Wednesday, February 23, 2005

A Working Mother's Woes

Woe is me...I'm a working mom. Okay, so I bring home a few shekels, and I help pay for the mortgage, the second car, the insurance, the household bills, the day care, the schooling, the day camp, the extra-curricular lessons, shul membership, the dog food, the--

Oh wait, I said I bring home a few shekels, and I help pay for... the dog food. Yup, that's about it. So why am I out there, rushing to and from work, leaving my husband to deal with chauffeuring and meal preps and homework till I get home. I'm not the main breadwinner in this family by any means, but I do help out a bit.

Recently hubby and I looked at my checkbook to see if there was a pattern to my spending habits -- oh, ya, the pattern is THE KIDS. I pay for swimming, for hockey, for chess, for other mind-expanding, brain-enlightening courses they pursue, for school expenses (of course, those are on top of tuition, on top of school uniforms, on top of supply lists) such as trips and food programs and Scholastic book orders.

Yes, we spend on THE KIDS, but the rewards are plentiful. My kids will swim/skate up to me, and in a loud and clear voice one of them will ask me to join him in a game of chess. I'll refuse, reminding him that it is in fact I who needs to take chess lessons, and tell him to play with his father, while I suggest his sister read the Scholastic book I ordered. In the meantime, I'll do the laundry and wash my daughter's school jumper and her brother's zippered school logo jacket.

And littlest child, not yet in school, will look at me, and with pleading eyes ask, "Can I have a brownie?" "Sure," I say. After all, it's only a brownie, and not a cataloged list of Scholastic books he wants me to buy for him, or an after-school program he wants to take, or a knapsack he insists on having because it's the latest schoolyard look.

Thank G-d for small blessings...