Mother-guilt dominates our spending patterns.

I was shopping for a pair of shoes to wear on my New Zealand holiday when it occurred to me that, like most mothers, I spend a lot more on Amanda than I do on myself. Why, if this were her shoes I was buying, it would take me less than ten minutes to decide on the purchase; then only because it requires that I think of whether she’d like the styling or not.

Looking at the rows and rows of smart sneakers and aerodynamically-engineered footwear, ranging from Birkenstock to Doc Martin and Keen at Shay’s Shoes down in Boundary Street, West End, I had to find some justification for my purchase before I proceeded to pay at the counter. Sure, I was going on a holiday where it might be wet and wild and where I will do a lot of walking, but my mummy-sensor insisted the item be used in the pursuit of mothering. Buying another pair of shoes seemed purely selfish to me.

But I will get 3, possibly 4 years wear out of them, I reasoned with my guilt-ridden, mothering-centred brain. Amanda wears her shoes for at the most 8 months – 4 months, if I buy any brand other than Clarks. She’s currently trialling a pair by Geox which I bought at 50% off for $50, at Shoes and Sox in Westfield Carindale Shopping Centre.

“I have to wait until you put shoes out on the discounted rack,” I told Moira Shay of Shay’s Shoes, hoping she’d give me another 5% off. The pair of Keen I had in my hands were originally $260, but were now $130.

Even then, I had to think of another reason to add to my two other reasons to buy them.

“Will I be able to walk everywhere with them?”

“You’ll find that the thick sole will making walking perfectly comfortable. They have this inner layer that wicks away moisture from the feet, so they’ll smell less. I had a lady who walked all around Out of the Box yesterday in them and she said they were fine.”

“I bet she didn’t have seven children, all aged seven, hanging off her,”I said. I told her about Amanda’s school excursion to Out of the Box. In my mind, yet another good reason to buy another pair of shoes: I use them to chase after runaway children!

At Shay's Shoes in Boundary Street, West End.

Looking like I just crawled out of bed at Shay's Shoes in West End. As you can see, my womanly love of shoes won in the end.