Saturday, April 11, 2009

Solicited Advice

When I was just a baby, a mere 27 years old, I bore my first child. I had absolutely NO idea what I was doing and didn't even try to fake it. I was fine with telling anyone that the 12-year-old Girl Scout across the street probably knew more about quieting a newborn's cries than I did.

I DESPERATELY wanted other moms to tell me, "Uh, yeah, you probably didn't know that but you're doing it wrong." or "Don't second guess yourself! You're doing it right!" The "it" was just about any aspect of mothering: breastfeeding, using a pacifier, choosing a stroller, clipping baby's nails, holding baby to comfort her, giving baby medicine, choosing baby food, etc.

So, you can imagine my relief when I found Mamasource. It's an online community of moms who are the sounding board for any question. And when I say any question, I really mean ANY question, from "How did you talk to your child about sex?" to "What's the best time of year to go to DisneyWorld?" to "What can I expect when weaning my baby from the breast?" You get the idea. After logging in, you can personalize your settings so that you connect with moms in your geographic area. How cool is that? You can ask about the zoo in your city, and other moms give you the 4-1-1. When I moved to DFW from Illinois, this is the first website I went to. I just changed my zip code in my personal settings and within one week of moving I had found a new mom's group in my new hometown.

So, Mamasource has launched a new sistersite called Mamapedia. It has tons of great information, all written for moms, by moms. I love to read the great questions moms have. Sometimes I think, "OOH I've been wondering that too! What did other moms say???" and other times I just type back my response. Here's a question one mom asked about allowance:

How do you handle allowance?
I'm curious what other moms do. I have been giving $5 a week and letting the kids save or spend it how they want. My husband feels we've created a monster especially with our 5 year old because now that he gets some little toy every week; he seems to be asking for more things when we go shopping and asking when we can go to the store and buy him a toy.
Hubby feels we should do $1 to church, $2 to the bank, and $2 to spend every week; and they can save up for something. He feels the $2 in the bank can buy bigger things such as my 8 year old asking about an iPod (which I can't imagine she'd need!) We tie allowance to chores which is another hot topic. I have a chart to check off what they've done every day. They lose a point for bad behavior or if they didn't do their chores. So, what do you do at your

Everyone has a different opinion about this. My favorite mantra is "whatever works for your family". But, as far as specific advice, I would share this (coming from the Gospel of Texan Mama):

Allowance should be an amount that is relative to the age of the child. It should be used to teach money stewardship. In our house, we give our kids $1 per month per year of age that they are. So, my 9-year-old gets $9 per month. Then they must give 10% to savings and 10% to the offering bowl. On Sunday, this is where their church offering comes from. The rest of the money is theirs to do with as they want. This really helps with us not having to buy the piddly little dollar toys that they beg for. Plus, they realize that expensive items are hard to buy with just a little money, so they can understand why we don't want to waste our money on them either. The first experience our son had with this connection was when he was 6 years old. He got his allowance, minus $1.20 (60 cents to offering and 60 cents to savings). He bought a stuffed animal for just over $4 and had nothing left. The next day he wanted a DVD cartoon from Wal-Mart and we asked him, "Well, where's your allowance money?"
"I spent it on that stuffed animal. I don't even know where that stuffed animal is now!"

"I'm sorry you can't find your animal, but I'm glad you lost an animal that YOU paid for and not me."

As far as chores and allowance, they are not linked in my household. My children have chores, but they do them because "we are all a part of the family. A family cannot be run by one person. We all need to work together to make this family work." After I've drilled this into their brains for a few years, it's finally beginning to stick!

So, if you have a question about practically anything, and you want another mom's solicited advice, just log on to mamapedia and start gabbing.


Heather said...

You are listed on the blog list of Angie at Keep Believing. You know that she lost her husband to cancer on March 17. Angie and Brian would have celebrated their 12th wedding anniversary on April 19. I am hoping that I can get everyone in her blog list to post on their blogs at 12:00 am on April 19 a post with the title “Keep Believing” so that when she opens her blog, her blog list is filled with recent posts all titled “Keep Believing”. I don’t know how else to arrange this other than commenting on blogs, so forgive my off-topic comment. I would ask that you keep the post up for 24 hours in case she doesn’t look right away, and you don’t have to publish anything with it, just the title will do. I am using the scheduled post feature provided by blogger so I don’t forget. Thanks so much. Heather.

E said...

This would have been such a comfort to me a few years ago. With our extended families often so far away the nee Internet world will change women's lives. And I think it wonderful that you are telling people.

I will too

Sturgmom said...

I'm sort of a message board junkie, but the one I'm on right now doesn't always get that much activity. Thanks for the new suggestion.

And thanks for the allowance advice- I needed it!

OHmommy said...

You know what? I am ashamed to say that it never crossed my mind to have the kids contribute to our church. Thanks for opening my eyes.

Lisa@verybusymomwith4 said...

We do the same with our kids' money (and ours!)--there's a great book on it--'The Three Piggy Banks' :)

I used to really like Mamasource but I guess I just grew out of it. I was getting sick of all the new moms with 'I want THE BEST car seat, high chair, etc. because I LOVE my child so much and her safety is very important to me'--like most moms aren't really concerned with a safe car seat because we don't love our kids as much. LOL!