If you’re anything like me, when you made the decision to become a parent then you did a whole lot of googling.
You read about the joys of being a parent. The first smiles, the first steps, the first words, hearing them say “I love you” for the first time.
You read about the trials of being a parent. The sleepless nights, the nappy blow outs, the tantrums, hearing them say “I hate you” for the first time.
But what you don’t read about, what no one tells you – is that it can be absolutely heartbreaking.
Your child is like a raw nerve walking around on the outside of your body, and every time they hurt, you hurt ten fold.
Every time they have a hard day, and you see the stress in their little eyes as they hold back the tears… your heart absolutely breaks and you have to keep it together and tell them it’s going to be okay.
When they fall over and scratch their knee and you watch them trying not to overreact and holding back every instinct to swoop in, when you let them get up and dust themselves off because you know that they need to decide if they need you for themselves… it’s the hardest thing.
Being a parent, it’s incredible. Most days you go to bed feeling totally fulfilled about the little humans you are sharing this life with.
But some days you find yourself up at midnight worried about an event that upset your child that day, more worried than you would ever be if that excact thing happened to you.
Because your children are your rawest nerve, and no matter how much you protect them it’s inevitable that they are going to have shitty days.
And as their parent, it’s heartbreaking to watch. Even though that we know this is a part of life, an important part of life, it doesn’t make it any easier…
Now that’s a hard habit to break.
You know what I’m talking about, going into to a shop to check out a sale and OMG everything is so cheap – $150 later you have a bag full of crap you don’t need!
Avocado smash is NOT my problem. ‘Sales’ are my problem.
Except I’m not.
So here’s a little secret I’ve learnt about ‘sales’.
It’s always on sale!
What? I hear you say.
So the way that sales get you is by making you feel that if you don’t buy it there and then you will miss out.
I’ve worked in retail, I’ve hidden stock out the back to make it look like we were low on stock. It’s a real thing.
I’ve also price matched other stores with ridiculously low prices. Heck, I’ve even gone lower!
In fact, just by asking for a discount – most electronic stores will give you one. And if they tell you it’s as low as they go, then go to another store and get them to beat that price!
And at the end of the day, if you do miss out – look, it’s really not the end of the world.
You’re not actually saving money if you’re spending money, especially on impulse purchases.
So wait, go have a coffee or better yet go home and do some research on the product and see if you are actually saving money / you do actually need to product.
Better yet, take the money, put it away and spend the afternoon in the park or catching up with a friend!
Impulse spending is still a habit I am working hard to break, I’m not there yet.
I’m trying a new thing were I sit on a purchase for a week before buying it. It’s pretty challenging and I’ve still found the owner of shit I don’t need, because hey it’s cheap BUT I’m working on it.
I’m aiming to be thoughtful of my purchases and put the days of impulse shopping behind me!
Any tips to getting through sale season??
I’m going to talk about something I’ve always learnt not to talk about.
Money, or a lack there of it.
It’s like, everyone is supposed to just pretend that they have a whole heap of money all the time and if they don’t it’s as if they have failed.
Well, we’re not wealthy and we haven’t failed.
We’re just young, and we’ve lived a whole lot of life in our 28 years and that’s cost us a whole lot of money.
Oh, and all that damned smashed avocado #amirite?
I’ve been researching frugalism, and the term ‘the working poor’ has been tossed around a lot. It basically means individuals living paycheque to paycheque with little to no savings or disposable income. I guess that’s kinda us. Although, we wouldn’t really know as we are suckers for a micro purchase or 12!
But we’re also in a really fortunate (smart) position. We are debt free. The husby and I have never ever not ever had a credit card. We have car re-payments but they are less than the cars are worth. We are so fortunate that we are not under the banks thumb.
Like most millennials, we are working towards being under the banks thumb and having a mortgage. But today, we are not in any debt, which is really flipping cool.
So for the past six weeks now we have been implementing some changes to fully embrace frugalism. It’s not been an easy change, and we’re both still learning.
For example husby kept telling me to stop cheaping out when grocery shopping as we run out of food and it costs us more. And dammit, he was right. I got the groceries down to $150 a week to $100 – and then we ran out of food, got take away ($30) that night and went grocery shopping ($50) the next. So back to the $150 shop it is!
Another example is not planning lunch for work. Husby seems to think he can just eat a big breaky and dinner. I can do that, he on the other hand, can not ($12 per days).
Oh and then there’s things like a day out with the kids. Under packing lunch ($30), forgetting a bottle of water ($4) or even trying a new outing without investigating the car parking situation ($16).
So yeah, we are definitely in the learning phase. And I have absolutely no intention of spending my children’s childhood inside because we wanted to buy a house one day. I want us to have the best possible lives, and to spend the least possible amount.
My new motto in life:
So, here’s to frugalism!
What are you best money saving, experience giving tips? And maybe your biggest challenges?
So I’m super open about my struggle with anxiety – which often takes people aback.
I’m also generally a really confident person.
But I’m anxious. And I’m super awkward.
I’ve been called intriguing, mysterious and even appealing – which I kinda like.
I’ve also been called batshit crazy. I didn’t like this so much, but hey – it’s probably true.
So at the moment, my anxiety is really bad.
I am riddled with self doubt and insecurities. Sometimes I can barely even get the words out. Other times a billion words come out none of which I actually intended to say.
It’s really fucking conflicting. It’s narcissistic because everybody is talking about me. And it’s nasty, because of course they all hate me.
Everyday, I get up and I just go. I mean as a Mum of 2, with a part time job, a small business, a husband and *gasp* a social life – I don’t really have a choice. And I CAN do it. I mean, it’s really hard, but I’m high functioning which means my anxiety doesn’t stop me from doing the things I want to do – it might suck all the fun out of them – but it doesn’t stop me.
