What is the "Keeping up with the Joneses" item in your circle?

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Posted 10/6/2012 by Tearisci in NSBR Board
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Tearisci
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Posted: 10/6/2012 11:20:05 AM
I had never really thought much about this until recently, but our "Keeping up with the Jones" item in our extended circle of acquaintances seems to be exotic vacations. It's so funny to listen to conversations about where people have been and then listen to others try and top them.

"Oh you went to Kuala Lumpur? Well, I did it with a 2 month old and a 2 year old..." I just sit and smile because it sounds so ridiculous!

So I'm curious, what is the "Keeping up with the Joneses" Item in your extended circle of friends/acquaintances?

MikeWozowski
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Posted: 10/6/2012 11:22:03 AM
my first thought was vacations, too. not the over the top thing thata you mentioned, though. just lots of vacations.

Steph (D)Rebel
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Posted: 10/6/2012 11:25:43 AM
For a lot of moms I feel like it's sacrifice-- they have to be the biggest slave to activities with the kids, stuff around the house. It's very 'in' to be the mom who sacrfices every minute for her family and volunteers for everything.

I'm down with one sport/activity per season for each and i'm a 'dear teacher, if you need me holla...oh the overscheduled moms want to bake custom cupcakes? Ok, i'll buy napkins no biggie" kind of mom. While they're stressing about rolling fondant for the cupcakes I hang out with my kids or go for girls night with my single friends

Material things I don't think theres much of that in the circles i'm in...they're either stable or living paycheck to paycheck so they find other things




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AthenainCA
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Posted: 10/6/2012 11:26:10 AM
No clue.



Tearisci
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Posted: 10/6/2012 11:26:52 AM
Steph - I remember that so well! Now that my DS is in college, I don't miss those years at all!

Woobster
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Posted: 10/6/2012 11:28:00 AM
<--- Is a Jones

I don't see much of the "keeping up" mentality honestly. We have friends who are exotic vacation takers. DH and I aren't. We have friends who are "toy" purchasers. DH and I aren't. DH has a good friend who always has a high end vehicle. Ours are both at lest 7 years old.

There just isn't that competition within in our small circle.

Tearisci
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Posted: 10/6/2012 11:30:14 AM
I don't really feel in competition about the vacation thing, but it's funny to watch the "toppers" who have to one-up their friends. I hadn't ever noticed it until recently!

Pridemom
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Posted: 10/6/2012 11:36:39 AM
I am with Steph. I have 4 kids, but I refuse to run every night. It's hard, though, with kids in Jr and Sr High. We don't allow anyone on a traveling team, and school clubs are ok if they meet before or following school. We are backing out of the show choir parents' group because of several reasons, but that frees up one meeting a month. I miss the days when parents didn't feel obligated to stay for practices, kids rode their bikes or walked home (we live in the county with no safe walking/biking route), and there wasn't pressure to be in dance/gymnastics/sports until junior high.

I had a mom tell me, "I would feel lost if we didn't have something every night." If we have something three nights a week I am longing for time off.




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Luvnlifelady
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Posted: 10/6/2012 11:44:50 AM
I'm with you Pridemom...I can't be going all the time, but more power to those that can.

For our circle, I would say it's vacations too. We don't take very many, if at all, it's to the local mountains.

However, with FB now, it's very easy to see what others are up to. Used to be you barely knew where your friends went, but with the pictures now, it's much easier to brag and try to one up each other.



auntkelly
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Posted: 10/6/2012 11:46:12 AM
It's all about college in my circle now. Where is your kid going to school? What was your kid's ACT score? What sorority is your daughter in?


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lisabb
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Posted: 10/6/2012 11:46:44 AM
Our friends don't really do the keeping up thing. To be honest I'd probably not be friends with them if they did - I'm not particularly materialistic and hate that competitive showing off.


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**cindyupnorth**
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Posted: 10/6/2012 11:47:32 AM
I'm sort of in the Steph category. It's the mom's that "complain" about all the running they have to do for their kids. Whatever. AND the Dad's that brag about how many OT hrs they put in on their job. Yea...whatever..ha. I'm happy to put in my hrs, and not be running my kids to stuff. I'm happy to just spend time with my family. Have family dinners,go out to eat together, and have a nice boring life.






