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Dolls and your children

Aug 26, 2009

    1. I'm about to have my first baby in November, and I realized that when I started collecting dolls I had never given much thought to what I would do with them in the future. I'm very lucky in that we were able to buy a house and I now have a whole room for my craft projects and dolls, but what would I have done with my dolls if our only spare room needed to be a nursery? Will doll collecting be something I should share with my children early, or should it be "mommy time" for a number of years? Will my children hate me in the future because their mommy collects dolls and "normal" mommies don't?

      For those of you who already have children:
      - Did you start collecting dolls before or after you had kids? If after, how old were your children at the time?
      - Do your kids like to participate in your hobby, are they neutral observers, or do they dislike it?
      - Where do you keep your dolls, and can your children get to them?
      - Have you ever felt guilty buying doll things for yourself, even when your children are already provided for?
       
    2. - Did you start collecting dolls before or after you had kids? If after, how old were your children at the time?
      I didn't start collecting BJDs until after I had my daughter, and she was over a year old when my first doll arrived.

      - Do your kids like to participate in your hobby, are they neutral observers, or do they dislike it?
      My daughter is still too young to be a participant in the hobby, so she's currently a neutral observer. She does show an interest in them and certainly likes dolls in general.

      - Where do you keep your dolls, and can your children get to them?
      My dolls are kept in a "room" on top of the TV cabinet out of her reach for the most part. When they are brought down, she is allowed to play with them with a lot of supervision and reminding that she needs to be gentle with them and not touch faces. She likes to brush their wigs and pose them with her toys. It's adorable.

      - Have you ever felt guilty buying doll things for yourself, even when your children are already provided for?
      I don't feel guilty because I provide for her needs first and doll stuff is purchased with pre-budgeted funds for frivolous purchases.
       
    3. hmm I already had a daughter when I got my first doll. for me dolls are strictly for me, both my kids have their own toys, I don't allow my kids to play with my dolls. we live quite small, so space is precious, dolls are also one of the few things that are just for me, since we share almost everything else.
      I don't feel guilty, I save up for the dolls, after I've gotten my kids what they need.
       
    4. I think you don't need an entire room for your dolls, just put them on your desk, shelves, etc.

      Your children wouldn't hate you because you collect dolls, that's ridiculous, if only you don't love your dolls more than love your children.

      If you have girls, you can share your dolls with them or let them have their own dolls, just like moms buy their daughters barbie, I believe they'll love you very much~
       
    5. I think this will depend a lot on the individual child. Some children are going to be more interested in dolls than others. Of course, you will want to wait until your child is no longer putting everything they come in contact with in their mouth before you introduce them to your dolls. And your child should probably also be old enough to understand how to be gentle and careful with things (from experience with my siblings, their friends, and babysitting I can tell you this age is different for every child!).

      If your child expresses an interest in your dolls then I say go with the level of dolly interaction you are comfortable with. Supervised play time with your dolls, purchase of doll(s) your child can play with without close supervision, etc.

      I highly doubt your children will hate you in the future because you collect dolls. Okay, they may think you're a little strange, or maybe they'll be embarrassed, but I think all children are going to think/feel that way about their parents at some point in time.

      A fair portion of your children's perception of "normal" is going to come from their observations of you. So for them, a "normal" mommy will be one who, among other things, collects dolls.
       
    6. - Did you start collecting dolls before or after you had kids? If after, how old were your children at the time?

      Nope, my son was three when I got my doll.

      - Do your kids like to participate in your hobby, are they neutral observers, or do they dislike it?

      At first he wanted his own, and for months asked me if he was going to- 'have a dolly come in the post, that I can put the eyes into?' XD I nearly got him a small Obitsu, because I knew he would look after it, but the novelty wore off for him, so I didn't.

      - Where do you keep your dolls, and can your children get to them?

