I knew raising a child was going to be expensive the first time I stepped into a Babies R Us when I was pregnant. I looked around at all the stuff that I was told I “had to have” and then looked at the price tag. I immediately ruled out some of those things. I have recently gotten another reality check regarding expenses since Angel has started school. It is not just basic necessities like food, shelter, clothing, toys, dress up clothes, giant Barbie’s and princess accessories. It is tuition for school, school uniforms, school supplies, school registration, (what is up with all the registration fees??? There is a registration fee to wake up every morning) field trips, class parties, dance class, dance shoes, dance leotards, registration for dance class and recital costume deposits. The other thing I started calculating is birthday presents, not presents for Angel, presents for all the other kids whose birthday parties we are now invited to. I was excited about going to the first birthday party, then there was an invitation to another party and then another. If I spend $20 on each present and Angel is invited to 10 parties that is $200 a year on birthday presents for other kids so my kid can go run around and burn off the sugar from the cake and ice cream. (Another down side to all these birthday parties is guess who else is eating cake and ice cream……ME!) I am not opposed to this nor am I complaining, I am just realizing that I have got a lot more additions I need to add to my monthly budget. I haven't even thought about Christmas!!! Presents for fellow students, the teacher, not to mention the gifts I have to buy for our friends and family. Now I understand what all my other friends have been complaining about for years. Perhaps now I won’t judge another mom for not having her toes done because maybe she is forgoing a pedicure to pay for ballet lessons. I am sure she, like me, finds it totally worth it to have nasty toes to see the excitement on their child’s face when she told her she is going to dance class. So I have accepted that I will be cutting checks for sequined dresses that are not for me and for gifts for someone else's kid. That's fine I know it only gets worse from here. I am already saving for the tween years when you have to buy merchandise for the Justin Bieber of the month. And for you married people out there that know what I am talking about, imagine doing this as a single parent.
As I sit her writing this waiting for dance class to be over I can hear Angel talking about Angel Rapunzel (her giant Barbie) to the rest of the class. That thing may be creepy, but it was worth every penny just like me having nasty toes.