The Mom Guilt Has Got To Go In 2023

all ages allowance elementary-aged financial literacy middle school-aged
A mom on a laptop sits next to her daughter on an ipad

By Trina Sargalski, New COR Parent

Like many reading this, I'm a brand new COR Parent. I just started our new monthly allowance routine in earnest a few months ago with my 8-year-old, and we've definitely found our groove after a few fits and starts. 

I don’t know about you, but in my case, the new year has arrived with a juicy burst of optimism, resolve, and, probably way too many goals inspired by too many episodes of productivity, minimalism, and mom podcasts. (I’m a pod-nerd, what can I say?) I’m talking too many goals to be realistically achieved by a small country, much less by an individual person.

The new year just seems so ripe for transformation, but here’s the thing: 

Often, the most valuable goals take longer than a year to accomplish. So the new year can be about continuing and furthering growth as opposed to black-and-white, “Did I check that off or not?” (A hat tip to Kendra Adachi's The Lazy Genius podcast for that one.) 

For example, preparing my kid for the world ... A tremendous goal, to be sure. But that ain't happening in one year. It's an exciting goal, but overwhelming when I think about it. Especially after just five minutes of TV news from any crisis-filled network. 

Quite obviously, an important component of preparing our kids for the world is putting on the path to become a financially stable adult. I mean, we want our kids to be critical thinkers when it comes to almost everything, but money is one of the most important components of adult stability whether we like that or not. 

But it can feel like A LOT. Especially since I have 84 things on my to-do list.

Money … We can have a lot of heavy feelings about it based on our backgrounds, and what we have done or haven’t done.

Call Me Back, PleaseOn top of that, we don’t want to repeat our parent’s mistakes. Maybe you can relate, but I certainly don't want my daughter to repeat my mistakes. 

But even if you're generally free of finance mistakes, you might be alarmed at how your kids are rapidly morphing into these upper-elementary and middle-school beings who seem so focused on the poppets, and the plastic things, and the clothes, and the cards ... Or whatever it might be. Maybe you're starting to have visions of your kids living in your basement or guest bedroom that's crammed with stuff they can afford to buy since they live rent-free. While that might be fun for some parents, we all want them to have the freedom of choice over whether kids double as housemates until they're 45. 

And again, I don’t know about you, but it’s hard not to feel like there is always just one more thing to teach and do for our kids. It can be overwhelming. And then cue the mom guilt ... Or just generalized parent guilt. (Don’t want to leave you out, dads).

Sometimes I feel like there's this low-key frequency humming in the background, buzzing me about how I need to teach my kid this thing, or that, but don’t have the time. Or, like fellow COR parent, Nora, who was refreshingly transparent in episode 6 of our podcast, sometimes I feel like maybe I started a key lesson too late.

Perhaps this is the most annoying part of mom guilt. Even when I do something right, it might not be the right time, amiright? Because sometimes, when I am ready to start — where I even begin?!?

Do we know enough, did we read enough reviews, should we prep with some background reading, and on and on. With regards to money, maybe you have a grasp of financial knowledge but aren’t sure how to convey it to your kid. How do you know if allowance the best way to start? Should the allowance be tied to chores? So many questions! 

It just felt so heavy and UGH that my that mom guilt shifted into high frequency. I don't generally consider myself to be a helicopter mom, so I have to admit ... I was a little surprised at the guilt I felt on this one. But I guess we're all vulnerable to it sometimes.

So, there I was, buzzing along with my to-do list and mom-guilt, when I came across Cents of Responsibility. Here's what I've learned over these past few months:

1) I really am the best person to teach my kid about money.
2) I can do this with one simple monthly habit repeated consistently over time. 

I know. Simple, but powerful. 

For the past few months, I've been having one 1-hour conversation on a monthly Allowance Day ritual on the first Sunday of the month.  (They call it a COR Day.) Once a month has been very doable to me, especially having witnessed a transformation in my daughter after just a few months. She's changed the way she talks about money, feels ownership over her money, and considers the decisions she makes with it. I'm amazed ... At her, and at me.

My New COR Allowance Day Setup

In part, I credit our shared success to the idea that I'm not dumping lessons into my child’s head all at once. Like so many best laid lessons, I get to plant my mom seeds in very doable, bite-sized pieces.

But again … where to start? Even saying I found the answer within COR's methodology can sound vague.

Well, I found the answer thanks to a super non-judgmental person: Alec Lindenauer, the financial planner who founded Cents of Responsibility and created COR's Elementary Starter Course.

For me, it's been like a weight lifted.

Alec breaks everything down so we parents don't have to re-create or invent anything. And he does it in a relatable and approachable way. The videos explain and show every step so I was able to create a monthly allowance routine with my 8-year-old that I feel like will be the cornerstone of creating lifelong financial well-being for my child. Yeah, I know ... That's saying A LOT.

For example, when I introduced my daughter to the concept of investing, and told her how she’d get extra money next month just for letting her investment money sit there, it was so cool to see her shove a bunch of dollars in that investment jar. I felt MOM TRIUMPH. And admittedly, I don't know a ton about investing! But at eight, my daughter is excited to invest. That's an immediate win. 

So just a few months in, I'm a convert. For good reason. 

And so much so, that a little before the New Year, Alec asked me to join his COR team. So here I am, not just a COR Parent newbie, but an official COR Team member. In fact, if you've seen some of COR's year-end social media posts, you've already seen my work.

So as a convert, newbie, team member, mom, and peer, I'll leave you with one piece of advice. Based on my experience, it's this: Just start. If you haven't done so already, take a look at our parent resources, and begin something new. Or, click something, and start. And if you've already started ... Keep at it. Just continue. Tweak it, make adjustments, and move on through to the next thing on your to-do list. Isn't that one of the things we moms do best?

There's nothing like a little MOM TRIUMPH to extinguish any mom guilt in the New Year.



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