Every Monday, I answer a few of the questions that my readers send me. If you have a question you’d like me to answer in a future Q&A post, just leave me a comment here or email me (thefrugalgirl [at] gmail [dot] com) and put Q&A in the subject line. I look forward to hearing from you!
Ok, really the last two topics in the title should be Orthodontists and Dogs/Cats, but I had to run with the alliteration thing.
I was just wondering how often you and Mr FG go out on dates? My husband and I aim for once a month, but we have 5 kids under 6. So there are times when it doesn’t happen. But we need mamma and daddy time.
Also, how do you manage to have time with God? Sometimes I don’t even get to shower.
P.S. my kiddos are 6, 3, 19 months (twins) and 3 months
Wow! You’ve got quite a busy little household these days. I never had quite that many small ones at home…when Zoe was a baby, my kids’ ages were 7, 5, 2, and then of course there was baby Zoe.
I’ll tackle your two questions separately here.
Mr. FG and I have never made a habit of going on very many actual out-of-the-house dates mostly due to tight finances. It’s expensive to hire a babysitter for multiple kids (as you know!) and that’s not even counting the cost of the date itself.
So, most of our date babysitting for our very occasional dates has been compliments of family and we’ve also traded babysitting with other parents. And for the actual dates themselves, most of the time we went out to eat using gift cards we ordered from our credit card rewards system.
It’s only been in the last year or two that we’ve started our habit of having a weekly takeout date night because we finally had room in the budget for it (yay!). We do sometimes manage to go out for a real date night, but most of the time, we’re just eating takeout by ourselves at home and that’s fine with me.
Joshua will be 13 next year, so the time is coming when we’ll be able to leave the kids at home and go on a date. But until that day arrives, our takeout date nights suffice quite well.
Time with God
I’d suggest that you try to keep this minimal and manageable right now. You’re not going to be able to spend an hour each day reading and praying, and that’s ok…there’ll be time for that at other stages.
I get up a lot earlier than my kids do, due to Mr. FG’s early schedule, so that’s when I read my Bible and pray. If possible, maybe you could get up 10-15 minutes before your kids do so that you can spend a few minutes reading and praying.
Or maybe in the afternoon when at least some of your children are napping, you could carve out 15 minutes. Maybe you can listen to a recorded version of the Bible while you fold laundry. Maybe you can read for a few minutes before you go to bed.
And don’t forget that you can always pray while you’re doing other stuff…God hears prayers offered up during diaper changes, dishwashing, and bath-giving. Don’t feel like it has to be a huge formal undertaking.
Just remember that a little bit done on a regular basis is better than nothing…don’t wait until you’ve got a quiet half hour because that probably won’t come. So, grab the 5 or 10 minute chunks when you can find them.
(interestingly enough, after I’d already written the answer to this question, the GirlTalk blog published a post about this very topic.)
Are you saving for braces for your kids? I know my parents didn’t and now I will be getting them as an adult. If all your kids need braces would you do it even though it might cost close to a new van?
Yep! Sonia’s dentist is quite certain that she will need braces when she gets a little bit older (her mouth is really small and doesn’t have space for a mouth of adult teeth), and Zoe may need some orthodontic work (she’s missing a baby tooth and may be missing the adult one as well).
The work that Sonia and Zoe will need will probably not be strictly cosmetic, but even if they needed cosmetic work, we’d probably try to get it done, especially if the problems were in the front of their mouths.
We’ve got an ING account dedicated to saving for medical bills that our insurance doesn’t cover, and hopefully we can manage to pay for orthodontic work out of that account. I don’t know how much we’ll have saved by the time the girls are ready for braces, but we thought it would be a good idea to work on saving for that ahead of time.
I’m wondering if your children ever ask for a cat or dog. What is your position on that? I had a bachelor uncle who always said – “never buy anything that eats” – but it is hard to resist the love of pets.
Nope, so far none of them have. I consider this to be a kind providence from God, because I know that I would struggle mightily with having a dog or cat in the house. I’m not a big fan of having animals running around inside my house (outside, yes, inside, no), and I know I would have a really hard time cheerfully bearing with the extra expense, mess, and responsibility a dog or cat would bring.
I have absolutely no issue with other people owning dogs and cats, though, as long as they can afford to properly care for the animals. The no dog/cat thing is purely personal preference on my part…if I went by the “never buy anything that eats” motto, I wouldn’t have kids*. I just like kids better than dogs and cats.
*although I didn’t exactly buy my kids!
My kids have been happy with hermit crabs, fish, and a gecko thus far, and I think any future pets desires lean in the reptilian direction, which is fine with me (reptiles don’t smell, don’t usually run around the house, and most are quiet).
P.S. Normally I only post here once a day, but today, I have a review/giveaway post to publish, so come back in a few hours to read and enter.
Today’s 365 post: “Can I wear mix and match, Mommy?”
Joshua’s 365 post: 8 peaches+me=happiness.