For Mother’s Day this year, my kids gave me a card and a gift. The card made me laugh and and gift had me feeling spoiled. The gift was a new purse. For some it might not seem like a big deal but the many layers of symbolism in this extravagant gift are not lost on me.
When my kids were younger and acting silly, making me lose my mind, I would joke (sometimes not…) that I wanted to sell them to the circus. Why? They made my life a circus and I wanted some peace. They would have been perfect circus performers!
My children grew up celebrating Mother’s Day focused on the other important women in their lives, not on me. As kids, they didn’t have money and were not given money to purchase gifts from a store for mom. I received handmade cards and gifts made in school that I treasure to this day.
As my children have gotten older, they have developed an appreciation for the finer things in life, as well as the work it takes to afford those things. They all love a good quality designer handbag. Me? I go for a large utility carryall. The name on the tag doesn’t matter to me as much as how much stuff I can carry inside! I gave up small purses for a diaper bag over 20 years ago and never looked back!
Now, in this new chapter of my life, my kids want me to continue to downsize my life …starting with my purse. They wanted a “fancier” one for when I go out. They want me to start living my best life.
My kids and I have not always had the greatest relationships. We have struggled and strained, working hard, to get to the place where we are now. The fact that they all came together to purchase this gift and kept it a secret is amazing. The fact that they want to spoil me, buying me a gift that I would never buy for myself, is overwhelming. The fact that my kids put this much thought, effort and money into a gift for me has me feeling blessed beyond measure.
These kids are my kids…. my monkeys ….and this is my circus…..I am the ringmaster. We all just needed some time to figure it out, appreciate it and decide what role we play.
Each year, Mother’s Day is different for all of us.
Take each day as it comes and focus on the good in each day. Your kids are watching, listening and learning, even if you don’t believe or see it.
Just be their mom. And enjoy the fancy purse!


Money. The cost of things. budgets. Math. Numbers. Money. Money. Money. Cost. Cost. Cost.
Money has always been my kryptonite. Money causes me more anxiety than anything else in my life. Money has been used as a means of control and ‘forced’ love for as long as I can remember. The cost of things in my life has always been high.
I learned as a young kid that nothing was free. Even gifts came with strings attached. As I grew older, I thought I outgrew it as I became more independent…. I was wrong. The connection between love and money just became more entangled and more complex.
Throughout my marriage, my insecurity with money was exploited until it was no longer an insecurity, it was a disability.
I was told over and over that I was “bad with numbers” “horrible with budgets” “didn’t know basic math” “bad with money” until I believed it to my core. For over 20 years, I turned over my paycheck every month to my family and lived on $100 a week to feed my kids and me. When the utilities were disconnected, time and time again, I was told (and I believed) that it was because I was spending all the money and we were, in fact, broke. This was not the truth.
When I had my first meeting with a divorce attorney, I explained my financial situation. The look he gave me is seared into my memory. Then he said….”You work full time. You have money that is yours. You are not broke. You are in a financially abusive marriage.” I will never forget that moment. It was then I realized that my marriage was costing me more than money. It was costing me my sanity.
The days, months and years that followed that moment have cost me so much more than money. DO NOT get me wrong….Divorce is NOT cheap nor easy. However, it is WORTH IT! The additional, ancillary costs are what people do not count on nor realize until later.
My divorce has cost me dearly over the years. It has cost me my children. My children have been hurt deeply by the divorce and me….because I could not be the mom they needed or deserved for a while. It has cost me friendships and relationships. Friendships and relationships that I realized were not built to withstand something as devastating as divorce. It has cost me jobs. Jobs that I realized were not meant for a lifetime but meant as a stepping stone to something better. It has cost me my sanity and patience at times. My sanity and patience have been tested over and over during this process leading me to be more self aware, self confident and tolerant of myself and others.
While the past few years have cost me a great deal, they have also given me so much. I have gained so many things in this process. I have gained new, and stronger, friendships that I know can withstand any storm. I have gained newfound confidence in myself and my abilities. I have gained new, more adult, relationships with my kids. I have gained the realization that I always knew math, I just needed a deeper understanding of finances and financial literacy…something that no one ever teaches you. I have gained the knowledge that independence is priceless and it is something I will never again give away freely.
My new life cost me so much. It cost me my old life with interest. However, each day I am thankful I made that investment. I made an investment in me because I realized I was worth considerably more and deserved far better than how I was being treated and where I was…in a miserable, abusive marriage. The benefits from that investment far outweigh the costs. Each day that investment pays off in spades!
How much do you value of your life? What investment are you willing to make? What are you waiting for? Invest in yourself….it is an investment that ALWAYS pays off! You are WORTH IT!