That room full of expensive toys....a complete waste of money. Kids have only a handful of toys that they will play with for longer than a week. Out of all of those toys, they both have only one small suitcase each that have been packed away for their own kids. In those suitcases are Lego, my little ponies, their fave dolls and a few stuffed toys.
The hundreds of dollars that I spent on tickets to Hi 5 & The Wiggles.....a complete waste of money. They do not remember those concerts at all. The eldest doesn't even believe me when I tell her that she actually started a kiddie rush to the stage at a High 5 concert 13 years ago! She was the head groupie in the mosh pit and has no recollection at all. But she can tell you about the High 5 CD that we used to listen to on repeat in the car and it only cost $20. We won't even mention the child who was petrified at every concert & now has a fear of any person who is dressed up in a characters outfit. We have 10 years of no Santa photos as proof. Parents please trust me when I tell you to NOT waste your money on overpriced kids concert tickets! Just buy a cheap DVD and trust me when I say, let them watch it over & over. You will get a chance to clean, wash & do things that you didn't have time to do. They will sing, dance and learn so much while they are watching something entertaining.
You know all of those gorgeous designer clothes that you buy for your kids....they will never wear them. They will dress themselves in gumboots, undies over their jeans, skirts as a top, dresses on backwards, shoes on the wrong feet and fairy wings for days on end. And sometimes all of that, all at once. And they will love every moment of dressing themselves. They will wear a smile that will make your heart melt. If you even bring the designer duds out of the closet, they will throw a tantrum of monumental proportions that will make you hope the neighbours don't call the police.
You know that pram that cost you a fortune? It's not worth it. You will spend months looking for the "perfect" pram that has all the bells and whistles. It will cost you a weeks pay or maybe even a months, but seriously, why? Why do we spend all this money when they will escape from it at any given moment as soon as they are able too. They don't care how much it is worth, they will fill it with spew, poo, food and God knows what else. By the time my girls were 2, they were in an umbrella stroller that cost $25 from Big W. It was the only pram they couldn't escape from. It also took up one 10th of the space that the designer one did in the boot of the car. I was able to fill the boot with groceries instead of just a pram.
Food. You will do your best to feed them the best but if you turn your back, they will eat mud, dirt, bugs, basically anything that they can get their hands on. One of my children was banned from the sandpit & the play dough table at daycare because she thought they were both essential food groups. I made homemade organic baby food long before it was trendy and yet my 2 would much rather eat from the most unusual food sources.
The thing that I really wish I knew when my kids were little is that they don't remember anything that cost money. They remember the time I spent with them, the songs I used to sing them, the fairy bread I used to serve for afternoon tea, the things we did on a weekends that cost nothing, the time we spent cooking in the kitchen & the camping holidays with all of us sleeping in a small tent. They remember the playgroup that I started at my house where they played for hours on end with other kids knowing that Mummy was there to watch them swing on the swing for the 500th time that week. Those are the things my teenagers remember about their childhood.
If I had a chance to do it all over again, I would do more of the little things and put my wallet away. Kids remember love, time & the little things. Just think about what it is that you remember from your childhood.
From Jos with love. Xx