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Old 11-26-2011, 08:46 PM   #11
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Re: Does anyone feel guilty?

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Well I don't have the guilt because I think it is a huge disservice to children to buy them everything they want. I have the same mindset as your husband but I can understand why you would feel guilty. I think the more the years go by the easier it will be. Teaching kids that they do not need to spend every cent they have is a lesson that it seems many kids don't get and I think you are doing a great thing for you kids by buying less and spending more quality time.
Definitely this. OP, have you read Simplicity Parenting? It may help you understand why it it not desirable to give kids a lot of stuff.

But I do have the inner battle of "oh, DD would love this!" all the time. I have to really check myself to make sure I don't overwhelm her with stuff.

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Old 11-26-2011, 08:55 PM   #12
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Re: Does anyone feel guilty?

I know the feeling- I SO want to see my kids faces light up on Christmas day... my first few years as a mom, I over did it big time- I didn't spend a lot, but between thrift stores and deals, one year they had 10-15 things each and they were SO overloaded! Add to that the things my mom and dad got them and my siblings (we open gifts together at my mom and dad's house Christmas morning) and YIKES!

This year we stuck to a theme for our kids- the girls are each getting things for their American Girl collection - most all bought 2nd hand- for way less than new- I have more that I have decided to save for their birthdays to make it less overwhelming (ie. I bought "lot" on Craigslist- two twin strollers, two infant seats, and the wagon- sold one stroller, and saving the other for my youngest's birthday in May)-

I am packaging it up in two packages each- my youngest will get the twins in one package, then the wagon filled with clothes and accessories in another, my middle dd, will get one of Samantha's chairs, the Hanukkah set, and two books in one package, and a doll carry bag I made full of clothes and accessories.

My son is getting a large Lego set, and a Wii game.

Stockings have a variety of things I picked up at a toy warehouse sale- like small science kits, a cap gun for my son (his broke), etc.

My mom got my older two 1 gift each- my son is getting a DS we found on craigslist for $50 and a game, my middle daughter is getting Marie-Grace from American Girl (they had a sale on them 25% off). My youngest is getting 3 things- a cash register, a set of Littlest Petshops, and a baby carriage for her Zhu Zhu pets.

I know the kids are going to LOVE their gifts and not be overwhelmed by the "number"... a few things they really want, vs. 10-15 things plus another 5-7- piles to much to even take in.

If you got them the ONE thing on their list (I ask my kids off and on starting in October if they could only have ONE thing what would it be), then that really is all they will remember-
I remember the following items:
My Cabbage Patch Doll
My 10 speed bike
My guitar
And the Barbie McDonalds that my Grandma got my sister and I when we were at her house for Christmas-

All things I'd asked for FOREVER and they stand out in my mind as the BEST Christmas years... I know I got other things, and I could list a few more, but those are the things that I won't forget the feeling of finding what I REALLY wanted.
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Old 11-27-2011, 01:23 PM   #13
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Re: Does anyone feel guilty?

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I don't feel guilty at all. My Christmases as a child were huge, like fill the entire room with so many toys you couldn't walk in it type huge. My mom was never there though, so she overcompensated with presents. I would rather give my children my presence than presents.
that is how my christmas were as a kid, and i never really enjoyed most of the things that i got. my mom just paid off one credit card with 15,000 balance on it, from my brother me and a little bit of my next younger sister on it. i dont want to be like that. im only buying ds a limited number of toys(i got a mr potato head, a new truck, and 3 board books), trainers, and then clothes to make it through the winter(i plan ahead for growth spurts). the only other thing i might buy is shoes, but at this point i may just skip that since he can wear his boots in the winter and slippers indoors. also, i donate any neglected toys and play clothes to our local womens shelter for the children who otherwise have nothing.
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Old 11-27-2011, 01:38 PM   #14
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Re: Does anyone feel guilty?

We started doing three gifts for each child which worked really well for us.
1. Something they need (usually clothing)
2. Something they want (toy)
3. Something to help them grow (book)

However, I am feeling guilty about Santa presents. I remember the feeling of running downstairs to find my stocking. I am still trying to figure out how to handle that this year. I want there to be just enough fun without adding too much stuff.
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Old 11-27-2011, 02:06 PM   #15
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Re: Does anyone feel guilty?

