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Surviving the Holidays as a Single Mom: Mommy Martyr Syndrome

Posted Oct 22 2008 4:44pm
I was wandering around Target the other day, half-searching for either a small train set or blocks for my daughter. Now, she has an enormous amount of toys. I'm in the process of downsizing because I can't take my living floor being covered with them anymore. Yet, because I know she'd like it and it is Christmas, I'm finding it hard to fight the urge to buy her more things anyway.

Now, I'll admit, right now I'm having some financial constraints (thanks Bush), and I really shouldn't buy her anything else for that reason alone. But, in the back of my mind as I walk around the store, I can't help but feel like I can manage to spare the twenty bucks for the train or forty for the train and the blocks, can't I?

Then I realized that other than food an a magazine subscription, I haven't spent any money on myself since I had my daughter. And a big part of that is because I don't have the cash to spare. So how come I feel like I can spare the money for her gifts but never anything for me? It's the Mommy Martyr Syndrome.

We do for everyone but ourselves. And I know this theme has been discussed ad infinitum in women's magazines, but it's never followed by suggestions that are realistic for me as a single mom. Or as a mom with a single person income...I mean seriously, I wish they'd stop suggesting spas, who actually goes to the spa unless someone gives them a gift certificate for one, and usually not even then!

So, here's my solution...stop hemming and hawing about money. Don't fret that you don't have a significant other to buy you a gift. Go out and buy yourself something! My mom always said you should buy yourself a gift so you know you're getting at least one thing that you really want.

Take the money you were going to use for that tenth gift for your kid that they don't need and go shopping for yourself. Now I'm not saying it has to be a new car. But if you're like me and have a hard time splurging on yourself, go buy something that you need but haven't bought because you felt you could manage without it.

For me, it's a new hand mixer. Mine died and I felt that even though hand mixing batter didn't make as fluffy a cupcake, it was good enough. (How come everything for our kids and other people have to be the best, but for us, good enough is the standard? That's not good ladies.)

My daughter's birthday is in a few months, she can wait until then to get her train and block set. In the meantime, I'm going out this weekend and getting me that mixer. And maybe while I'm at it, I'll splurge on some paper plates!

Happy Holidays Everyone.

12/24 Update: I was at BJ's Wholesale buying milk, and they had 100+ colored foam blocks for $10 so I bought it. And no, I'm not going to wait until her birthday to give them to her. And, no I still haven't bought myself anything.
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