I’m sat here feeling two things; all the rage that makes me want to scream, curse and say things I shouldn’t and then also complete and utter devastation and sadness. Which is stupid really because in the grand scheme of things, what has happened doesn’t matter. Alyssa will never know, it isn’t actually true and I know this. But it still hurts and that I cannot escape from the hurt. It makes me wonder what I could have done differently and what perhaps I have done wrong. Originally, when I wrote the title of this piece, I was at the height of my rage and trying to contain it all so as not to cause an unnecessary scene. However, then I had to go and do something and came back to write and some or most of the rage is gone and what is left is hurt feelings and a need to cry but a desire not to. So, I wanted to come on here as I do and say my piece and get it out there because perhaps it is a misconception that a lot of people have. It’s nothing big, nothing major or life-changing but the delivery of the misconception hurt me and so I just wanted to set the record straight.
My daughter is 3 years old and will be 4 in July. She has already started letting me know what she would like for her birthday as children often do. She hasn’t sat down with the Argos catalogue and started turning over pages or colouring items in, she has simply told me this; “Mummy, I would like a sky (ceiling) full of pink balloons and a strawberry cake that’s pink. ” That is all she has asked me for. Now, does this sound like a spoilt child to you? Because if it does, we are clearly on the wrong page.
Allow me to give you some context. Last Wednesday, I had a house full. I had written off the day work wise because I knew it would be impossible to get much done as Alyssa would be home along with her 12 year old cousin (Rowan) and a very close family/non family cousin not cousin 11 year old girl (Rhea) as well as my brother, his father, my mother and bear. Needless to say a bit of a mad house which kicked off with the first arrival at 7am.
I spent the day cooking, baking, doing arts and crafts, pulling Alyssa out of the room with the pre-teens in whom she idolised but who quite easily got annoyed with her interrupting their game but generally having a nice day of it. It all ended, everyone was happy and looked forward to the next day sometime soon. Well, I am not sure that day will come for some.
The following morning, whilst sat working, I was informed of something that had happened upon taking home Rhea and her daddy (my brother’s dad.) It would appear, that Rhea (11 years old remember) doesn’t actually like coming to our house because Alyssa is there. Because Alyssa is spoiled. Her mummy (me) gets sent loads of free stuff and she just gets boxes and boxes of toys handed to her and she’s spoilt and annoying.
I didn’t know which to feel first – angry and lioness mamaish or burst into tears that this was the view of my child. No child is perfect and Alyssa has her tantrums like anyone, but she is not spoilt and if anything often misses out because I am worried she will become spoilt. So I just thought I’d clear a few things up, in case it wasn’t just this rude 11 year old girl, who I’ve treated like one of my own since she was a baby, felt this way.
You see all those beautiful clothes on Instagram that my daughter is wearing? Did you know that 90% of them come from eBay? Yes they are nice brands like Next, Monsoon, Boden etc. but did you know that apart from her newborn clothing which was all brand new, that the majority of her wardrobe is from eBay as it’s the only way I can keep up with her fast growing little body? We put her old clothes on and get her new ones from there. Occasionally yes she will get something new… but it won’t be full price, it will be in the sale and without prompting she will be happy, excited and say thank you.
You know all that “FREE” stuff I get that I just hand over to Alyssa? Well, for starters, it ISN’T FREE! I don’t know how many times bloggers, influencers or whomever need to reiterate that the items aren’t for free. We have to deal with the brands and PRs, photography, editing, writing, publishing and promoting, invoicing, tax returns, travel BUT yeah, no you’re right, it’s totally free. Want to know the other thing? Alyssa doesn’t get 80% of what I receive and review.
I have a cupboard and into that cupboard throughout the year, go items that I think will be suitable for birthdays and Christmas presents (including family members and that 11 year old girl) and the rest are either given away or sold via Facebook or again eBay (and yes declared in my Tax Return.) Yes, if a brand sends something they specifically require a photo of Alyssa with or in then she will receive the item because it is unfair to give her something then take it away. However, look through my reviews on here…. how many pictures do you ACTUALLY see with Alyssa in? I bet you had trouble finding one.
That is because if I didn’t save gifts for her birthday and Christmas, apart from not getting very much at all because I am a single mother who is self-employed and on NO benefits, she would become spoilt. But she isn’t. That little girl says please and thank you and is entirely grateful for anything and everything she receives. A lovely PR sent her a free pack of bubbles the other day and her face lit up and do you know what she turned to me and said? “Mummy, can I have these or are they for your work?!” The little one wasn’t even sure she could have a bottle of sodding bubbles.
I know it is silly to be upset by the words of an 11 year old, even if she is an 11 year old with a hell of a lot of sass, who has been spoken to by both her mother and father and told she will not be invited again, but I cannot help it. Do you want to know the irony of the whole thing? A year ago, I was given 4 exclusive passes to the preview event at the Warner Brothers Studio for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and guess who is an extreme Harry Potter Fan and got to come along with me for free?! Yep you guessed it the 11 year old girl.
This whole thing is making me question how I parent, because I wouldn’t want Alyssa to be bullied, used or manipulated in the future for the decisions I make, but I wonder if I have actually done anything wrong?! I am so very sad and hurt that someone my little girl loves and looks up to really just doesn’t seem to like her. On that Wednesday, my little girl was told repeatedly to be quiet, shut up and to go away and she just kept on and on trying because she has what I like to call, gumption. Apart from anything else, she is 3 years old and she wants to learn and know about everything. Fortunately she isn’t quite at the sullen silent stage.
So no, my child isn’t spoilt. Both she and I do not have boxes and boxes of free stuff to use, eat, wear and play with. Truth is, some months, we’re barely above water. Hope that clears things up for you.