Category: MondayMommyMoments

Raising Financially Savvy Tweens

Raising Financially Savvy Tweens

The annual visit to the hometown means the children come back loaded with cash. That their birthday is round the corner and that this is the only opportunity for both sets of grandparents to pamper them silly, makes it only worse.

Last year they collected huge amounts of money from various relatives and then had huger arguments over what was to be done with it. I vetoed all their plans and amidst an epic battle deposited it all in the bank.

This year I categorically banned everyone at home from giving them cash. And if someone (who I wasn’t able to intimidate) did hand them some, I appropriated it right away and directed it into their accounts.

Very high handed of me, I know. But I do dislike the constant obsessive discussions about money with little thought for saving.

When the children were younger I tried to get them to save but it didn’t quite work out. And I gave up on the idea.

As they turn eleven perhaps this is the right time to give the money thing another serious shot. I’ve considered giving them pocket money as also paying them for household chores but I’ve not been able to work out the How of it. The questions that bother me are:

How much and how frequently should they get pocketmoney?
Also, how do we demarcate what it should be used it for?
Should I pay them for household chores?
If I do, how do I prevent them from putting a price on ALL household chores?
Or refusing the ones they aren’t paid for?

After much research and thought here are ideas that I think might work for me:

1. Start giving them pocket money (a small amount maybe Rs50 or Rs100 a month). They can use it for candies or small stationery. As I see it, that is all they should need to shop for on their own.

2. Make a Spending Jar and a Saving Jar. I loved the concept. To prod them towards saving I will offer to double whatever their Saving Jar has at the end of the month. Also, whatever goes into the Saving Jar goes straight to their accounts unless they need the money for a specific purpose like a birthday or an anniversary.

3. Take them to the bank and let them handle their Pass Books so they feel a sense of ownership for the money rather than thinking, ‘Mum took it away’.

4. Make them my Financial Assistants: Let them participate in day to day handling of money – for instance when we go grocery shopping or out to places like McDonald’s. They can do the Math, pay the bill and give me an account.

5. Our apartment complex lets kids put up stalls for Children’s Day. So they could put up a stall and try to work out the Profit/Loss. We used to have things like this in school where we’d put up stalls of Bhelpuri or Aaloo chaat – simple things that we could make and sell. In fact, it isn’t a bad idea to get more children involved in this initiative.

6. Involve them in household budgeting, specially for special events. I intend to start right away with their birthday – planning the expenses and deciding how much should be spent on what.

This post is rather exploratory and I know this really isn’t enough but I hope to make a start. I’d love to hear your views on how you get your children to understand about spending and saving. Have any of you tried paying them for household chores? What kind of chores did you give them? Was it a monthly thing? How did you handle it if they missed a day or a few days?

I’d love for you to share.

 

Linking up with  Kreative Mommy for her #MondayMommyMoments. Do drop by for ideas from other mums.
Kreativemommy.com
10 top gifts for new moms

10 top gifts for new moms

 Kreative Mommy Deepa asked us to list out ten gifts for new moms. Make it ‘fun and useful’ she said. So here it is, my list. A word of caution – these products have still to make their way from the realms of my brain to the inventors’ tables, so don’t go looking for them at stores just yet.

Crydecoder
Baby’s cry. They just cry. They cry for being fed and cry to be put to sleep. They cry to be held and they cry to be left alone (I had one of each kind and by the time I figured out which one wanted what I was a nervous wreck). The Crydecoder selects one of the 101 options on its dial and tells the mum exactly why the baby is crying.

Poopiesniffer

What’s the big deal with this one, you wonder? We have our noses, right? The thing is by the time the message gets to your nose it also permeates the room and gets to everyone in it. Imagine when that happens in the middle of dinner with guests. Well this gadget is equipped with odour detectors a million times more sensitive than your doggie’s nose and beeps out long before the message escapes the diaper. Trust me, the new mum needs this one.

Peepredictor

While on unsavoury topics I’ll get over with this one too. Without going into detail let me just say this gadget is designed for mums of boys. It will help a new mum predict which way the waters flow, so to say. And if you’re not fond of a sour warm spray on your face (Do NOT ask how I know that) I’d say you need this.

Time turner

We’ll borrow this one from Hermione. A new mum definitely needs more than 24 hours in her day. Gift her this and she’ll thank you forever.

Mumclone
Sometimes the time turner it just isn’t enough. Babies don’t grow up in a day and how long can mums do this back and forth? They’re only human. And so we have a – a Mumclone. It clones the mum to a baby-plus-one – One baby two mums, two babies three mums and so on. Get this and watch mum load lighten instantly.

Blinkamera
It’s not all bad you know, this being a new mum. There are compensations, lots of them. Your little one will give you plenty of heart stoppingly beautiful moments. That moment when he stares at you unblinkingly with a pensive expression on his face, the time he clasps your finger in his fist and refuse to let go, the time his tiny plump hands reaches out for you and oh when he decides to bare his gums in a toothless smile – that’s the time you’ll need the Blinkamera. This is a device that’ll click a picture with the blink of your eye and store that memory forever. The new mum doesn’t need to break the moment to rush for that physical camera – blink and click. Useful, isn’t it?

Breastmilk regulator
Now it flows now it doesn’t. Get this one and with the twist of a knob baby food is ready to be served or stored away.

