Today, I went to the cinema to see “Goodbye Christopher Robin” ( I will warn of any spoilers). As well as being a huge tear-jerker, it also made me think about what our children really want/need from us and what we strive to provide.
In the current climate we live in, it’s very easy to become fixated on money. Not out of greed, but out of necessity. For my generation in particular, life is becoming increasingly expensive, with the prospect of being a home-owner or even earning a comfortable living always seeming to be on the horizon but never quite in our reach. Consumerism is at an all-time high and it feels like everyone on Facebook/Instagram/YouTube with any large following is trying to sell us something, convincing us we “need” it in order to emulate their desirable lifestyles. Having children ( in my personal experience) makes it more difficult to ignore these advertisements and fuels the urge to purchase material things. We all want the best for our children, and that often means wanting to buy them the same things that everybody else has, not wanting to feel that they’re missing out. We want them to be well-dressed with the latest toys/technology and have as many days out and experiences as we can provide for them. Wanting these things for them is obviously a good thing, however, after watching the film today I have started to wonder if we put too much pressure on ourselves to produce these things and are too hard on ourselves if we can’t.
It’s made me think about things from a different perspective, taking a child’s point of view on the issue. Is my two-year-old son really bothered if he’s wearing a fashionable outfit from a popular high-street retailer? Not particularly. He much prefers his “Primark” joggers which make clambering on the sofa and running up and down the house like a mad-man much easier. Does he actually appreciate the costly, electronic toys that light-up, spin, talk, play music and have a number of other flashy features to boot? It seems like he’s happier playing with his second-hand wooden blocks or sitting quietly with me and doing activities in a sticker book that cost £1.99.
Children appreciate our love, devotion and time. They have no concept of money or how much things are. Although I’m pretty certain that I’ll always be a complete sucker for the latest “Mothercare” line and will probably never stop flicking through the “Smyths” catalogue and putting stars next to all the toys I’d love to buy my son, I have made a promise to myself to stop focusing so much on getting “stuff” and to just enjoy motherhood as it comes. The most precious moments are the ones money cant buy; Reading stories, going for walks, playing chase, tickling him until he squeals, laughing at bath time when he puts his face in the water and ends up with a bubble beard, having cuddles in the evening before bedtime. All of these things are priceless and are what truly make parenthood a joy. To end this post, I want to leave a particular quote from the film that really resonated with me and stuck out in my mind (spoiler alert!!!).
The context is Christopher Robin talking to his father about his childhood:
“I never wanted any of it, Dad. I never wanted the money, or a marching band on my birthday.”
“Then what did you want?”
“I wanted you. That’s all”
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