      Alex sits in his little chair on top of the fish-tank cabinet in the living room. At first he was out of reach, but my son has grown a lot in the last few months. Still, he knows that Alex is mine, and a very special toy that he messes about with on pain of grounding till he's 19!

      - Have you ever felt guilty buying doll things for yourself, even when your children are already provided for?

      No, he's our only child and my parents only grandchild, plus he has (currently) 10 aunts and uncles. He's not just well provided for, but spoilt rotten! ^_^
       
    7. - Did you start collecting dolls before or after you had kids? If after, how old were your children at the time?

      I have been collecting dolls since I was a child and never stopped even after I had gotten married and had kids. I did start BJDs particularly in 2005. My eldest was 5 and my youngest was just 1.

      - Do your kids like to participate in your hobby, are they neutral observers, or do they dislike it?

      They don't actively participate with BJD collecting but they have their own dolls. My girls are more stuffed toy kids than doll players. The problem for them as children of a doll collector is it's made them a bit jaded to their own friends. I don't mind buying them more expensive dolls like American Girls where my mom friends think it's much too expensive to buy and they think it's a rip off but I recognize quality and I don't mind and I like to pick out clothes and accessories with my girls for their dolls.

      - Where do you keep your dolls, and can your children get to them?

      I have a doll room to protect them. It's not to protect the dolls from my own kids but from other kids who don't know better. At my other house before we moved, I had the dolls in our office. I believe as expensive as they are that you need to protect your dolls as an investment in that way. A room with a door is best - out of mind out of sight because the things running through a kid's head might end up disastrous!

      - Have you ever felt guilty buying doll things for yourself, even when your children are already provided for?

      Never. I don't go overboard and my children have a lot already and very generous family as it is. You should never neglect yourself in any way or do without the things that bring you joy because then resentment builds up and you ultimately become unhappy. A happy mom makes for a happier household, after all....
       
    8. It's good to get so many responses from other doll-loving parents. This community is great, without it I would think I was the only dolly-lovin' Mama in the world.
       
    9. Did you start collecting dolls before or after you had kids? If after, how old were your children at the time?
      After. My daughter was 5. Now she is 6.

      Do your kids like to participate in your hobby, are they neutral observers, or do they dislike it?
      My kid loves my dolls but she surprisingly has very definite inner boundaries without me saying anything about it. She knows they're mine, they're fragile and she can only touch and play with them when I say so and when I'm nearby.

      Where do you keep your dolls, and can your children get to them?
      My dolls live on the bookshelf in my kids room (that way the cat can't get to them since she is banned from her room - lots of tiny toys that are way too interesting for her). My kid can in theory get them but she hasn't attempted it.

      Have you ever felt guilty buying doll things for yourself, even when your children are already provided for?
      Not in the slightest. This is the first luxury I've ever allowed myself to have and I do believe it's well within my rights to also allow myself some joy and happiness.
       
    10. Did you start collecting dolls before or after you had kids? I started after my first was born, but before having my second.

      If after, how old were your children at the time? Nicolai was about a year-year and a half when I started collecting.

      Do your kids like to participate in your hobby, are they neutral observers, or do they dislike it? Nicolai likes to watch when mommy plays and does stuff with her dollies. He asks what I'm doing and will sit with me and try to 'help' when I let him...he's 2 going on 3 in November so his 'help' makes more of a mess than anything else.

      Where do you keep your dolls, and can your children get to them? I keep my dolls on whatever surface is available for them to be sitting on, where I can see them, and yes, Nicolai can get to them. Leon will be able to, too, once he's big enough (2 months right now). I've taught Nicolai not to touch them without permission, and will do the same with his brother. Eventually I'll have the room for a custom built display cabinet for my dolls to go into when I'm not playing with them myself, though, and when that happens, that's where they'll stay when I'm not doing anything with them.

