A Side Hustle

Often children are portrayed as the family’s pride and joy. They are advertised as making the family whole or adding an extra element that was missing before. In fact, in every lifetime an individual will consider having their own child because that’s what is considered the norm.

In present times, however, having a child is no longer the goal. Happiness for the family is found elsewhere and a lot of couples are considering being childless for the rest of their lives. It has nothing to do with not liking children, but rather what it takes to raise a child in current times.

The rate for even having a child has skyrocketed by almost $10,000 in the last 20 years*. But that comes with the increase of everything including homes, cost of living, and more. It isn’t the child’s fault, obviously, because it was the parents’ decision to have them, but it almost seems as though the parents almost feel a sort of regret.

I have a friend with two kids, both are younger than 10. She’s working two jobs, and so is her husband and she constantly tells me that she is living check to check. Her priority is her kids, and I often find her working more to provide for them rather than be around to see them. They are taken care of, but they miss their parents being around. It’s like a Catch 22. Having kids is one thing but affording to care for them is another.

So, a trend emerged amongst some (not all) parents. Social media representation of a “perfect family”. What this means is, the kids are now being used as another mean of income to the parents. Or in a harsher way: children have become an accessory. Thoughts?

Before, you showed off your child of course. Dressed them up when taking them out and taking pictures on your camera to later reminisce about the good times. But the current trend is popularizing children in fashion wear and making them look like child models. One too many times I am catching pictures of children in Jordan’s, Nike, Puma, FashionNova, Prada, Gucci, and so many other big brands that is almost clear that no busy body parent could afford. It’s almost like a joke.

You’re telling me as a parent you would buy your 5-year-old Gucci shoes to parade around before they grow, which is within 6 months at that age? No, you wouldn’t do that because you logically know that your child is growing and buying them anything that is expensive is a waste of money since they won’t be able to fit into it by the next year.

But why is it that you see these kids wearing those items on social media, with parents proudly saying, “Look how cute my little Susie is in her new @prada shoes!” Simple, kids have become accessories to provide another means of income for the parents. It’s almost despicable to think that parents would do that when children clearly are feigning for their attention and affection. Kids exist to seek approval from parents, and parents are simple now moving to showcase their children like the next best thing since the new iPhone.

It’s not just clothing apparel and pictures of the child’s lavish bedroom that’s being exposed either – there was a case of a YouTube parent who accidentally got exposed for emotionally abusing their child. In the video the parent was basically letting their subscribers know that they just lost the puppy they got recently due to some illness. The mother and son weren’t originally crying but the mother looked over at her child and said, “You have to cry! So, cry! How else are we going to get subscribers, Jesus!” To which the boy doesn’t say anything but sheds some tears.

The mother then starts blinking rapidly and sniffling to simulate crying and then clears her throat before speaking up saying “Oh I know honey you’re upset! Yeah, guys we just lost our puppy.” And then pulls her child in to give him a kiss on the forehead. It was clear she forgot to stop the recording because a moment later she pushes the child away and smiles that they had a good recording.

In another instance this popular family YouTube channel was put on blast when the parents were caught buying items on loans, and credit to make it seem as though they were wealthy. In a huge scandal they had a video go viral for doing a “New House Tour”. It was a huge mansion in LA, so obviously more than a $10 million dollar home. They had two Lamborghini’s parked outside and their kids hoisted on their hips as they showed off their home.

A month later, however, the family was hit with the scandal that they in fact could not even afford that house, much less the cars and dealing with a foreclosure. For a successful seeming family, it didn’t add up that they were losing their house that they could obviously afford.

Yet the underlying truth was that everything they owned was fraud or forged. They cheated their way using their lines of credit and using their children to open more lines of credit until really, they should be bankrupt. They had no money, no home, and on top of that ruined their kids’ lives.

They no longer own that mansion and are scrapping by trying to dodge tax collectors. Now this may seem like the parents’ problem and something they will deal with, but all parents know what happens to them also affects their children.

Being broadcasted on social media and news platforms for having ill-prepared parents, or even simply the fact that their lives are hurt by their parent’s desire for fame says enough. The children were another popular point because the family channel wasn’t going to be a family channel with just the husband and wife. The three kids with the parents made their channel look lively and appetizing for the audience and from there they used that spout of fame to continue producing lies. All at the expense of their children.

It’s something I have preached, and I will always continue to preach. Your children are not an accessory. They are your responsibility because you chose to bring them into your life. You didn’t need to have them; you didn’t need to put yourselves through whatever to raise them. But you did willingly and should’ve done it with open arms.

If you feel remorse or regret having children, tough luck. They are yours and yours forever. So, my advice to parents who feel their children can be used to show off their lives, don’t. Focus on your kids. Focus on bonding with them and loving on them and showing them that they are your priority not your followers. They are not a side hustle to profit off, they are your flesh and blood.

Respect your children and they will respect you!

Below are the links to the YouTube channels.