One of the biggest issues I face as a mother of 3 is gift giving. Everyone wants to give generously, which is great, until it isn't.
I know I have changed things up a bit in the past 7+ years of being a mother, but I am learning as I go. Everyone thought I was so outspoken at 18,19 and 20...but in all honesty, I listened to other peoples opinions a bit too much!
I had always known what kind of mom I wanted to be. I had always known how I wanted to raise my children...I just did not have the backbone to stand up when people went against my wishes. I knew I wanted to breastfeed my children, this is the one and only thing I stuck with as a new mom-and I was done before their 1st birthdays-not a success in my book.
Now, I am ALMOST 26 (oh boy!) and I know what I want! I know and am willing to fight for what I believe! It still is hard though. EVERYONE has the best of intentions, and does not always understand WHY I choose "my" way. You do not have to understand my decisions or choices, but you do have to respect them! I choose organic foods for my family because they are HEALTHIER, maybe that grape doesn't have more vitamins in it-but it has LESS junk! I choose REAL WHOLE foods over prepackaged crap, because I want to know what goes into my precious children! I love my kids enough to tell them NO. No soda, No processed JUNK. Respect it, remember it.
BACK ON TRACK! Ok, so gifts...ahh the dreaded gifts. I love love love seeing my children smile, I love making them happy... I also LOVE when they use their imaginations instead of trying to play with a one dimensional toy that does not foster imagination. I would love to have a FEW nice, solid, safe, USA made toys for my children. They do not need more toys than Wal-Mart! I am guilty, I admit, I love to buy things for my kids. I also feel extremely guilty buying a NICE gift for my children when I know they will be getting a boatload of toys from friends and family. I want them to appreciate everything they get, but how can they love the wooden blocks mommy and daddy so thoughtfully picked out when they are handed a loud flashy plastic p.o.c? (rude, I know..sorry) These kids do not go without, I swear it! These kids have way more than they need. Having too much is NOT a good thing! Whether it is too many clothes, too many menu options, too many toys, or too many options of where to go...too much is BAD. Too much causes fights! Too much causes stress. I hate throwing things away and being wasteful, but having too much causes me to be that way. I would like to implement a new RULE for buying for my kids-I saw this on Pinterest-so I in no way take credit for it-but as of September 1st (since I know gifts have been bought for Torrin's birthday), please keep this in mind-all other "stuff" will be donated at will.
4 Gift rule:
1-thing they want
1-thing they need
1-thing to wear
1-thing to read/write/draw/color/paint/craft
I can give ideas for all of these! Gift activities or outings for them! Gift them gymnastics allotments, money for art classes, piano lessons, passes to the pool...the possibilities are endless!
PLEASE keep in mind with the 1 thing they want-it should be age appropriate and would be great if it fostered some imagination and was local (at the least USA or Europe-our country gives enough money to China and Taiwan) This is also a great opportunity to get them that game system game they have wanted, or a DVD they want to see.
1 thing they need is always EASY-savings bonds for their FUTURE, a small donation to their personal savings account for college! This can also be things like socks, undies, shoes, anything they need-please ASK and they (or I) will tell you!
At the end of the day, my kids ARE happy with what they have. They have a loving family, a roof over their heads, plenty of (healthy,organic) food in their bellies, and make memories on a daily basis. There is so much "extra" that is not needed in this home, thank you for understanding!