I have always considered myself to be pretty conservative when it comes to money, recycling when I can and trying to get the best price for what we buy.

The last few years, cutting financial corners has become a higher priority. Making things myself versus buying them or shopping only with a coupon in hand has helped me stay at home during a time when my family needs me. It certainly has not been easy, and there are times that I question if I've made the right decision.

Would it be better for me to work a normal 9 to 5 which would greatly reduce financial stress....but also reduce the amount of time I get to spend with my children? Would they be happier if we didn't have to say no to the big ticket items?

As always, it seems that my 6 year old is smarter than me.

Something she said to me last night stopped me in my tracks. It was bedtime and she was full of a little extra energy, she was asking me over and over and over "mom what are we doing after school tomorrow...mom mom mom I want to do something we never do anything!" My heart broke a little as I looked at her....my mind immediately started trying to come up with something we could "do" that wouldn't break the bank.... I drew a blank. She paused, then then put her arm around my shoulder and quietly said please mom I just want to spend time with you....I don't care what we do.

I realized in that moment that I was so busy trying to take care of my family that I was missing easy opportunities to spend time with them. I told her I had to clean and cook and organize the closets....did she want to do that with me? "YEEEES" she said in an almost screaming voice.

To my surprise, the things I find less than enjoyable, were fun for her just because she was doing them with me. Instead of sending her off to play so that I could clean up and cook dinner ..... things I try to rush through so we have time to read or play or craft before bed .....were enough to put a smile on her face.

With so many pinterest ideas and mommy blogs I think its easy to get sucked into the plan plan plan mindset.

In reality all our kids need is us us us.

They just want our attention and would rather spend an hour helping us make dinner than waiting for us to lay out a 10 min well planned out craft.

Kids don't need the expensive stuff....our time is free....all we have to do give it to them.

Give your kids a cheap childhood....because they won't remember the toys they had but they will cherish time spent with you as priceless memories.