Burpinducer
The twins’ Ped freaked me out with tales of babies who had choked because they hadn’t been burped properly. I spent entire nights roaming around with a fast asleep well-fed baby at my shoulder patting it on the back waiting for that burp. Yeah I’d have liked a burp inducer.

Tummytucker
So the baby is out in the world and you can’t wait to get back to your old self. Yet no matter how hard you exercise or how many crunches you put yourself through that tiny tummy bump refuses to go away. That’s where every new mum needs a tummy  tucker. Rub it on your tummy and watch it disappear. Nope you won’t find this one in the lingerie department. And No, don’t try it all over your body, it won’t work, just the baby bump.

Mumreassurer
She’s a new mum. She has tons of advice and just her gut instinct to guide her. So basically this Mumreassurer will tell her, as many times a day as she wants, that she’s doing the right thing. It comes with multiple settings. The first few days one can opt for hourly settings and then graduate to just one reassuring message a day. A must try.

Note: ‘Mum’ here denotes ‘primary care-giver’. Most products work just as well with dads or aunts. I said ‘most’.

So much for fanciful thoughts!
If you want to look up some real products for new mums do head over to  Kreative Mommy for her #MondayMommyMoments where fabulous mothers share useful practical ideas.
Kreativemommy.com
Supermom!

Supermom!

When that genetically mutated spider bit Peter Parker his (Parker’s obviously) life changed forever. Something similar happened to me when I had the twins.

At first they were rather inconspicuous, these special powers that came to me.

Before the twins I was pretty much a Kumbhakaran – that gentle giant blessed with a sleeping curse. I couldn’t function without my 8-9 hours everyday. With the arrival of the children I began waking up many times a night – on my own – sometimes to change nappies, to feed and burp and sometimes simply to run a finger under the twins’ noses reassuring myself that they were real living people. Just like that, I was rid of my addiction.

That was the beginning.

As they grew my powers only increased. Like Parker I discovered in myself super strength and agility.

If he had superhuman reflexes that let him scale walls and fly over traffic to save people, I could sprint, do a back flip and dive right in just as one of the twins fell off the sofa.

If he was strong enough to stop a running train, I could stop a running cycle….  make that two running cycles, before they hurtled into simultaneous twin accidents.

If he could spin a web fine as silk and strong as steel, I could spin tales so intricate so elaborate, as to keep two hyper active minds quiet for hours on end.

As the teens approach my superpowers seem to be growing.

My memory might have gone on leave but my senses, By God, they’re in an overdrive. Just like Parker, I find my eyesight sharper, my hearing more acute and my sense of smell can rival that of a sniffer bomb squad dog.

Is that a scream of laughter or distress – I can tell without going into the room. Was the food found under our apartment window dumped by the twins or was it the old man on the floor below our’s – I’d know. (It was the old man, in case you were wondering). Is it an upset tummy or experiments with my makeup kit that was keeping them for hours in the washroom – I can always tell.

I can look through closed doors, listen to merest whispers and smell out secrets.
I successfully busted hair-trimming sessions before the twins had shorn each other off.
I put an end to ice-cream smuggling no matter how soundlessly the freezer door was opened.
I smell burning cookies and douse the flames before they take the house down.
One time I even staved off floods when the twins turned on the taps and blocked the drains to make a swimming pool in the washroom.

As I sit here with a self-satisfied smile writing this self-congratulatory piece I find my mom-senses tingling already. Got to go folks, time to spin another web and reel them in.

Linking up with

Mackenzie at Reflections from Me

Also joining Deepa at  Kreative Mommy for #MondayMommyMoments.
Kreativemommy.com
Notes from a happy mom

Notes from a happy mom

This weekend has been frustrating and rewarding in equal measure. I was in the middle of penning a post on the frustrating bits when I stumbled upon this post from Kreative Mommy . It was such a happy idea that I dumped all my grumpiness and decided to go with it. I thought this was a great way to get back after my hiatus.
Despite the tussles that are characteristic of the tween years, growing kids can be a lot of fun. The conversations become more meaningful, the sharing more rewarding, the hugs more precious.
So here are some of my happy mommy moments.
When I hear the children singing and giggling together.
The songs are becoming increasingly unfamiliar but I love the sound of their togetherness – truly is the happiest sound ever.
When H smothers me in a bear hug, which he can do since he is almost as tall as I am, and then he tries to lift me off the ground, which he obviously cannot because I still win hands down in the weight category!
When N says, “You look pretty mama” in her rather woman-to-woman voice. 
Our taste in clothes are way different and I am definitely not looking forward to the arguments that the future has in store for us but for now a thumbs up from her in the fashion department is a big deal.
When they say they love my cooking.
I’m a no-good cook so the fact that they like my cooking is a constant source of amazement to me and amusement for the rest of the family.
When H does something goofy and N shakes her head in this very grown up way and exchanges a look with me that says, “Boys!!”.
When N surprises me with a cup of really good ginger tea – just the way I like it. 

When knowledge excites them and they run to share it with me like they’ve discovered something miraculous, “Did you know sloths are so slow algae grows on them.” 
For the record, No I didn’t know that.
When H does his ballerina impersonation. Of course he’ll kill me (or sue me) for revealing this one but it is the cutest ever.
Do share your happy mommy moments in the comments or, if you blog too, join the linky.
Thanks Kreative Mommy for this nudge. It made me realise how happy the twins make me – something I tend to forget when they’re driving me up the wall.
Kreativemommy.com