I recently joined an online parenting forum, Minti, that primarily consists of parents in Canada, Australia and England (as well as a parent or two from places like Gambia and Uraguay). I’m eager to hear feedback on consumer living from parents outside of the US. My hunch is that overbuying is, for the most part, an American past time. We like our big houses, big cars, big playrooms, and big toys. Is it just us, or do parents elsewhere face the pressures of raising children in an overindulgent culture where want and need are one in the same?
There are times when this exercise in consumer restraint seems incredibly silly, considering that in numerous parts of the world there are families of 12 sleeping in houses the size of my daughter’s bedroom. Giving up six months worth of trips to the Gap hardly seems worth writing about. We’re just shy of two months in to our six month experiment, and so far, we’re not suffering–just getting a little whiney from time to time.
So bring it on, moms and pops in Turkey and Vanautu–I’m eager to hear what you have to say!