By Monique Grattan
I am sure that most women ask themselves this particular question over and over again:
Should I buy this?
Should I buy these new pair of shoes…because my daughter needs some shoes?
Should I buy this outfit…because I really should put this money into savings!
Should I upgrade my phone? I could just put that money into a nice Christmas gift for the kids.
We all have these questions swirling around in our heads. Along with chores, work and kids, we tend to put ourselves last. Even if we are presented with the opportunity to get something for ourselves…we still end up getting something for somebody else.
Well, at least I do.
For me, these questions come with a strong feeling of guilt.
My thoughts tend to sound like this…
If I buy these shoes for me…I may not have enough money for somebody else.
If I choose to get a pedicure…I will be spending time on myself and will fall behind on chores.
If I upgrade my phone it will extend my contract, which I don’t want to do because that costs more money!
Do you have thoughts like this?
The two purchases that sent me over the edge…
After several months of deliberation I finally decided to get a new laptop. I am currently in school on-line and need this for my studies. I have never had one to myself. We have a desk top, and my hubby has a used laptop, however I have never had an electronic gadget for myself. After visiting Best Buy several times and surveying the internet; I decided to purchase a laptop.
$560 was what I spent when it was all said and done. The laptop was $350 and with the purchase of some necessary products we tipped the scale at $560! I felt weak in the knees, was kind of shaky, and had a lump in my throat. However I walked out of the store with a brand new lap top.
Once I got home I was greeted by a brown box. I immediately knew what it was. It was my new Coach bag that I had ordered online when it went on sale.
Let me explain something…I am a huge bag hoarder; however I have recently decreased my bag hoard to just 11 bags. I have also received special instructions from my husband to “stop buying cheap bags!” That’s right, you heard me! All my bags cost $20 or less, usually fall apart, and become unusable. I have never purchased a bag that was over $20. This is why I have had close to 100 bags throughout my adult hood. Yes, this is shameful…but oh so true. So….in an effort to listen to my husband, I purchased my first Coach bag for $77 and was in love immediately.
However, when I came home with my brand new laptop computer and caught a glimpse of that gorgeous Coach bag…I was overwhelmed with guilt, so much so that I cried.
I cried because I felt “spoiled”, and I didn’t like that feeling!
I cried because I felt so guilty for spending so much money!
I cried because there are things that I could have gotten for my family and I really didn’t need a new lap top or a Coach purse.
After much assurance from my husband; I resisted the urge to return both the laptop and the bag. Yes, I really was going to return these things. In fact I went back to Best Buy with that purpose; however I came back home with the new laptop.
What I learned
I have discovered that guilt can make you feel so awful; awful enough that you forsake yourself. It puts you in a place of shame, anger, confusion, and frustration.
For example I wanted the laptop, I knew I would use the lap top for school…but I was angry at myself for getting the laptop. I felt a great sense of frustration too! I realized that as I was in the store I was reasoning with myself the entire time, and constantly asking for my husband’s approval.
This is crazy!
We all are worthy of new things, nice things, even expensive things from time to time.
We all are hardworking mothers/wives/daughters/co-workers/aunts/sisters.
We all are entitled to have some time off, even if it’s for a short period of time.
So here I am a busy woman fulfilling many roles…toting a beautiful Coach bag, and a brand-new laptop…Guilt Free.
Monique Grattan is a working mom and wife who blogs at Sweet Family Home about style, organization, relationships, DIY gift baskets, finances and “deep, meaningful things.” She lives with her family in Massachusetts.