4 Reasons I Spoil My Children Without Regret
My son just turned three and is deep into the race car phase. One of my favorite things to do is to surprise him with a cool, new race car. They vary from cars found at the Dollar Store for, well, a dollar to the Disney Cars brand cars that run upwards of $5 a pop. I have a dresser drawer with a supply of new cars waiting to be presented to him. Only three years into motherhood, and it is safe to say that I am addicted to spoiling my children. I didn’t think I would be the type of mom who would allow for toys on non-birthdays/holidays or special treats like giant coffee shop cookies multiple times a week, but I totally am.
With my six month old daughter, the spoils come in the form of baby clothes … lots of them. I could open a children’s boutique with her closet alone, yet I can’t stop buying her outfits. Although she technically does not know she is being spoiled, I think deep down she realizes how precious she looks in those smocked bubbles and expresses gratitude to me with her calm demeanor and excellent sleeping patterns.
When my children are grown and my job raising them is for the most part completed, there may be aspects of my mommy performance that I will wish I could redo. But at this point in my life, I do not think spoiling my kids will be one of them.
There are four reasons I don’t regret spoiling my children:
1. The things I buy are relatively inexpensive.
I am not being financially irresponsible spoiling my children. Most of the toys and treats for my son are a few dollars at most. The majority of the outfits I buy for my daughter are either on sale or second hand from consignment shops or online resale boards (where once I purchased a romper that retails for $60 for a mere $3). I know I am privileged to have the disposable income to afford these little luxuries. I also know that circumstances change in a heartbeat, so I am choosing to enjoy a little frivolity.
2. I do not buy things on command.
I choose when and how I spoil my kids. Sure, after my son had a surgical procedure, I took him to Toys R Us and he walked out with three toys instead of one because I was so grateful things went smoothly, but normally I do not cave into my son’s requests for toys. If he sees a commercial for a toy and says that he wants it, I tell him to put it on his Christmas list (knowing that he will forget about it). When shopping, he always asks for toys or candy/chips. The majority of the time he leaves stores with a pouting face and sometimes a tantrum that has the other patrons plugging their ears. At three years old, my son already has a tendency to have tantrums a la Veruca Salt in Willy Wonka, and I do not condone that behavior.
3. Time is fleeting.
In a few years, a $10 giant bubble wand will not utterly delight my son the way it does now. His eyes won’t light up with excitement as he runs gleefully around the grass popping bubbles with his face. In a few years, the little treasures I find for him may be met with an eye roll or tossed into the junk drawer in his room. My baby girl? She won’t always be able to wear those sweet rompers. Before I know it, she will be in jeans and a t-shirt, and I will be reminiscing about the days when I had my very own living doll to dress in flowers and ruffles and angel-sleeved gowns.
4. It benefits me.
Do you know what can get pretty darn boring? Playing race cars with a three year old over and over and over again. If on a random Wednesday, I decide to buy a $15 race car launcher from Amazon, I am not buying it for my son. I am buying it for myself because that launcher will make things more fun for me than aimlessly rolling the cars around saying, “Vroom vroom!” And those outfits for my daughter? I get a thrill out of flipping things. That $3 romper I bought on eBay? I will get $25 for it when I resell it, and that will make me very happy.
I know my children are spoiled. I also know there is a difference between being spoiled and being a spoiled brat. My job is to avoid them turning into the latter. I am fairly certain I can do that, but if you don’t hear from me in a while, you might find me in Willy Wonka’s furnace commiserating with Veruca Salt’s dad.