Money matters more in motherhood

Photo by Daiga Ellaby

Photo by Daiga Ellaby

When I fell pregnant I fell into a wistful state of thought. I felt regret that I hadn’t achieved my pre motherhood goals. I felt a deep yearning and longing for my life to be better. I felt torn between letting go in order to be free, and holding on because motherhood didn’t have to mark the end of striving for more. Life was filled with perilous promise.

Key points in this blog

Accept your innate desire to provide the best for your children and that this costs money. Stop pretending that money doesn’t matter. Everything is not ok as it is. Become aware of money and why you want more of it. Make money top of mind. Think about it. Talk about it. Dream about it. Awareness and desire leads to thought which leads to all important action.

Is love all you need?

Much of the reflection I did when I was pregnant related to my personal finances. I knew I was not financially equipped to provide the best for my child. “All you need is love” and “the best things in life are free”, didn’t quite cut it for me.

Love is hugely important but it is not ‘all’ you need. Love might be free but even the strongest of relationships feel the strain when money is tight. The best things in life are not free. Mothers who want the best for their children, the practical, realistic and honest mothers will tell you that what they want for their children is not free!

My focus is not on the best material things like clothes, toys and gadgets because what each of us defines as the best will vary greatly. For instance, I don’t think top brand clothes are the best for my child. I would define the best clothing for my child to be fairly traded and organic. You on the other hand might think top brands are way more important!

If we go deeper, we will definitely agree that we want our children to be healthy and have every opportunity to thrive.

Fact. The best health and opportunities costs money.

Access to the best health costs money. Good nourishing food. Healthy ingredients. Vitamins and supplements. Tools for building resilience, mental and emotional health in children. Physical health development. Health insurance. Private medical care….

Access to the best opportunities costs money. Stimulating activities. Apps. Messy play. Swimming lessons. Music lessons. Subscriptions to book, craft and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) boxes. Forest school. Day care. Nannies. Babysitting. Private school. Tutors. Travel….

Money, me and motherhood

When it’s just you, you can justify, reason and excuse why you don’t need something right now. You can wait. You’re only affecting yourself which is easier to deal with than when you are impacting another human life. But with a child, the chances you have to plant seeds of health and opportunity pass swiftly.

For instance, I seriously considered but had to forgo the Nuryl app which describes the pressing nature of these short windows. “Nuryl is a High-Information Music baby app designed to supercharge your baby’s brain during a short period of time from 5 months prenatal to 2 years of age. This small window of opportunity is known in the scientific community as the Critical Window of Brain Development.”

Money means choice and freedom. I have a deep desire for more money so I have the freedom to choose the best. Much of the above is not accessible to me because I can’t afford it (yet). Or I have to sacrifice in one equally important area in order to get something. There is major friction between my desire to provide the best for my child and my inability to do so due to lack of money.

More money means you have to forgo less. I don’t want to have to forgo things that are highly important to me and my family because of a lack of money. I don’t want to give up a subscription box because we’re having swimming lessons. I want both because both are the better option for my child.

More money means less stress on yourself, your relationship and your family. Having to give up things that are important to you and your family is painful for all involved. It is heartbreaking when you are forced to choose options that have a negative impact on your family.

The path to more money

What is the way out? You feel stuck and tired. You have stamped on your desires and hopes. You’re bringing up your children with a whole lot of love but limited access to the rest. Here is what I am doing…

Become aware of money and what it can do for you and your family. Become aware of why you want money. Stop ignoring money and telling yourself it is not important. Stop pretending that you don’t need or want it. Stop telling yourself things are ok as they are.

Claim that you want more money. Shout from the rooftops that you want more money. Make money top of mind. Think about it. Talk about it. Dream about it.

This is probably the opposite of what you want to do. Because when there is not enough money mixed with debt and desire, the way out can seem impossible. You probably want to run away. You want to ignore it. You want to shove this topic in a cupboard. You want to dig a hole and forget where you buried it.

But becoming money conscious and engaging your brain is key to figuring out how to fix your money shortfalls. Awareness and desire leads to thought which leads to action. Become aware. Start thinking. Take action. Be conscious rather than dumb. Be mindful rather than oblivious. Be solution oriented rather than broken.

You don’t have to look far to find inspirational stories about how ordinary people have transformed their finances by doing ordinary things. You can do it too. Stop watching TV. Wake up early. Research. Learn. Apply.