Give us Parents a Break Please!

One of my three children working hard at her new normal

Right now, our world as we knew it, has been completely turned upside down! There’s a pandemic out there that is scaring the bejesus out of us all! Our first responders (medical personnel, firefighters, police officers) are fighting with everything they’ve got whilst facing an extreme and before unheard of, lack of essential safety equipment. Times are tough. People have lost their jobs, unemployment is rising every day, social distancing is real and becoming tougher every day. We are all feeling pressures on us we never knew we would face! Parents are homeschooling and working from home, trying to balance this new normal as best they can, yet the minute they complain about it, others are very quickly putting them down and this really bothers me! I’m reading all of these Facebook stories/quotes/heartbreak moments that are trying to both scare parents with horror stories of children dying alone and to make parents feel bad for getting frustrated with their children after being stuck at home with them day in and day out!

Here’s the deal: don’t try to make me or any other parent for that matter, feel bad because I/we need to frigging vent! We know people have got it tougher than us! At no point in time have we said “woe is me!” or “I am in the worst position ever!” What we’ve said, had you been listening, is “holy shit!” – I really appreciate teachers right now! I really appreciate going to work, I really appreciate those few minutes I have to myself daily, I really love my kids but 24/7 is too much sometimes and I just need to vent without being judged and made to feel like the weight of the earth should rest on my already very weary, very overworked, overwhelmed, completely out of my comfort zone, feeling sorry for everyone in the entire earth including myself, shoulders! Stop it! Stop making us feel guilty for venting! We are doing the right thing, we are staying home, we are trying to be the best people we can be right now, but sometimes we get shitty, sometimes we want to scream out loud that we don’t want to anymore! Don’t throw shit in our faces about our babies dying! Don’t try to make us feel worse! We are in this position because we love our children so much that we are already feeling guilty we aren’t doing a good enough job at being parent, teacher, comforter, friend (because they can’t see any of their friends right now) 24hr guardian and everything else in between! Please just stop! Your tactics aren’t working to make this world a better place, they are simply making the good people out there; the people who are literally trying to be all things to the little people, feel even more like shit!

Let’s lift each other up, not put each other down! Let’s realize everyone needs to vent and for the most part, we are all trying to do the right thing and support our doctors and nurses, our medical technicians, our paramedics, our firefighters, our police, our military, our shop assistants, our shelf packers, our truck drivers, our construction workers, our funeral home workers, our delivery drivers, our scientists and researchers and laboratory technicians working day in and day out to find a vaccine, even a cure, our teachers who are still trying to figure out their new normal and how to best help their students, whilst juggling their own new normal, our restaurant chefs/cooks, kitchen hands and assistants, who are still making us food, but delivering it now, and all those who continue to work to help us get through this very difficult, crazy time.

A Little Kindness Goes a Long Way

Imagine this: you’re sitting al fresco style at a lovely restaurant eating brunch with your husband and your 12 year old son. Everything is great, you’re eating your food and this family outing is extremely pleasant; all of a sudden your son’s face goes extremely red. You wonder if he’s choking but he’s not making any noises or gesturing in any way that indicates that such a thing is occurring. He stands up and you can see a wet patch on his bottom. He’s had a minor accident you think, but then the smell hits you quite violently and you realize this is no minor accident!

Now imagine your son is special needs. Imagine if you were that parent. Imagine if everyone around you (and the restaurant, even al fresco, was absolutely packed) just sat and stared!

So I tried to imagine this and I honestly couldn’t, not in a real, oh my god, this is really happening, kind of way. This is what did actually happen to my sister and not one restaurant patron helped her in any way at all. She didn’t have any wipes on her (isn’t that always the way when you desperately need them) and her husband ran to to get as many paper napkins as he could whilst she desperately tried to clean their son up.

“What could another patron have done?” You might be asking. Well, anything but nothing! Here are some suggestions if you ever find yourself witnessing such an awful situation: Alert the staff, suggest they get some disinfectant and lots of paper towel. A bucket of hot water, a mop, you know, those things you need to take care of a situation like this, offer to help get paper towels from the public toilets, if you have young children (and there were other families with very young children there) offer your baby wipes! Try not to stare. the worst thing these people did was nothing. This was an awful situation for my sister and her family. She was embarrassed, stressed, mortified and by the end of this now-turned-horrific brunch, a little angry! And I can’t say I blame her.

