All the time I get asked dumb stupid questions like “why do you buy your kids so much stuff” “why do you spoil your kids?”. Half the time I just ignore it but then yesterday, I had a message off some nit-wit who exclaimed; “Have you never heard of primark? Kids don’t always need to be dressed in expensive clothes you know. Spoiling your kids the way you do is just wrong”
Ex-fucking-cuse me lady! What the actual f*ck is going on here? Is it anyone’s business but mine what I buy MY children? Listen, I’ll tell you why I buy my kids so much: 1. Because I can. 2. Because I never had anything as a child.
I came from what you could definitely say was a poor family. My dad was a single parent living in a council house. This was well before the days of tax credits and government help. He had jobs here and there but often gave them up after a few months as childcare was so hard to come by. He also had a serious problem with alcohol.
Myself and my brother never had nice things, in fact we barely had anything at all. We got hand-me-downs from relitives or toys the neighbour kids were giving away because their parents had bought them something newer. We never had labelled Clothing or even new clothing. Our fridge contained only milk, cheese and a cheap bottle of squash. We bought food as and when it was needed, day-to-day. Things like fizzy pop and yoghurts were considered a luxury we were never privileged to. We had a 30p budget for a packet of sweets on a Saturday and dinners were always cooked-from-frozen beige meals. We didn’t even have a fruit bowl.
It was tough, as a kid I longed for a real barbie doll instead of the cheap tat we’d pick up at a corner shop. I used to cry because my clothes were always too small, boyish and 10 years out of date. As I got older, I wished for a pair of real Addidas trainers so I wouldn’t get picked on at school or a nice outfit to meet my friends in. I never got it. We were the kind of people who didn’t even have a duvet, instead we had several old blankets from the 60s. We had threadbare towels, bar soap instead of shower gel, we never redecorated. Even our Christmas tree was a flimsy 4ft eyesore from the 1950s.
Alcohol was always put first and we had to miss out or make do.
I promised my daughter, before she was even born, that she would never have to feel the way I did growing up. That she would never go without the basic essentials. I made the exact same promise to my 3 boys.
So yes our fridge is always full, we have “posh” yoghurts, and cravendale milk. Yes we have a plethora of snacks in the cupboards and fizzy pop and orange juice a plenty. Yes I buy them nice clothes from Next, River Island, Sainsbury’s and sports shops because I can. Because I can afford for my kids to dress nice. And I would never want them to feel the way I did. Of course I’ve heard of Primark! Don’t you even read my blog? I practically live there! Albeit, I shop there for myself but my daughter also loves their fashion.
Yes they have lots of toys for Christmas, nice gifts and a big cake for their birthdays because I didn’t get any of that. I’ve only ever had one birthday cake in my 29 years of life and that was when I was 4 years old.
But one thing I will say is that my children are not spoilt. And they never will be. Sometimes, they do have to go without. You see, they don’t see themselves as spoilt or privileged but they do consider themselves lucky. They know what I have to do to provide them with nice things and they appreciate it. A spoilt child would never appreciate anything unless they saw how hard their parents worked to get it. Spoilt kids expect things, my children do not.
Example; with my daughter now in high school we have letters every week about a new school trip but she’ll still ask me if we can afford it before she asks if she can go. She doesn’t just shove it in my face and expect me to cough up. She also knows she has to work for it. You don’t get something for nothing in my house. So she’ll offer to babysit, take on extra chores and be extra helpful around the house to earn the rightto be able to go.
I’ll be damned if I ever let anyone criticise what I buy for my children, they’re good kids and appreciate everything they have. Why shouldn’t I give them the life I never had?