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I don't feel guilty at all. I feel good that I am teaching him not to buy into consumerism which destroys our Earth and exploits humans who are less fortunate for cheap labor. My family gets him a ton of stuff, and I feel guilty that they get him so much!
Yeah, that!
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Old 11-27-2011, 02:18 PM   #16
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Re: Does anyone feel guilty?

I don't feel guilty. I've seen kids on Christmas who got tons of stuff and felt entitled to it. It was horrible! My husband and I vowed to never do that! DS is allowed to ask Santa for one thing and then we will get him a few more small things he might want. I'm not sure what small things I will get for his stocking yet, but I usually get a new toothbrush every year. We always end up crunched for money around Christmas-- happens every year. We make sure he gets that one thing he really wants. This year it was a scooter-- he's asking Santa for it. So for his extra presents he'll be getting a helmet and pads and possibly a new Lego kit(he loves Legos!) I was thinking of getting him a gift certificate from a used book store and let him pick out some new books for himself. And probably a few candy canes or something.
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Old 11-27-2011, 08:05 PM   #17
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I feel a little bit of guilt, mostly because ODS doesn't have the same stuff other 10 yo boys have.

I was over-indulged as a child & while I didn't mis-treat my stuff, it became expected. Fast forward until ODS was born. I spoiled him a great deal. After all it was mostly he & I. The hubs was gone due to the Army & I would buy ODS little toys or movies at least once a week. Christmas was full of that over-indulgence I felt was due to him. After all, his dad was gone, our family is super far away & he has so many medical issues. Well, I did spoil him as in the whole spoiled rotten ungrateful thing. He just doesn't appreciate anything given to him. Everything is disposable. My mom bought him several thousand dollars worth of Playmobil toys. These were to be passed down to my other kids. Well, Ky trashed them all. The last straw was when he broke the netbook & DSi XL that we got him for Christmas last year. They were ruined by April. His only gift for his 10th B-day was a $15 remote helicopter & it was broken before the end of the month. Anyhoo, whole point of this huge ramble ~ I did this to my ODS. I won't do it to MDS & YDS. I am also attempting to fix what I did to ODS. He will be getting 5 items or less from his father & I for Christmas.
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Old 11-28-2011, 03:02 PM   #18
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Re: Does anyone feel guilty?

I am so thankful that my boys are both too young to really understand the whole idea of getting presents. I can still be cheap My one year old is getting a couple boxes of the toddler cereal bars that he loves and a package of forks and spoons. My 3 year old is getting a coloring book and a fun cup with a twirly straw. DH might buy them each something small, but that will be it from us. They get sooooo much from grandmas, cousins, aunts, and uncles that I refuse to buy them anything more. Eventually they will understand about who presents come from, so then we will probably start buying them more, but for now I can get away with little stuff. I agree with the others who stated that buying tons of presents is actually a disservice for your child. I never want my kids to think they "deserve" to get a bunch of gifts. If someone buys them something, I want them to appreciate it and realize that that person did not HAVE to give it to them.
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Old 11-29-2011, 09:24 PM   #19
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Re: Does anyone feel guilty?

Thanks for your insight ladies. I was also having some serious mama guilt. Hearing you all and your reasoning definately helps me out with that! My kids have far too much as it is, and very generous family members, so we really don't need to buy them much.

This year is very DIY. ODD is getting an american girl bunk bed, middle DD a play kitchen (from a recycled entertainment center) and our baby boy is getting a workbench- all built by us
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Old 11-30-2011, 01:35 AM   #20
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Re: Does anyone feel guilty?

I am definitely in favor of less toys, but this year I am feeling kind of guilty. DD will be turning three, and we've never done the whole Christmas/birthday with toys thing. Now that she's old enough to see what's going on around her, I feel a little twinge. She has very few toys as it is. Her birthday is on the 22nd! Should we combine them both or split the presents? She'll be getting three or four things, Lego's, extra Magic Marker paper, a Magnadoodle, and I think a babydoll. I'd love to get her some books as well. The stockings will be stuffed with oranges, and little cookies, maybe something else. This feels like our first Christmas/Birthday with her!
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