Everyone talks about how expensive it is to raise kids these days. And I won’t disagree that having four kids really does put a pinch on our family budget at times. Between their activities’ fees, constantly outgrown wardrobes and endless appetites; it can add up pretty quickly, cash-wise.
But it occurred to me the other morning, and has from time to time over the years, that the kids aren’t the biggest financial burden in our family. I think I am.
When you get right down to it, Mamas are expensive creatures. Don’t mistake me — I totally think we’re worth the upkeep. But we can be a little … high maintenance, especially compared to Daddies. Here’s a rundown of my expenses, outside the normal needs of human existence, in our house …
- I wear contact lenses. The lenses themselves fall into the same category as the kids’ glasses. But the solutions and cleaners add an extra $25 or so into our monthly expenses.
- Lady parts … they require a lot of extra supplies, don’t they? To the tune of around $12-$15 a month, I get my liners, pads, tampons – just because I’m a woman. Lucky me.
- Hair products, lotions, makeup, perfume, nail polish, etc. – it seems like it takes quite a bit of product to make Mama ‘camera ready’ so to speak. While I don’t replace some of these items on a monthly basis, the stuff I do use up and replace often totals out at around $20 a month. Some of these things, like perfume and makeup, can cost upwards of $70! YIKES! Maybe I don’t need to smell nice all the time …
- Candles, wax tarts, et al. I’ll be honest, if I weren’t in the house it would never occur to anyone else to purchase these things. While they enjoy the way the house smells nice, it’s not something they would do on their own so I have to consider this a “Mama Expense,” one which costs, on average, $15 a month.
- Essential oils – Again, no one would buy these if it weren’t for Mama. We all use them for medicinal purposes, minor injuries, allergies, air purification and the like, but no one besides me knows what to use for anything beyond Tea Tree oil. They might buy Tea Tree oil and use it for absolutely everything if I wasn’t around. Taking into account the specific oils I use for my hormone balance and thyroid health, plus the oils I put in my homemade face cream and cleansing hair conditioner, the monthly total hovers somewhere near the $30 mark.
- Let’s talk about vitamins. I buy vitamins especially suited for my young kids, my teenager, my husband (even though he won’t take them), and my Mama self. I consider that good Mama business. But, in addition to my multi-vitamin, I also take a probiotic, a lutein eye health supplement, an extra calcium/mineral supplement, Vitamin D, an MSM/Chrondoitin supplement, and a pill to control my over abundance of stomach acid. I believe all those extra health products are a good investment, but they do cost $60-$70 a month above and beyond what the rest of the family takes.
So, altogether, our family budget has to be extended by more than $220 a month just so I can have all the extra Mama necessities that make me so pleasant to live with. That means I’m costing my poor, hard-working husband over $2,000. a year. No wonder he doesn’t buy me expensive birthday gifts! Wow – I’m a high-dollar Mama …
I’m not including the cost of feeding and clothing me, the extra electricity I use because I simply cannot stand to be overly warm or overly cold, or the price tag attached to the cotton percale sheets of which I’m so fond. Nor am I covering the price of the cushy carpets, fancy picture frames, charming lamps, gee gaws and other nest featherings I force on my husband and children. (I’m certain, left to their own device they would most likely furnish our home with bean bag furniture, and hang Pony and comic book posters on the walls with Scotch tape.)
When the numbers all come together, it seems that I do represent a rather fiscally burdensome addition to the family. Especially in light of the fact that most of my list of expenses are, in reality, unnecessary. I ran the figures by my husband and he didn’t seem overly shocked. Maybe he already knew what I’ve been costing him, although it’s doubtful since I take care of paying all the bills and managing the bank accounts. He didn’t seem particularly resentful about the new living room rug I spent a chunk of change on. He actually said he appreciated how soft it is on his feet, rather than the hard oak floor. And he was pretty positive about my new perfume when he was nuzzling my neck … hmmm …
Maybe my little wants and needs don’t actually cost as much as my kids’ activities, clothes, birthday & Christmas gifts, and education materials. Maybe they do add more to the annual budget than I’d like. But since no one in the house (besides me) is worried about it, I can only assume they think I’m worth the extra cost of upkeep. Isn’t it nice how that works out?
Love & Blessings,
That Farm Mama