Wednesday, April 4, 2012

What the hell, Peter Cottontail?

I ask this question too often... Is it just me?

So, is it just me or have parents lost their minds?  I think the pressure of being the best at everything has officially crossed into new unchartered territory.  It was bound to happen what with Over-Achieving Moms (OAMs) and all.  One of my favorite blogs, PIWTPITT, talks about these OAMs.  They've taken Elf on the Shelf and Leprechaun Traps (making us green with...vomit!) And now....THIS!


What the hell? I get inflation, cost-of-living increases, but really?  The Easter Bunny? When did we go from a little chocolate bunny to $100-$300 per basket, albeit fun looking.  I remember thinking a chocolate bunny was awesome, even now I'd go bananas for one right now (should have gone down that sale aisle.  But I don't see how we as parents can even justify a car payments on jelly beans and a basket of crap.

And no offense to my peeps, but I really think this is a Southern thing. Since moving the Jersey, I have no heard a single person in our community speak of $100s on Easter unless it is for a beautiful Easter outfit.  When I mentioned it, the look of shock on the Kindergarten moms' faces said it all.  This is just another reason they think Southerners are nuts.  And, on this, I couldn't agree more. 

I'm not gonna get all preachy, but...uh...lose sight much?  Bigger picture here!  And I ain't talking about chickens and eggs.  Almost all religions, go amendment 1, have a holiday around this time.  And I don't remember studying one (in my many religion classes in college) about bunny and basket worship.

I once had a friend tell me at lunch that she had spent almost $300 on her daughter's Easter basket (and went on to say how tight her budget was going to be for the month...would she be able to buy groceries...etc.) WHAT?!?!?  And I sat there, open-mouthed with my ABC (already been chewed) food-my apologies to my other colleagues.  I couldn't pick my jaw up off the floor, much less finish chewing that bite.

And though I complain/rant/discuss this distrubing trend, I have no quicl fix.  There will always be parents trying to keep up with the Joneses, put others down, or just showing off to feel better about their own parenting.  I have found in my Facebook stalking that people are so busy trying to give their child everything, they never teach them about hard work and earning anything.

Why are we giving them everything?  And don't give me any crap about a better life that they had.  That was our parents' generation.  You do it to earn favor with your kids, to make your friends jealous and to find satisfaction with yourself.

As the mother of 6 year olds, I know all too well how she can too easily equate gift=love.  And how not getting something she wants can tear you down with one look of disappointed and disgust. There is even the phrase of "My daddy will get it for me."  That one used to rip me apart as a mom struggling to maintain order in a post divorce household. 

But I'm the mama.  I'm 35.  You are 6.  I'll make the rules in this house. (I scream on the inside as I drag her dead-weight-temper-tantrum body out of the store as I smile nervously as the other shoppers.  Heck, we've all been there.)

I'm not worried about failing as a parent, not living up to a six year old's version of the world, or giving in to her desire.  Instead, she gets my full attention and my unconditional love, which is way more valuable than a basket of chocolate or monogrammed crap.  And guess what?  It's free!

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