As an entrepreneur, I’m constantly thinking about money—how much is in my account, whether a client owes me money, whether I have enough set aside to pay my taxes. It’s exhausting, but my real concern beneath the anxiety is that somehow, the money will stop coming in and my children will suffer.
I had to stop and remind myself that so much of what I do for the children, day in and day out, has nothing to do with how much is in the bank.
Taking a walk with your kids is free.
Sitting down and listening to them tell you about their day is free.
Brushing tears away after they fall and kissing the boo-boo is free.
Allowing them to spend time to relatives and friends who love them is free.
Teaching them that beauty comes from within is free.
Sharing your wisdom is free.
Giving them the space to be themselves is free.
Saying “I love you” is free.
Having dreams for their future is free.
Hugging them every night before they go to bed is free.
Checking their homework is free.
Loving yourself so that they may have an example of what it looks like is free.
Being patient is free.
Teaching them to be respectful with their words is free.
Showing an interest in what they are interested in is free.
Teaching them compassion is free.
And I could go on and on. The point is that, while our stress about getting kids new clothes, food on the table, and a stable roof over their heads is real, great parenting can happen at any socioeconomic level. Don’t forget all the non-monetary gifts you’re giving your child, all the love you give that no money can buy.