      Have you ever felt guilty buying doll things for yourself, even when your children are already provided for? No. My kids are actually pretty spoiled, with all the family they have, and being the only grandchildren for both my parents and my in-laws. So not only do they have everything they need, they get just about anything they want from their grandparents, and aunts, too. In the end, my hubby and I spend far more on the luxuries in life for our boys than we do on ourselves, anyway, and wind up spending money on eachother more than ourselves, too. So long as my bills are paid, my husband, children, and pets are fed well, and my hubby and kids are happy, I feel it's OK to spend a 'little' on myself here and there when we have it.
       
    11. It is nice to hear about other dolly-loving parents, isn't it? I would feel pretty alone, too. And getting tips on balancing dolly-love with young children is a good thing. I wish I had been able to ask when I started in the hobby.
       
    12. I've already pm'ed you a bit, cherrykitsune, but I thought I'd post here, too, for others to see. :)

      Did you start collecting dolls before or after you had kids? If after, how old were your children at the time?

      I've always collected dolls. I was collecting Barbies when my first was born, started collecting Pullips when he was 4 and my second was about 18 mos, and started collecting BJDs when they were 6 and 4 (and the youngest was a year and a half). They're almost 8, 5, and 2 and a half now. I'm also expecting in January (my last). I also collect kokeshi dolls and whatever else catches my eye. ;)

      Do your kids like to participate in your hobby, are they neutral observers, or do they dislike it?

      My son thinks they're really cool, but beyond that, doesn't really get involved. My 5 year old loves BJDs. She tells me she wants to save up her birthday money for a puki, and really likes LittleFees. She's even starting to recognize different sculpts, but so far is only familiar with FairyLand dolls. My youngest thinks they're all pukis, but she'll usually call my dolls by their names, rather than just say "your puki girl." I've taken them to meets before (only when they're at the park and my husband comes, too), and they ask politely if they can look at (or in my son's case, take pictures of) other people's dolls, but they don't touch them. (I'm not sure they've even asked to touch/hold them, since they know that they're generally not allowed to touch mine.)

      Where do you keep your dolls, and can your children get to them?

      Except for my BJDs, my dolls reside in a china cabinet, or on the top shelf of our entertainment center. The BJDs reside on my computer desk. If they chose to, my kids could totally get them, but they never do. I can leave the family room (with my dolls on the edge of the desk) to take a shower, and my 2 year old will sit in the same room, either playing or watching a movie, completely unsupervised, and never touch them. When the cousins come over, though (particularly one set of cousins), they go under lock and key in my bedroom, since the cousins don't even treat my kids' things very respectfully. :vein

      Have you ever felt guilty buying doll things for yourself, even when your children are already provided for?

      Not really. My kids come first, but like someone said earlier, a happy mom makes a happy household. My kids have so many toys and things they don't even play with. So long as they have what they need, and they're happy, I can spend a little on things I like that make me happy. :)


      This is so true. My kids think every mom knows how to knit, because I do, and both their local aunties do. They're surprised sometimes when they're reminded that their grandmas don't knit. They also think all dads play D&D, lol. :lol:
       
    13. Hi, cherrykitsune, you've got some great questions. I have four kids, aged 10, 8, 5 and 4. I can give you my input, though you've already got some great answers, already. :)

      - Did you start collecting dolls before or after you had kids? If after, how old were your children at the time?
      I started my doll collection after I had kids. At the time, I only had two kids, who were 3 and 18 months. And truthfully, I did feel a little guilty. (Honestly, you can walk into a bookstore and feel guilty about your parenting. In the US, I think there is an entire market out there made to make parents feel guilty if they don't buy everything to make their kids happy. Diaper wipe warmers are the perfect example, in my humble opinion.) ;)

      - Do your kids like to participate in your hobby, are they neutral observers, or do they dislike it?
      My oldest (a boy) is uninterested. My girls are involved, and they have a) their own doll collection from their allowance (no BJDs at this point, but I'm sure they will get their own soon), b) and are permitted to have some (supervised) play with mine. My 8 year-old daughter is very responsible. My 5 year-old daughter isn't as careful, so she doesn't get as much play, and none which is not carefully supervised. I'm sure it would depend on the child. Their friends do NOT get any play-time with my dolls. Both girls know that this is something they do with Mom, and that these are my dolls. They are breakable, etc., and they do not touch them when I am not around.
      My youngest, another boy, who is four, shows a little interest, but won't play with them unless I am right there. If he shows interest, I will play with him, or have him help me with something, but mostly, he isn't interested.

