Beyond Money: Budgeting Your Emotional Energy

You know the saying “too much month at the end of the money”? I believe this applies to more than just my bank account.  With everything that life demands from me as a mom, a wife, a friend, an employee, my emotional energy account is usually perpetually overdrawn. There is just “too much muck at the end of this mommy.”

Just like how you plan ahead to buy groceries, pay your mortgage and squeeze in a Target run, you can learn to budget where you allocate your emotional energy. I am currently reading “The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck” by Sarah Knight. Budgeting and bad words are two of my favorite things so this book is right up my alley but for the sake of this article I am going to change one key word to “fiddle.” You will still get the point and I will get to keep this writing gig!

I won’t steal the author’s thunder (or her Amazon sales) but the book is basically a primer on “how to stop spending time you don’t have with people you don’t like, doing things you don’t want to do.” Doesn’t that sound amazing? Sign me up! All I have to do is identify the things that annoy me and stop giving a… fiddle about them. This will free up room (i.e. time + energy + money) in my Fiddle Budget to allocate toward things that bring me joy.     

Everybody’s Fiddle Budget is going to look different and that’s OK. Investing yourself in things you are passionate about while letting go of things you are doing only out of obligation or guilt will be personal to you and your situation. I share mine below only as a way to get you thinking (and to maybe give you a chuckle or two – I give a fiddle about making people laugh). 

Here are some fiddles that I have given myself permission to “bless and release.”

  1. Meal-time battles – I make my kid a custom dinner most nights. Yes, it’s exhausting but not as exhausting as fighting her to have “2 more bites” of something she hates. Also, you will find me in the McDonald’s drive-thru at least once a week. “We need a ranch with that Happy Meal, please.”
  2. Screen time – how much is too much? I don’t care.
  3. Judging other people’s lifestyle – “Good for you, not for me” is my motto.  Furthermore, I rarely have my house in order so I better not spend precious time judging yours!
  4. Milestones – we all eventually get potty-trained, sleep through the night, quit using our pacifiers, walk, talk, etc. How about we not get all passive-aggressive with kid-to-kid comparisons, okay?
  5. Letting fear of failure or the unknown and other people’s opinions stop me from….taking on a more challenging role at work, having hard conversations with my spouse, getting help for my anxiety and PPD, putting my real self out on social media, applying to join the fabulous KCMB team. I know what it feels like to sit on the sidelines and let opportunities pass me by. Now I am going to see what it feels like to just go for them!

You really shouldn’t need to save your fiddles for a rainy day.  Therefore, by letting go of that junk above, I have some room in my budget for the following:

  1. Making sure my kids look put together – I adore dressing my girls in cute outfits and doing their hair.  If that means all of us have cried before leaving for school/work that day than so be it. I will pick out their outfits for as long as I can strong-arm them into wearing them. Forget fostering her sense of creative individuality – those shoes do not go with that outfit, child.
  2. Going overboard on birthdays – both of my kiddos have December birthdays. To compensate for everybody being too busy, I plan over-the-top parties and start buying gifts 6 months in advance. Yes, of course, the 2018 planning is underway.
  3. Taking time to take care of me – you can’t pour from an empty cup, mamas. Start caring about what renews your spirit and sets your soul on fire. Everyone your light touches will benefit.
  4. Teaching my girls that kind is the new cool, strong is the new skinny and smart is the new sexy – if everyone would just commit to not raising jerks, this world would be in a lot better shape, am I right?
  5. Being educated on issues and fighting for causes that I believe in– I care a lot about gun control, immigration, education and human rights. We belong to each other so let’s act like it.

Since becoming a parent, what is something you no longer care about like you once did? On the flip side, what has priority in your budget that you didn’t know you would care so much about? 

Keep on keeping on, mamas – you’re doing an awesome job!

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One Response to Beyond Money: Budgeting Your Emotional Energy

  1. kat August 1, 2018 at 10:37 am #

    Re: #5 on the list of “bless & release”: I recently heard the quote “What other people think of you is none of your business” and love it. I have no mental bandwidth to deal with that mess. Thanks for sharing!

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