Death and Taxes

Sunday, January 25, 2009

It's that time of year again...You know, when you are slapped in the face with one of the only two constants in life - while we've certainly had our share of death over the past twelve months, we should be spared the latter of the two, but...now we are faced with TAXES! Ish!

I know some people get excited about tax time as they get a nice healthy refund back...but not us...We live our lives in such a way as we try and get as close to "breaking even" at tax time as possible - we LIKE need to have our money over the course of the year, instead of letting Uncle Sam play with it...
Which means we sometimes get to pay in to the government at tax time...blech!

Plugging the numbers in makes my stomach turn...We paid HOW MUCH for daycare in 2008? For "part time" care? ACK! Good thing we all love our provider - and now that the kids are older, we really do see it as tuition - as long as we continue to use this daycare provider, no preschool is needed for the kids as she runs a preschool curriculum for the kids during the "school year" - we really do see how much they learn and pick up at daycare - both good and bad I suppose - but mostly the things that I see are for the good. I LOVE that they have the chance to interact frequently with a wide range of ages during the day, from 3 month old babies to 8 year old kids...That is an invaluable experience that I cannot give them if I were to stay at home with them ~
Not to say the thought doesn't cross my mind - a lot. Especially now at tax time, seeing what we pay out and what I "bring in" makes it tough to swallow - Crunching the numbers still makes it worth it for me to keep coming to work four days a week...and even if it didn't - the life experiences and preschool program they are learning alone would make it worth the "tuition" that we pay...

That said, would I love to stay at home with them?? Yes, most of the time...

What about the fact that BEFORE our little man was 2 he was completely potty trained? I chalk a lot of that up to the 3 year old boy that was new at daycare that was learning to use the potty - Our little man wanted to be just like that little man...and viola...Potty trained by 2! WOOT!

This time of year also reinforces the fact that a 3rd baby just isn't in the cards...Neither pregnancy was "easy" per se...Both were high risk and not without their pitfalls and dangers...Worth it? A resounding YES YES YES! A risk I am willing to take a 3rd time?? Maybe, but more likely maybe not. Could we figure it out financially - yes, of course we could - just as we did when we had the first, and then the second...But while we would figure it out - it would also limit the things that we can and want to do as a family. It's hard enough doing things now as a family of four in this economy..."Family of Five" doesn't fit in 2 of our 3 cars..."Family of Five" means an extra airline ticket, an extra passport, an extra couple thousand bucks on a "real" family vacation ~ should we ever decide to take one! (A girlfriend recently told me that the difference between her family and her sis in laws family for a Disney Cruise was 2 THOUSAND DOLLARS, 8k for hers, 10k for her sis in law - that really adds up doesn't it?)

We didn't take "family vacations" as a kid, except for to see other family 120 miles away (so I guess technically, that IS a family vacation huh?) - We want to show our kids the world...or as much of it as we can anyway. We also want to be able to offer our kids a little help with things in life that we had to figure out pretty much on our own. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to send a chunk of change in to help our kids pay for some of their college tuition? Surprise them with a fancy new car upon graduating from said college? Maybe a gift of funds to let them backback Europe for a few months before joining the rest of us in "the real world" or give them a big fat check to make a nice down payment on their first house? Offer our daughter the wedding of her dreams since it's (hopefully) a once in a lifetime experience??

In ten years will I regret that we didn't have more babies? YES!! Maybe...but I know what I won't regret - I won't regret my health. I won't regret that we DID have two extremely healthy children. I won't regret that my time was only needed to be shared by my two healthy children whom I love and adore (and my hubs of course!!), and not split more ways than that as I already feel like there is not enough of me to (happily) go around. (Remember, we don't have family near us to give us a much needed break or a nap every once in awhile!) I won't regret being able to show them so much of the world, more of the world than our parents were ever able to show us when we were young.
It's very important to us to be able to leave our children's world just a little bit better than our world was/is - and I'd like to think that we are succeeding in that...Does that make it any easier on my heart to watch the "3rd baby trend" going on all around us that seems to be popping up more and more? Not really - but once we actually get out and start doing some of these things/vacations...I think that will quickly change...
Now...where do you suggest I start??

3 comments:

Kelly said...

Sounds like you have your priorities straight, and your heart in the right place.

Anonymous said...

I love the fact that you use the word "tuition".... the early years are so critical for learning, and it sounds like the kids are in the right place!

Polski G said...

I suggest something without people in hideous animal suits. Maybe something with real animals? Yellowstone perhaps? Or how about a roadie, ala Clark Griswold and family?

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