We all talk about how kind we can be on social media, but it’s time to own that kindness in real life. Stop being so ghastly! Help out your fellow people when they need you! No, it wouldn’t have been pleasant, but no one was expecting you to do the actual clean up! My sister didn’t even expect the restaurant staff to do that! She cleaned it up as much as she could with the limited resources she had, but their disappointment in their fellow patrons and the lack of kindness shown to them, is something that has to be shared so that no one ever has to go through that again!

It’s time to start actually doing the right thing and thinking about people other than yourself. To the patrons at that restaurant: shame on you!

If you have a child with special needs and would like more information on where you can get support, please check out the links below:

USA (this is a link to a blog that lists 10 organizations within the USA that can help you with support):

Where to find support in USA

In Australia:

Support in Australia


Support for parents in UK


Support for special needs in NZ

If you enjoy reading my crazy, varied blogs, please subscribe here on WordPress. Sharing is caring, so feel free to share with your friends. I’m on Facebook: Aussie Mum’s Adventures. Come like my page and share it with your friends! You can find me on Twitter: @ozmumsadventures, on Instagram: Ozmumsadventures, on Pinterest: Aussiemumsadventures And please subscribe to my YouTube channel: Aussie Mum’s Adventures (I’m still working on it, so please have patience with me!).

Dr. Seuss Themed, Book Week, Door Decorating

I volunteer in my 6 year old’s class once a week to help with extra reading and his teacher asked if I could help with a book week door design – oh yes I can! Lol. I went on Pinterest and looked for ideas as to how to encourage young readers to get excited about reading and found some awesome ideas, including varied options for the “I will read” saying, inside of an extended version of Cat’s Hat.

Credit from Pinterest (I can’t find the site again to give proper credit)

The beginning drawing

A close up of Cat’s face – though I did edit him a tad during the painting phase

Everywhere I looked there was the Cat’s hat, but what about Cat himself? I grabbed one of my son’s books and freehand drew the cat. He turned out pretty great! Lol. I honestly don’t know how to help you draw him other than to say it might help to look at the picture in grids and draw each grid independently, sometimes baby steps are the best, rather than looking at the bigger picture.

The drawing was the easy part though, trying to copy the font for the passage on the right had to be the most time-consuming! Painting was certainly no easy task either, but the rewards are immediate! I did however make a mistake and tried to erase my pencil marks too quickly (see photo). But all in all, I was very happy with the results!

I did everything at home other than the handprints of course! This afternoon I had the lovely pleasure of assisting each first grader in dipping their hand in paint thereby adding their personal touch to this door cover. It was so much fun! The teacher had photos of each and every child that we stuck in the middle of their handprint. It worked out really well and I love it! I’ll never have another first grader, but I’ll always have this amazing memory! Even the teacher put her handprint on there!

If you enjoy reading my crazy, varied blogs, please subscribe here on WordPress. Sharing is caring, so feel free to share with your friends. I’m on Facebook: Aussie Mum’s Adventures. You can find me on Twitter: @ozmumsadventures, on Instagram: Ozmumsadventures, on Pinterest: Aussiemumsadventures And please subscribe to my YouTube channel: Aussie Mum’s Adventures (I’m still working on it, so please have patience with me!).

What the ?

Hey fellow Mum/Mom, what the …..?

