Advanced search

to feel like a bit of a second-rate parent after this playdate

(63 Posts)
lecce Sun 16-Dec-12 08:37:06

Ok, I am a bugger for making comparisons and judging others (and in this case meyself), probably harshly, so I may just need some perspective - hoping I can get it here!

Went on a playdate and, as usual when I visit that particular house, was taken aback by just how many toys they have. They have 2 dc, the same ages as mine, and just seem to have everything going. Both reception rooms and the dc's bedroom are full. They also have a largeish summer house and outside sheddy thing, both also full of toys!

Not only is it the toys, but the amount of crafting they do that is in evidence. Both reception rooms have walls and ceilings that are festooned with homemade decorations on every inch. It is like walking into a really lovely primary classroom.

Tbh, it makes me feel a bit shit. We are rubbish at crafty stuff and, though we do do some, it doesn't come out looking professional like theirs does and I wouldn't want it filling up the whole house. We seem to have loads of toys, many of which are seldom played with, but when I see what theirs have I wonder if ours would play better if they had more to choose from confused.

It's not envy of money. I think our disposable incomes are probably pretty similar and the mum herself has told me they've bought a lot of it second hand. She is a sahm and my dh is a sahd. I think dh does a great job and does lots with the dc but I think this woman clearly does a lot more!

AIBU or plain silly?

QODRestYeMerryGentlemen Sun 16-Dec-12 08:38:27

I bet the woman does indeed do more crafting ... HERSELF.. The kid probably sit their and lick the pritt stick

QODRestYeMerryGentlemen Sun 16-Dec-12 08:38:48

There punches self in face

TeeElfOnTeeShelf Sun 16-Dec-12 08:40:12

Sounds horrid. Like too much choice and not enough 'Oh, look, the empty kitchen paper tube! I can make a telescope out of this!'

I would pity them rather than feel inadequate.

FelicityWasSanta Sun 16-Dec-12 08:41:34

Not unreasonable no... But yes silly.

Behind all the tat craft, is their home happier than yours? I'd suggest horses for courses. Have courage in your convictions!

WillSingForCake Sun 16-Dec-12 08:41:47

But lots of toys don't equal a happier child. My sister's daughters have tonnes of stuff & hardly play with most of it, think it's just overwhelming for them.

ditavonteesed Sun 16-Dec-12 08:44:39

if there craft look proffesional the kids didnt do it. I used to hate it at playgroup I always let mine do it themselves and tehre would be mums who would barely let their kids touch it and came out with a perfect replica of whatever they were making.
YABPS (plain silly)

Festivedidi Sun 16-Dec-12 08:46:31

You are being silly.
Children do not play better because they have more toys to choose from. In fact I think in a lot of houses children play better with fewer toys to choose from because they get overwhelmed if there's too much (obviously not in every case but in quite a few families I know).

Crafting is a personal choice. If the dcs are interested then it's a lovely way to spend an hour or so, if they aren't then it's horrific and ends up being all your own work anyway. We do bits and pieces of crafting when I can be bothered. I had lovely plans for homemade xmas decorations and cards and baking, but have yet to do any of it blush. I don't really care though, and the kids are fine with it, we've got bought decorations and cards, there's still time to do some simple baking, and we've had loads of fun doing the playing that we wanted to do.

Kytti Sun 16-Dec-12 08:47:06

Lots of toys just means more stuff to ignore. Don't sweat it. We do cheapy craft - my daughter has just made loads of paper chains out of junk mail. We use them too, other people probably think we're crazy, but they took her hours and she's so proud of them. I don't care.

Don't stress about it. I bet your children are fine as they are. smile

Horopu Sun 16-Dec-12 08:50:39

There is no way children would play with toys more if there were more toys - they can't see the wood for the trees.

a parent has micro managed the art work;
the children have sat there being given step by step instructions and not creative freedom;
on the walls are the 15th attempts after the first 14 went horribly wrong;
the parent did it themselves.

Life is too short.

Children do not need lots of possessions, they need love. There is no reason to think that both families are not providing love.

Horopu Sun 16-Dec-12 08:51:38

(Or of course the children could be creative geniuses, it is possible).

MadameCreeper Sun 16-Dec-12 08:53:11

It's not a reflection on yours or your friends parenting. I hate craft, I hate baking pretty cakes and luckily I have children who don't like it. I have friends who love it, they the kind of people who will put lots of effort into costumes for school plays, the birthday cakes are professional.

