Okay, first of all I feel like I should explain something so that you have a better understanding of where I am coming from. I never thought I was going to have children. I found out I had polycystic ovarian disease when I was sixteen years old and I remember my grandmother asking the doctor what that meant for me ever having children. The doctor looked right at me and said “I’m not saying you will never be able to have children, but it can be very difficult and sometimes impossible.”
Basically, my ovaries don’t release eggs, they keep them trapped in the tiny sac they were created in and then those sacs turn into cysts. In order to get pregnant an egg has to be released and travel into the uterus where a sperm is waiting patiently “Hey egg, let me in!”
So anyways, I had gone several years not getting pregnant, when I absolutely should have, and finally came to terms with the idea of never having any children of my own. Imagine my surprise when I was told in an emergency room that all of the weird things going on with me were the result of being pregnant!
The rest of that is a story for a different day but you had to understand that before I could explain the next part! I think I may have unintentionally spoiled my child! It honestly came from a place of great intentions and the whole time I thought I was doing the right thing but it may be blowing up in my face now!
When she was younger she didn’t want for anything and beyond that every cute toy or outfit I saw I just had to get! She was too young to understand being spoiled so I was safe! Fast forward four years and I have the whole toy isle of Wal-Mart in tote and toy boxes around my house, and she has more clothes then she could ever possibly wear!
There’s more ….. I have tried really hard to be more then just a good mother, I want to be great! My time here on earth could be limited and I want to make damn sure I spent every second of it making my child happy! So I do a lot of things with her …. A lot! I try to take her places that I think she would enjoy, we are constantly doing crafts and other activities, and even if we cannot afford to do something big I try to take her on nature walks or fishing. My entire day is spent dedicated to her happiness …. when I am not at work!
Don’t get me wrong, I know a mothers job is to make their child happy ….. but I might have over done things a tiny bit! It is also a mothers job to teach their child that sometimes you can’t have everything you want and that’s where I think I missed the flight!
When I get out of work now she expects to go do something, she wants to go out to eat, wants to go to the bouncy houses, wants to go to a park, wants to into every store I have to stop at because she thinks she is going to get something and when or if I say not today, she gets a little upset. I start to become frustrated with her about this … how come you cannot be appreciative of what we did yesterday? Why does it always have to be more, more, more? Then I understood something … I did this!
It is not her fault that she believes we are going to go do something, she thinks we are going to because I almost always have, now she just chimes in with ideas about what we should do. She has become so used to me giving her everything I could that now she just expects it and how is that her fault?
From day one I was worried about her being spoiled so I tried to be honest and open with her about the value of things and that sometimes we don’t have money to do the things we want. However, then I gave her the world on a silver platter when I could afford it, and now she understands that to be how things work around here! When we don’t do something “extra” she gets upset and doesn’t understand why?
I unintentionally spoiled my child but I really did have the best intentions! I just wanted her to be happy! I didn’t want her to ever feel like she had to go without for any reason. If there was something she truly wanted, or something I thought she was really like to do, I just worked harder to get it for her. Now I am starting to understand that sometimes you have to say no and that is ok!
The trick is going to be getting her to understand that is okay before I am bankrupt!
Luckily, she doesn’t act like a spoiled child. If I tell her no because we don’t have enough money to do something, or get something, she will understand. Then she try’s to think of other things we could do that I would have enough money for …. my daughter is apparently an accountant!
I have to re-evaluate things, take a step-back and figure out how to get this train back on its track! I don’t want her to grow up thinking that she can just have whatever she wants without working for it because that is just not how life works! On the other hand, I don’t want her to ever feel like she has gone without or missed out on things.
I know she is a good kid, and it is my fault that she thinks she always has to have something above and beyond the normal. It’s my fault because that is what I have always tried to do! I want to spend time with my children doing fun things and watching their faces light up with excitement, but those special moments need to be reserved otherwise their not special, there just everyday life!
My step-son apparently went home and told his Mother that I said she never does anything fun with him, I never said that but I’m sure in his mind that is how it feels. When he is here we are always out and about finding some new adventure and then she limits those activities to special times, so in his mind it probably seems she doesn’t do anything fun. This is just another example of how I have a accidentally spoiled my children!
I guess you have to try to not over do it even when you really want to! In order to teach a child the value of what they have, you have to allow them time to enjoy that new thing, before running out to get another new thing! I love being able to get her the things she wants now, but what happens when she gets older and the things she wants cost much more money? What happens when I start telling her no and she has a meltdown about it?
I better nip this in the butt right now …. but how do I teach them that we can’t always have everything, while still giving them a happy life? I guess that is something that every parent struggles with, the balance between spoiled and neglected. The answer is caught somewhere in the middle and we go flying by it one way or the other!
Here’s to finding the answer …. before I ruin my child!