So, my daughter had her 12th birthday party a few months ago, she invited 8 of her friends. She didn’t invite one girl that she’s had this on again/off again relationship with. She asked me if I thought she was doing the right thing, I asked her how she was being treated lately by said girl and what their relationship was like. She responded with: said girl had been treating her like crap (after having a play date at our house the week before) and she had an invite for her but rescinded at the last minute because said girl was being a little hellion (according to my daughter).
Here’s my thing; my kid and your kid are both not going to paint themselves in the ‘worst’ picture when it comes to situations involving their friends. I’m going to believe my kid, you’re going to believe your kid.
Sometimes our kids aren’t telling the entire truth; sometimes they blatantly lie.
I can’t tell you who is being more honest, what I can tell you is there are always two sides to a story and why the hell are you unfriending me as your Facebook friend because our kids no longer talk?
Seriously, this happened! I have been a parent for over 12 years now and I’ve only just realised that it is a big mistake to get involved with any of your kid’s friend’s Mums! Well okay, maybe not. Maybe you’ll walk away with a friend for life, but maybe you’ll also both get drawn into the shit that happens when your kids have falling outs! Do not get involved!
Well, hang on, if it’s serious, get involved, but most of the time it’s just the frigging drama that goes along with a bean/tween/teen! It’s seriously not something you need to take a stand on and that’s where the grey comes into it: New Mum/mom, only child Mum/Mom, old hat Mum/Mom, your kid is going to go through drama, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re being bullied, but it’s a whole lot of drama nonetheless! (Oh and keep a very keen eye out for the bullying because that’s a whole different ball game!)
The drama is going to involve your kid’s best friend/girlfriend/boyfriend or a complete stranger. You are going to have no clue from which direction the drama will unfold. Here’s the big picture though, don’t frigging unfriend the mother you friended a few months ago when your kid’s were best friends because there’s a damn good chance they’ll be best friends again before you know it! Don’t bring the other parent into the drama! I’ve learnt this the hard way, and I say this in all seriousness, don’t frigging friend someone either just because they are the parent of your kid’s friend! Just because your kid’s are friends doesn’t mean you need to be, and you know what? On a grown up level, just because you’re friends, doesn’t mean your kids need to be!
We seem to go through this notion where we think we have to Facebook befriend the parent of every kid our kids love and sometimes they’re not necessarily people we want to know and other times they’re the best friends we never knew we had. It’s a tough game that whole friendship as an adult thing but when our kids come into play, from now on my new motto is, hey, I really like you but you need to understand our kids may have differences and I don’t particularly give a crap because I really like you and the kids can work their own shit out or move on! Do not get overly involved! Advise your kid. Do the parental thing. Call the other kid out. But has the parent done anything to you? Is the kid old enough to have started developing their independence? Then shit, stop holding grudges against the parents; sometimes great parents have shitty kids and sometimes shitty parents have great kids! That’s just the way it rolls.
This woman’s juvenile behaviour has now made me think everything my daughter has told me about her daughter is true, whereas before, I wasn’t so sure. How can we set the example for our children, particularly our daughters (I’m a firm believer in women believing in other women rather than putting them down) when we start judging other women by the actions our juvenile children narrate to us when they are still learning what is right and wrong in the world? Disappointed doesn’t even begin to describe my feelings about this seemingly smart, well educated woman! And no, there were no other posts made by myself between Saturday night (the night of the party) and Monday afternoon (when she came up on my Facebook feed as someone I might know).
What the ?
Lady, you are doing nothing for your child by being like this. You are not setting a great example to resolve conflict and nor are you ensuring your child has the confidence to make the right decisions- be they right or wrong. I am glad in a way that we are no longer friends because you’ve helped me explain to my daughter the kind of woman ‘not to be’ (but I actually liked a couple of parts of your personality, so in another sense it saddens me that this is where we’ve come).
I wish you and yours all the best and hope your kid can walk away from this a strong woman who knows what it’s like to both fail and succeed and to know the important role other women play in this thing we call life.

Challenge Accepted Day 43 & Day 1….