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Posted: 10/6/2012 11:47:42 AM
Not totally sure but maybe kids' summer programs. Because we live so close to the NYC metro area, there are lots of opportunities for things like highly competitive to get into theater workshops, dance intensives etc.


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Tearisci
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Posted: 10/6/2012 11:49:14 AM

Our friends don't really do the keeping up thing. To be honest I'd probably not be friends with them if they did - I'm not particularly materialistic and hate that competitive showing off.


In our case, it's not really our close circle of friends, but very common talk at parties or with co-workers and friends of friends. Our best friends travel constantly and I'm really happy for them.. and they buy us cool stuff from their destinations

caroscraps
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Posted: 10/6/2012 11:53:52 AM
Where I live it's comical to hear all the parents talk. Most around me are sahm's and live in huge houses. They are very proud of that fact. They all wear high end designer clothes and so do their children. Disney is a must and a vacation of some kind for every school break. Most ski every winter.
Like I said, it's comical to hear. I'm older and my kids are grown and 2 of them moved away because they didn't want their kids to grow up in such a bubble.

In my circle now it's who is retiring and traveling the world, building retirement homes, just an extension of their younger selves.


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gar
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Posted: 10/6/2012 11:57:46 AM
It's almost a ridiculous case of the opposite - 'look how poor we are currently' competition here. It's not serious but wth a lot of our friends having to tighten their belts somewhat with the general economy and then having kids going off to university and having to pay fees etc etc it's almost keeping down with than the Joneses In the context of our 'definitely not on the breadline/home counties' situation it's so silly really.







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Tearisci
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Posted: 10/6/2012 11:59:46 AM

It's almost a ridiculous case of the opposite - 'look how poor we are currently' competition here. It's not serious but wth a lot of our friends having to tighten their belts somewhat with the general economy and then having kids going off to university and having to pay fees etc etc it's almost keeping down with than the Joneses In the context of our 'definitely not on the breadline/home counties' situation it's so silly really.


That's really interesting, gar. I think it goes along with the "sacrifice" and "hardship" that other posters have mentioned hearing from over scheduled moms.

pennyring
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Posted: 10/6/2012 12:00:06 PM
I don't really know anyone who keeps up with anyone.

We have different friends who are into different things, but they're not "showing off" by talking about it. I think we each have our "thing" and sometimes share with the group. KWIM?

* We have friends who like to scuba dive and travel all over the world doing dive activities. They don't brag about it and we aren't jealous because we don't want to scuba dive! LOL!

* We have a friend who is into Iron Man. He travels all over doing Iron Man and we support him in that as we're able. We're not jealous because we don't want to do Iron Man!

* We have friends who work for an airline and have Disneyland annual passes, so they go to Disneyland all time. Not jealous because we've had APs in the past and could again if we wanted to. We're just doing other things now.

* We have a friend who's very materialistic and loves to show off her newest Coach purse and drive around in her boyfriend's expensive car. We're not jealous because we (I) think Coach is ugly, and I like my Honda CRV. LOL! I picked it. No interest in a car like her BF's.

* My SiL's thing is traveling to exotic locales and getting drunk on the beach. We have no interest in getting drunk around the world, so not jealous.

* Personally, our thing is travel. DH and I love to travel to new places. I don't think anyone is jealous because they're doing their own thing. Ok... maybe one friend is jealous, but he's the type to be jealous of everyone. I feel sorry for him because he never seems content.



aniheartsjapan
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Posted: 10/6/2012 12:01:39 PM
In our circle, we don't do "keeping up". I feel lucky that my friends don't try to make me feel like a loser.

scrappylicious
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Posted: 10/6/2012 12:09:34 PM
In my circle...none. I could not be any happier for my friends and they would not be my friends if they were making judgements about me and trying to one up me.

Now in my town, I see a lot of women trying to out do each other through their kids and how much money their husbands make. It always makes me sad to see women trying to gain merits on other peoples accomplishments.



dulcemama
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Posted: 10/6/2012 12:14:38 PM
Most of the people in my circle are in no position to try to keep up with the Joneses. Not that we're all starving or anything but we all have fairly modest incomes and live a pretty modest lifestyle.





