Why Do We Feel Pressure To Buy Just For A Birthday?

H is 3 in 10 days. I can’t wait, we’ll be on holiday for it and his little face when we take him to the zoo will be amazing. Animals are his favourite thing at the moment (besides cars but I don’t think anything will replace them!) When we’re done at the zoo, we’ll drive back to the beach and have chips and play on the sand, all finished off with ice cream and cake. When we get back from our holiday, we’re having a mini party for him where he’ll have his big cake and be the centre of attention!

There’s one thing that’s causing me some concern this year though..


He has everything he needs. He’s got enough toys as he only plays with a handful anyway. I’ve bought both boys their summer wardrobe and to be honest, if I bought more, their rail would collapse! There’s no more room on his bookcase and besides, he only reads a select few (see my Instagram feed!) He’s not really interested in doing anything crafty, doesn’t sit still for a film and would much rather play with the stones in the garden than actual toys. So if I don’t know what to buy him, why do I feel pressure to overbuy?

He’s only 3. He doesn’t know yet and he hasn’t come under the pressure of advertising, convincing him he needs a toy. As far as H is concerned, birthdays are for presents and cake. A couple of presents will be fine for him, as long as he has something to open. The zoo is part of his present and that will cost a decent chunk for the whole day. I’m going to make him a “zoo admission ticket” for his card so he knows we’re going and we’ve bought a multipack of Hot Wheels. I’ll have a think this week and see if there’s anything else I can think of that he’d like but if not, does it really matter?

I see pictures of parents giving their children piles of presents and I guarantee that in a couple of months, at least half will be either untouched or forgotten about. Those gifts will end up in the bin, taken to a charity shop or sold on a selling site. I would much rather family gave Henry the money, so we can put it into savings for when he actually needs something. I also don’t want unnecessary toys cluttering up my house. I’m trying not to feel guilty yet I know that guilt has come from the pressure to buy. Breaking this cycle won’t be easy but I’ll give it a damn good go!


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