      - Where do you keep your dolls, and can your children get to them?
      I keep them on shelves in the living room now. They can get to them. But when they were younger, I kept them well out of reach till I could trust them. ;) (Otherwise, I'd spend all day telling them, "Don't touch," and that would drive me crazy.)

      - Have you ever felt guilty buying doll things for yourself, even when your children are already provided for?
      Sometimes, yes, but I think that depends how you're wired, and how much you tend to think about things. However, we recently (my husband and I) switched ourselves over to an "allowance," where we have a set amount each month that we each provide that we can spend on whatever frivolous things we like. We don't have to explain to the other person what we use the money for anymore. It isn't a huge amount, but it's the same for both of us, and it's a relief not to feel guilty about it. And it really works. Especially since I haven't worked (outside of the home) for so long. Does that make sense?

      Sorry--didn't mean to go on and on. (It's the lack of adult interaction, I think, and the copious numbers of children at home--they are home sick with flu--all of them!--today.) :) Hope that helps a little. My advice is NOT to feel guilty, and do whatever works for you. And if the first thing you try doesn't work, try something else and do NOT feel guilty. :)

      And congratulations! Kids are awesome! (Just a little more work than dolls, but just as delightful!)
       
    14. Hehehehe, my mom jokes that my having kids was because I wanted live dolls to dress up. :D I do really love to dress them up and take their pictures - the same as I do with my dolls - but their personalities are much more difficult to work with at times, and while they pose incredibly, they just don't hold the poses very well - too wiggly! :lol:
       
    15. Maybe when my daughter gets too old to let us dress her up, I can convince my husband that dolls are a suitable alternative and he'll finally "play" with them! :lol: He hates shopping for doll clothes but loves shopping for little girl clothes. I don't see THAT much difference.
       
    16. For those of you who already have children:
      - Did you start collecting dolls before or after you had kids? If after, how old were your children at the time?
      I started collecting after I had kids. My oldest was 6 at the time and my youngest was 2.

      - Do your kids like to participate in your hobby, are they neutral observers, or do they dislike it?
      My kids are still pretty young, and they are both boys. For the most part they are neutral observers if anything. My oldest is pretty well disinterested all together, he knows mommy and daddy (hubby collects too) have dolls, they even live in our office/homeschooling classroom so he sees them all the time. He just couldn't really care less. My youngest was a bit younger when I got into dolls, he's only 3.5 now. For a while he desperately wanted a doll of his own. He would tell me how much he loved my dollies and he would kiss their heads. He does have a handful of Kelly dolls for just that reason. But the older he gets the less interested he is. He knows them all, knows all of their names and will sometimes look up on their shelf and talk to them (especially my little guy Kitsune) but over all he ignores them.

      - Where do you keep your dolls, and can your children get to them?
      The dolls used to live in their boxes in my closet. We recently added on to the house and now have an office/homeschooling classroom. The dolls have several shelves in there. They are up out of reach of pets and children. These dolls are expensive. I would personally never keep them down where my kids could get them and play with them. When I was small my mom had a special porcelain doll, I was allowed to hold her when my mom was around but the rest of the time she lived high up on my dad's book shelf. She wasn't expensive or anything, but she was important to my mom. I never would have purposefully harmed the doll, but I was a child. I take the same care with my dolls. My kids would never break them on purpose, but they don't need ready access to them either.

