The Bundle and I were playing with her toys, it consisted mostly of me admiring how she talks to her dolls, and rocks them and lays them down on a pillow for night-night. While I was sitting there on the floor, I looked around, and I saw all the toys spread out, and saw that she had a total of four dolls. Four. That struck me, I dont’ know what the avarage amount of dolls a not-quite-two-year old has, but four seemed like a lot.
My first thought was, “Wow, we have so many toys, I may need to get rid of some,” but then it got me thinking. Why do we accumulate so much stuff? People pay hundreds of dollars a month for a storage unit to hold all their junk and most of the time, it’s stuff they haven’t and will not use in years. I’m not innocent either, you can find me almost every weekend scouring yard sales for stuff I don’t even need.
Why does society make us believe that we have to buy, buy, buy? That your children need 15 pairs of shoes (I think The Bundle is getting close to that number), that you should buy them a new toy every trip to the store? No wonder kids are spoiled! No wonder they think they deserve to have anything and everything they want. We are making them that way!
As a young girl, living in Mexico, I remember my brother and I got only one gift at Christmas, or if we were lucky, two (which was usually underwear, socks or another clothing item). We never questioned it, it was just the way it was. Our grandparents were not expected to buy us anything. I have 25+ cousins on one side, my grandparents would have gone broke. Looking back, those Christmases are the fondest I remember, the best ones.
I want my children to appreciate what they have, to realize that material things do not make you happy. I want them to grow up living in simplicity. To do that, we, as parents, need to change ourselves first. I hope we can accomplish that, I hope we have the dicipline to go against the grain.