Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Have We Lost Sight Of What It Is To Be A Parent?

"We can live without religion and meditation, but we cannot survive without human affection." Dalai Lama

"Ask yourself, what am I doing about my anger, my attachment, my pride, my jealousy? These are the things we should check in our daily lives." Dalai Lama.

I seem to be surrounded by so many mums to be. They are everywhere.

Maybe it's cause I'm wanting to be pregnant myself that I think there are SO many around!

But I've been getting more and more upset with other parents, and parents to be, and myself for even caring and being upset about this.

You see im a bit miffed at people being so caught up in materialistic stuff. Stuff for their kids, stuff for themselves, so much STUFF!

When did having stuff become so important? Let me rephrase, certain expensive and pointless stuff? I know

I will come across as jealous. It's the first thing people will think about this post. But I don't mean it too be. I too know it IS a touch of jealousy. Mostly is is a worry that my daughter, will be like this. Thinking that she too needs this STUFF to get by, be popular, have friends etc.

I see it everyday. Mums with their Bugaboo prams, expensive bags and even flashy luxury cars. Don't get me wrong I love all this too, I sometimes use a Chanel bag for a baby bag, but I don't flaunt it. There is nothing wrong with stuff, but I suppose it's the way it is carried? Like it is such a status thing. There is an arrogance with some people I find intolerable, annoying and even shameful, it's depressing.

Its wonderful if you have worked hard for your stuff, even if you haven't, and want to spoil yourself and others. Why not? Especially if you have a crappy job, and you feel like its punishment for something you must of done many lifetimes ago....I know that feeling all too well.

I want my daughter to not be judged for wearing mostly target or hand me down clothes. Or being pushed around in a $20 Big W stroller or a much more expensive pram. One of my wants is for her to be happy, and too understand that having this STUFF, is not going to make your life any better or worse. I see my little girl and think she is amazing. The best thing I have ever made. I want to protect her from everything, sigh.... I know its impossible.

Its funny, I lived in the poshy posh Eastern suburbs of Sydney, and now living in the Wild Wild West, I see people are much more materialistic out here.....Strange.....

This time of year makes people a little nuts and want to go SO OVER THE TOP. I think everyone needs to take a deep breath, step back and think, will this STUFF really make me or my baby happy? Can we please at the very least, show a little compassion for one another? Or even flash a stranger a big beautiful smile? My daughter does this all the time. She makes so many people happy, even strangers. We need to learn so many things from our children, including the simple things are almost always the best.



13 comments:

  1. Actually a great post Leah!
    I drive a flashy car so to speak (a Mercedes Benz) but people don't realise what I paid for it! I have received many a comment about it but when I tell them they paid more for their Commodre etc... At first they don't believe me! But it's true.
    Perception is a very interesting thing... (BTW I only paid $35k for me car!)
    I have flashy handbags but I never buy ones that are over the top because I don't like to flaunt it.
    I also have a Bugaboo! And very proud to say I bought it 2nd hand off eBay for $450!
    On Bugaboos! What is it with 'the west' in Melb too! It's like a status symbol! I bought it because abi prefers to face me and sit upright so it was what suited our needs.
    My sister also like me resisted the Bugaboo for as long as possible till she saw the benefit of the pram!

    I'm proud to add up the cost of my daughters outfits and for them to total to as little as possible! I love 2nd hand finds of eBay too!

    Now I feel like I'm justifying myself... I'm not! I'm wish you 100% where we are currently living its all new family's and new homes. They don't have cash to splash but do! I can't understand it???

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    1. Thanks Sammie!
      I will never understand the need to have these items, as well as why families want to do this to themselves!

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  2. I recently finished reading a book called "Affluenza" by Clive Hamilton. It really touches on this subject, and makes you realise how foolish it is to lust after 'stuff'. It is so easy to fall into the trap of "keeping up with the jones'". But it is so ugly and relentless. My partner and I have two 2005 model cars - both run perfectly well, but I feel pressured to update the car I drive - because it's not so attractive anymore. We looked at getting a brand-new Jeep Grand Cherokee- but this fancy car (that is quite trendy now....and expensive) doesn't even meet 5-star-safety standards. When I realised this, it forced me to sit back and assess why I wanted the car - and I realised my 'need' was purely status driven...I can only assume that this is the case with alot of others too. So, after this realisation, we have decided to put the handbrake (ha! like that pun) on our car shopping - and the other status-driven consumption...and you no what? We have never been happier!