Some families will end up with more toys than others, who cares. One set of children aren't deprived, the other set are not spoilt and lacking in love.

notactuallyme Sun 16-Dec-12 08:54:13

We do loads of crafty stuff it all gets binned quickly but only because I did a level art, really like making stuff, and the boys love it. If the boys didn't, we wouldn't. It doesn't make us better than anyone else or happier, it just fills a few minutes. I wouldn't worry, altho its very easy to assume other people parent better than you. Why not ask your kids what's missing if they don't play nicely with their toys - huge tub of bricks?

Lavenderhoney Sun 16-Dec-12 08:55:58

Why don't you ask her? I have a friend like that and it turned out that granny did it with the dc when she was over. We do crafty stuff as the dc love it, but it goes up in bedrooms, and the craft area in the kitchen. My dc do it when I cook sometimes.

Lots of toys- maybe she just loves a bargainsmile do your dh say anything about it, mine don't seem to want to replicate, just go to my friends more, for the different toys.

It's being happy at home that counts. If mine have free play and want a bit of telly, I let them. I dont insist on crafts. As my ds said, he gets enough of it a school...

lecce Sun 16-Dec-12 08:55:59

Thanks everyone.
dita that reminds me of taking ds to surestart a few years ago and being so amazed that he finally wanted to do the art activity that I didn't really intervene unless he asked me for help. his ladybird was black with black spots instead of the other way around. The woman gave me a funny look and asked why I hadn't set him straight - but he had a fab time. Meanwhile, the mother next to me had sent her dd outside to play "while I do this," so hers was perfect confused.

baskingseals Sun 16-Dec-12 08:56:17

lecce - this is the easiest trap to fall into - i am a crap parent and everyone else is wonderful.

you aren't seeing the full picture. they have their nasty shitty moments, life is not just about licking your pritt stick and chucking glitter about.

agree with posters above.

ByTheWay1 Sun 16-Dec-12 08:57:02

Lots of toys usually means the kids are left to play by themselves.... we have games more than toys - so we can all sit together and play.... nice to have some toys so they can go off and amuse themselves sometimes. Perhaps the excessive craft is to make up for the fact they are left to play a lot...

ClairesTravellingCircus Sun 16-Dec-12 08:59:04

Don't worry too much, ime the more toys the less kids play with them, as they can't even see through them anymore.

As for crafts, that's what nurseries and playgroups are for!! grin

We all have different ways of engaging with our kids, some people are good at crafts, or reading to them, or playing games in the garden I'm rubbish at all of those it doesn't make you a 'better' parent! Just do things you enjoy with

EwanHoHoHozami Sun 16-Dec-12 09:01:10

I feel a small bit sorry for her, pressuring herself to do all that with them. I wonder if she (and the children) actually enjoy it?

Phineyj Sun 16-Dec-12 09:02:46

I don't suppose the mum you went to visit was a primary school teacher before becoming a SAHM was she? Perhaps she just can't help herself...! For what it's worth, my DM is an artist and does wonderful art and craft with my nieces but I can't in a million years imagine the results getting stuck up all over the walls -- that's where the proper art lives...

HalleLouja Sun 16-Dec-12 09:03:18

We purposely got rid of loads of toys even though we still have too many as the DCs aren't that interested in playing with that. We do some craft but not so much and that is only a recent development thanks to the horrid weather and me gaining more patience.

Mia4 Sun 16-Dec-12 09:08:15

YABU, but i get why. Competitive parenting-just don't do it. Chances are she'll be left envious of something of yours, be it material, personal or physical.

WhenAChildIsBawnTigga Sun 16-Dec-12 09:11:04

The Cub does a lot of crafty things cos he loves it and we have his 'art' on the walls because we love him it is, without exception, rubbish but we still put it up wink

A parents worth isn't judged by the amount of toys or crafts that get done it's about the time spent with your children being a parent and raising loving. caring people who go on to be productive members of society and don't go around being too much of a twunt. It's all you can ask for out of parenthood really.


McChristmasPants2012 Sun 16-Dec-12 09:12:42

I don't even do arts and crafts. I know this sounds bad but i can not deal with the mess of it.

Fakebook Sun 16-Dec-12 09:16:38

I can't be bothered with craft because I get frustrated very easily when I see someone do something wrong. So instead if ruining Dd's experience I give her the materials and let her get on with it. It normally looks a mess. Craft by children is messy, not professional, and I for one would not stick every bit made on my walls!

As for the toys, I felt like that when I went to Dd's nursery friends house. They have a spare room filled with boxes and boxes of toys. They have a really lovely old house with a wood burner in the entrance downstairs and and aga in the kitchen. I felt a bit inadequate but quickly realised my dd is just as happy as her little friend. Your home is what you make it. Your children don't need tonnes of toys or crafts to make them happy, and providing these things in abundance doesn't make you a better mother.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: