Being a parent in this millennium is terrifying. Everyone is judging you both privately and on social media, whatever you do you will never be good enough, food is poison and if you discipline your kids you should either be exalted or arrested. There are fine lines to everything when it comes to raising tiny humans nowadays and, according to yet another article about how I’m parenting wrong, I offer you best defense.
One morning (like every morning) I was scrolling though Facebook, and I simply could not resist the title of an article a friend had posted. I had a funny feeling I had purchased or had the intention of purchasing every single item on the list. Plus I love when people try to tell me how to parent. It’s like a dare.
My favorite part is “according to real parents!” As opposed to what exactly? Dog parents?
For your enjoyment, I give you the list and my inner most thoughts as a real parent, on the 8 expenses not worth the money:
Number One: Trendy Toys
As I write this, my kids have four fidget spinners, a pair of motorized scooters and every accessory the people at Minecraft and Pokemon have available for purchase.
My favorite line from the article: “If your children want something, wait a month.” A MONTH? That is an eternity in child time which is the method calculated by whining, begging and complaining that occurs within 30 seconds. One of my sons asked me to purchase a game for him on the iPad no less than 17 times while I was on the phone for three minutes. I will be in a psychiatric facility in a month.
The author reminds us that “the best gifts come from the heart,” which is a super easy conversation to have with an eight year-old whose entire class has whatever it is he wants. But, I’ll just give him big hug and tell him it’s way better and I’m sure he’ll thank me for it.
Number Two: Playsets
As in swing sets and other outdoor atrocities that will haunt your yard long after your kids outgrow them. This one I understand however, if I didn’t have swings to push the boys in from the ages of 2 though 4, I don’t think I would have survived parenting. Also, our yard basically goes off a cliff so the one solid piece of flat earth has a play set on it and it was worth every penny my dad and stepmom spent on it.
My favorite line from the article: “As for swing sets, you could go old school and build one yourself, although you should make sure that you know what you’re doing. Just be aware of what you’re getting into.”
In my case it would probably be an emergency room.
Number Three: Computers
I’m really in trouble here. The boys each have an iPad, we have a family iPad and I just recently let them use my old laptop for school related work. How many is that? Do Nintendo DS count as computers? Never mind. I don’t want to know.
My favorite line from the article: “First, consider whether your child actually needs a computer, and make sure that you’ve got the requisite tools to keep your kid safe online.”
Please define the term “need” and YouTube is perfectly safe for second graders to browse, right?
Number Four: Musical Instruments
Yep and yep. We have one guitar and one ukulele but I can honestly say they both love playing and never complain about going to their lessons. It’s also been about six months, but that is way longer than baseball lasted.
My favorite line from the article: “Take the money that you were going to spend on a new, shiny instrument and put it towards lessons; you’ll get much more bang for your buck, and your kid will stand a better chance of becoming a well-rounded musician.”
We did not spend that much money on instruments but lessons cost a fortune. I don’t dare to dream of them becoming “well-rounded musicians” just ok players with positive attitudes will suffice.
Number Five: Expensive Clothes
This one I can agree with. Finally! Oh wait…they have North Face winter coats and a smattering of LL Bean stuff but, in my defense, they have worn those coats for two whole seasons and coats are technically not clothes. As for the LL Bean stuff, I think it’s a law in the northeast to have at least two items per family member at all times.
My favorite line from the article: “Sure, babies look cute in Louis Vuitton, but they’ll grow out of those expensive clothes in a matter of weeks.”
I can honestly say I have never heard someone say “babies look cute in Louis Vuitton.” In fact, I don’t think Louis Vuitton has ever heard that unless he’s talking about the shorties in Las Vegas who wear his bags like they were from Target.
Number Six: Smartphones
Yes! At long last something I have not yet purchased and have no intention of purchasing until they are ready for the responsibility. Which means I have about 15 years and also my husband probably shouldn’t have one either. And 70% of people on social media. And neither should I. Damn you real parents!
My favorite line from the article: “Look on Craigslist for a gently used smartphone, taking care to wipe the storage before handing it over.”
You may want to scan that storage history first to check if the person you bought it from was a rapist or murderer. There’s a lot of that on Craig’s list, right?
Number Seven: Bicycles
Can I justify the bike purchase since I’m such an avid cyclist?
My favorite line from the article: “If you can find them, older bikes are built to last, and they’ll teach your kid some important skills (repairing a flat tire, for instance, or resetting a chain).”
Maybe my kids can teach me how to do those things after they learn.
Number Eight: Big Vacations with Babies
Let’s see, we went to Disney when they were four, Spain and Portugal when they were five and Italy when they just turned seven. I can honestly say Disney was a complete waste. Skip the Magic Kingdom and go to Europe!
My favorite line from the article “…be prepared to spend much of the trip dealing with tantrums, feedings, and general misery.”
Isn’t that every vacation with kids?
All I can say is, do what feels right to you when it comes to parenting and certainly don’t let some Facebook article sway your decisions. You know where you have failed and triumphed and you can use what you know to be true for you and your family. We’re all just trying to do our best out here and every day our children are alive is a win!
Happy Mother’s Day to the women who make it happen every damn day. I can only hope we someday get what we deserve which is Mother’s WEEK in a secluded, non-disclosed location filled with alcohol, massage therapists and food prepared by world renowned chefs. Until then, enjoy your brunch with your kids and call it a victory.
Have you purchased any of these? Do you regret it?
Are you celebrating mother’s day?