My husband always says “Kids are free if you don’t mind paying attention”. In our house that’s pretty much true…well, as far as he knows. I can’t say our children are completely free.
They need clothes, food and even though we unschool our little ones, some awesome trips and must-have materials can’t be passed up.
We’re a young and growing family and learning how to use money wisely. So, using more than we need to for disposables, like clothes they’ll grow out of in a month or even learning materials that aren’t “pass down-able”, is the last thing we want to do.
Much better to spend our extra on making great memories – or better still, invest it in the next eCourse I just “haaaave to” have. We’re learning that our kids learn to dream through us. They learn their money mentality from us and we want to pass a wealth mentality along so we work diligently to not only affirm wealth but to also SHOW them how it’s done.
In such a consumer driven world, we’re committed to raising them to lean more on the side of being producers. We want them to think “ownership”, and be disciplined enough to keep it that way. Teaching them to be materialistic too early on would ruin that so in their early years, we’re focusing on giving them the time and attention that we missed as kids.
Here are a few other reasons why our kids, and MOST young kids aren’t really as expensive as you think.
[Disclaimer : I’m speaking from the perspective of a mom of YOUNG children. I have NO idea how I would’ve handled this if my kids were raised in the consumer lifestyle and I was trying to change the rules in the middle of the game. That being said, start early if you can, teaching your children the value of their time and creativity over their “things”]
Their imagination is a beast!
My kids will play with anything. Early in our marriage we got rid of our TV, stopped using the microwave and cut down on a lot of “artificial entertainment”. We’ve noticed a huge difference in how our children learn and process the world around them. We haven’t spent very much money at all on expensive toys because our kids create play wherever they are, with whatever’s around. We love being on the go and traveling so having as few toys as possible works when you’re traveling with THREE small children.
Allowing them to use their imagination also helps their learning as they get to be much more hands-on with the world. Without a tablet or phone in their hands they’re more mindful of their surroundings and more likely to be interactive.
Of course, with great imaginations come an even greater amount of questions but most of the time that’s OK.
They’re growing every 5 seconds!
Thrift stores are cheap, hun. I know you may not want to thrift but there are some amazing consignment shops for kids if you’re willing to look around for them. Most consignment shops have a “gently used” policy so you don’t have to worry about getting stained, torn or dirty clothing from there. It’s a great way to make some extra money by selling your kids’ old clothes while also keeping your little ones cute and trendy without breaking the bank.
I love to thrift, especially for myself. I was raised very differently though. Everything was name-brand and “exclusive”. I saw what those types of spending habits can do to a home and marriage and trust me, it’s not worth it to look cute.
Even if you’d rather buy first hand, you can still save money. Remember that most little kids are already cute. The light up “Spider-Man” shoes will win over the $200 “good shoes” every time.
What’s cheaper than NATURAL?
I’m no doctor, but I’ve been healing myself and my family with the help of God and a stocked herb cabinet for over 5 years now. (Pslams 104:14 for reference) Of course there are some things that require a visit to the doc but for minor cuts, bumps and bruises and everyday things like colds and flu, we heal ourselves naturally.
Gratefully my tribe hasn’t had to deal with more than one round of “bugs” a year.
Another thing I find super helpful is natural cleaning products. Sometimes nothing can get down in there like a good chemical scrub but for general, everyday cleaning I try to stick to the basics like baking soda and vinegar as well as lemon oil and anti-bacterials like lavender essential oil.
We also garden, home(un)school and breastfeed. All natural options that have been proven to be better than the mainstream alternatives.
If you have the time to do any, or all, it’s more than worth the sweat equity you put in.
Outside is FREE!
My kids literally have to go outside everyday. I require it for my sanity. Yes, they love it too but I have figured out that outside is easier to clean OFF than inside is to clean UP!
With a house full of boys, getting free time to explore their boundaries and discover the world also gives me space to breathe and do my woman things. I’d feel terrible trying to make them fit into the box of “be quiet and sit still” while I do my hair or polish my toes.
They get their freedom and I get mine.
It’s even more amazing having daddy home to get into outdoor learning with them. They do exercise in the yard every morning and he shows them how to build and repair things around the house. It’s a win for everybody!
They don’t need sh*t more than they need attention
That’s a direct quote from Hubz so excuse him!
It’s so true though! Most of what we spend time trying to GET for our children, they’ll grow out of. What they really want is to know that we care enough about them to turn off our focus on the world and pay some attention to them.
I’ve noticed more and more as they grow up that my boys are at their best when we’re both giving them our undivided attention. They speak and comprehend better. They’re more respectful, caring and kind. They seem more confident, and about as composed as 3 and 5 year old boys can get.
We’re working hard to make sure they always feel that way. Even when we don’t agree and flat out say “no” to what they have to say, we still want to make sure they’re able to say it.
An important key to raising children in this world, especially little black boys, is affirming them and letting them know that they matter.