I don't post often, but I have been lurking for awhile. I just need to get this off my chest because I don't really have anyone to share it with.
My mom was a stay at home mom. She has not worked outside the home since I was born. She is very opinionated and is certain that everything she did for us was the only way. My parents dated when they were in high school. They bought their first home with a loan from my grandparents and have never had a mortgage payment. Since they grew up together, most decisions that would lay the financial groundwork for their marriage were made together. As a result, even though my dad was middle management, they were able to give us a lot of experiences.
I have just become a stay at home mom. My husband and I have been smart with our money, but he had significant student loan debt. We both had houses when the market crashed and I lost a lot of money on my house. We bought a new house within our price range, drive cars with 80,000+ miles on them (with money set aside for new one), and are very close to being done with the student loan. We pay our bills every month, and I have crunched the numbers to make sure we can save for retirement, our children's education, and build a savings account. In order to do that, we need to watch where we spend our money. My mom, however, makes me feel like I am going to be depriving my children of life's luxuries. When I talk to her, she makes me doubt every decision we make. I can usually let it roll of my back, but today it is getting to me. Some of her issues:
1. As kids we belonged to a swim and tennis club. I called around to find out how much they cost. The initial fees are $2000 up front, and $575 a summer. There is no way we can cough up that initial $2000 in the next few years. Not when we are still furnishing a new house. My mom wants to know what my kids are possibly going to do over the summer? As she says, kids cost money and it wasn't cheap for her either.
2. We moved into an older subdivision without many children. I would have loved to build in a new construction sub that has the community clubhouse where families can gather, but we just could not afford it. She reminds me constantly that there are few kids in my sub, and I am going to have to work harder to make sure DS is socialized. I mentioned I take him to the park and library frequently, but she says he needs a place where he can build friend relationships, not just hang out for the day and move on.. Kind of like a pool, or classes.
3. When I stopped working, I pulled DS out of a swim school that was costing $85 a month. She wants to know what classes he is going to be in...because kids cost money.
4. According to her, I save too much money a month for retirement and our children's education. If I didn't save quite so much, we could do more.
5. I asked my sisters to stop buying me birthday gifts. My sisters, who are both single and make a lot of money, spoil my children. I do not think they need to spoil my children, and then buy my DH and I gifts on top of it. When it is their birthdays, I feel like I need to reciprocate in some way, and I just can't spend that kind of money on gifts for them. It makes me uncomfortable and I wish they would stop. My sisters and I agreed, then my mom butted in and informed me that, of course they would still be buying me gifts.
I am truly not one to try to keep up with the Joneses, but I feel like with my mom, the Joneses are constantly asking me why I am not keeping up. I am doing the best I can with what we have, and I don't like doubting my decision to SAH so I can have the extra money to join a pool.