My son went to a Korean kindergarten today. And he loved it. I have been worrying about it all weekend too. He has never really gone to kindergarten, even when I used to volunteer and he went into the childcare, it was hit and miss. It was only once a week, but sometimes he would cry for the first hour or even longer. It took about 3 months before he was finally okay to stay there without crying. He wouldn’t even stay with friends, my friend Trine was really the only person he would stay with for any period of time. We had talked about him starting school often over the last week. Yesterday, I even asked him if he was going to cry when Mummy said goodbye and he very proudly told me that no, he wouldn’t. Well, he told the truth. Not only did that kid not cry, he had a big smile on his face and was very excited. He had his little backpack with his blankie and his Spider-Man toy and he was ready to face the world and all its challenges. He kissed hubby and I goodbye and went into his classroom, ready to socialize with his classmates. The two German/American girls with whom he is friends, weren’t even there yet, but he was still excited to go in and see what this school thing was all about. I must confess that his bravery and eagerness did bring a tear to my eye, but don’t tell anyone will you! Hubby was quick to point me to the car in case he changed his mind and regretted his decision to face today with such courageous jubilance. But he didn’t. He walked into that classroom and immediately joined a group of young Korean boys and girls and happily played with them. 
For me, well I dropped hubby off at work and came home to a quiet house. I have to admit there were times I went to talk to Hunter throughout the day. A helicopter flew right over the car and I almost pointed it out (as I always do) until I realized he wasn’t there with me. It wasn’t like this with the girls and not because I don’t love them as much as I love him or anything to do with boy vs girl, it comes down to the fact that he is my last. There will be no more babies, and he is growing up. A day that makes you realize that things are changing, I’m getting older. There will be no more pitter patter of little feet in my house until the grandchildren days. Whoa! Grandchildren! Holy wow! Can’t even go there at this point in time, but I’m understanding my own feelings about why I was a little taken aback this morning at my own emotional response. Anyway, I got home and took some more ‘before’ photos, because today I started Insanity! Yes, my T25 voyage officially came to an end for now, although, my friend is going to send me her T25 DVDs (she doesn’t use them anymore and quite by chance offered them out to any takers on FB – I, of course, put my hand up big time). So Insanity it is! Here’s the original before photos with the photos I took today in the black pants which will now become my new before photos. 

I couldn’t really notice much of a difference in the first two front photos but I do see a difference in my butt from 5 weeks of T25! I did the fit test too, the one that you do at the beginning of the Insanity challenge, and did much better than I thought I would, surprising myself. I’m going to leave the results here so you can help me track my progress. 

Ok, enough Insanity talk and prep, there it is. You’ll just have to stick with me for another 60 days to see the results and then we can maybe go back to a T25 challenge and then who knows where? 😜
I decided to make hubby and I lunch and took it to him in his office, aren’t I the sweetest wife ever? 😂 yes, I crack me up too! But it was good and sweet, I even put it in a picnic basket. We didn’t have long unfortunately, but that was ok because I had things to do anyway. They have this paperwork that we have to have ready in case we need to evacuate (you know, like if someone just north of us might be a bit loopy and do something he threatens to do all the time). Anyway, it is actually serious business. We have to have everything in a ready to go packet so in a worst case scenario, we can be ready to go at the drop of a hat. Even the pets have to have their own paperwork, so my job today was to gather together final pieces for that. I picked up some groceries, and ran a couple of other errands before heading home. The first pick up was at the bus stop for Maddy, then we drove to the school to pick Hunter up. We got there a little early and the doors were open (with a teacher standing there) and we watched Hunter playing in his class, looking so happy still. Until……. He and another little girl were running to get something in this game they were playing and neither of them looked up and ended up banging heads. Tears were shed from both. Luckily it was on Hunter’s other side and not his already bruised eye. Finally his teacher saw me at the door and brought him over, then proceeded to tell me all about his day and an upcoming field trip, in Korean. I vowed then to use Google translate for every conversation. Thank god for modern technology! Because then she handed me all this paperwork that looked something like this:

Yes, I have at least 30 pages of Korean paperwork to fill out and read. So, I used Google translate for the first 10 pages and was able to understand most of it and fill it out, by the time I got done with that though, I was exhausted! It takes a lot to concentrate on this sort of stuff. With Latin based languages I can at least look at the root word and go from there but Korean may as well be alien writing to me. I am not only impressed but filled with admiration at those who can speak and read both Latin based languages and Asian languages! So, I did the next best thing and invited my realtor over for lunch and asked her if she would help me read through this. She said yes! So tomorrow, hopefully she can help me fill all of this out. One of them is a permission slip to go to Seoul on a field trip and I’m all about that but they would travel by bus (I think) and bus drivers her are the craziest of everyone! If my son’s going to be on one of those crazy buses, then I’m going to be there with him! Haven’t got a full plan yet like what I’ll do with Maddy in the afternoon, but one step at a time. 

