When you have kids, there are a few things that give you little pockets of joy throughout the week that you just can't give up.
I am a budgeter through and through. I get a thrill out of making lists categorizing all the things we have coming up.
I always search for a bargain and I have a knack for finding the best deal when it comes to our domestic bills. If we can save money on everyday things, there is more of a chance that we can afford a holiday that year, so that is usually my motivation.
Since having kids, I’ve had to be particularly eagle-eyed when it comes to sourcing a bargain. I am constantly looking for good value when it comes to the food shopping, birthday presents and the kids’ clothes. If there is a discount code floating around, I will know all about it because every little helps when you have little people to provide for as well as yourself.
They say money cannot buy happiness and I am a firm believer in this fact. Or at least I was until baby number two came along. I’m not a materialistic person at all. I’m not into clothing labels or brands in that sense. It’s just not me.
However, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that money can sometimes buy happiness in the land of parenting. We’re not talking designer shoes or Michelin starred restaurants. I’m talking about the things that give me little pockets of joy throughout the week. The things I’m not willing to give up. My non-negotiables, shall we say.
Despite being a bargain-hunter and a budgeter at heart, I will/would spend money on these things with ease because they make me smile, help me relax and ultimately make me a better mother. Those are the things that you cannot put a price on.
I cannot tell you the joy that is brought to my little world when someone hands me a steaming cup of frothy coffee goodness. It almost doesn’t matter where I am. It could be a play-centre, the petrol station or while I’m doing the weekly shop. It fills me with so much happiness and I really look forward to it so it’s worth its weight in gold.
The Nice “Bits” In The Food Shop
Life is too short to not buy your favourite coleslaw or pesto. These are the things that thread your every-day life. I might be having a really stressful day but sitting down to have a delicious lunch helps me escape for a moment. I see it as self-care. I’ll look for bargains in the food shop in general but there are certain items I just won’t compromise on because they make me happy.
We love the play-ground and being outdoors, but it would be a long summer (or life) without the option of play centres. I do not cope well being at home all day so heading to the play centre gives us some breathing space, a chance for the kids to run the legs off themselves and therefore zero guilt is felt when they spend the afternoon in front of a screen.
Admittedly I don’t have one but three of my friends do and I am honestly considering it going forward. It’s money well-spent because they allow you to get work done or spend quality time with the kids. Cleaning is such a thankless job these days, so I dream about opening my doors to find a clean home.
Even on those difficult months financially we find a little bit of us-time. It might be an early bird dinner or a “fancy” take-away and a bottle of wine. Life is pretty meaningless when it’s all work and no play, so date nights are really important to us. In turn, they make me feel happier and everyone benefits from that.