I always like to think I am up on parenting trends and hip to the coolness that is being an awesome mom, so I have been a subscriber to a well-known parenting magazine since Dante was about a year old. I've been noticing recently (well maybe not so recently) that the articles in this magazine range from "Duh, I could have told you that" to "You're kidding me" to "Seriously? You had to write an article about this?". I've also noticed that a lot of the trends and fashions and "tips" they suggest are geared toward families who somehow have escaped the economic trying times and/or live on a planet where money grows on trees and is as abundant as bad talent on American Idol.
For example, the magazine has a page for "cool new" baby and child gadgets. One of said gadgets was a really neat backpack that converted into a diaper changer/kitchen table/flying car (not really, but it was still cool). I was reading the info about it and getting really excited about maybe snagging one for the new baby until I got to the price tag: $199. Um, two hundred bucks for a BACKPACK?!?!? I don't have two hundred bucks for groceries let alone a stupid backpack that doubles as a transformer. Unless it really does turn into a flying car or Optimus Prime, then you all can keep your $199 and shove it where the sun don't shine. Seriously. Who has two hundred bucks to throw away on a backpack? And if you do have said two hundred bucks, hi, let's be friends.
Another part of the magazine deals with "cool new" baby and childrens' fashion. The outfits are usually very "Hi, I'm a future Republican Sarah Palin 2012 voter", but there are a few here and there that I like from time to time. In the most recent issue, I spotted an adorable sweater vest that I thought would look great on Dante for his first day of school this year. Price tag? $69. No, I did not put the decimal point in the wrong place, it's a seventy dollar sweater vest that your pre-schooler will grow out of in about 10 minutes which may or may not happen after he rips it while playing Captain Jack Sparrow on the front porch. Seriously? Seventy bucks? Am I a horrible mother because I buy my kid what's on the sale rack at Target or Marshalls? Honestly, I think the most expensive article of clothing he owns are his shoes, which are Stride Rites and range in the $50 neighborhood, ONLY BECAUSE they are the best shoes for feet and are well made. But really, who pays seventy dollars for a sweater vest? And again, if you are that person, "Hi, my name is Alessia and I am looking for a rich friend to try and buy my affection".
What really took the cake with me was this month's edition and the article on how couples are saving money and "making it" through these tough economic times. Finally, I thought to myself, and article I can relate to and maybe pick up some tips on how not to drown. With Randy being pretty much the last man standing at work after 90% of the company was laid off, there is no chance in a blue moon that he will be getting a raise anytime soon, so we are basically living on fumes at the moment. So here was this article promising to show me how other families were doing it and I was excited to read it.
Ok, first of all, the first couple interviewed, their total income was $90,000 a year. NINETY THOUSAND DOLLARS A YEAR. Um, are you kidding me? How the frig are they "struggling" at NINETY THOUSAND DOLLARS A YEAR?!?!?! We don't even make HALF that and they are going to give ME tips on how to save? Oh, oh, oh wait, the husband had to give up his golf membership and she had to cancel her weekly spa treatments. Call the waaaahmbulance. Cry me a river. Richie Rich can't play golf. The next couples profiled weren't any better with their annual incomes ranging from $75,000 to $60,000 (they considered themselves "low income") and all of them claiming that their way of pinching pennies and saving was no NOT use the yacht for the season and keep it docked.
This issue also feature "bargain" family vacations starting at ONLY $875 a person!!! *slams head on table*. Ok, for me that should read "Bargain Family vacations starting at only $8.75 a person". Are these people kidding me?!?!?! Who are these people?!?! Why aren't we them?!?!
Really? Is this what parenting is about? How do we relate to this? Where do we fit in? Is there a parenting magazine out there called Parenting for People in the Real World or Parenting as though you are one paycheck away from being broke?
Because I'd really like to subscribe to that one instead.