Fighting Materialism: A Mothers Struggle

As I  ran to the bus stop today to meet Sadie,  the  bus doors open and we embrace in huge bear hugs. We practically skip back up to the house. A magical moment and yet I could have never guessed the next thing out of her mouth.  . . “MUMMMMMMYYYY . . . Where’s MY PRESENT!” Wait, what just happened here? One second, we are embracing like long-lost relatives, and the next second, she is in a full-blown state of materialism.

Apparently she had already noticed the small, black, batman doll in Cooper’s hands. Uhmmm, excuse me,  Cooper just got a present because he, for the first time on his own, requested to use the classroom bathroom and actually produced results. Worthy of a reward,  for sure!

So what do I do? Well, like a novus, I  produce a pair of Missioni Rain Boots that I found for her today at Target. . .BIG MISTAKE!  Sadie continues her fit with ” Those are NOT A PRESENT!!”  Right before I slap myself back into reality, I hear myself promise to buy her a present the next day.

Flashback to a couple of days ago at a wine tasting party at my friend Emily’s house. At some point during the evening,  I boldly declare that my hardest mommy challenge is “keeping it real.” I feel compelled to continue speaking (oh why, oh why) on the importance of providing a strong sense of reality to our  children. . .blah, blah, blah. . .we must NOT SPOIL them!  I have been begging to give up our golf club, I want to join an “old school” neighborhood pool, I am going to give our children the most grounded childhood ever. . .they will battle bugs for boiled hotdogs and others for space in a lane. They will pray at the end of the summer their bathing suit is not see through (and it will be) and next summer they will remimber to wash the chlorine out.

Promises, Promises. How is it that, with truly the best intentions, even my children are evidence of a world full of materialism. Am I too blame? Probably. Can I change it? Maybe.

I can “hear” my negative flaws in Sadie frequently, her voice harshly telling her brother what to do or not do. Ugh, Do I really sound like that?  How often do we “see” our behaviors in our children?  Do I verbally declare, where’s “my diamond earings” or “I want a new—–”   or “She has more than me.” I wouldn’t dare. Yet I know Scotty  can “see” the longing in my eyes and I know he wants to give me those things and can’t.  So while my husband can read my secret wants, so  can my  children, and they are learning to keep score with each other.  I know I have to stop it,  I just do not know how.

As for me, I love style. . .I love living with style. . . .but “materialism” is not what this blog or myself is about. It is about reinventing, reusing and in some cases, relearning to love what you already have. It is about learning to experience our world, it’s amazing cuisine, inspiring design and embracing other cultures; and  too living a life all your own.

It is not about keeping score.




4 thoughts on “Fighting Materialism: A Mothers Struggle

  1. Bravo! Winning the fight against materialism begins with recognizing there is a problem in the first place. If fortunate, one can overcome the love for things more than for people before the vicissitudes of life take away the option to choose!

  2. You can say this again, Taylor! If my children ever complain about being “poor”, I’ll scream! Somehow we have to find a balance between hitting them over the head with “We work hard for everything you have and don’t you forget it!” and not having them be embarrassed by their good fortune because heck, I’ve worked hard for it! We’ve begun very open conversations with our oldest about how much things cost, how much time we have to work to pay for things and how, if he wants something really badly, he can save his own money or work for it by doing chores around the house. He recently opened his own bank account and we discussed the concept of just because you have it, you don’t need to spend it. Financial education is so lacking in this country and this is one of my missions as a mom! Wish me luck.

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