So I was reading an article which was in response to annother article which claimed it costs a million dollars to raise a child. I’ve heard this figure before, I have my doubts though, I know they’re talking about those people who I talk to on the phone at work all the time, the ones with more money than brains. Who think they Have to have high definition televisions & then complain that theres only about 30 channels! I at least tell these people when they call in to inquire about hd the exact amount of channels available but I have talked to people after the fact who were under the impression that all their tv channels would be in hd! Still, it’s not cheap to raise a child, I pointed the article out to miss 17 last night & she graciously offered to ‘let’ me buy her a car to help her total along towards a million. Not happening.

I can’t imagine ‘needing’ a stroller that cost so much money, or Baby Gap Clothes, for a child who is going to stain & then outgrow them so quickly you’ll do well to get a picture of baby in them! I am a huge fan of Goodwill, Salvation army & places which specialize in childrens clothing like Once Upon a Child here in VA & the Childrens Orchard in the new england states. My younger two are thrilled to get new clothes & don’t seem to care in the least that they’re previously worn.

lipagain.jpg17 never minded until 5th grade when a new girl started at her elementary school who was not from here & found it amusing to remark on peoples clothes & make fun of them if they weren’t ‘designer’ since then 17 often waits in the car when I go to Goodwill though her favorite pair of jeans were purchased there by her. Unfortunately I’ve just never been able to find anything else like those jeans to make her happy there.

As for baby stuff, hand me downs & Goodwill stuff worked well there too. I remember when miss 10 was an infant I was finishing cosmetology school & every day her dad would bring her to me on each of my breaksval-contemplative060.jpg to nurse, (She was only 6 weeks old but the school said if I didn’t come back then they wouldn’t let me finish)  then bring her to get me at 430 when school let out. One day they weren’t in the lobby, I could see our mustang parked in the lot across the street but dad & baby were nowhere to be found. I stood in front of the school wondering where they might be (& worrying about what my then husband might be cooking up now, he’s a big schemer & came up with wild ideas & plans almost daily) looking to the left after about 10 minutes I saw them walking up the street, him pushing the baby in an umbrella stroller. He was early, walked down the street carrying the baby on his shoulder & when he got to the Salvation Army store they had an umbrella stroller right out front for $3. he bought it & put her in it immediately. We were still using that same $3 stroller when her brother came along 3 years later!

Food & clothes are my biggest money issues, (after the mortgage of course) I can easily spend up to $150. for the 4 of us to eat for 2 weeks. Most weeks though, I have closer to $100 or $120. I have been threatening for months to stop taking the kids with me while I grocery shop because of the many & repeated nagging requests for this, that & the other thing.

cam-january.jpg Gummy snacks, Pop tarts, 5 boxes of cereal, ‘why can’t we have soda?’ ‘If we can’t have soda can we get capri sun juices?’ Then there are field trips, 2 bucks here, 5 bucks there, miss 10’s class went roller skating at the end of the most recent marking period to celebrate the class not getting ‘too many’ study halls as punishment for various offences (?) I asked her how many she’d had, 2 she says, well how many is too many? She replied that she thought it was like one every day. Well if every one in 4th grade was getting a study hall for punishment every day that would be pretty hard on the study hall teacher! She had fun, I suppose that’s what is important. It only cost me $3. Though I was taken to task because there were video games & other entertainments besides roller skating & I could have given her more money so she could have used those, like the other kids. Yeah. a million dollars could be just about right.

On the other hand, at Christmas, in quizzing my co-workers with kids (only a couple of them in my group have kids) I found that I am more generous than some when it comes to birthdays & christmas, for Christmas I budgeted $200. for each kid & about the same for myself. at birthdays I try for between $150 & $200. One co-worker who was appaled, has 4 kids & said she barely spends $100. per child. I can not imagine that little under the tree, I am also against clothes as gifts unless the child specifically requests some. 17 & I are so far apart as to what she wants & what I think she would like that at birthday time (conveniently located right around the same time I get my earned income tax refund) I just give her the cash. But at Christmas I reserve the right to pick out at least a few of her gifts as surprises. Myself I prefer to be surprised as to what I’m getting.

In other news I did get my schedule back so I will be home the same days as before & off on Tuesdays, Fridays & Saturdays, now, finaly I can relax into the schedule change where I have Friday instead of Wednesday off, 2 weeks after they changed us all this shift shuffling stuff started & I haven’t dared to relax into the Fridays off because I was worried it would be taken away soon. The 4 ten hour days also makes vacation planning a little easier, though I am going to have a shorter vacation in Mass this year by a few days because I need to keep a few seperate days off for my Uncle’s visit down here in June & possibly a cousin’s visit later in the summer. I’m looking at a 12 day visit beginning June 26 & ending (or with me back at work on) July 8th. which means we’ll arrive in MA on the 26th having left on the 25 when I get out of work. & we’ll leave MA to go back home on July 6th so I’ll have at least 1/2 a day to get laundry & groceries & unpack the truck I have to drive back here in with my grandmother’s furniture, I was not enthused to hear on the news that they’re predicting $3. a gallon gas everywhere by summer. I may not be able to stay so long in MA if it actually goes up that high. It may be more of a whirlwind trip with 1 day in everyone’s vicinity & No trip to Boston on the train. The furniture has to be the priority this year I’m afraid. Mostly because the couch I have is a disgrace & will barely hold out until then. Oh well, the ex’s tax refund which was attatched by the state & will be released to me after 6 months, (meaning I should get it right around the middle of July) should help to offset the costs!

The Birthday party on Saturday was entertaining, it’s spring-croci-07.jpgalways amusing to see a 1 year old tear a birthday cake apart. My Crocuses are also blooming, we’re supposed to make it to 72 degrees here today but it doesn’t feel like it yet!


3 thoughts on “Hmmmm

  1. Raising kids in a western and label conscious society can cost $1 million. But as you point out Becky, infants don’t care if they’re wearing Baby Gap or hand-me-downs.
    It’s the parents that care, and therefore they should forfeit the right to blame their kids for costing them so much money when it’s their own choices that lead to unreasonable spending!

    I could ramble on about this for hours, but I’ll spare you the rant about people getting by in developing countries and the preciousness of westerners, and instead just say that Michele sent me! And your post has got me thinking!

  2. I don’t have any kiddies yet…but I do feel that is insane to spend so much on baby clothes! Like baby Nikes?! The baby can NOT even walk yet and they cost $30!! I guess that was how I was raised, there were too many people in my family and at least someone had some baby clothes hanging around. So, I agree with you whole heartedly! 🙂

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