Consider yourself warned!
A guide for those who think they want children.
Parenting. So many of you want to have children so badly, but I’m here to get you hip to the realities of being a parent.
As a parent, you will always feel guilty about something. Now, in your professional life, you may be the most competent person at your job. But, when you come home to your children, especially when they are babies, you will find that you start to feel guilty over any and every little thing!
For example, you dropped your child off to school but forgot to pack her lunch. Unfortunately, you don’t realize it until after your third meeting of the day, when you’re breaking for lunch. Get ready, here it comes, the guilty feeling! It comes like a tidal wave. “How could I have forgotten to pack my baby’s lunch?”; “What will my baby eat today?” Better yet, “What will the teacher think of me?” On and on you go until you pick up your child and find out that she survived thanks to the kindness of her friends who shared their lunches with her.
But I have to tell you. To me, the one of the worse guilt you experience as a working parent is having to decide between sending your child to school sick, or staying home from work to take care of her. Now, depending on your work environment, that may not be a hard choice. But, if you are trying to advance in your career, or if there is a big project or report due, you really don’t want to miss work. And, contrary to what you may believe, not too many of your co-workers really care about your sick child, especially the person who may have to cover for you! If you’re lucky, you can leave your child at home with grandma. If not, you send your child to school … sick, hoping that she will be ok, or that you won’t get the dreaded "Come pick your kid up" call until later that afternoon … before you make your big presentation! But, as you take her to school, the guilty feelings attack, “Am I really doing the right thing?”, “Is this what a good mom would do?” And the dreaded, “What would my mother say about this?”
I remember once when my daughter was in kindergarten, she woke up not feeling well. She actually threw up a few times and I started to wonder if I should keep her home. But then, after a while, she stopped throwing up and I thought, “Ok, she must have had that last good one. She’s good now. I’ll take her to school.” But, in the back of my mind, I was feeling guilty for making her go to school just so that I could go to work. Something told me to give my daughter a plastic bag when we got in the car. So I gave her the bag and told her that if she felt like she was going to throw up, to throw up in the plastic bag. Well, I have to admit. She was an obedient little girl. We got about a block from her school and I heard her make a big hurl into that plastic bag! Needless to say, I dropped her brother off, turned the car around, went home, and called out sick. Coincidentally, THAT was the hurl that ended the run. When we got home, instead of resting on the couch like I wanted her too (so I could take a nap), she stayed up and played.
Then there’s the guilt you get from missing class trips and class parties. Young kids don’t understand that you have to work, but they know when you’re not there. Once, my daughter’s summer camp had family day. Neither her father or I showed up – we were both working. Just imagine how I felt when she said to me, “Mommy, today was family day and no one came. Daddy said that he was working. Were you working too?” Now, imagine it being said in a cute, little sad four year old voice. Doesn’t feel good, does it?
Trust me, there will be a million things to feel guilty of as a parent. You have to over that and keep it moving!
So, consider yourself warned!
Ok parents, what have you done that made you feel guilty?
So, today, I’m sitting at the eye doctor's office, waiting while son is fitted for contact lenses. While I’m waiting, I started to think about all the money I spent on him and his sister over the past few weeks, and I think, “Damn, these kids are expensive!” So, for all you women who are longing to have your own child, let me just warn you, not only do you never catch up on sleep, you will be continuously broke because you are your child’s, or worse, children's private ATM machine. In fact, not only will your child see the letters ATM written across your forehead, but so will his or her teachers, other friends, and doctors. You don’t believe me? Well that’s your choice. I’m just trying to help you out. But if you’re willing to listen, here are examples of some of the things you will hear over the years:
Mom, I need a book for school.
Mom, I need school supplies for my school project.
Mom, need money for my class trip.
Mom, I need money for the bake sale.
Mom, I need money for the book fair.
Mom, I need money to get Kristy a gift for her birthday party.
Mom, can I go to the movies with my friends? Oh yeah, I need some money.
Mom, can I go to Five Guys with my friends after school? I need some money.
Hey Mom, your daughter/son needs a new pair of glasses.
Mom, I broke my glasses. Yeah, I know I only got them two months ago.
Mom, your daughter/son needs braces.
Mom, your daughter/son needs a prescription for A, B, and Z.
Mom, I need a new pair of sneakers (No you don’t. You already have five pairs).
Mom, I need a new dress for the party. (No you don’t.)
Mom, can I get the new X-Box/Playstation?
Mom, I need a new cell phone!
Mom, can I download this app? No, it's not free.
Mom, that (fill in the blank) looks nice. We should get one.
Mom, did you pay for summer camp yet?
Mom, you need to pay for my dance recital costume.
Mom, did you pay for my piano/dance/karate/swimming lessons this month?
Do you see the two common denominators here? If you don’t, let me help you. It’s Mom and Money! I really wish I were as rich as these kids seem to think I am. But, I’m not. So they get to hear the word “NO”, or “That’s not in the budget.” And its ok, they’re still living.
So, consider yourself warned. You best start saving up your money before you have kids because once they arrive, you and your money will soon be parted.
If you have kids, please help me educate those who think the grass is greener on this side. What other ways have your kids come up with to spend your hard earned money?
SassyGirlTye lives with her two wonderful teenagers in Brooklyn, New York. No matter what she says in her posts, she truly loves her children with all her heart.