When my husband and I got married we were really poor. Then again, everybody seems to be poor when they're newlyweds. We were both college graduates, but we were just starting out. My husband was in an entry-level job at that time. (Hey, you got to start somewhere!) We had just moved and so I didn't have a job. We were so poor that we didn't want to turn on the heat during the winter. Instead, we would just wear tons of layers.
A month into our marriage, we found out we were pregnant. I was in the midst of my Master's Degree program. I remember when it got so cold, our apartment manager told us to let the faucet drip. We were really upset at the time because we were literally dripping money down the drain!
We never bought anything for ourselves and any unforeseen expense would put us into debt. We'd even cringe if we had to make a $30 purchase that was unexpected. I wanted to work, but I was so extremely ill during my pregnancy. I got a job and threw up during my entire shift, so I had to quit. I had to borrow maternity clothes from my sister-in-law, and we got all second hand donated items for our upcoming baby. My parents bought us a crib for my birthday, and they bought us a stroller and car seat for Christmas. I never bought anything for myself because we simply couldn't afford it!
My husband and I have been married for 6 1/2 years, and our financial situation is night and day from when we were starting out! My husband has since found a new job and has received yearly raises and even a huge promotion. I've now found a writing job from home, so I can still stay with my kids while making a small income.
But even though we have the money, I still feel guilty purchasing anything for myself! I don't buy clothes. I buy the cheapest makeup, I get $7 haircuts and my shoes have holes in them. My husband tells me to buy things for myself, but it hurts. I feel guilty. I feel like if I'm buying something for myself, then my kids will miss out on something.
For example, I just bought a cute vest for myself. But as I was leaving the store, I thought to myself "I could have taken my kids somewhere fun for that money." I know I deserve to buy stuff myself too, but I think I might always have that gnawing mom guilt every time. I always let myself think that all of our money should go to our children- and if it doesn't then I'm being selfish. Will this mindset change? I don't know- but I sure hope it does.