I have been battling with my “conscience” about whether I should spend money on myself. I guess that most of us can agree that when it comes to spending money on the kids, being clothes, shoes or even toys, we don’t think twice. It is very easy for me to spend money on others. On top of it, I like giving gifts.
One of the (many) benefits of having a part-time job from home is that, on top of still being able to be around for drop-offs and pick-ups, I make enough money to buy things for the kids without needing to have a “State of the Union” meeting with my husband about it. I can decide what they need and just go get it (after price research of course… not rich YET).
Growing up as a middle child (after a brother), I usually got his hand-me-downs. I didn’t get a whole lot of “new” clothes. Nice toys and name-brand clothing were really expensive, so those were not common. Don’t get me wrong, I always had clothes on me and toys to play with. We were middle class, but things were just more expensive back there.
Fast forward, I moved to the US to see if we could make something out of this long-distance relationship, and, even though the relationship blossomed, the finances got even tighter. It took me almost a year to find a job. We bought a house and found out I was pregnant right away. Any money coming in was going to pay the mortgage and planning for the baby.
I had little to no work at all until two years later when I was expecting my second baby. So, as you can imagine, money was coming in and coming out at the same speed…quick. We were fine and we had what we needed. Slowly things got to where at least I could pay for daycare for one child, then two. I started working more, so at least I could take on the kid’s expenses and help out with the family finances.
Fast forward to today and still working part-time but with a steadier flow and kids in “public” schools we can breathe a little better financially speaking. And yet, I can not bring my self to spend money on myself. It feels selfish and irresponsible, so I started to think about it, and I realized that I am just not used to “pamper” myself in that way.
My first “selfish” expense was the gym. I got an hour three times a week for me to burn out the stress and the cabin fever of being home full-time with two little ones. I had to fight this one at first with the husband because it sounded “vain,” but when he realized that it was cheaper than therapy, he was on board.
I have a really hard time “allowing” myself to buy a nicer bra or skincare products. I still refuse to spend $200 on a pair of jeans, but some things I wish I would just do it without having to have a monthly conversation with my conscience. I know it could sound shallow but it is also about a priority thing. Why am I always last? I can spend money on my 5-year-old to not want to go to soccer, but I can’t spend it on my gym membership that I desperately want?
I wonder why.
I am like a lot of moms out there, juggling work, kids, homework, PTA meetings, dinner, always second-guessing if we are half-assing motherhood or our professional life. We stress about our family’s health and happiness and want to achieve some personal goals and that is exhausting. We give everything we have and then some more and yet, we don’t deserve a “nicer” …(insert here whatever makes you happy)?
If walking in those nicer jeans, or wearing that cool bra or fancy mascara gives you a sense of accomplishment, then isn’t it worth it? After all, we need to take on the world every day for our family and we need to give our best and be our best, wouldn’t it be easier to do it feeling more confident? I know no one will know if my mascara is a drugstore or a well-known brand one, but I will and that might give me the boost I need that day.
Something I am working on, but I hope you are pampering yourself because you deserve it.