I saw an Instagram post from a celebrity Mum the other day who said something along the lines of ‘I normally shower my kids with stuff in an attempt to make them happy but I realised I don’t need to give them so much stuff, I just need to be with them and be present in their lives,’ so they went to the park and used torn up bits of cardboard to slide down a hill and had an absolute ball.
I love this! I’m all about reducing the amount of stuff we have, especially plastic stuff that’s only used for a short while but stays on the planet forever, I just find it so wasteful and unnecessary. When I was growing up we didn’t have a lot of stuff, I grew up with an older brother and younger sister and we didn’t have much stuff compared to our friends or cousins, but we had SO much fun together! My sister and I played with a bucket of sand for hours doing god knows what, we played in the backyard with mud and small cups, we didn’t have all the dolls but we had enough, my brother had the best set of wooden building blocks that he took with him everywhere he went.
I remember when furbys were the in thing (anyone else remember those creepy things?) and I begged my mum for one, the answer was always no. I must of asked her 1200 times but it was always the same answer, no. At the time I was so pissed! My friends at school always seemed to have the latest toys and I really thought I was missing out, but a few weeks later no one cared about their furbys and moved on to the next ‘it’ toy. I have to say I’m so thankful to my Mum for teaching me the value of no. When my mum said no, she meant no, not ‘ask me again later and I’ll say yes’, not ‘have a tantrum and I’ll change my mind’, no means no, full stop.
I honestly believe knowing the value of no has helped me a lot. When you want something SO badly and you know someone can just give it to you but they say no, wow does that feel shit. But you get over it and you move on. I’ve wanted jobs so badly but have been told ‘sorry you’ve been unsuccessful,’ and because that word wasn’t new to me I was able to just feel the blow and move on to the next thing. I’m not a Mum but I can guess there’s lots of Mums out there who feel like they need to give their kids stuff to show them how much they love them or to make them happy, well I want you to know you don’t need to feel guilty if you say no. You should feel strong with the knowledge you’re teaching your kids a valuable life lesson, you’re teaching them the value of no. They might hate you for it now but in twenty something years they might write a blog post thanking you.