A few years back, I remember I was driving my 18 year old son to school and out of the blue he asked “Mama, nag-birthday ba ako sa Mcdo or Jollibee.” ( Mama, did I ever celebrated my birthday with a McDonald’s or Jollibee party?), with a smile I responded with a question, “Anak, naaalala mo bang nag-birthday ka sa Mcdo or Jollibee?” ( My son, do you remember celebrating your birthday in Mcdo or Jollibee).
In a flash he answered, “Wala akong naalala, Mama...” ( Mama, I have no recollection) and I answered this time while lovingly smiling, “Anak, tama ang alaala mo!” ( My son, your memory is correct). And we both laugh to our hearts’ delight.
But it didn’t end there.
I further inquired, “Anak, did you feel may kulang sa childhood mo dahil di ka nag-birthday sa Mcdo or Jollibee?” (Son, did you feel something is lacking in your childhood because you didn’t celebrate any birthday in Mcdo or Jollibee?) and he said, “Wala naman, Mama.” ( Nothing is lacking, Mama).
“Hamo, nak, kapag kinasal ka, sa Mcdo ang reception.” (Don’t worry, son, on your wedding, reception will be at Mcdo) and both of us blurted out with louder laughter.
As a single parent, my finances were tight when I was raising my 3 children. Everything was budgeted and hence, no budget for parties, but there is budget for education. As parents, we should never feel that we let our children down because we didn’t give them the luxury of Mascot-laden birthdays when they were young especially when we all know that we cannot afford it in favor of the more basic and important needs like food, utilities and shelter.
Sometimes because of our love to our children, our emotions get in the way that we feel pity if our kids do not experience what the other children have. These sentiments Daniel Goleman coined as ‘Emotional Hijack’. We should not fall into the trap of borrowing money just to provide the extravagance that we will need to pay later with accelerating interests. We should nourish our Financial EQ and learn to discipline our emotion when it comes to handling our finances.
It is paramount that we prioritize which will reap better things, like, now, my son earns on his own and he finished his college at the Ateneo de Manila University, which is something that I am very, very proud of.
To learn more about Financial EQ and how it can benefit your group/association, please click here.
Len C is a proud mother of 3 lovely kids, worked in the academe, has more than a decade experience in the BPO industry, with MA units major in Industrial-Organizational Psychology at the Ateneo de Manila University.
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