Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Wondering

Is there something wrong with me if the thought of spending $65 on a pair of sneakers for my 2 year old son makes me gag?

Today I was browsing the old baby board where I used to spend my time (pre-blogging) and there was a discussion about shoes. A mother was trying to find some Mary Jane type sneakers (I know, Mary Jane sneakers? Weird) for her daughter. Other moms piped in and posted links for her. These shoes were all in the $45 to $70 range. To me, that is at least $20 too much to be spending on shoes for a toddler.

Thing is, these are moms that do not have a ton of extra income. And they seem to be fairly down-to-earth, thoughtful people. So I just wonder--why are they willing to spend that kind of money, when I am not?

Isaac does not own a pair of shoes that were not purchased at Target or Land's End. In fact, all of his clothes are either hand-me-downs from my sister, gifts, or purchased at Target. It would never occur to me to spend more than, say, $20 on a single item of clothing for him, and more often, I spend less than $10. He has one pair of sneakers, one pair of loafers, and two pairs of sandals.

It seems to me that a lot of moms I know are a lot more "concerned" (for lack of a better word) about their kids than I am. And I don't just mean that they spend more money on them--though they do. Kind of like the school thing--I am just not that worried about it, whereas other Moms are truly desperate. I don't care if Isaac and Vivian get dirty. I don't care if another kid knocks them down. I don't care that they get scraped up, or bit by bugs, or get colds from other kids. As long as my husband isn't around, I'm happy to let them play in the playland at McDonald's.

I know this post seems like I'm trolling for compliments. Like, look at me! I'm not materialistic! I don't waste my money on silly things! Honestly, I'm just thinking aloud, and wondering if I need to adjust my parenting "philosophy". I know that I definitely don't focus on my kids the way others do, and usually I'm okay with that. I love my kids--they are everything to me--but in a lot of ways, my parenting style is dictated by what is easiest for me. I put them to bed early because I need a break. I kept Isaac in a crib as long as humanly possibly because I didn't want to deal with him getting up every five seconds. I don't buy them things when we are out shopping because I don't want them to expect it. I put them out in the backyard to play, unsupervised, because I want to blog.

I know that parenting is not easy, and I won't always be able to take the easy, selfish way out. I just wonder if I will be able to do what's difficult, when I need to.

Though I'm still left with this question: if I don't purchase the $65 shoes for my 2 year old, what will happen? And the only answer I can come up with is: nothing.

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