It’s every working mom’s dream. It’s a right of passage. In truth, it’s an occasion that truly deserves it’s own hashtag: #kindgartenroundupmypaycheck (it’s a work in progress; suggestions are appreciated). Cheers, toasts, congratulations, and celebrations are in order the minute the last child graduates from childcare to kindergarten.
Money materializes into your bank account, and just like that, you’re free.
It’s not that I want to rush my kids into growing up; I’ll savor the baby rolls and newborn smell forever. But I do dream of what it will be like to not plan my meals around which restaurants are currently letting kids eat free. If I got a dollar every time I told my husband, “Maybe we can afford that next year when our daughter is in kindergarten,” we could probably afford a week of childcare on that money alone. But we’re still five years away from toasting to the financial freedom of two children in school.
I’m well aware that money doesn’t buy you happiness, and I’m probably still saving more money in the long run by paying for childcare than staying home. However, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t spend a few minutes every time I write that check thinking of all the things I could be doing with that money instead.
In a year of daycare tuition could afford me these opportunities:
Pay off my mortgage in 15 years instead of 30
A brand new car
Three semesters of college at the University of Tennessee Knoxville
The ability to add a sun room to my house (or a lot of other nice remodeling options)
Quarterly trips to Disney World, six days and seven nights with a dining package
A towable RV
A sizable ($17k worth) donation to charities
A tempurpedic mattress for all four family members
In a month:
A round-trip flight and a ticket to see Hamilton
A share of Amazon stock
22 pairs of TOMS shoes, (thus 22 pairs for other people)