Not moving to Broken Hill!

“Not pregnant – thank Fuck. Would have had to move to Broken Hill to be able to afford it.”

I got this text message this morning from a very dear friend. Her life plan had not included a 3rd baby and considering her other two are 3 and 1, I was hugely relieved for her.

When you have a baby, your life changes forever. We all know that. it is a huge shock to the system and you muddle through as best you can. Well I did anyway. But one of the biggest shocks would have to be the cost of raising children.

According to latest research, if you are a fancy pants parent who expects the best for your little darling, the cost of raising a child to the age of 18 can be close to a million dollars. This disturbs me, but does not surprise me. The Duggars would be fucked.

I have been acting as an extremely generous ATM machine for the Woogettes of late. Take for example these shoes, trashed after just a week back at school.

Now these shoes were $109. Because apparently you need to buy your kids awesomely expensive shoes or they will grow up to be felons. That price is fairly horrific but it does not stop there. Each shoe houses an orthodic which is custom made to assist Harry to stop walking like a drunk duck. The orthodics were $450. Fuck. Not kidding. I almost passed out at the podiatrist.

So every day on the end of Harry’s legs sit $559. More expensive than anything in my closet. Possibly the house.

I wore these to primary school and they had to last me a year. And when I outgrew them, I got my older sister’s manky pair. And is was because our parents were practical and did not give a shit about keeping up with the Jonses. No one did.

Nowadays, you can face raised eyebrows where I live if your child does not study Mandarin at the age of 3. Afternoon activities have gone mental. So many classes. And they all cost plenty.

I swore I would never start a sentence like this, but back in my day, we walked home from school and let ourselves in. We would sometimes go over to the neighbours house and raid their pantry as our Mum was out working and told us we could have fruit for after school and there was to be no TV. So we would eat stolen SamBoy chips and fight like crazy people while watching Simon Townsend’s Wonder World. We had one of the younger siblings on MUM WATCH and they would yell SHE’S COMING as her Toyota Hi-Ace would appear in the driveway. We would then hide all evidence of tv watching and chip eating and make like we had been playing merrily outside.

We had netball practice on a Thursday afternoon and played in the local competition on a Saturday Morning. And that was it. And Pony Club every second Sunday.

As a mother, I have been totally railroaded into believing that your kid needs to be doing activities. At one point they were home only one afternoon a week. It kind of snuck up on me. It was driving me broke and crazy. Now we do swimming (because, like you have to protect your investment) and one other activity. Jack chose Ballet and Harry chose Science. Both odd choices. Besides Pony Club, ballet is the most expensive activity ever! Those shoes deserve their own post.

In conclusion, I would like to ask you dear reader, where do you draw the line? What activities do your kids do? What is the most expensive thing about raising children in your household? And can you bring me a tim tam?