Released On 4th Jan 2021
Sonya's blog: Presents
It is really exciting to be writing my first blog for Cityparents. When I received the rota list, and found out I was to write my first blog in December, it felt that perfect opportunity to write about buying my son presents.
It was his 5th birthday in October, and I was wrapping up the presents I had bought him and thinking – “oh no this is not enough – I need to buy more!” so I quickly went online to buy something else.
My son has plenty of toys, and I have found that I spend a considerable portion of my free time on my non-working days (and especially during the second lockdown when he is at school) trying to declutter the house and rearrange it so that there are not toys everywhere. Whilst my son loved the toys and presents we got him for his birthday, the extra present that I purchased for him has sat on the side, in his bedroom, and is not played with……which gave me pause for thought for Christmas.
However, Christmas came and I found myself in the same position I was in for his birthday, that I had bought him lots of things! A large part of me had been thinking that it had indeed been a strange year, and he has been so resilient and understanding throughout this pandemic, especially with not being able to see family and friends, so there was definitely some compensating going on. But we have made some adjustments – his first bike (he currently has a balance bike so hopefully the transition will be smooth) is a second hand one we got through a great recycling scheme at a local school. It is in good condition and I am sure he will not know the difference as he will just be delighted to have a big boy bike!
Personally, I do need to think more about second hand toys, recycle/up-cycled toys, or instead of toys thinking about experiences or family day outs. When I was pregnant I bought everything pretty much brand new (apart from a few items which were handed down to me by family and close friends). Yes, sometimes it’s part of the experience, shopping for a new baby and I think back to that time and the thoughts of having something that wasn’t brand new wouldn’t feel right, or wouldn’t be best for my baby and I wonder whether that has continued throughout my journey as a parent. Although, of course with the benefit of hindsight, I would not have purchased everything brand new as the sad realisation is that many of the things we buy for babies we only need them for a short period of time.
My son loves playing with us, and especially likes playing imaginary games – which involve NO toys at all, and also enjoys making things out of old cardboard/cereal boxes. So for 2021 I hope to shed myself of this need to buy new, and maybe think outside the box when it comes to birthdays and Christmas.
Sonya, 41, works three days a week as a secretary within the legal sector. She lives in Kent with her husband, 5 year old boy and imaginary hamster.