What Mamas Have to Say Monday

by Guest Author on August 27, 2012

It’s What Mamas Have to Say Monday! Each Monday, our panel of mommy bloggers weighs in on wacky questions that we – or you – think up. Have a question you want our panel to answer? e-mail it to us at info@mamasagainstdrama.com. We’ll notify you if your question is selected!

Here’s what mamas are saying today!

Question: On Friday, we ran a graphic on the cost of raising a child. What is YOUR biggest child-related expense?

Shannon Hembree

Our biggest expense is groceries – hands down. And for the record, can I just ask why there are NEVER any coupons for fruits and veggies?!? Or milk? Or eggs? If I want Twinkies, I can find ten coupons in less than ten seconds, but when it comes to fresh produce, forgetaboutit. I’m just saying…And that was fun to type by the way…forgetaboutit…What can I say, it’s been a long day already…and I’ve had too much coffee. See you in the produce aisle – either that or in the bakery section near the fresh cupcakes. They don’t have coupons for those either by the way.

*Shannon Hembree is the co-founder of Mamas Against Drama. If her grocery bill gets any higher, you may see her on the street carrying a sign that says, “Will work for cupcakes food.” You can follow her on twitter @shannon1hembree.

Farrah Ritter

I loved that graphic!

As for our biggest cost – for now with three boys ages 3.5 years, 22 months and 22 months it’s food. Which pretty much makes me shudder as I look ahead to the future and think – will they eat us!? Or will I have to work three jobs just to keep them all fed!?

*Farrah finds sporadic moments to jot down her adventures at The Three Under. Her 3.5 year old and 22 month old twins are all boys. Someday she will own nice furniture again. Catch up with what she’s dealing with on Twitter as @momofthreeunder and Facebook.

Wendy Bradford

My biggest expense is diapers. Three kids–one of whom is still in trainers at 3.5 with no end in sight = huge money pit. I imagine one day college will outpace my diaper expenses, but given the rate at which we are progressing, I may be paying for both still with Henry.

*Wendy writes truthfully about life in New York City with twins plus one at Mama One to Three. She includes many references to wine and coffee. Find her using bad judgment and even worse language on Twitter, @mamaonetothree, and Facebook.

Tracy Winslow

I’d have to say our biggest expense is sports: gymnastics, karate, swim lessons. Yes, definitely extra-curricular activities. Or maybe fruit snacks.

*Tracy Winslow is a mother of two young girls who should be lawyers or criminal masterminds. When she’s not crying in her coffee about her stretch marks she can be found pretending she knows how to do yoga. Live vicariously through her craziness at www.momaical.com, and please follow her on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/MomaicalBlog and Twitter @Momaical.

Sarah Weitzenkorn

My first response is food. For two little, picky eaters, they sure do go through the groceries in this house. My second response is all the miscellaneous. The fees for soccer, dance, dance shoes, soccer shoes, birthday presents, class pictures, haircuts, school supplies… you get the point. But sappy as it sounds, they are worth every penny. Well, maybe not every penny… we haven’t even thought about college yet.

*Sarah Weitzenkorn has written several guest blogs for Mamas Against Drama and is the mother of an adorable little boy and girl.

Laura Herakovich

Hair dye.


It’s really wine.

Red wine. Cabernet, if you want to get specific.

Oh, seriously, I’m kidding again.

I am married to a banker who is rather authoritative with our finances (oh, thank you, Financial Goddesses and the IRS for giving me him, especially after I threw away my first W2 form from my first serious job because I didn’t realize why I would need it…), so currently our biggest child-related expense is our sons’ 529-plan in which we squirrel away cash for future college tuitions for our boys. I realize that my answer has been deflated of any authenticity since I joked about de-graying my hair and stocking my wine cabinet prior to answering the question (and admitting to chucking a W-2–but come on! Honest first-timers mistake!). But it’s the truth. And I don’t understand how stocks and dividends and whatnot work. Other than our mortgage (which, to speak directly to the graphic posted on Friday, we’d be paying regardless of whether we had children or not), our primary expense with our kids concerns their educations.

My grandfather once told my dad something that my sweet, generous father took to heart; my dad had just begun pharmacy school and was hesitant to ask his parents to help him pay for it. My grandfather’s response? “Son, I was put on this earth to make sure you get a good education.”.

I reaped the benefits of this motto from my own father while I was in school (…and graduate school…and law school…talk about being fortunate). Miraculously, my husband also hails from a family equally enmeshed in the ultimate importance of educating a child. He is the youngest of 4 children of a chaired Professor at the University of Virginia.

Going to college wasn’t optional in either of our families; from the day I was born, my parents started saving for my future education. We want a college education to be the understood next-step after high school for our sons, too, and we want to do all in our power to make that easily available for them. Hence, we’ve established 529 Plans for all three of our sons and to which we give money regularly (and to which we’ve even had family members may make a gift for a birthdays and our sons’ baptisms). This is one enormous child related expense, but we feel it’s likely the most important, as well.

*Laura Bedingfield Herakovich is the mother of three rambunctious, yet adorable boys. You can read her personal blog at http://www.jtandtheob.com/

That’s all the mamas have to say this week. Check back next Monday for another wacky (and yet profound and insightful…) round of answers from the mamas!

Read previous What Mamas Have to Say Monday posts!

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

SH August 27, 2012 at 7:25 am

Laura, I love your answer — we place a high value on education here as well, and we talk to our daughter (our sons wouldn’t get it yet) about “when she goes to college” not “if.” It was the same in my house growing up, so it never dawned on me that I wouldn’t go to college. It took me forever to pay off my student loans, which really sets you back, but I finally did it. We have started the 529 accounts for our kids as well — it’s such a great idea for gift-giving!


BrookeB August 27, 2012 at 9:33 am

Preschool. We have chosen Montessori programs for both our kids. The positive results for their little budding brains are absolutely undeniable, but the impact on our bank account is painful.
Additionally, both my kids were diagnosed with varying degrees of sensory processing disorder as toddlers. Occupational therapy literally saved our lives, but it didn’t come cheap — especially since our pathetic insurance policy didn’t cover the top-notch therapist we chose to help our kids.


Farrah August 27, 2012 at 9:41 am

Wendy- I did cloth diapers. I think we’d be living in a car otherwise!!


Tracy W August 27, 2012 at 10:59 am

We spend (by far) the most money at the grocery store in the produce aisle. My husband will ask “How did you spend $200 at the grocery store and not get any FOOD?!?” The girls and I live on fruits, veggies and grains. Which, according to my husband are “horse food”. 🙂


SH August 27, 2012 at 8:10 pm

A certain someone I know around here uses the term “bird food.”


Neighbor lady August 27, 2012 at 6:46 pm

By far it’s day care expenses. That is quickly changing and will be overtaken by food. (I don’t understand how I spend so much on a kid who seemingly lives on air alone!). And the entire reason in working at a university? For the tuition discount for the kid!


SH August 27, 2012 at 8:10 pm

Working at a university for a tuition is pure genius!


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