Our 11 year old son just got a new pair of shoes. The conversation that sparked this purchase has got me thinking. Am I too cheap with our kids?
Here’s the scenario… our son was spending spring break with my parents and grandma decided to take him shoe shopping. When asked if he needed any shoes he replied, “no, I already got a new pair this year.” This year! Okay, there are two ways to look at this. First, and the one I prefer, is to note how happy this kid is with everything he’s ever given. He likes his shoes and sees no need to add another pair. The other option, the one that torments me, is the thought that I buy clothing for this kid so infrequently that he thinks one pair of shoes per year is perfectly normal.
I’ll admit I am not good at budgeting for clothing. And I must add here that I don’t like buying clothes for the kids who don’t live with us. I kind of figure their mothers should be doing that. Besides, whenever I do buy them clothes it seems like they take them home and I never see them again.
Here’s the Blendie Mom catch-22, if I buy clothes for my own 2 boys for whom we have sole custody, I feel guilty that I’m not buying for the other 3 kids. And if I buy clothes for the others, I feel resentful that the child support we pay isn’t being used for this purpose. Now I realize why this kid only has one pair of shoes. I’ve been avoiding shopping to prevent this uncomfortable feeling.
Wow, I think I just had a revelation! Now to figure out how to rectify the situation.
– First of all, to thank my parents for buying the shoes and taking that burden off my shoulders.
– Second, I need to let go of the guilt. It’s ridiculous to feel guilty about buying clothing, especially when it’s needed.
– Third, I need to pray for a more giving spirit. If I am happy to provide for the needs of all of our children, God will likewise provide for our needs as we are His children.
– Fourth, to get a better budget. When you let the budget decide which purchases can and can’t be made, there’s no room for parental guilt.
(for more on blended family finances see For Love or Money)
Looks like I’ve got my homework for this week. What about you? Have you ever had this situation? What did you do?
(archived from March 16, 2014)