Mothers Have Needs Too!

Allison Gilbert, LMFT, Santa Cruz Counselor Lic: MFC 24087

Have Your Own Money

Who's Money?
Your husband probably brings in the income while you stay home as primary caretaker for your little ones.  Most likely, because you're home, you end up being the one who spends that money.  But whose money is it?  Do you sometimes feel like that money's his and he should have the final word on how it's spent?  Do you think you shouldn't spend any money on yourself now that you're not bringing anything in?  You're not alone.  It's a hazard of modern motherhood.

Your Worth
Wouldn't it be great if the US instituted a subsidy for mothers who decide to stay home with young children, doing the job that our entire society benefits from if this job is done well?  Even a tax incentive would make sense considering how much the country benefits from a mothering job done right.  Unfortunately, giving up your career to care for your children puts you in an extremely dependent position financially - if you don't have the belief that the money your husband earns is equally yours.

Your Own Pot
If it's hard for you to feel ownership of the money your husband earns for the family, I have a suggestion for you: Open your own bank account if you don't already have one.  You should have some money you can spend without having to discuss it with your husband.  It's about dignity and freedom.  You deserve to have something of your own.

Consider the amount of work you do and what your husband would have to pay someone else to do it.  Dare to pay yourself: Take a weekly salary out of your husband's paycheck and put a portion of that money into your own account.  Any gifts you receive from your parents or others can go into that account too.

Money Confidence & Kids
Your family depends on you and if you don't believe you have rights to decide how your money gets spent, everyone loses.  It's usually the mother who determines children's needs and whether money should be spent on them.  So your kids require that you feel confident about spending your husband's income where they are concerned.

Mom's Salary
Have your own money.  Even if the household income is brought in by your husband, that money is yours too.  He's not the only one who's working hard for your family.  Check out this website to see how much your unpaid labor is really worth: Mom's Salary

2007 Allison Gilbert, M.A., L.M.F.T. Free Tips

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