Single mother asks: Is my son toy-deprived?

Author Nan Mooney reflects on what she can't afford to give her child.



Katharine Mieszkowski
November 19, 2008 1:16AM (UTC)

Back in May, I interviewed journalist Nan Mooney about her latest book "(Not) Keeping Up with Our Parents: The Decline of the Professional Middle Class," which explores how stagnant wages and the rising cost of health care, education and retirement have driven middle-class Americans into financial insecurity. Over on Babble, Mooney's been telling her personal story about what it's like to be a single mother in her late 30s living in her parents' basement apartment in Seattle with her son, Leo.

In her latest essay, Mooney's reflects on her son growing up toy-thrifty in an ExerSaucer world:  "In part I'm proud to invest him with non-materialistic values," she writes. "But at times I feel guilty too. I'm not entirely convinced that never having a slate of developmental toys, a library full of books or a fancy birthday party won't actually hurt him in some way. What if in my efforts to pare down, I neglect to provide Leo with some crucial item that really would make him a happier, more successful, more well-rounded kid?"

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Katharine Mieszkowski

Katharine Mieszkowski is a senior writer for Salon.

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