Tonight, well, tonight has been quiet. The kids ate and were about to go to bed when hubby got home (he got a ride from his colleague) so we put them to bed and sat and had dinner together watching two of our favourite shows that we watch together; ‘The Good Wife’ & ‘Madam Secretary’. We are very diverse in our viewing preferences enjoying comedies to superheroes and everything in between; ‘Modern Family’ & ‘Blackish’ to ‘The Goldbergs’, to ‘Supergirl’, ‘Agent Carter’, ‘The Flash’, ‘Shield’, are all regulars on our tv and soon we’re hoping to borrow the entire Game of Thrones collection, so we can get into that. Anyway, it’s been interesting. Tomorrow I get to do the full Insanity thing! Tonight, I shall do the Rodan and Fields Redefine night regimen and follow it with the ACUTE Care, I only have a few of those left, so should be seeing a decease in the wrinkles (I am already). So I shall say adieu. For now. Have a wonderful day and or night wherever you may be and give those little babies a big kiss and enjoy their pitter patter, even for a moment.

Challenge Accepted Day 38

Last night I had a dream and in it my Nana (grandmother) pulled up in a really flashy Jaguar, no idea which model but it was full of class and she had her hair in a scarf looking like Audrey Hepburn or Grace Kelley, but she was older, she was still my Nan. I can’t remember what she said to me or too much about the dream, all I can remember is her smile. It was bigger and brighter than I’d ever seen it before. I awoke feeling good. Feeling like she had left me with a happiness. I got up and made myself a coffee and sat down to look at my news feed on FB when it came up that I had memories from today, April 13th. Given its school holidays, I haven’t really been tracking the date; today would have been my Nan’s 113th birthday! How weird is that? I’m not what one would consider a religious person. I have my beliefs, including believing in God, I just don’t believe in religion as a concept, I’m also not too sure about the old heaven and hell concept, but what I do know is that I awoke with the feeling that my Nana is happy, she is content, she is in a good place. 
The other thing about today is that I had a baby due today. Not something I talk about or share very often. I’ve had two miscarriages, one at 8 weeks and one at 13 weeks. The latter happening right after I’d announced it to everyone! I guess because today’s my Nana’s birthday, I got really excited to have a baby due on it. I couldn’t even tell you what day I miscarried on. It seems like so long ago and such a nightmare that I really don’t think about it too often. I’m not even really sure my hubby has any idea about how it all went down and I don’t think I can describe it for you in a blog, but it just wasn’t very nice and not something I reflect on very much. Put it this way, when I think of April 13th, I think of my Nana, not of my miscarriage but at some point in time during the day, it comes to mind. It’s all a little bittersweet, but today was made a lot better by the visit from my Nana in my dream.
I worked out; Speed 2.0! Wow! It was tough but good. I was hoping for a break somewhere in there like the stretching in Speed 1.0, but no. And you know what, I was thankful there wasn’t one, by the end of it, I felt great! Even if physically I’m not all better just yet. So much better than yesterday. The kids and I cleaned the house and I showered, did my morning R+F regimen and felt great, I do have some sad news from the Rodan + Fields desk though; my favourite tool is being discontinued. Yes, the MACRO E is only going to be available for a short time. So very, very sad. This is, in my humble opinion, is the Clarisonic on crack. It’s wonderful. My skin feels amazing after I use it. It’s even dual voltage. I love it. This is a sad day for the world. On a side note, let me know if you want to order one before they discontinue it, you only have until April 26th unless stock runs out before then!

It’s under the Redefine regimen, MACRO Exfoliator.. A tool of awesomeness! 
Ok, back to our day, we went to the market once again today and got some amazing strawberries and tomatoes. Yum, my favourite so far here. Even the lettuce and onions were good today, thank god, because the onions at the commissary yesterday were rotten and disgusting and the pickings were slim.

