The Fallout From a Non-Magical Childhood

The other day I published a video on our Facebook page called “10 Things Good Moms Do Without Realizing It“. The 10 things are simple, every day things moms do like, “told your kids you loved them,” and “served dinner.” The response to the video was very positive, but…moms  being moms, there were some that couldn’t help but feel the mom guilt that is the result of the societal pressure to give our kids ALL THE THINGS.

One mom in particular commented:

I feel guilty sometimes bc we can’t afford to go do things all the time like go out to eat, movies, amusement parks, stuff like that. But I am up at dawn making sure my kids are up, fed, off to school with lunches. I tell them I love them every day with hugs and kisses. But I feel like it’s not enough.

To that mom, and to all of us who have a hard time convincing ourselves that showing up every day and consistently meeting our kids’ every day needs isn’t ENOUGH…well, I’d like to tell you about my childhood.

It was THE BEST. But it was completely non-magical.


Can we talk about how much I miss the 80s and how freaking adorable I was? Dang, why did I have to peak at 5!?????!!

I was your typical child of the 80s. I grew up on a small cul-de-sac and grew up running around the neighborhood, climbing trees, playing in the mud hole at the end of my driveway, and rubbing my ankles raw while hopping on my Pogo Ball (who else had one!??) My dad was a teacher and my mom went back to work when I was in first grade, having spent my kindergarten year getting a master’s degree.

My parents worked hard and they loved my brothers and me a lot. But there was nothing truly special or magical about my childhood.

I never believed in Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy. I didn’t get special toys or rewards for getting good grades—I was expected to do my best and for me, that meant getting good grades. I had plenty of new clothes but I wore a lot of  hand-me-downs, too.

Don’t get me wrong, I had everything I needed. Presents at Christmas and birthdays, et cetera. But none of it was ever made to appear our of thin air or purported to be delivered  by a fictional character.

I went to Disney World when I was six, but all I remember about it is the endless wait for my brothers to get on and off of Space Mountain and that Captain Hook (in a costume) scared the CRAP out of me and my dad got SUPER MAD and a little combative with the good Cap’n when he wouldn’t take a hint. (This remains one of my favorite memories of my dad, it was the first time I remember realizing that he would fight for me, protect me even in the most public or embarrassing of situations.)


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Jenny Rapson
Jenny Rapson is a follower of Christ, a wife and mom of three from Ohio and a freelance writer and editor. You can find her at her blog, Mommin' It Up, or follow her on Twitter.