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Work-at-home mom: take a deep breath and Do Life Different as you allow these devotions for work-at-home moms to fill the vacuum of your needy heart in the chaos of your busy world.
 
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May
16

Tutu Much Money

By

teen girlsMy daughters, Bri and Alex, have been in dance classes for a few years of their lives. Bri was in both ballet and Irish dance before requesting no more dance. She said she couldn’t keep her arms straight; when in ballet she was supposed to use her arms, and in Irish, she was not. She asked to stop, and I reluctantly agreed. Who does not want to see their little girl with a bun, tutu, and ballet shoes? Some moms don’t, but this mom did. Then baby number three took dance for three years, and I have decided ballet for number three is not cost effect.

Alex loves to be the center of attention and in a beautiful costume or dress. Dancing is not her passion. How do I know dancing is not her passion? She does not dance around the house, she never practiced her dance routine at home or anywhere else, and she doesn’t talk about dance. Oh, and she needs constant reminders to get ready for class on Saturday mornings. I am not suggesting my child live and breathe dance. I am saying she should care enough about dance to put forth enough effort for the class to be cost effective.

I warned little miss that if at her recital she had shown no effort on her part to learn her routine (I do my part of telling her to practice, up to her to do the work), I would not pay for another year of class. Here’s the math:

$70 a month for nine months for class
$25 leotard and tights
$150 recital and costume
$48 tickets to recital
$30 one dance picture
$20 program for recital
Total – $903 a year for dance

The cost would be completely worth the price if my daughter were gaining useful skills such as practicing skills, or patience, or anything beyond looking cute in a costume and occasionally moving her feet. At the recital, Alex had to spend the entire two minutes on stage looking over her shoulder to watch the teacher show her what steps she was supposed to do next. She did not in nine months time learn anything except where she was supposed to stand when the dance started. Children younger than her knew all their steps. Actions speak loudly.

My little miss does not care about dancing; she cares about dressing up and being on stage in front of an audience. Not worth the cost for dance class. In the car on the way home from the recital, my attention seeking third child ask how she did at her recital, and I was truthful, because who am I helping if I give her undeserved accolades? I was tactful but honest. “Alex, you did ok, but you did not try very hard, and you did not practice, which showed because you had to keep looking at your teacher or classmates to know what steps to do.” I told her I wanted her to be proud of herself and did she think she had put enough effort forth to be proud of herself. She said she guessed not. Then she changed the subject and moved on. She only cared about being in a costume. I am not just going to praise her because she wants me too, because in the real world you have to earn praise.

Her skills are useful, though, and I thought to myself a couple of months ago, this kid should be on stage. Maybe we should try her in acting classes. Alex burst that bubble too. Her kindergarten teacher let me know she was having a difficult time memorizing coins. We practiced the coins at home, and I could see her attitude was the problem. For some reason, she thinks getting the answers wrong is funny and had no desire to learn the coins. Then comes this conversation:

Alex: “If I am not doing dance anymore, can I still try acting?”
Me: “Nope.”
Alex: “Awww! Why? I want to try it!”
Me: “Because if you can’t memorize four coins how are you going to remember multiple pages of script?”
Alex: “Oh.”
Me: “Acting would cost more than dance, and you think it’s funny to goof off on the coins, why would I spend the money?”
Alex: “But I want too!”
Me: “Stop, conversation over.”

In a society where everyone gets a trophy for showing up, what are we teaching our children? Minimal efforts will get rewarded. Not my kids. I want them to know in life just showing up and doing the bare minimum is not going to get them anywhere. I am not raising children; they are children, I am raising adults. I only have a short amount of time to turn them into assets to society, and hopefully, this little fiasco has taught my children you have to put in real effort to see real results. In the real work force, if you put in the bare minimum you never get a promotion. Take these opportunities life presents to teach your children barely working, barely pays.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Adrina Palmer is a stay-at-home-mom to three wonderful children and a wife to an amazing husband. She has a bachelors degree in Religion from Liberty University and is currently writing her first novel. Adrina is a Christian hoping to help other stay-at-home moms find the joy and simplicity as a mother and wife. In her free time she enjoys many crafts, writing, spending time with family, and reading. She would love to hear from you!

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