I’m taking a temporary break from social media

Today is Day One of my social media break. I am initially planning a week, to test the waters. Why am I doing this? I’m glad you asked!

First of all I want to make one thing clear, I think social media can be fantastic and has it’s place in society. It allows us to find long lost friends and relatives, track down items we might otherwise struggle to find, see the far corners of the world, and so many other things. Through social media I can watch my friends’ kids grow up across the country. I can have an authentic Moroccan tagine sent to my house. I can order out of print records from the UK in the 70s. It would be far more difficult to do those things without social media. (I realize the internet is a big part of all those things, but I tend to go in Instagram or Facebook for things before searching Google.)

But there is also a side of social media that I don’t love. It puts a microscope lens on the lives of strangers. We see carefully curated images designed to sell us products, lifestyles and more. Even minimalist instagram accounts make me want to buy things. It makes me think my house is too cluttered, my kitchen too messy, my wardrobe outdated. It makes me feel like I don’t travel enough, I don’t read enough, I don’t know enough about anything. And are those things true? No! I like my life, and though I can certainly take inspiration from the images I see, I don’t need to adapt my life to fit those ideals.

The main thing I want to work on is spending associated with social media. Between videos of Pudge the Pit and pictures of foster kittens, I always manage to see products that I’d love to have in my home. Streamlined kitchen cabinets. Rose wine for the picnic in the park. Plaid shirts and overalls. Even sweaters for my dog! I see these beautiful images and can’t help but think how those products would benefit me in some way. And am I guilty of giving into that temptation? Of course! Jethro has 2 winter sweaters if that is any indicator.

Do I need the pretty things I see on social media? Probably not. But they are beautiful and perfect and curated to make me want to buy them. It’s called being an Influencer (yep, it’s a real job!) And because of this (ok it’s one of the reasons, but not the only reason) I have decided to take a break from social media. I’m going to take a week off. Anytime I am bored and find myself trying to scroll through pretty pictures, I will read some of my book. I have a book on me at all times anyway! Might as well read more. If nothing else I will make a dent in my reading list. I am already starting to realize what a time suck it is!

So for now I have uninstalled Facebook and Instagram on my phone. I am halfway through a book today alone! And I am VERY self aware as to how much time I spend on my phone. I am going to actually connect with people. I’ll call, text, email, get together with people. I may not be getting rid of technology all together, but a baby step is a start! And I’m sure it will be enlightening.

I will keep you updated this week as to how it’s going!

The importance of female role models

As mentioned in yesterday’s post, I don’t have kids and I don’t plan on having kids. For many years I went back and forth, considering adoption and the possibility of being childless. Did I really want kids? Or did society tell me I wanted kids? I think my mom would make the most amazing grandma, but is that a reason for me to have kids? Really?

Here’s the thing, I am a great Auntie. I love to spoil my friends’ kids with love and goodies. I love to take them to the park and the pool, to the beach and the movies. But at the end of the day I can give them back! I will always treasure my time with the little ones, but that doesn’t mean I should have my own. It means I can give the parents some time off to be adults while giving the kids lots of extra love.

One thing that I always think about is the relationship I have with my mom. My mom is my best friend. I tell her everything. I love my relationship with her more than anything in the world. And I love the idea of having that with a child of my own. But NOTHING will ever compare to her.

I think of all the amazing women in my life, and more and more I am seeing women choosing to not have kids. About half my friends (within 10 years of my age) have kids, and half do not. When I think of the older women in my life, almost all of them do not have kids. And maybe that’s why I gravitate towards them. They show me so much love and support and we have amazing relationships. I can be them someday! I don’t need children to guarantee love and support as I grow older. I am confident that I will be surrounded by loved ones, a family I chose for myself.

On kids and frugality

I don’t have kids, and I probably won’t ever have kids. But you know what? I’m okay with that. Literally every source in the world says I will change my mind. They all say “oh but you’ll never know love until you become a mother” or “being a mother is the greatest job in the world”. Agree to disagree.

To all the mothers out there: You are a badass. You are such an incredible human, I am so impressed. Being a mom is the hardest job in the world, and you don’t get nearly enough credit. That being said, I don’t think everyone is cut out to be a mom. Kids are a lifelong commitment, literally. An entire lifetime. Have you ever noticed that if someone says they don’t plan on having kids other people say “Are you sure? That’s such a life changing decision? Maybe think about it a little longer and you’ll change your mind.” But when someone says they are planning on having kids “oh that’s great, fantastic!” Shouldn’t we place the same weight on the consideration either way? It always seemed so backwards to me! Kids are a lifetime! Not having kids can literally change anytime! But I digress….

Let me just say, kids are expensive! We aren’t talking a negligible amount of money here. I am talking hundreds of thousands of dollars (rough estimate, on raising a kid to 18). Though I realize that many kids rely on parental assistance for many years past their 18th birthday, so that number can definitely be higher. For someone who might be on the fence about having kids, the financial responsibility should really be considered. It has always boggled my mind that people think having kids is no big deal, it’s a HUGE deal! Diapers alone!

So are kids a frugal life choice? I think there are a couple of ways we can look at this. The short answer: no. Why? Medical cost of pregnancy and having the baby, diapers, food, a home big enough for a child, daycare, school, clothes, medical costs, extra curricular, insurance, the list goes on! All of those things cost money. If someone doesn’t have kids, they will have none of those costs.

That being said, if someone does choose to have kids, I think it can be done frugally. I think there are ways to raise a child without going way overboard on your spending. I also think people should do their research before having kids as to the cost of what they are taking on. Not only are you taking on the responsibility of raising a HUMAN CHILD, but it’s not cheap!

So do kids and frugality go together? It depends on how you look at it I guess. To each their own!