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Buy for your kids or yourself?

Monica Beyer is a mom of four and has been writing professionally since 2000, when her first book, Baby Talk, was published. Her main area of interest is attachment parenting and all that goes with it, including breastfeeding, co-sleepin...

Money for Mom, or money for Baby?

When you have some extra money, are you able to spend it on yourself?

With the holidays approaching, that question can be harder to answer than ever. We talk with moms about how they choose to part with their spending money.

When you’re expecting a baby, you may soon be over the moon about buying baby items — toys, clothes, baby gear. And many moms find that this doesn’t stop after your baby is born. Making your kids happy is a natural instinct of us parenting types; so often our wants go to the back burner as we put our children’s wants ahead of our wants, and sometimes even ahead of our needs. We caught up with real moms to see how they dealt with extra money — do you spend it on your kids, or use it for yourself?

Go without

Some of the moms we talked to would prefer to spend their extra funds on stuff for their kids instead of buying things they could really use, such as new clothes or shoes. “There are times I will buy the girls things because I know they'll like them, just to surprise them, when what I really need to do is buy a bra that fits,” shared Edy from Missouri.

Niki, mother of one, felt the same. “I always spend anything extra on Lucas, be it toys or clothes,” she said. “I haven't bought anything for myself in months!” And Heather, mom of three, mirrored Niki's comment. “I'm terrible about buying myself anything,” she shared. “I tend to overindulge them and never myself.”

Prefer buying for the kids

Angela, mom of one, prefers buying things for her son even though she doesn’t feel bad buying things for herself. “I find I much rather enjoy buying things for my son,” she explained. “If there is something I want or need and I have the extra money, I feel no guilt in treating myself, because, d**m it, being a mom is hard work. However, I get much more joy in seeing my son happy than the happiness buying material items gives me most of the time.”

Moms deserve it

Other moms felt no guilt buying things for themselves. “I got over it because I work hard and deserve the things I buy,” shared Kelly, mom of two. “I don't feel excessive, and we are still able to add to our retirement funds, other savings and pay our bills. I don't feel that I need to be deprived just because I have children.”

Heather from California has similar experiences. “I tend to go through phases where I completely forget about myself, and then one day snap out of it,” she told us. “I recently bought myself a whole new wardrobe and started ‘remembering’ to take my time putting on my makeup, and to wear jewelry and get my nails done. It feels so good to be a woman and a mom.”

So, while spending money on ourselves, as mothers, can be difficult (and even then, spare change is hard to come by when you’re a parent), we should be able to splurge on ourselves, because we totally deserve it.

More on being Mom

Top 10 list: Why I love being a mom
Being a digital mom: 5 Ways to make money online
Mom's balancing act: How to take better care of yourself

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