Is it a status symbol to have kids?
I know a man who has four kids. Let's call him John. He and his wife are relatively young; both are around 35. The wife is a dentist, and after graduation, she worked a year or two and then the first baby came. They decided to have a football team. A status symbol? We will see.
When their first child was born, they lived just like other people. They had their circle of friends from the middle class. Then they had their second child. John and his wife still hang out with the same friends. The pair began to talk about their apartment that was getting too small for their family, and decided to invest money in another business. John started making plans on how to earn more money.
Meanwhile, the third child was there. They lived in a small apartment and had three children. John bought a big property in the mountain at a low cost. The old house was ruined, but with this house he bought a large piece of land. In untouched nature. Yes, ideal environment for his children! On the farm, they (their workers actually) were going to cultivate a variety of animals and plants, and this would make the profit to help him buy a large apartment or build a house for his family. And then… he changed.
Photos of the farm began showing up in his Facebook newsfeed. He, his wife, his children, his workers, his goats, his chickens, his rabbits, his pigs... They often went to the mountain, as they wanted their children to grow up healthy, and at the same time they would monitor the works on the farm. A new house was built, not too big, but big enough for their weekends and holidays.
Photos on Facebook continued popping up, one after another. In the meantime, here comes another family member. Him, wife, four children, all happy and smiling. I know that from the Internet, not because I had time to talk to him in person. He didn’t have any time for his friends, he made his own plans and uploaded on social media. He is a successful man with a big family and four kids.
Three boys and a girl as the princess among them. The oldest son is grown up, he now goes to school and even began sailing. Not because he loves sailing, Daddy loves it and has big plans for him. Again, photos, two sailors, the son and his dad. Then the photo of the house, princess plays the piano, the third kid practicing judo, the other one is into shooting sports. Horse riding, language school. Photos, photos, photos... The perfect family. Likes, comments, admiration. John continues making plans. More plans. One day his kids will study at prestigious universities.
I often think about him. I stopped his notifications on Facebook and they don’t appear on my wall anymore. My family is no longer hanging out with his. No, I'm not jealous, just I don't like them anymore. When we meet, I can’t say a word, because he never shuts up and he talks about his family, about his plans. Wait! We have some plans too! You don't want to hear about them? No? Then we do not want to hear about yours either!
We all want the best for our children. Are our children better than other children just because they are ours? Are they on a higher position? Are they worth more than other children? Do I need to upload their photos every time when I buy something new to my kids or when they learn a new skill that we pay a lot of money for? Do we need to show them to the whole Internet when we buy them expensive shoes or iPhone, just to show our status? To show that we have enough money? All has turned to marketing and promotion.
What makes us feel the need to prove to people we know or don’t know that we are successful and rich? Instead of being proud of the good upbringing of our children, we are proud of things that we have to pay for? Let's start living in the real world, and teach our children to love other people. The base of their whole upbringing should be principles and values, and not whether they make us look good in front of other people.
posted 2 years 10 months ago