But I’m tired. I’m SO tired. My mind is so busy. My first doubt starts about .2 seconds after I wake up and ends about 3 hours after I should’ve fallen asleep.
And yeah, I could just stop. And I have. My body stops. I rest, I watch bad TV, I stalk exes on Insta… but my mind is still there, and it’s still racing.
I remember when I was a kid, pre-diagnosis and I asked my friend if they ever feel like life’s not real. They looked at me like WTF, “like you’re just kinda watching yourself,” I explained. They had no idea what I meant and laughed it off. I laughed along too. But I died a bit inside. It was the first time I realised that I wasn’t normal and that’s a really hard pill to swallow – even at 28!
So yeah, I’m not normal. I’m intriguing. I’m bat shit crazy. I have anxiety and right now I feel like I could explode at any moment whilst simultaneously falling asleep because I’m so.tired.
How’s your week going?
Yo, if any of this resonates with you you really don’t have to go through it alone. The best piece of advice I can offer you is to book an appointment with your gp, or if you really need to talk call beyond blue!
This year, I’m taking part in a No New Clothes Challenge.
For the past five months, I haven’t purchased ANY new clothes.
I even stocked up on underwear before going into this project – so I have not purchased anything.
And it’s been great. I feel so. liberated!
I love fashion, I really do. And I thought I would feel like I’m missing out. I mean fashion moves so quickly, I was buying new items every week just to catch up and I STILL felt like I had nothing to wear.
But I don’t feel like that anymore. I still feel like I can ‘keep up’ with the latests trends without having to buy them. I just mix and match what I already have, occasionally I borrow an item or two – I’ve even brought some of my hubby’s old shoes out of retirement (thanks to the use of think socks). I don’t feel left behind, in fact I feel ahead because I’m not constantly chasing my tail.
I have clothes. I have good clothes. And now they are not only on high circulation – I genuinely appreciate the clothes I have.
I feel like I enjoy fashion so much more now. I kinda feel like I’ve ‘won’ it because I’ve figured out how to make my old clothes look like new clothes and how to get over wearing the same outfit over and over again (spoiler – no one actually gives a shit).
Five months in, and I’m not even looking for the finish line. Honestly, I don’t even know if there is one anymore I am so much happier with this new groove.
One could say it has changed my entire outlook by literally changing nothing at all!
It’s so funny how leaving the defence force life behind us has changed so much… but also so little.
I know, I know that makes no sense.
Being a defence force family is all encompassing… it seriously has a say in every aspect of your life. But we worked really hard not to get caught up in that so we still had this false idea of independence.
Being a civilian family is just, well, a breath of fresh air if I’m honest. I can’t really put into words what’s it’s like to not have the constant expectation that everything’s going to change in the blink of an eye- I mean the words security and relaxed come to mind- but it’s really only a comparison someone who’s gone through it can truely understand.
But, you know, there were plenty of positives about being a defence family that I’ll miss for the rest of my life. The housing stuff, the medical stuff – sure – but mainly that sense of community. Like, it’s REALLY shit at times, but we’re all in this together.
It’s a real credit to the serving members and the families of ADF folk – despite all the trials they really have each other’s backs.
Man, it’s a sacrifice serving in the ADF. I know that the risk of physical harm is nothing compared to what it was but there are so many past and present members suffering with mental illness because of the time they served.
To them, I pay my respects.
There are so many Mums and Dads who have missed out on milestones in their children’s lives.
To them, I pay respects.
There are many sons and daughter who missed the last months of their parents lives because they were away.
To them, I pay respects.
There are so many people, all across Australia and NZ who have sacrificed so much to serve in the ADF. Members, wives, husbands, parents, children…
To them, I pay respects.
And, to all of those who made the ultimate sacrifice to stand in the place that many would not dare to stand… I pay my respects.
Lest we forget.
Being a young mum sucks.
No, not because I miss out on partying with my friends. Or because I’ll probably never get to buy a house. Not even because at the age of 28 I have more bags under my eyes than a strand bags store.
I hate being a young Mum because of other people. Yup, I know, how general can I be.
I have been told that “it must be hard as a single mum”, oh I’m not a single mum, “oh, and you’re still with the father!” What the actual fuck. And also, who cares?
I’ve been asked if I’m jealous of my peers. Are they jealous of me? “Nah, I mean cause they can do stuff!” Yup so can I! – an actual conversation I had with another parent.
“And where do you work”… “oh you have an actual job!” Prey tell, random judger… what is a real job.
“Do you feel like your kids are going to miss out?” On what? Their inheritance? I don’t get it, I’m a great mum.
I have even been told (by a non parent I should add) “nah but you’re not a real mum!” I mean, I’m the only mum my kids will even have so yeah I am pretty real.
I mean, I could go on… but here’s the deal. I was 23 when I had my son. I am a great mum, I am not perfect you know, I’m a human and all. I’m 28 now. I have a 5 year old and a 1 year old. They, along with my hubby are my absolute world.
Please, please don’t take the credit away from me because I decided to have kids at a younger age. It actually really hurts, and I’m a tough cookie. There are a lot of mums, younger and less tough than me that are getting the same comments.
I know, because I’ve heard them.
The actual mothering part of being a young mum is awesome. My kids are my best friends. It’s honestly the most fun I’ve had since I was a kid. Sure, it’s not all the matching gum boots I thought it’d be… but I love it. I wouldn’t change a thing.
Well one thing.
I’d change the way people perceive young mums.
So, have I changed your perception?