Since our uncoupling, I feel as if I’m competing with my ex to keep the kids happy and entertained. I don’t make as much as she does, and money is tight for me. She takes them skiing, to the movies, out to eat and shopping – my daughter’s favorite. I can’t afford to do that. In my heart, I know relationships are about love, kindness and being there for each other. But they are kids! I feel that over time they will want to spend more time with her, and I will just be the boring one they’re forced to spend time with.
– How Can I Be Fun with Little Money?
Dear Example name:
I bet 95% of the population has asked a question like that – “How can I have fun with no money?” As with all things in life, asking the question always leads to an answer of some kind. I’m sorry that your ex’s ability to keep the kids entertained is leaving you feeling “less than.” You are not less than anyone. You are obviously caring, “Love, kindness and being there for each other” is the top for your list! Money has nothing to do with those beautiful and foundational principles. Value yourself – the love that you bring to the relationships. Your kids are lucky to have you.
Fun doesn’t have to cost a lot. Some of my best memories with my kids are ones that didn’t cost a thing. My kids and I made wrapping paper for Christmas one year with cookie cutters and end bolts of paper that I received for free. They had great fun and were immensely proud of their work. I worried about money, they only experienced fun. I also asked my young, artistic daughter to pin the twinkly Christmas lights on the wall to make a tree. Once again to save money. She felt special. As an adult she told me how proud she was to “make the tree” for our family that year. These are very specific memories around Christmas. We also enjoyed the seasonal meteor showers. One night we drove about 30 minutes up into the mountains to see a glorious meteor shower. At one point there were more than fifty meteors shooting across the sky in one hour. We laid on the hood of the car in awe!
Please know that you are not alone! Just like you, and just like me, the founders of Splitsvil experienced the same thing. Together they put together a post that has multiple ideas: “Entertaining the Kids on a Shoestring Budget.” Below is a link to the post. https://splitsvil.net/2022/02/23/entertaining-the-kids-on-a-shoestring-budget/. You may also think up ideas of your own once you read the list. Remember, it’s the fun, sometimes the competition, and the closeness of being together, experiencing joy, and being creative that makes meaningful memories.
Please write back in the comments and let us know the activities that worked best for you and your kiddos. Or even better, add your own ideas to the list. We can all help each other.