December 18, 2011

He can't Help It

The best words I've heard from one of the people I respect the most in my life- "He can't help it"

If there is one thing on this planet that makes my stomach turn upside down,it's having my son becoming overstimulated in public.
There.I said it.
And maybe I sorta feel like the worlds most useless mother because I feel that way....Or maybe it's because I am embarrassed over his behavior.
There's also a pretty good chance I have such a low confidence level as his mother-I can't even make my own child mind!

When he acts out inappropriately and I try to intervene-whether physically or verbally-he becomes a little (or a lot) of a distraction for other people.....
When this happens,I get a knot in my stomach and I feel like I can't breathe....It's horrible.

Our family-my parent's,my brother's family and my friend who was gracious enough to join us and the boys and I (hubs had to work)-went to Christmas at the Zoo.
Needless to say,there was lots of stimulating things-music,people,smells,lights and of course the fact that we aren't suppose to be at the Zoo at night!

We had a few moments-moments where I started once again to doubt myself as a parent-and I did my best.
That's all I can do anymore.
I was screamed at:
"I hate you!"
"I don't want to go to your home!"
"Leave me alone!"
"I don't want to hold your hand!"
"No! I'm not going to!!!"

It's just hard.
I feel like nobody understands and I hurt so badly knowing that there are probably plenty of people thinking:
 "Some people just shouldn't have kids...."
"If that kid were mine...."
"What a little brat!"
"She has too many kids and she can't control that one"

And on,and on,and on.

But then I called my dad tonight after I got my children into bed.
I brought up how Caleb had acted and that it was hard for me to handle him.....
My dad said "He did okay for most of it....until the end and by then he was just a bit too worked up and excited"
"Yes,but it's hard because even though YOU understand,other people don't...." I said.
"I know....But He Can't Help It"

Thanks dad.

And you know what?

And I really need to break through all the self doubt and see that it's not my fault and I am doing the best I can.
I love my son-just like I love all of my other children
It's not easy being his mother-but it's very character building!

So next time we experience a tough time,I'm just going to remind myself:


December 15, 2011

Kids cost too much....?

Yep,that's what they say:
Kids cost so much money-$226,920 per child through age 18 to be exact OR $12,606 per year....or so they say (they being the CDC and not including college funds IF you choose to cover those as well).

I find it hard to believe.....but then I don't live like a lot of Americans!
We would like to have more children and if we believed that children were so 'expensive' that wouldn't be an option for us.
I feel it's sad that the 'burden' of an expensive lifestyle is placed on having children!
People choose to live outside their means....and then blame having children.

Well,if it really takes $226,920 to just raise a child,I guess hubby and I are in over our heads considering we have 4 children living in our home right now!

Here you see how much more we would spend for each child based on 'their' numbers:
Caleb (7) $138,673
Jeremiah (3) $189,100
Payton (2) $201,696
Jacobi (0) $226,920

The 'total' to raise our 4 boys until 'adults' would be : $756,389!!!

I just can't see the reliability in these numbers-and here is how we will avoid them!

The biggest expense is housing-they say 31 % of what the claimed yearly cost is of raising a child.
Our mortgage won't be much more for a seven bedroom home than it would be for most of the 3 bedroom houses we've looked at.
Plus,we view  buying a home as an investment-as long as we're going to own it!
We also plan to pay it off as soon as we can without cramping our lifestyle too strictly.

We don't generally pay for cable TV-we use Netflix and it's only $7.99 to stream their entire instant play catalog!

I shop at second-hand stores/thrift shops and my boys pass down clothes to one another until the article of clothing is beyond repair...And no,my boys don't look homely!
I do buy some special or unique items new like matching Christmas outfits-but even those I buy when they are having a 40% sale.

We don't eat out very often-although we have gone through streaks where we thought we had eaten out more than we should have.

I shop ahead-if it's on sale I stock up.
If we don't need it and especially if it's not on sale,I don't buy it.
I buy in bulk whatever I can if it's non-perishable or if we go through it quickly.
I bake most of my own cookies/dinner rolls and pizza.
I cook up my own meals rather than serve 'convienience' foods like microwave dinners and pre-made dishes.
I also do some canning and freezing with seasonal fruits and vegetables.
Our groceries are about $400 per month and we have plenty to eat!
Most families the size of ours average $800 per month!! OUCH!

We switched to cloth diapers-a HUGE money saver in our home and a long lasting one! Every baby we have can reuse the same adorable diapers until they are worn out!

I breastfeed our babies,so not only does it save from needing to purchase formula,our boys get a great immunity boost as well,hopefully preventing them from illness!

I buy a lot of generic things as long as the quality is still good-why pay more if you can get it for less?!

I also am the 'barber' in our house! I cut all the boys' hair and also hubbys-and while I'm no professional,I get better everytime!

We have also chosen to teach our children responsibility by giving them the option of working to buy some of the things they desire,rather than becoming a 'bank' for them to turn to.
No high priced iPods,video games or personal TVs and cell phones!
You want it,you earn the money and you buy it!
They will appreciate it SO much more using their own money!

All in all,we have made choices about how we spend our money-not all of them good,and we're still learning.
But living frugally never hurt anyone and it will also teach our children how to do the same!
I'd love to hear any tips,resources and stories you might have!!