If you buy your kids $800 phones, don’t complain about the cost of being a parent right now

Gas prices are through the roof and the cost of bacon is ridiculous. That was the consensus last weekend at our Mother’s Day celebration. Yes, we have deep conversations in our family.

When we once talked about COVID-19 on a daily basis, it seems pandemic chatter has shifted to the cost of, well, living.

While regrouping with colleagues on Monday, we discussed what happened over the weekend. The parents recapped all the sports practices and/or games they took their kids to, while us non-parents commented how uneventful the weekend was.

It’s interesting being on conference calls with people of different lifestyles. As the parents complained about how much it cost to fill up the gas tank to drive to all the sporty stuff, the non-breeders shrugged our shoulders and thought, “Then don’t do it.”

I’m the last person to tell people what to do with their money — although I did write that bestselling book with creative ideas for saving and spending.

If people want to shuttle their kids around all weekend for the sake of keeping them busy in extracurricular activities, have at ‘er. It keeps the kids off the streets and out from trouble, I say.

Though, I was fascinated by how dismissive the non-parents were after hearing parents complain about gas prices.

“Don’t have your kid in soccer, baseball, hockey, gymnastics and swimming if you can’t afford it then,” one texted during the call. “You’re not neglecting your kid if you don’t put them in every activity they want… or you think they want.”

I understand that argument. While I sympathize with the parents we see on the news talking about how tough it is affording groceries and the basic necessities right now, it does seem trivial when we hear the complaints about not affording hockey since the household budget is stretched thin.

“Didn’t she just give (her kids) iPhones for Christmas?” asked another colleague. “Sounds like fear of being called a bad parent and not being liked by them.”

My parents constantly reminded us that we couldn’t do everything so we had to pick which activities we would do that year and which ones would wait. We didn’t kick and scream and call them horrible parents. We knew there was only so much money to go around.

Then again, I grew up in a generation where we had breakfast at home and didn’t rely on a school to feed us. Then again-again, we didn’t have parents buying us $800 phones and choosing vanity over nutrition.

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