Tag Archives: money

Angry Mom Rant

The title is a warning.

If you’re a teacher, on the PTA, or someone who doesn’t mind going broke buying school supplies, this blog is probably not for you.

I’m none of the above, except I used to homeschool, so I was an underpaid teacher.

We went school supply shopping for only 4 of the 5 kids attending school this year. The list for one of those kids was just the “basics,” meaning next week he’ll come home with more lists from all his individual teachers (the 5th, the high schooler, will do the same). So really, I bought for 3 1/2 kids. I’ll cut to the chase: $600. SIX HUNDRED F****** DOLLARS.

I sat in my closet, drowning in bags upon bags of school supplies, sorting them by child. Never mind that as I did, I realized I missed a few things. So let’s add about $50 to that 600 (enter every four letter expletive here). What I also realized is: This is the most disgusting, excessive experience I’ve had in FOREVER.

You know what’s even more maddening? 3/4 of everything I bought goes into community bins. No names, no nothing. Just bins that the teacher will store away without knowing who bought what. I’m not sure they care. Just as long as they have their Expo markers!

Before you even suggest that I’m against helping out the less fortunate and that’s what the bins are for, stop right there. Ask me for help and I’ll gladly give it! But do not make these ridiculous lists that send parents (or at least me) into a tear-inducing shopping frenzy that spans several stores, across several days, with all 7 children in tow. And before you begin to suggest I should have stopped reproducing at 1.5 kids, you don’t want to go there either.

Here’s how I know it’s excessive bullshit: I homeschooled for 9 years. We did science projects and art classes and everything else you can think of. And it was not “free education,” so every expense was out of pocket AND I was still paying taxes for Bobby down the street to go to public school. Sure, we went through pencils and erasers like crazy, but I can guarantee I never had to get so much crap like I just purchased over the past weeks. NEVER. And we got along just fine. I had a little stash of supplies that I pulled from now and then. But in 9 years, I never went through as many school supplies as I just sent with my children for their free, public education.

It actually made me sick. I felt wasteful. And I’m enraged that I had to spend so much to feel wasteful!


Conversations from the Table

The 11-year old started monologuing again about wanting to be a director. We’ve heard these ambitions a thousand times, so we just kept eating.

The eight-year old said, “I don’t know what I should be when I grow up.” She thought for a moment between bites. “Maybe a teacher.”

The six-year old piped up. “I want a job where I make money.”

I guess that’s a start…


A Good Day

Who says moms don’t get paid? Well this one just did! I must have been extra amazing today (I am making fries for dinner…).

So my daughter presented me with five hundred dollars. She said “Instead of a bunch of words, it just says MOM. And instead of a president, it has your face in the middle.”

Go me!

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Money May not Grow on Trees… but It Grows at the Bank!

I really have tried to explain the concept of money to my children.  Perhaps not thoroughly enough, or with enough dedication, but I have tried.  It is a subject that comes up all the time.  I have tried to do allowance with the older three, working out with them tithe money, savings money and “their” money to keep.  We made separate envelopes and kept it up, sporadically, for awhile.  But then I fell out of the habit, or didn’t have the cash on hand, or forgot, and so allowance has been far and few between lately.  Still, my kids know that when we go to the bank, that means Mommy has a check from Daddy and is putting it into her account.  They know that when they do get allowance, the cash comes from the bank.

They ask for money a lot.  The 8-year old wants Legos.  The 5-year old sees a princess coloring book she wants to add to her collection of at least 100.  The 3-year old wants gum and whatever else he can get his sticky fingers on in the store.  The 11-year old, thankfully, is content to not have it.

I am not a give-in-and-buy-to-shut-them-up kind of mom.  So I say “no” to their “I wants” and “can  you buy mes.”  If it isn’t their birthday in two days, I don’t want to hear what they want.  They think this must be because I don’t have money, and so they always ask if that’s the reason.   Lots of times it is.  But even if I did have money falling out of my purse, I’m not raising gimme brats.

Sometimes this is a little embarrassing.  Like being in the grocery store and they ask for a particular food…

“Can we buy Lucky Charms?”

“No.”

“Why, because Daddy didn’t give you any money?”

“No… because they are bad for you.”

Sometimes, like I said, money is the case.

“Mommy, can we go to Chick-fil-A?”

“No… I don’t have money for that (and it’s bad for you and blah blah blah).”

Many times they ask if we can just drive up to the bank and get some money.  I tell them it doesn’t work that way.  Daddy has to make the money, we have a budget, Mommy gets some, Daddy gets some.  But the money in the bank is our money.  If we don’t have it in our account, the bank won’t just give it to us.  I think this concept either has not, or refuses to sink into their heads.  They always ask.

Today, my husband’s checkbook was sitting on the counter.  They see me write checks for myself and Daddy sign them all the time.  My 8-year old was thumbing through it thoughtfully, probably fantasizing about the giant Lego sets he has yet to own.

“Mom,” he said casually, “can I write a check?”

“No.”

“But you write checks and get money.  So can I write a check and get some money?”

“Nope.  Doesn’t work like that.”

“Well, you can sign it after I write it.”

Sigh… we will have to work on this much more than I thought!


To Be a Kid Again…

For many reasons, wouldn’t this be nice?  But let’s just pick one reason for the sake of time (I only get so much of it at the computer with 5 kiddos running around).

Money.

Yep, money.

My 8-year old received a crisp one dollar bill from Grandpa as Grandpa and Grandma were saying their goodbyes after Thanksgiving weekend.  The 8-year old was ecstatic.  He immediately thought  of dozens of ways to spend it.  Unfortunately, being the evil Grinch that I am, I had to shut down every shiny toy idea in his racing mind.  I had to remind him he had only ONE dollar.

Later that day, I needed to blow dry my hair, so I gave him and the 4-year old a whole quarter each for keeping baby happy in his little playroom.  With money and toys on their minds, they were more than willing to help out.

Today, the 8-year old asked, “If I have four quarters, I have a dollar, right?”

“Yes.”

“And if I had four more quarters, I would have two dollars?” He was smiling big now.

“That’s right,” I said.

“And if I had four more quarters again, that would be three dollars??”  I nodded.  “And if I put that with my dollar bill from Grandpa, that’s four dollars?”

“Yep!”

He could barely contain his excitement.  His smile stretched from ear to ear, and anyone who knows my 8-year old knows he really can smile that big.

He ran upstairs and came back down with 12 quarters and his crisp dollar bill.  He was rich!!  He went on and on about how much money he had and how he would buy something for himself first and then his sister, and then everyone else when he had some left over.  I sighed.  I didn’t pull a Grinch move this time.  I am letting him relish in the idea that at this moment in his life, he really is rich.

Soon enough he will realize that $4 in the bank account means “OH **** I AM BROKE!”

Yes, to be a kid again!!