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Posted: 10/6/2012 12:14:47 PM
We all have young kids, so right now it's cool birthday parties and who got the best deal on xyz at a garage sale or consignment store. I try to ooh and awe at their "finds" but I'm just not that into thrifting -no time for that!



emmafrost
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Posted: 10/6/2012 12:15:53 PM
In our circle, it's keeping a job. Layoffs and rumors of layoffs have finally hit hard in our area.







Peabay
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Posted: 10/6/2012 12:20:56 PM
In my area, it's definitely colleges.

It's also athletic teams: "my freshman daughter went right to Varsity!" kind of stuff.



gypsyz3
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Posted: 10/6/2012 12:23:22 PM


For a lot of moms I feel like it's sacrifice-- they have to be the biggest slave to activities with the kids, stuff around the house. It's very 'in' to be the mom who sacrfices every minute for her family and volunteers for everything.


This is really many of my friends. They bitch and complain about time restraints but they cause the initial situation. I have a friend who spends all Sunday cooking so her kids can eat organic, made from scratch meals everyday for lunch and dinner. Yet that cuts out a whole day you can spend with your kids. She is always complaining because she often works late because she refuses to miss anything at the kids' school. Great but now you don't see your kids all week because they are asleep when you get home. So tired because I had to sleep in my kids' room because they have the sniffles. Yea, it's crazy. I just add that I'm a bad mom to all those conversations because it doesn't even occur to me to do those things.





gypsyz3
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Posted: 10/6/2012 12:23:22 PM


For a lot of moms I feel like it's sacrifice-- they have to be the biggest slave to activities with the kids, stuff around the house. It's very 'in' to be the mom who sacrfices every minute for her family and volunteers for everything.


This is really many of my friends. They bitch and complain about time restraints but they cause the initial situation. I have a friend who spends all Sunday cooking so her kids can eat organic, made from scratch meals everyday for lunch and dinner. Yet that cuts out a whole day you can spend with your kids. She is always complaining because she often works late because she refuses to miss anything at the kids' school. Great but now you don't see your kids all week because they are asleep when you get home. So tired because I had to sleep in my kids' room because they have the sniffles. Yea, it's crazy. I just add that I'm a bad mom to all those conversations because it doesn't even occur to me to do those things.





Carolina Girl 71
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Posted: 10/6/2012 12:28:29 PM
In my circle of close friends, it's travel. Our kids are all grown and out of college, a few of us have very young grandchildren (not old enough for sports or dance yet) so it's who can have the biggest adventure or grandest trip. A few of us (not DH or me) have jobs where they travel a lot, so they have a gazaillion airline and hotel points, so their trips are basically free or low cost and they go to great places - the rest of us usually go to the beach or mountains, which suits me fine.


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Posted: 10/6/2012 12:29:06 PM
It's for sure activities/classes here. My kids are in activities- one dances 5 days a week, one plays 2 instruments in two bands and has lessons for those instruments. This is far less than most though- math tutors, Chinese class,private soccer coaching, ballet camp, horseback riding, Kumon...it's like if you aren't doing all this, your kids will be "behind". Crazy.

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Posted: 10/6/2012 12:38:45 PM
We don't have any of that either. For us it's keep your job or your business afloat, pay your bills and have a little extra so you don't have to bring the cheap, shitty beer to parties.
We don't do a lot of Jonesing in my "circle".

TREZmom
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Posted: 10/6/2012 12:46:21 PM
Lots of extra-curricular activities and vacations...both of which we can't easily incorporate into our lives.

scorPEAo
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Posted: 10/6/2012 12:49:01 PM
How wonderful their kids are. I swear I'm the only one with a child that hates homework. Everyone else's are scholar this and scholar that. Mine is a normal kid. When she was younger it was allergies, add, autism, etc. seemed like EVERY kid had some special need. Again, mine was just normal.



ilovebuble
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Posted: 10/6/2012 12:56:50 PM
Most of my friends are just starting out so it is all about the weddings. I am glad mine is over with!

