An open letter to my kids, all six of them, about that allowance that they never got from me no matter how hard they begged, no matter how hard they worked, no matter how hard they tried to state their case about how much they earned it. Dear Kids, you’re welcome!
About that allowance you never got from me? You’re welcome. All of you have asked for it over the years (except you, Bubby, my youngest and current favorite, but you will). You see, I’m one of those moms that doesn’t believe in a traditional “allowance” because, really, I already pay you enough. I pay you too much, in fact. Let’s dissect allowance, shall we?
- the amount of something that is permitted, especially within a set of regulations or for a specified purpose.
Every time you broach this topic, my dear lovelies, I scratch my head. Can I have an allowance? By definition, it makes no sense. With practicality in mind, it makes even less sense.
You cleaned your room and you want an allowance? That’s earning your “keep”.
You washed the truck? Wait. Did you want to take that truck to the prom? Earn your keep, kid.
You did well in school? Good for you! I actually did quite well too and I was proud of myself for working so hard and making my parents proud.
You put your clothes (that I picked up out of your bedroom floor, washed, and folded) away? Wow, amazing. You are an overachiever. Maybe you do deserve an allowance.
BUT you don’t. AT. ALL.
Let me ask you, allowance-hungry children, something. Do you pay me for dinner? Do you pay me for putting a roof over your head? Do you pay me for driving you to school every day and picking you up? Do you pay me for those school clothes and supplies? Do you pay me for doing your laundry? Do you pay me for that TV you watch or the video games you play? Do you pay me for your never-ending electricity (that I try to keep down by constantly turning off lights and fans you hap-hazardly leave on)? Do you pay ME for buying your food (all of your favorites, you’re welcome) and cooking all of your meals and cleaning up after you, even when I don’t (which is almost never) eat that food myself? Do you pay me for any of my many services?
You do NOT. I don’t ask for payment. Why? It’s my job!
Instead, I ask that you “occasionally” clean up after yourselves, my loves. I ask that you flush and close the toilet. I ask that you show me respect and love. I ask that you appreciate that you have food, clothing, shelter, and so much more. Those things are your “allowance”, dear children, and you’re very lucky to have the things that are afforded you. Many children do not have what you have.
Don’t ask me for extra payment for “extra” things you do. Seriously, it’s stupid and you won’t win this argument. You want to charge me? Let’s play that game. Every time you do something, I’ll pay you. BUT every time I do something, you pay me too. My palm is itching. Look it up, I’m about to come into some big money!
Hey! I just unloaded the dishwasher that I loaded after I cooked your dinner that you loved and you remembered to put your plate in the sink. You put your plate in the sink? I owe you $1.00?
I bought the groceries, cooked your dinner, cleaned up the kitchen, ran the dishwasher, and unloaded it. You owe me $50. Wanna just give me that $49 and call it even?
Or do you want me to pay you that allowance for ALL THAT YOU DO?
I feed you. I clothe you. I buy you everything you need…and more. I clean up after you. I do your laundry, your dishes. I work and I provide. And as busy as I am, I still take the time to talk to you and love you. Yes, you’re welcome.
You say you want an allowance?
I allow you to stay here because you’re my children, I love you, and that’s what I signed up for. I allow you the finer things in life. Again, you’re welcome.
You know what? I grew up on a self-sufficient farm. We got up early, took care of animals and a garden, then we got ready for school and got good grades. We helped my mom clean on weekends (the what you say?) and do you want to know how much “allowance” we got? We got love, food, clothing, and shelter. We didn’t even get video games or cell phones. *GASP*
It was enough. My parents gave me life and the things I needed in life. It was enough and I didn’t DARE ask for more. Why would I need more?
Why do you?
So, my loves, my minions (look up the true meaning of that word…not the yellow guys…and you’ll know why I use it so often). Know how much allowance I owe you? You’re already overpaid considering the services you provide.
You may not like it right now, but I’m attempting to raise good humans, productive members of society. That’s hard work, y’all. I deserve a little more payment. Don’t pay me in complaints. Don’t pay me by asking me for more. Do the things you’re asked (which seriously are tasks a 5-year-old could accomplish with ease), and appreciate what you have.
Does all of this sound a little harsh to you? I really am doing you a favor and some day you’ll “get” it (ask Bry, she’s grown and she gets it now, or ask Paetyn who is now a parent herself…she totally gets it). You four youngest really have NO clue at this point in your life. You will, but you don’t now. Have patience. The lightbulb will go off and you’ll thank me.
Life gets harder (like super hard) when you grow up. You’ll honestly have to work for a living and that “allowance” and you’ll look back and wish you didn’t get one again.
So, about that allowance I don’t give you now? You’re welcome.
Your Mom (who will never pay you an “allowance”, but will always be proud for raising good humans)
PS – Bubby, when you get old enough to read this and think it’s OK to ask for an allowance. Don’t. Just do what mommy asks and appreciate what you have. You’re my current favorite for a reason. Don’t sully your reputation.