    Also, a little side-note....like Sammy I often wonder how other families manage to keep buying new stuff. My partner works very hard and earns an amazing salary but we try to live very modestly (except when we get caught up with Jeep purchases haha). So, I asked a couple of friends. One used to work in a bank and she said "honestly Ali, I wonder how they sleep at night - so many people have astronomical amounts of debt going on behind the scenes"...another girlfriend, who works in child-care, said that alot of the outwardly flashy families are actually way behind in their child-care payments, and a couple of the Mums have actually confessed that their home mortgages are interest-only..... so, even though they portray an image of having-it-all, they're actually under alot of financial stress... which is really very sad! I hope this comment doesn't come across as being smug... I genuinely feel very sorry for these people!

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    Replies
    1. It is insane to want all this stuff at such a high cost!

      Credit card debt, massive mortgages! It is a horrible out of control monster. WHY?

      My poor husband loathes his job, and works very hard to support our little family. I would feel like I was betraying him to want these things. Like it was ok, that he has tourtured himself so I could buy a Marc Jacobs nappy bag, just to say I have one. I would rather spend it on something my daughter will benefit from. Or at least makes us all happy!

      Thanks for your comment Ali.

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  3. Leah you are reading my thoughts right?

    Just agree with all of this. 'Stuff' gives me hives. I have a serious donation to Vinnies addiction & am constantly editing my books, clothes, kid's toys.

    DM me so we can meet up one day lady!

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    Replies
    1. Love Vinnies! For buying and donating.
      Will do! Would love to catch up.

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  4. I hate STUFF. Everything needs to have a purpose, a real one. I don't want just fashionable trendy stuff and just because someone else bought it I have to have to have it. I live in a small home and too much stuff causes me stress. I am so thankful I have never ever had to pay one cent of credit card interest! Man do I use and abuse my credit card constantly, but I always have the funds to pay it completely off.
    I feel about anxious about the amount of 'stuff' my mum, grandma to be has purchased this unborn baby of mine. It is too much and I keep telling her.
    I am a HUGE advocator to buying pre-loved. Doesn't faze me one bit. Nearly all my furniture in my house is 2nd hand.

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    1. I love your attitude Laura! This is why we are good friends babe :)

      Honestly I hate clutter too. This is why I have a spare room so I can dump it there, but then deal with it when I have time!

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  5. This post sums up exactly what I've been thinking about X-mas this year - the giving of useless gifts just to "give" someone something makes my head hurt. I've asked for no gifts (again) as I just hate being given stuff that I don't need...it ultimately will end up as landfill. I often suggest to people with kids to buy them a voucher supporting Oxfam (you can buy, for example, a "chicken" that is given to a child in a village in Cambodia). This suggestion often doesn't go down too well as the kids MUST have a present. Sigh (and bah humbug)!

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  6. Isn't that interesting that people are more materialistic out West! I have a friend that lives out West and she does seem quite concerned about money and what other people have. I thought it was a one off but sounds like it isn't.

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    1. No not at all, seems to be the norm out here! Thanks for your comment Lorraine :D

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  7. I seriously get too overwhelmed that there is so much STUFF out there that I cannot go into shopping centres anymore. It's crazy, we just consume SO much. It's horrifying. Great post, I completely agree!!!!!
    Heidi xo

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  8. True! A scripture from Timothy, says 'the LOVE of money is the root of all sorts of injurious things and by REACHING out for it some have been led astray' there are other scriptures similar tonight at a bible meeting (sorry I ur not churchy just really good points that fit what ur saying) we have been studying the prophet Jeremiah and his friend Baruch was 'SEEKING great things for himself' We need money and objects to live, get buy but all this flaunting and well in the west it so ruined seems like people are trying so hard to have money they seek or reach out for it so they can look rich. Interestingly Zecariah and Ezikiel both mention how the day will come when people will throw all their Gold Silver money and valuable things in the streets because they don't matter! Our relationship with God and others and our lives will matter!
    B

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