In September, I posted the following on my Facebook page:
My son decided that once school started he would not eat junk food for the next three months. Laughing I said if that happens I’ll give you £100. Lured by the bait, that I know I will never have to pay 😂😂😂😂😂, he accepted the challenge.
Since that day when I inadvertently- I mean foolishly – made that bet, my son has not had a crisp, sweet, chocolate, snack, icecream, nada. For three months, he has had fruit at school lunches; even enlisted his friends to help him keep on top of it. At birthday parties, he has stuck to fruit and veg. And at home, a child who I have had to restrain from having multiple snacks a day, suddenly metamorphosed into an overnight health aficionado.
As part of the agreement, he was allowed a day off for his birthday. Apart from that day, despite my attempts to sabotage his challenge (believe me I tried) he has resisted and kept at it. A low point came when I started to offer him get-out-of=jail cards at £20 each to eat an unhealthy snack. *SMH*
Although I had failed to reduce my impending liability, I was still confident. I thought even if he lasted a little while, there was no way he would survive Christmas without junk food. Boy was I wrong. Clearly I do not know my son very well because he sailed through the festive season like a pro.
There are so many morals to this story that I don’t know where to start. So here I am, £100 lighter, shamefaced and eating humble-pie for underestimating a child. Now we just need to channel this determination and discipline into keeping a tidy room in 2017.
This will be the last time I ever make a bet with him or any other child for that matter. I’ve been schooled!
Can you ever really count the cost associated with a decision? Organised humans will know the costs associated with a decision and the super organised ones may go as far as having contingency plans in place as well. But can you really know what it costs you until you are going through it?
When my husband decided to embark on adult education and we agreed to move to Cambridge, it was a very ‘romantic’ notion. Starting a new life, achieving a long awaited goal, having a second chance – all those sort of emotions were stirred up in us. It was a very exciting time but probably not fully thought out :). We grew to find out that the cost of the move was not the financial pay cut we both took. It wasn’t our kids starting at a new school. Or making new friends in a place where we had no friends or family. Or moving house. Or losing clothes and stuff to decluttering before the move. Or starting a new career. It wasn’t any of those obvious things.
We looked forward to the opportunities that the ‘new’ offered and looked at the financial implications and the effect it could have on our children. Yet we overlooked some vital questions – how will our daily lives change practically and how will it affect us as individuals? I don’t think we really broke it down. We were too excited!! LOL
We didn’t really think about the practical day to day stuff. Like the fact that he would be away at school a lot and that would mean I would be at home with the kids more; during exams he would hibernate and bury himself in studies again leaving me alone with the kids :-|; that although he had to study he couldn’t shut out his family and would have to balance the two. Nothing could have prepared us for the feeling of being along even though we were surrounded by people. Sometimes I couldn’t do my own thing because he had an evening lecture. I wasn’t prepared for the feelings of resentment or wanting to run away from it all. From his perspective, though he knew it would be tough, he couldn’t have imagined how much independent study time he would have to put in – it was onerous. Or the relentless daily schedule of his college. There is no way you could absolutely count the cost of the unknown.
Maybe the flip side is if we were anal about it we wouldn’t have moved. Then we would have robbed ourselves wonderful experiences and growth! The thing is you can never know how much it’s really going to cost you.
So if you have travelled down a path that’s making you wonder how the heck did I find myself here? You just might be on the right path; it’s just tougher than you thought it would be. Hang in there.