One of the books I'm reading right now made an argument that really caused me to think. The author says trying to give your children a better life than you had sends the message to your children that your life is lacking, or that you failed to live up to your potential. Instead of trying to give your children a better life than you have, you should give them the example of your own life, full of love & happiness, as something to which they can aspire. I really like that idea. I had always just kind of assumed that I should give my kids a better life than I have, but the reality is, I've had a great life so far, and I don't think I can give Baby E better, just more. And that would not be doing her any favors.
It reminded me of a discussion Dh had with his friend B. B bought his 3-year-old son a toy Hummer, the kind you can drive around on. Dh thinks that's ridiculous, especially since it cost B about $300. B said he wants his son to have a better life. But it's just a more life, I think. Having a $300 toy when you're 3 does not make your life better. Or when you're 25.