So, I have been thinking about something lately. I have always thought of myself as a simple person, one who required little to survive and less to be happy. But, taking stock of my life and the things that clutter my closets and home, I realize that somewhere along the line, I have lost sight of that person.
I do not own designer clothes and accessories. My home is finally furnished and pretty much decorated now, but it did take 6 years to get that way. But there are several different ways that I spend excessive amounts of money.
First, clothes for my kids- of course, I know they need them, and need them often. But I love love to see them dressed cute, which usually translates as more money than I would ever even consider spending on clothes for myself. To be fair, I usually buy Adler's (and now Hazel's) clothes at the end of the season for the next year, so I get 50-70% off. So it knocks the prices down to reasonable, but of course, I just buy twice as much.
Secondly, I buy toys and books and baby items in excess. Not big toys, but when we go to walmart, I will let Ad pick out a truck or a dinosaur or maybe a book. And I know this may seem harmless, but I also love to buy things like bubble bath or new sippy cups or something fun for Ad to eat every time I go to the store. How could I possibly get pleasure out of new plastic toddler forks...but I do! As a result, we have a playroom and a bedroom FULL of toys and also a closet in my room dedicated only to toys (to you know, rotate them out, which is how I justify having that many toys in the first place!), that you can barely even open without things falling out. A lot of his toys are gifts, Christmas and birthdays and such, but either way, he has more toys than any one little boy would ever need.
Thirdly, I buy a lot of food. I am awful about buying things, getting tired of them and not finishing them off so I end up throwing away, I dare say, $100s of dollars in food when I clean my pantry out. Garbage bags full. I can't tell you how large my grocery bill is each week because it would be overly embarrassing. People suggest coupon shopping, but I am just not going to do it. I have tried, believe me, but I am not that organized or disciplined.
Lastly, I am a product junkie. I love cleaning products for my house and skin. I may not utilize them all, but you can open my cleaning cabinet right now and find at least 5 different kinds of bathroom cleaner alone and about 30 other bottles of different products guaranteed to clean better and faster and without any scrubbing. I have THREE bathrooms whose closets and cabinets are full of products promising to clean, sheen and make me younger. But, as the walking contradiction that I am, I rarely even wear makeup!
It takes a lot to admit this because it is shameful. I always thought that I would raise my children differently, that they couldn't get whatever they want whenever they want. I want them to appreciate what they have. I want them to be grateful. And I want them to be content with a few toys and imagination. I never even imagined I would be any different, until suddenly, I look around my house and realize I am.
Now I am in this place and while I know its definitely NOT too late to change, I wonder how to do it. I know cutting out shopping trips is the most obvious and easiest way to help. But, as a stay at home mom, I think sometimes (a lot of times!) I look for reasons to get out. I "forget" to get diapers and need to run out and get some, and end up with a buggy full. Its a social thing I guess, the need to be out with the rest of the world. I noticed I was doing better about it the month or so before Hazel was born because Adler and I were going to the park where other moms were there with their kids too. It served as my social life. But now, with Hazel here, its just a bit too hot to do that like we did. But I guess I need to just suck it up for another few months until it cools down. I am the ONLY one, though who doesn't like to be home all day for more than a day or two at a time? But I digress, whatever I do, I really want to change the way I spend money. As a wife, mother and Christian, I need to be a better steward of the gifts that God gives my family. So, a new journey begins....