Party Pooper or Moderate Mama?
posted by Sheri

Oh, how I related to Emily Bazelon's "Spartan Mom: Denying my son birthday presents" article over at Slate.com. I love when I come across an article that so clearly depicts my motherly woes.

I could go on and on about this subject and how I loathe the indulgent direction today's birthday parties are going in (although, back in the day, there probably really were girls who got ponies for their birthdays), how I can't stand the unfocused, ungrateful present-ripping frenzy that ensues (from our regularly sweet and normal children), and how I struggle with wanting to be a minimalist around holiday/birthday consumerism while not depriving my son of a happy, happy birthday. Oh, I could go on, but I will save it for a lengthy column or something. Until then, check out Bazelon's great piece on the topic.

Here's are a few lovely excerpts:

"Viewed with an iota of perspective, it is indisputable that no child needs or should receive 25 birthday presents. On the other hand, the kids Eli knows generally do. When your kids grow up with a norm that you find distasteful, but that isn't harmful or evil, how do you draw a radically different line?"

"My sense was that 6-year-olds are old enough to have a say in matters that affect them; they're not old enough to rewrite the rules. Letting Eli receive a present from every kid who came to his party felt out of joint, and not only for aesthetic reasons. When my kids receive more than one present at a time, they can barely take note of what they've been given. The act of tearing open boxes overwhelms their curiosity about what's inside. They always want more, more, MORE! It's a binge, and it can't be good for them."

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