We paid our electricity bill to our real estate agent (yes, you can do that here for no extra fee) and looked at the variety of items they had out for sale at the market just a few doors up. Each time I go it gets a little bit bigger, it’s wonderful. Well except for the bunnies in a box for sale, that was pretty awful. My kids begged and begged for a baby bunny but I had to say no (50,000 times mind you) a. Because we have a cat and a dog already, and b. Because if we continue to purchase animals from people like this, they will continue to breed them in who knows what conditions and judging by the 10 or so bunnies in that little box all quivering and shaking, the conditions aren’t so great. Every part of me wanted to rescue them all, but how can I encourage that? And it’s for us you know, the Americans, the foreigners, that’s who those bunnies were aimed at. I couldn’t take a photo, I couldn’t even look for very long as it made me sick to my stomach at the cruelty of it all! I knew I only had so much resolve and my kids just thought I was the worst Mummy ever, until we saw the puppies that is! Then the begging doubled. Again, two little puppies in a box. I saw someone carrying one around that was almost identical, so I’m gathering they started the day with more. I just can’t do it and I’m willing to look like the bad guy to my kids if it means one less person breeds animals to make a quick buck! 
We finished our day with a Family Readiness Group meeting and it was great. There was a great turnout, everyone was enthusiastic and the future looks bright. So glad that’s one thing my hubby doesn’t have to worry about, nor me for that matter. I am simply there to advise and he’s got way too much on his plate! It’s 11:30pm (2330) and he’s at work. Got there at 0600 this morning. Came home for about an hour for dinner and went back. I’m so glad we got to spend some quality time with him over Christmas and the beginning of this year as I knew this was going to be a long and arduous road ahead in his new job trying to right past wrongs and ensure it is functioning like a well-oiled machine. He’s got good people working with him, so it’s only a matter of time. But in the meantime, the younger kids don’t understand why Daddy’s not here anymore, when he was here so much before. The military life. You have to live it to appreciate all of it! 
We came home from the meeting to eat my amazing curry that I had made earlier and I have to say it was very good. It was a Thai curry but the entire family (+1 tonight as Ally has her friend over again) loves naan (Indian bread) so we incorporate that into every curry and yummo! I’d say we got a 5.5 out of 6 tonight. Ally’s friend wasn’t too keen on the rice but she did suck up all the curry juice, so I’ll take that as a win! 
To end the night on another bittersweet note, my friend’s hubby (who was in the motorcycle accident) awoke by himself from his induced coma today, that wasn’t supposed to happen for another 2-3 days, unfortunately he still has no feeling in his legs. They are being transferred to one of the big Army hospitals where they can better assess him and what’s going on. Please continue to keep them in your thoughts. 
For me, it is goodnight. I shall do my nighttime Rodan and Fields Redefine regimen and hope my hubby comes home soon.
Have a wonderful day and/or night wherever you are! 

The Big Talk

So today we sat our kids down and had the ‘talk’. No, not what you’re thinking, get your mind off that for just a moment 🙂 the talk about money. About saving. About giving. I never got pocket money when I was growing up and I’m pretty tight with giving pocket money as I don’t believe in something for nothing and I don’t believe kids should just get money for the sake of it. My kids, well two of them anyway, have to do some very basic chores every week. They include feeding the dog and cat daily, folding their own clothes after the washing is done, they have to pick up the dog poo, keep their rooms clean and the eldest one has to take our dog walking on the weekends. All these jobs amount to $1.00 each although we’ve just added the dog walking on the weekends to the eldest one (11) so we will increase hers to $1.50 starting next week. Like I said, we are not overly generous, nor do we demand too much.
We also save money for each of our children, it started with $1.00/day from the moment I found out I was pregnant (we made sure all of them started from the same moment in their lives). Then it went to $1.50/day at 5 years then $2.00/day at 8 years, $2.50/day at 10 and will increase once again to $3.00/day at 12 years. From then on, we haven’t worked it out, but we’re trying to ensure we can give our kids a start in life. As soon as their savings hit $3000.00 we start putting it into a mutual fund account (whilst continuing to deposit money into it) where we have stipulated the projected date we need the money and leave the rest to the professionals who manage these sort of accounts taking into account that date, as far as risk is concerned -for more info on these sorts of accounts you can go to websites such as:


Anyway, back to the ‘talk’. I read this great article the other day (unfortunately I have just spent the last hour searching for said article on Facebook and cannot find it; lesson learnt: if you want to refer to something interesting you read as a blogger, take a note of it immediately so you can share it) where the principles really hit me. He or she (again I would know had I taken note) talk about involving your children in your money-making decisions and we’ve never done that before but as I read the article, it made complete sense. Why wouldn’t you involve them if you want them to be responsible and make good choices when it comes to money? If that is the end goal to raising a well-adapted, smart, kind, responsible child, then one doesn’t even need to question the motivation behind it. 
So we sat the kids down this morning as we gave them their pocket money and asked them to get all the money they have earned (& haven’t yet spent of course). We talked about how everything requires money and they need to start saving, perhaps for a car (particularly the older one). We also talked about gifts and giving/donating. My husband has this great saying he always says to our kids: “Do you want to be the person on the street begging for money, or do you want to be the person on the street giving the money?” Their answer is always the same, they want to be able to give the money. Therefore, they need to make smart money choices. Today has in fact been all about money. We spent half of our car trip on the way to Osan (from Camp Humphreys, South Korea- about 1/2hour as long as there’s no traffic) discussing money decisions including but not limited to investing, car payments, regular household expenses, college, first jobs, employment goals and so much more. It was truly great as the girls kept asking us questions about career decisions, about what a car payment is, about credit cards, about our regrets, even about re-dos (you know, where if you could do something all over again, what would it be). In the store it became a discussion of mathematics and if I buy this, how much would I have left over and is it a good investment/decision? I’ll come back to that though as firstly I need to get back to the most important point of this talk.
I asked them to collect all of their money, then we explained that before they pay anyone else, they must pay themselves in the form of saving 25% of their income. We used some great mathematical equations to arrive at the amount that equaled 25% of their total money (my favorite being 1 quarter out of every $1.00 needed to be put aside and totaling that up for the 7y.o.). The 7y.o. Was so excited because of the way I worded it, she seriously said something along the lines of, “so this belongs to me and no one else? No one else can take it from me or use it?” I told her that this was hers to put aside to save for something big, something she needed like a house or a car or even both. The excitement in her was uncontainable! I loved it! Now, I was a little more concerned about 11y.o. DD, she was a different kettle of fish, but to my surprise, she was actually quite excited too, especially when I talked about the fact she will need a car in 5 years and perhaps we could match her dollar value in a car, then hubby chimed in with “well up to $1000.00 anyway.” And he has a point. She will be 16, she needs a reliable beater, if there is such a thing, and not some fancy car. In my opinion, here in the States anyway, she shouldn’t be driving anything over $2000.00 anyway. So if she’s capable of saving $1000.00+ by that time! then I would only ask her to put $1000.00 towards a car. The rest she can save up for a house, travel, college tuition, you know, all those things that suck away our money otherwise known as life and/or debt. 
As far as good investments go, well at this age it’s very subjective. Hubby was all about letting them spend their money on whatever they wanted to and they would soon learn when they made bad decisions and didn’t have any money left over for when they saw something they really wanted, but I couldn’t let them spend $9 on a giant bag of candy! Firstly, we’re already at the dentist enough, secondly, the Mummy in me just says a big fat no to that for all sorts of reasons and thirdly, what a terrible decision! They both got a bit cranky with me and I was definitely the ‘bad’ guy but I was ok with it. Then they wanted to buy nightlights of all things, but I told them they already had nightlights and would it really make them happy to have another nightlight? Is that really a good investment or could they just make do with what they’ve got and perhaps keep their money for something they want even more? In the end, they each bought a small bag of lollies (candy) for $1 and came home with money burning in their wallets. 
The great thing about kids is they forget they’ve got money burning until the next time you go to the store, so next time we go, we’ll deal with that problem. Until then, I’ve got another small amount of pocket money to give them next ‘pay day’ and this time, I’ve got it in change so they can immediately put away 25% into their newly decorated ‘savings’ containers. As far as the 10% giving part of it, we’ll save that for another blog all of it’s own.