When my husband and I had our first child, I’ll never forget how perplexed he looked when I told him I needed to buy our baby daughter new clothes. After all, just a few months before, we had received TONS of clothes from friends, family members and several baby showers but, as I had to explain to my husband, children grow rather quickly, which meant that replacement clothes had to be provided.
And now that our two children are getting older, taller and bigger, that definitely has not changed. I swear, it’s as if my kids grow every 10.2 minutes, which means that the shoes and clothes that fit last month are now too tight and way too small. So I’m quite often on the lookout at yard sales, consignment shops and clearance racks trying to get the best deals.
Just recently I was treated to some extra money that was remaining in our monthly household budget. I was so thrilled and thought about some of the things I needed that had been on my “want” list for a while: Marc Jacobs Daisy perfume (one of my faves), a gorgeous pair of black pumps I had been coveting from DSW, a long-overdue facial, Kiehl’s body butter, etc. But then my mind went to the kids and the things they needed. And, before I knew it, the extra “play” money flew out the window.
One day I was speaking with one my oldest and dearest friends, Tamster. Her real name is Tami but everyone knows her as “the Tamster.” She’s the one and only, kind of like other one-name phenomena such as Madonna, Cher or Rihanna. Like the aforementioned, she has the glitz and glamour of a true diva but, as she would say, on a very limited budget. 🙂 But that doesn’t stop her from living large and embracing each and every day with fervor, fun and passion. Her personality, as well as her heart, is spirited and gigantic!
Our friendship has spanned 20+ years, so when we talk on the phone, we can spend hours just laughing and reminiscing, but the majority of the time is spent sharing war stories about being working women, wives and mothers to our children, who happen to be around the same age. We commiserate quite often, talking about our nutty sons and why they just can’t seem to get a clue, and the latest hair products and styles we’ve tried on our daughters’ natural locks.
Tamster recently advised me that I need to make a point to do something for myself every pay check. She said, “Even if you just go to Marshall’s and buy a $5 pair of underwear, do SOMETHING to treat yourself!” I chuckled but realized that she was absolutely right. We as mothers are always sacrificing ourselves: our time, money, energy and efforts. Before we know it, our needs are placed on the backburner. (That’s why a lot of mothers look so tired and jacked up all the time! You might come across one of us in the check-out line at Target and wonder why our earrings don’t match or our elbows are dry and crusty. Well, that’s because we are spent from giving all that we have and putting ourselves last.)
Don’t get me wrong: I love my family ferociously and would GLADLY give up my right arm if needed, but we should never lose sight of our dreams, wants and desires. Even if it’s something small (like a lovely bottle of wine, a cute pair of earrings, or taking the time to check out a movie that isn’t animated or kids’-themed), or something larger (like an all-girls’ vacation getaway with friends), it’s important to put a few dollars away just for ourselves.
And now I make it a priority to regularly treat myself as well as put a few dollars in my savings account. And when I go to Marshall’s, I simply cannot leave the store without checking out the panty section. If I find a good deal on a lovely pair of panties, I smile to myself and think, The Tamster Rule is in full effect!