UkSue
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Posted: 10/6/2012 1:10:59 PM

It's almost a ridiculous case of the opposite - 'look how poor we are currently' competition here. It's not serious but wth a lot of our friends having to tighten their belts somewhat with the general economy and then having kids going off to university and having to pay fees etc etc it's almost keeping down with than the Joneses In the context of our 'definitely not on the breadline/home counties' situation it's so silly really.


This is my experience also. Except, in the case of my in-laws, they claim to be poor as Church mice, but own several houses here in the UK, 2 properties in Spain that they visit several times a year, buy new cars and electronics all the time plus virtually live on takeaway food. Their mobile phone bills each month are more than my mortgage!However when I said my roof was raining in, and I hadn't the money to repair it at the moment they were 'Oh I know, we are really really struggling too, we really know how you feel'


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Really Red
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Posted: 10/6/2012 1:26:44 PM
It's funny - it's different all the time. My two 15yos will be 16 on Christmas. EVERYONE their age has their own car. Even twins EACH get their own car. Mine will be lucky to be able to share my car.

OTOH, I visit my MIL every other year for a few weeks. That is what I tell my acquaintances because she lives in Switzerland and if people know that then they say "oh, you're so lucky that you can do such things, etc etc" but we scrimp and save otherwise to do that. Plus we stay with her so our cost is really mostly airfare. One parent took her 6th grader to some European trip with the school. $3500 per person for 10 days. I don't spend that for my family of 4 for one trip. But said person was shocked that people found it too expensive. Now I thought you did a lot with that trip, don't get me wrong, but it is a lot of money for the normal person, particularly when whole families went!


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Posted: 10/6/2012 1:31:14 PM
I can't really think of any thing -- most people here have money - nice vacations and cars are commonplace -- but I don't think people are competitive about it. The thing that comes to mind is being skinny and athletic(moms) but maybe that is my own neuroses!



knit.pea
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Posted: 10/6/2012 1:34:16 PM

We don't do a lot of Jonesing in my "circle".

I have a few friends who run to activities endlessly with their kids,
and a few who are really into exercise/classes. But it doesn't get
past the chat about it stage.



Sarah*H
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Posted: 10/6/2012 1:39:17 PM
I can't think of anything. Most of my friends are pretty average, middle class suburban with middle class suburban lifestyles.



h&hmommy
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Posted: 10/6/2012 1:48:57 PM
My DH went to the Ranger playoff game last night with 5 other guys he has season tickets with. He says all the guys (NOT DH) were all comparing their Rolex watches and who paid the most for it. Dh says they might as well have been comparing penis size, they were so proud of their watches!

Himpossible!
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Posted: 10/6/2012 1:56:47 PM
Being a SAHM.


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Posted: 10/6/2012 1:59:31 PM
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Posted: 10/6/2012 2:03:26 PM
Exotic vacations are definitely the thing around here. We have friends that spend vacations in Nepal. Others who go on chartered missionary cruises to exotic places where they build shelters or provide other charitable contributions to the locals.

Just give me a beach and a blue drink and I'm happy! Even an indoor water park sounds fun during a New England winter.




Mariah2
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Posted: 10/6/2012 2:11:50 PM
Getting married, having kids, buying a house in the suburbs.

I won't do any of it. It's not for me.


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Mariah2
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Posted: 10/6/2012 2:13:18 PM
One thing I hear among the moms I know is how busy they are. Busy busy busy. Sitting around watching TV on a Sat afternoon or having time to go out to lunch is looked down on. Oh I can't! I am soooooo busy!


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moveablefeast
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Posted: 10/6/2012 2:15:41 PM
I actually try NOT to pay attention to "keeping up" - I can't afford to keep up with purchasing the "it" thing, and I don't like to dwell on it when i don't "measure up" - I don't think it's all that healthy. I'm a lower-middle-class mom in a sea of upper-middle-class-and-then-some moms. Fortunately, my friends are mostly like me, and the few who are vastly wealthier are pretty inconspicuous about it.

Anyway.

Among our preschool moms, the "it" item appears to be cars.

Top tier preschool mommas drive expensive SUVs. Range Rovers, Mercedes, things like that, shiny and absolutely pristine.

Second tier preschool mommas drive brand new minivans. Honda, please. Toyota if you are a little bit of a rebel. Ford - no.

