Ok, I’ll admit it – probably half the money I spend on my “kids” is actually for me.
Maybe it’s a way of reliving my childhood, or maybe it’s my way of living through them. Whatever the reason, my two boys probably don’t even care about half the things that I buy for them – but I sure as heck do.
I don’t think I’m alone though in my spending, and I think the problem is only going to get worse (I have a baby daughter on the way). To date though, here are some of the things I admit to buying for my kids which are actually just as much for me.
1. Kids’ movies.
I’m a sucker when it comes to kids’ movies, especially when I see them on sale. Not only do I want my kids to experience the same movies I saw when I was younger, but I want to see the incredible animation and special effects which are common place in kids’ movies these days.
A quick poll of parents will show that often, we enjoy the movies just as much as our offspring do - so yeah, when I purchase children’s DVDs it’s often because I want to watch them too. The kids are just a convenient excuse.
2. Craft supplies.
I’ll say it, I’m a craft tragic. I remember when I was little that my mum was always reluctant to let me loose with a tub of glitter and a glue stick even though this was (and still is) my idea of rainy afternoon heaven. I don’t blame the woman, I’ve seen the mess that kids can create.
Now that I’ve got my own kids though I find myself wandering the craft aisles coming up with amazing craft ideas, all of which are actually just for me- the kids can join in if they like. In fact, I actively encourage my kids to watch Mister Maker and hope they express an interest in some craft activities to get my creative (mess loving) self-involved in.
3. Lunchbox stuff.
You know how sometimes you’ll be in the supermarket aisles and see something that your mum used to put in your lunchbox and immediately feel like you’re in primary school again? The great thing about being a parent is that you can freely browse the children’s lunchbox section to your heart’s content.
You can purchase what you like under the guise of providing for your children and then you can get those snacks home and hide them in a special place, never to be found by small hands.
For me, it’s a special box of savoury biscuits and cheese that I always remember being at my grandmother’s house. They are clearly designed for children with their packaging and shape and I buy them regularly - my children though are oblivious to their existence.
4. Bedroom décor.
I have two boys. It’s safe to say they couldn’t care less about the throw cushions on their beds or the decals on the walls. I do though. Decorating their rooms is a hobby of mine and even though they think “decor” is smelly shoes on the floor and sand through the bed, it makes me happy to cover their walls in pictures.
Bedroom decor is definitely one area where I can spend “for the kids” but it’s actually just for me.
Again, boys. Summer is shorts and t-shirts and winter is jeans and jumpers. They’re happy, they’re comfortable and that’s it.
I however do care and therefore dress my little man dolls once again under the guise of buying things for them.
6. Christmas lights.
My husband and I are Christmas devotees. One of the happiest moments for us recently was the realisation that we would be able to decorate our own house in Christmas lights in December (having lived with my in laws for a year while house hunting).
Sure, the kids get a kick out of the vivid colours, the flashing images and the various blow up Christmas figurines but really, it’s nothing compared to the excitement we experience come ‘switch on day’.
What do you buy for your kids that secretly (or not so secretly) brings you more joy?
While we're on lunch, here are some choice school snacks for kids: