Monday, September 16, 2013

Mother-Daughter Bonding, Frugal Style

One Sunday a month I gather with a group of women in what we call Book Club With a Twist.  Also referred to as the Twisted Book Club, we meet in a cafe or restaurant to discuss what we've read in the past month.  No pressure to finish a book by a certain time, no pressure to select a book other members will enjoy.  Just a gathering where we talk about what we've loved, liked, or couldn't force ourselves to finish. Our conversation often strays from books, and then weaves back again.  This past Sunday there was much discussion about a shared hatred of shopping, and it thrilled me beyond my normal joy of our conversation.  I was among my people!

It seems that our modern culture assume a females favored pastime is shopping.  When we went to Dubuque, Iowa this past summer a travel guide listed Shopping as a number one activity for women.  Why not hiking?  After book club I headed home to my little family.  My daughter gushed and asked for Mama time.  This means she wants a little time with just me, no boys.  And I can understand it because my husband and son are both cut from the engineer cloth.  Their discussion is heavy on science and the abstract.  I love that she spends so much time immersed in their world, but I also recognize she is her own person and wants to develop her own interests.  She is a doer, loves action, needs big movement in her day.  And I use that Mother Daughter time to nurture our bond, and learn about what lights up her world.

If I followed modern culture, we'd do this bonding at the nearest mall.  Next time you're in a store pause and look around.  Make a mental note of the ratio of men to women.  Chances are the females will far out number the men.  And yes, there are many reasons for that -- which are beyond the point of today's post. But how often have you heard a man say "I need retail therapy!"  or "let's wander around the mall, see what they have, and maybe get a makeover?"  Those who know me and my frugal ways know those words will never be uttered from my mouth.  And I hope that my frugal ways will trickle down to my daughter.  From them has come a great deal of freedom, especially in my chosen career where I've carved out my own business.  I hope she has the same freedom one day.

So what does an afternoon of Mother Daughter bonding frugal style look like?  Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Dance party in the living room.  At age 3 her favorite song is Van Morrison's Brown Eyed Girl.  It's not just kiddo music we enjoy;
  • Nature walks.  A slow meander around the block this past Sunday uncovered a slow moving spider, smashed tree nuts, four dogs, and countless spray paint marks where the walk needs to be repaired;
  • Books!  A stack from the library can facilitate great questions, cuddle time, and a trip down memory lane when they center around favorites from Mama's childhood; and
  • Cooking together.  Whether it be putting bread in the bread machine, washing dishes, or chopping veggies it is a great place to talk, and a frugal skill to instill.
How about you?  Whether son or daughter, niece or grandson -- what frugal ways do you use to bond? Post a comment to share and inspire others!

She is 3 and has NEVER gone with me to "hang out at the mall".  In fact, while both kids are quite verbal for their ages,
they have no idea of what the "mall" is.  And that is something this frugal Mama is quite proud of.

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