I pretty much never blog when I feel emotional, but here I go!
Right now, I’m feeling the gravity of the decision we made 4 years ago that I would be a stay at home mom. I’m thankful, but annoyed, too. I’m disgruntled.
I went to Walmart today…I know…Walmart. Sorry. But the kids misplaced their absolute favorite Blaze & The Monster Machine toys. Rather than listen to their sad sobs all day, I decided to treat myself…I mean, them, and replace their little trinkets…. … rather than let myself, I mean, them, suffer all day.
SO, I went a little overboard. Well, for me. I bought a few more toys than I planned. I mean, they were like $4 each. I bought a few. Not a lot. But, at $4 a pop, these little guys cost WAY more than the toys my boys usually play with…which come from Goodwill, or friends, or family, or neighbors.
And, actually, I’d love to say my little mini shopping spree had literally no effect on our bank account, that it was chump change, a mere drop in a bottomless bucket… but, no. Nope. Not so. We felt the pinch.
Because I stay home with my kids. And we run a tight tight TIIIIGHT ship around these parts! Like, we account for every dime that is spent. We have to. It’s how we make this whole thing work.
Unscheduled trips to the toy store to spoil my boys are not part of the plan. And, sometimes, that makes me mad!
We live in a lovely suburban home, and have plenty. My husband makes a really good salary, but because I stay home, we bring in significantly less money than households with two working parents. …even though I do work, technically – cooking, cleaning, child rearing, etc….and on this blog, and 4 other websites, and refinishing furniture and selling antiques as a side hustle, oh yeah, and graphic design, too. And some volunteering sprinkled in there. I’m busy. But, we all are.
That’s beside the point.
I hear people tell me that they can’t afford to be a stay at home parent, and they’re most likely right…with their car payments, their expensive handbags, their aversions to cooking from scratch, and their daily Starbucks habits. If you can’t commit to doing what it takes, living on a budget, and doing without, and just embracing the resentment that can sometimes go along with it (ha ha…wish I were joking!), then you probably can’t afford to be a stay at home mom.
I miss having fancy stuff. I just miss even having new stuff. But snuggling with my babies at 3pm under blankets trumps that. Being with them for every milestone trumps that.
I guess, I just …sometimes get mad at money. I guess sometimes I want to be selfish and live on the edge and buy 5 monster trucks for my boys, NEW ones…not previously loved from Goodwill, and have no consequences from that.
It’s a season. We’re in the season of skrimping and saving. It’s ok. The next season will be having the last of my boys in school, all day, every day, not being home with me, and me working from home all day, in silence. No giggles. No hugs.
So right now, I’ll take Goodwill. I’ll take the 13 year old minivan. I’ll take the budget.
And, I’ll take the snuggles.