I do not make, sell, or traffic in bootleg/recast dolls or any other product.

I do not provide information on where or how to buy them.

Any recast information on this blog is for information purposes only, for identifying recast products on the second hand market.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Rant: On being a stay-at-home mom in the doll hobby and whiny teenagers

I just had a teenager say this to me:

Name and other stuff in the posted edited for privacy.
So let me see if I understand this right…being a mother who stays at home, who cooks, cleans, and cares for children (well one infant in my case) is somehow easier than being a fifteen year old who lives with her parents? I'm going to assume that this was not meant to offensive or dramatic. I'm going to assume the person was merely expressing sadness at her lack of doll situation and difficulty finding a job. That really does suck. However, it brings to mind a larger problem in the doll hobby, and that's technically what I'm ranting about at the expense of this poster.

Edited to reinforce what I've said on Facebook and in this article because some apparently didn't understand: This is NOT about the girl that posted. She inspired the post, but it is not about her. "You" is a general "you", not YOU specifically reader, and does not refer to the girl who inspired the post.(And if she's reading this, I admit I don't recall your name, and I apologize if you are hurt.)

Secondary edit: The young lady responsible has stepped up and explained herself, and just as I thought and mentioned at the start of this blog she was NOT trying to be dramatic. She was trying to be funny. As I thought. This is just to stress that the post was NOT about her. It's about teenagers in general. She's obviously much more mature than the subject of this post, as she showed by stepping up and explaining herself in public. Good for her!

Also, this is not a pity party about being a stay-at-home mom. This was written in response to things I have had said directly to me, about me, and about other stay-at-home parents who have hobbies, especially expensive ones. There is no intent to compete here, neither with other moms nor anyone else. I used my personal experience to provide evidence and basis for my opinions, so that I'm not talking out my ass.  It helps the reader know where I'm coming from. I am not mentioning hardship to garner pity or to seem as if I am feeling bad for myself. It is simply to give examples of how your life will change and encourage young people to appreciate their youth while they have it. This is not to belittle the situation of working parents (whose jobs are even harder than mine, since they work both outside the home and in it) or of younger people, many of whom work hard and are responsible. You simply cannot compare being a child with being an adult. Both have their own struggles.

I hope that summarizes everything and accurately responds to some of the posts we've had. I understand that this is a bit of a drama-inducer, something I generally try to avoid and rarely instigate, but I may often misinterpret others' responses incorrectly and respond defensively. 

This is not meant to shame anyone, but I seriously need to analyze this attitude. If you find yourself offended by this, ask why. Are you guilty of whiny behavior? Do you often complain about how hard life is as a teenager? 

Wait, you don't do any of that and you are a teenager? Well then this disclaimer is for you: I'm going to preface by saying this is not directed at responsible, polite teens whether or not they make their own money for dolls. I don't care. As long you aren't whining about being a teenager, whining about how you can't afford anything or your parents won't buy you things, you're fine by me.

I understand that life feels hard and unfair when you're a teenager. I was one too, believe it or not.

That doesn't allow for an entitled, bratty attitude though. I have come across some very mature teenagers in the doll hobby, I have. I have come across quite a few immature ones, but never have I had someone say something like this directly to me. Honestly I wasn't even sure how to respond to this. Frankly, attitudes like this make you look like a spoiled brat. You're borrowing money to pay for dolls, while whining on someone else's sales posts that you can't afford their services. You are 15? Awesome. You can legally work, but there are differences in how much you can work based on your state. My husband is in charge of a store that hires 16 year olds all the time. Where are you applying that you can't get a job? Some jobs have age requirements- no one under 18 can sell alcohol or work at a Starbucks in my state. People under 18 can't work graveyard shifts or after the curfew mandated by their states.

Edited to add: The economy is tough, and unemployment is high in many places. Just keep your head up and keep trying, and eventually you will find a job that will let you enjoy your hobbies. Don't give up!

There are plenty of posts and threads on the various doll groups for how to acquire doll money. Whining about not having a job on someone's sales thread is not polite and isn't going to engender any sympathy.

My parents couldn't afford a lot of expensive things for me, and anything I wanted I saved up for and bought myself with allowance and chore money. In my later teens, we were very poor, and many of our possessions, including my nintendo, had to be sold. When times got better, I still wasn't allowed to work. They wanted me to focus on high school, not working. They bought me pretty much anything I wanted so long as I did my chores, worked odd jobs, and kept good grades. I even had 3 American Girl dolls. After I graduated at 17 I got my first job- I painted houses and then later worked as a cashier. I have been working one or more jobs at a time since then while attending college full-time.

Now I am a mother. Do you know what your parents do for you? Were you lucky enough to have a stay at home parent for  you? Do you have bills? Do you have to worry about food? Doctor's appointments? Babies? Mortgage? Whether the car runs?

I do not work right now because I believe that being home with my son is the best thing for him, and it saves a great deal of money by not having daycare to worry about. How do I help financially around the house? I breastfeed (that saves around $2000 a year, give or take). I coupon. I make dinner at home every night (saves on eating out and ordering take out). I make and craft as much as I can to avoid buying new. I shop at thrift stores. All this adds up to a great deal of money saved. This translates into a small amount of money for "fun stuff" for me out of my husband's paychecks to pay for my doll stuff. Anything outside of that comes from making or selling things related to dolls. 

You might think it's a bit irresponsible to be a mother, especially a stay-at-home one, in the doll hobby. I know my mother told me as much. Moms are already burdoned with so much guilt- google mommy wars to know what I'm talking about. It's always a contest- Am I attachment parenting enough? She uses CIO, I don' I'm a bad mom...she lost the weight, I didn't....she works, I don't....she cooks and cans...I don't...blah blah blah. There's always something a mom has to deal with whether that be unwelcome or unsolicited parenting advice or comments on her lifestyle and what she chooses to do with herself outside of her role as a parent.

News flash: We don't stop being ourselves just because we have a kid. Sure, many things have to change. My hobbies are no longer priority, my son is. If it came down to it I'd sell the dolls in a heartbeat just to make sure I could take care of my family. I don't have to stop having dreams, stop having hobbies, stop painting, stop drawing, stop writing, stop photography just because I now have a child. I involve my son in pretty much everything I do, and I remember to take a little time for myself each day to reconnect with who I am. If I'm painting, he gets crayons. He mostly tries to eat them though. (Dads need this time too, but since I'm a mom, that's what I'm focusing on.)

I no longer wear my neo-Victorian bustle skirts and corsets. Ever try breastfeeding in a corset (I guess an underbust one would work)? Ever try removing pureed carrot stains from a silk blouse? A velvet blazer? Not fun. So my fancy wardrobe takes a back seat. My dolls can dress fancy all they want, so I'd rather focus that sort of attention on them. 

I try to be the best mom I can be, and I'm sure every other parent who also has hobbies, even expensive ones, feels the same way: we're all trying our best. It's hard to be a parent, and it's hard to be a parent with expensive hobbies. Granted, the choice of hobby is just that, a choice, but everyone should be able to take the time to enjoy what they enjoy, even if it takes a little bit longer to save for it.

I am grateful we can afford for me to stay at home. I'm grateful we can pay for our needs and still have our hobbies. I also look forward to going back to work.

So, remind me again how being 15 years old and living with your parents is harder than that?

Be grateful, you little shits. And next time, think very carefully before you tell a grown woman, especially a mother, to try being you. Try being me. You'll miss your freedom, your carefree days, and your non-baby sucked on boobs.