I’ve decided I (we) need a fast.
Don’t worry, my kids will be clothed and fed and loved and cuddled and have lots of fun.
But. I won’t be buying them anything in the month of February.
No $1 section at Target. No “special snacks, please just this once!?” while we’re out and about. No extra books, clothes, toys, treats, anything.
Am I heartless? I don’t think so. And here’s why I think my kids and I need to take a break from buying them things this month:
1. They have enough. Seriously they do. We just celebrated Christmas & birthdays, and they’ve each had special dates with Mom and Dad lately. They have toys and clothes and each other and I cannot think of one thing they could possibly need (and if I do – it can wait!). The more stuff they have, the more mess we have, and the less we appreciate all of it.
2. We prioritize thankfulness & contentment. I say this and believe it, but when I pick up “a lil’ something” for them all the time, I’m not effectively conveying that message to my children. I am desensitizing them instead of training their ability to appreciate things. I don’t want my babies to expect or depend on a constant influx of new things in their lives. That can be fun at times, but our joy lies elsewhere. When one of us is bummed by *not* getting something this month, I hope that I can redirect our time and attention to all the good gifts that we have been given, and that we will thank the Lord!
3. I need that $. Our budget needs a belt-tightening! I tend to buy the kids affordable second-hand clothing and thrift-store books/toys, but I am constantly picking little things up for them, spending $5ish routinely and it adds up. I’m excited to save that money for a while and I know that our family as a whole will be better off.
4. They have piggy-banks. My “big kids” (5, 3) have started earning a few dollars (or quarters!) here and there for special, “extra” chores. I think it’s helpful for children to begin to understand basic economics, the value of money, the joy of generosity and importance of tithing by beginning to have some money of their own. If there are some things they go without this month that they really enjoy, maybe they will be inspired to save up so they can buy it themselves down the road.
Now, I am a gift-giver by nature and Valentine’s day is coming up! But this year I’ll more likely be making them some special things or baking up a treat to say “MAMA LOVES YOU!” rather than spending money.
Anyone with me?
Happy February!! 🙂