday because at the time I was single and felt I had to make up for the person who was missing. What I realized the only person who will remember it is me. He was too young to know what was going on. Love and attention is all they really need at that age. My son just turnt four, I took him to chuck e cheese spent $40 and he had the time of his life 4 months later still talks about it. I'm expecting my second next month and I guarantee I won't be doing the big birthday bash again
    thelovelymzbre

    Answer by thelovelymzbre at 10:03 PM on Jun. 19, 2011

  • Morals and values not to mention being there for your child (they need you at every age, not just until you have a built-in babysitter of school) is much more than you can give them than the latest video game. When children miss the skills needed in life and it is replaced with material objects, they seek out that love in places that aren't so healthy. Ask the teenage girls that want to get pregnant why they do. They will respond that they want someone to love them. Children must also learn to appreciate what they have. What happens if your child grows up with all kinds of "toys" and can't make it financially as an adult? Then they can't cope because they think that material things are life and they can't achieve it.
    attap5

    Answer by attap5 at 10:15 PM on Jun. 19, 2011

  • My kids have plenty. Good books. Good games. A nice house. Places to play. Crafty stuff to do.

    They may never have a fancy birthday party in their lives. Or maybe one, but not as fancy as you describe. I certainly don't want them throwing away $1000 or more per year on fancy clothes than if they got stuff at Kohls or Penneys or Target. If they want the fancy stuff, they can save up their budget, get a few pieces, wash them more often.

    I think it's good to wait for things, to hope for things, to learn patience and disappointment. I was an only child and spoiled occasionally but not like some kids (few designer clothes, no fancy parties, no fancy vacations, etc). If I was making extra money enough for that fancy stuff, I'd either cut back hours so we'd have more time together or be giving a lot of it away! And hopefully teach them similar. Helping the world, family, those are important. Brand names? Not so much.
    Tracys2

    Answer by Tracys2 at 10:19 PM on Jun. 19, 2011

  • The kids who get everything appreciate nothing. If you really want your child to have something, find it at a second hand shop or on eBay for very low cost. You will be able to treat your son with special gifts; they just might not be new, that's all. He won't know the difference... Parties can be at home and very low cost.  Oriental Trading has party items for every theme very cheap Oriental Trading

    RobotLady

    Answer by RobotLady at 11:47 PM on Jun. 19, 2011

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