Category: Kids

115

Childcare: Controversial, Expensive, Complicated, Necessary

People ask me about childcare all the time. How to pay for it, how to find it, what I do with my kids. Other than what to eat for lunch, which credit cards to use, and how to buy used cars, I think childcare is the most asked question I get from readers. And it’s the one thing on that list I haven’t devoted a lot of time to writing about. Probably because I’m not...

62

Travel Rewards, Flying With Two Toddlers, And A Free Hotel Stay

This is the story of flying with two toddlers on a plane, a free hotel stay, and why credit card rewards are a good thing. Here’s a boring (but important) explanation of how Frugalwoods makes money. Air Travel With Two Toddlers: How Bad Can It Be? In November, we flew to North Carolina to celebrate Thanksgiving with my in-laws. Two kids, two adults, and 45 individual boxes of raisins. Being four years old, Kidwoods got a...

63

How We Use 529 Plans To Save For College

December, with all its merry festivity, is naturally the month we contribute to our daughters’ college funds. Ah yes, just what every four-year-old and 22-month-old want for Christmas: well-funded 529 savings plans. Don’t worry, in addition to putting $5k into each of their 529s, we did give them actual Christmas gifts (most of which were either hand-me-downs or purchased at garage sales last summer… ).   Save On What Doesn’t Matter: Spend On What Does...

213

Toxic Positivity and What I Thought Having Kids Would Be Like (versus what it’s actually like)

Before having kids, I knew a lot about parenting. I’d look at tantruming toddlers in grocery stores and scoff to my husband, “how can they LET their child scream like that? In public?” Now that I have kids, I don’t even notice when other people’s kids are ripping ears of corn off the produce section display like feral raccoons. I’m thankful it’s not my kids and I’m also in solidarity that it could be/has been/will...

88

My Friend Always Wanted To Be A Mom; Then She Got Prenatal Depression

From Mrs. Frugalwoods: I don’t publish posts written by other people, so today is an exception. When my friend Emma told me about her struggles with prenatal depression and anxiety, I begged her to write about it. Last year, I shared my raw experience of being diagnosed with postpartum depression and received hundreds–if not thousands–of responses saying a version of: “I went through the same thing” or “Reading this gave me the courage to call...

101

My Healthy Oatmeal Pumpkin Bars Recipe + How I Get My Kids To Eat Kale

Try not to faint. Today I bring you a RECIPE. That’s right. Your pleas, your emails, your notes, your requests have not gone (entirely) ignored. You all want frugal food. Specially, you want MY frugal food. The last time I shared a recipe was January 2015, which was, uh, over four years ago… So apparently I’m on the one-recipe-every-four-years schedule. I have good reason for this, people! I am not our household’s–nor anyone else’s household’s–cook....

126

How I Saved Tons Of Money During My Baby’s First Year

In honor of Littlewoods turning ONE YEAR OLD this month, I’m enshrining my ideas on how to be frugal with infants. ALL of my ideas. Seriously, I don’t think I left anything out. You’re welcome and/or I’m sorry. Waxing Nostalgic With Littlewoods’ first birthday, I finally understand the feeling “bittersweet.” As my second, and final, baby transitions out of baby-ness, I’m nostalgic. I can’t say I’m sad because I don’t love the newborn phase. Neither...

216

Laugh So You Don’t Cry: What It’s Really Like to Celebrate Christmas With Little Kids

I decorate for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving and don’t un-decorate until well into January. In fact, I wrote this on January 9th basking in the warm glow of my Christmas tree. Although less warm than it was earlier in the month because a bunch of bulbs burned out. Probably because I turn it on ALL the time. I had high hopes for Christmas this year because: I’m not pregnant (hello gin-and-tonics on Christmas Eve);...

432

How A Diagnosis Of Postpartum Depression Changed My Life

I didn’t plan on being diagnosed with postpartum depression and anxiety. It wasn’t part of my birth prep list or on my radar in a significant way. It was something that happened to other people, not something that I should worry about. And yet. Littlewoods’ Birth Our second daughter (dubbed Littlewoods) was born in February 2018 and the birth itself was amazing. Perfection. Ideal. Longtime readers know that our first daughter (Babywoods, who is now...

261

Musings On Hot Mess Motherhood

People think I have it all together. The only reason I know this is because a lot of people email me saying, “wow, you really have it all together.” I close those emails immediately and never respond because: 1) my email inbox is a horror show of un-replied-to messages; and 2) I don’t know how to explain to these well-meaning strangers that I in no way have it all together. Mostly I am a mess...