I Don't Have Parent Guilt About Spending Money On Myself Anymore

by Mike Julianelle
Originally Published: 

Children are expensive. And not just like, “Wow, I didn’t expect it to cost that much!” expensive, more like, “Wow, the cost of this item is really cramping my style, I should probably return it!” expensive, and maybe even “I bet if I sold this I’d make a fortune!” expensive.

They’re the kind of expensive that makes you question your life choices.

“Where would I be right now if I didn’t have kids? I bet I’d own the moon!” or “If I didn’t have kids I would be swimming in a pile of cash like Scrooge McDuck!”

I’m a simple man. If I didn’t have two kids, I’d happily live in the shed in my parents’ backyard like the Unabomber, silently amassing my DINK wealth for my future run at the presidency, or maybe I’d start my own production company and exclusively make movies about ferrets getting into adventures.

I haven’t decided yet, but that’s ok. I have time; I don’t have kids. My future is limitless!

But no, in the desert of debt and despair that is my real life, I have children, and they need things. Things like food and shelter and clothing and healthcare and education — so many things that by the time we’re done providing for our kids, we never have anything left over for ourselves. Also, newsflash: We’re never done providing for our kids. When I’m six feet under, my sons will be rifling through my pockets for a stray Tubman or three.

This is why I always strive to keep a little cash to myself, and why I don’t feel guilty about selfishly spending it. I work hard for my money; I’m gonna spend it however I like — assuming my son has his allergy medicine and those fruit snacks he likes and ooh he doesn’t have this Rescuebot, I’m gonna get it for him. But after that, whatever change is in my pocket is all mine!

Here are 13 things I’ll never feel guilty about buying because I have children and I’ve suffered enough:

1. Beer: If anyone should feel guilty about me buying beer, it’s the kids that are driving me to drink it!

2. Bourbon: See above.

3. Wine: Ibid, your honor.

4. Vodka: It’s for my wife!

5. Shake Shack: Mmmm, burgers.

6. Beer at Shake Shack: I think I may have a problem.

7. Movie tickets: I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t feel guilty about this if I ever did it, but I refuse to bankroll the corrupt babysitter mafia! This isn’t guilt; it’s activism.

8. Concert tickets: Unfortunately this also requires shelling out for a babysitter so no way, Jose! #NEVERBABYSITTER #IMWITHOUTHER

9. Pizza: I’m actually more concerned about our pizza consumption than our alcohol consumption, but not concerned enough to feel guilty about it

10. Books: Wait…

11. Library Late Fees: This is more accurate.

13. Music: Some things are just necessary, and music will forever one of those things, especially when you have young children because loud.

14. Babysitters: Sometimes I just need a night out, dammit.

There is far too much to feel guilty about when you’re a parent. Reserving some cash for the tiny pleasures of life is not one of them. I save my guilt for real problems, like paying for a gym membership I never use, and renting movies that star Seth Rogen.

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