      - Have you ever felt guilty buying doll things for yourself, even when your children are already provided for?
      I'm a mom, I feel guilty about all kinds of things. Whenever I look at the price on a doll I feel guilty spending that money. My kids are well provided for, if I didn't spend that money on these dolls for myself I would probably just buy them way more toys that they do not need (they have an entire playroom full of toys). But anytime I shell out alot of money for something "frivolous" I feel guilty as a parent. But the dolls bring me joy and even mommies deserve to have hobbies.

      I think you will find that there are no absolutes to having children. There is no right or wrong answer. Doll meet ups really are no place for small children, too much risk and too boring. But that doesn't mean your child cannot be exposed to your own dolls at home. It is really a personal decision. As for them growing up to resent that you collect dolls, it's no weirder than other hobbies people get in to. Lots of women collect dolls, maybe not BJD's, but dolls none the less. I don't think your kids will hate you for it as long as you aren't neglecting them in preference of your dolls or in preference of spending money on your dolls. Just be prepared to feel really disinterested in your dolls for a while. Those first few months or years of having kids can be so all consuming you see very little else.
       
    17. That is very funny! Plus, I find mine are a little messier than dolls, in addition, and they make way more laundry, LOL! ;)
       
    18. Now THERE's the understatement of the year... (as she hears the washer roll to yet another stop...) :lol:

      I started collecting dolls when my girls were 11 and 8 years old respectively. Before that, I spent oodles of time and money collecting anime cels, and they learned early on that these were special things that were to be looked at and not played with.

      They had their own dolls (Barbies, Bratz, My Little Pony) and eventually I got them each a couple of 27 cm Obitsus which they customized themselves. Now my elder daughter is 14 and here (she goes by Lizardbreath) and although the younger is shy by a couple of years before she can join, she's an enthusiastic participant in Liz's photostories -- both with resins of their own. They do their own thing with the dolls, but I find it delightful beyond repair to have them in my circle of "doll friends". They're good kids.

      I keep my dolls here by my computer and yes, we all can get to them, even kitties. They know better, however, than to use any of mine without specific permission (and vice versa, I have to say). I think that when they were toddlers, if I'd had the dolls, they would have been stored elsewhere and kept out of reach (the dolls, not the kids) -- primarily because the younger progeny is an inveterate "take it apart to see how it works" kind of kid ;)

      Do I ever feel guilty. I like Iris0110's answer: "I'm a mom, I feel guilty about all kinds of things." It does kinda go with the job description, doesn't it? ;) I used to feel awful about it but no longer. The kids are getting what they need FIRST, and that includes "extras"...

      .... ok, I still feel guilty. ;)

      But I'm still doing their LAUNDRY..... >< :lol:

      Oh! Adding this: Trust me on this one... the kids LIKE having a mom who's not "Normal." Yes, at some point you will become the greatest embarrassment of the child's life -- but it won't be because you're boring!
       
    19. Can I just say that as a 'sometime in the future' mom, that this thread is refreshing and very encouraging :) Thank you to everyone who's contributed so far!
       
    20. Did you start collecting dolls before or after you had kids? If after, how old were your children at the time?
      After, they are 3 and 1.
      Do your kids like to participate in your hobby, are they neutral observers, or do they dislike it?
      My oldest who is a girl totally thinks she is awesome. She understands though that they are mine and she has to ask me first before she touches. The baby however wants to hold and pack her around, I don't let him though.
      Where do you keep your dolls, and can your children get to them?
      She is in my room, my oldest can get to her but doesn't.
      Have you ever felt guilty buying doll things for yourself, even when your children are already provided for?
      No, every month they both get new toys to add to their collections. Plus they always get something fun related when we go to the store. My kids always come first though and if I don't have enough to buy them something special I don't buy myself anything either.
      Good thread by the way, it's nice to know others have small children too that just happen to be doll lovers!!! Congrats too cherrykitsune!!!