I am like ninth tier in my beat-up old Accord.


Oh oh oh! I almost forgot! BIRTHDAY PARTIES. Nobody has home birthday parties anymore. No, no, that won't do. The inflatables place is OK. Tea at the Ritz-Carlton for a fifth birthday is not over the top (we have been twice now - OMG). Chuck E Cheese's is so 1990. Sigh.

smilesnpeacesigns
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Posted: 10/6/2012 2:25:06 PM
I don't have a big circle of friends. My DH said me and my BFF were competitive. A list of stuff.. he told me I hadn't noticed until he made fun of us over it.

Digital camera, I got the first one she got a better on and we went on like that for a few years ( she won that though with a NICE Cannon )

T.v.'s We won with our 52 inch , we thought they had it with their big screen but ours has a better picture. . I think that one was more the guys then us though.

I bought the first Wii, but she beats me by having more accessories for hers..

Crafts, she wins every time but she lives in a city where I live in the boondocks with no Hobby Lobby or Michael's

Home decorating she wins by default because she has a house, but before we lost our house my living room was so cool!!

Fixing up old furniture: this wound up being a who can keep up because I gave her this old table I had and didn't want to mess with, she sanded and stained that ugly table till it was beautiful, so I stained my Dad's old desk ( turned out nice ) so she went a stained all of her living room woods to a sweet cherry wood color. I haven't caught up to that though because all my living room furniture is an good shape and matches so no need. My Dh talked me out of it.

I guess we have been doing it for years but I never gave it any thought sooo I have my own personal Jones to keep up with. I love my BFF


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wippea
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Posted: 10/6/2012 2:33:50 PM
Interesting topic. My friends are not the keeping up types. Several are from countries outside the US such as India, Croatia/Bosnia, Trinidad and Russia. They use their resources and vacation time to go to their home counties to visit family.

But it is fun to watch others play the keeping up game. I work at a small University and there is a group of about ten females,late twenties to late thirties who constantly do the one-up. No less than once a day I hear in these exact words "well my daddy is a doctor so he is buying me __________ (fill in the blank with BMW, Audi,House,Condo, month long cruise, vacation home or exotic vacation)". The rest talk and point out their designer clothes and shoes purchased on their last trip to France or Italy. There is a constant competition between these women-use this term loosely-hair flipping and all.


Scraptologist
Princess Pinkness

PeaNut 2,163
December 1999
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Posted: 10/6/2012 2:47:21 PM
We don't keep up with anyone. We buy what we want, when we want...do what we want, when we want. We make decisions based on what is best for our family and situation. Having said that, there has been a person in my life who had to have everything I had. If I bought something, she ran out and bought the same thing, then bitched about it. It actually became creepy. I had to disengaged from this person because she became obsessed.

*theCakeGirl*
PeaFixture

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April 1999
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Posted: 10/6/2012 3:03:56 PM
Probably the over extended over committed schedules. I just can NOT do it. We are a military family and half the time my dh is gone so it's just me. I personally do not like to rely/depend/ask others for help so my kids can all be busy busy. Each kid has a thing once a year. It can NOT overlap.

I am known as the mom that makes the "fancy snacks" but it's my creative outlet. There is no stress and I always get the kids involved for that. The weekends are our downtime/family time and we try not to schedule anything outside of that. I really don't care what others are doing or what the IN thing is because it's MY life and I'm doing what makes us happy. And clearly it's not cool but whatever, see previous sentence


http://www.nomadescollection.com/denisem

cmpeter
PEAceful Pea

PeaNut 14,521
April 2001
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Posted: 10/6/2012 3:50:17 PM
I am kind of clueless about that stuff...I don't have the time or energy to even pay attention to it. But, another friend told me she was getting grief because she didn't have the "it" car...a Honda Pilot. They are all over the place in my neighborhood.


Cindi

2peafaithful
People not perfection

PeaNut 35,457
April 2002
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Posted: 10/6/2012 3:56:13 PM
I honestly don't think this is a big part of my circle of friends. We all have different lives, different incomes, some of us work at home and some work outside the home, different age kids, dh with different type jobs and hours, etc. We all have things that matter to us. Maybe I am missing it but I just don't think we have that aspect of our circle.
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