Things That Have Slowly Changed
I haven't always been frugal. It's been percolating for awhile, but the actual implementation has been gradual. Because of the slow pace, I haven't realized really how far I'd come, and somewhat unfortunately, how that might impact some other things in my life.
Case in point, a relative of mine wants to go out to eat or go shopping with me while I'm here visiting. Multiple times a week. She has suggested a few other activities, all involving going out and spending money. Instead, I've suggested she come over here, let's make some lunch, talk, whathaveyou. She has apparently had about enough of that. Heh.
For the first year after Audrey was born, one of my pre-mother friends [ironically, a woman from my birthing class, so she had a kid that was only a month older than mine] who only wanted to get together at a restaurant for lunch, as well. No great shock, we drifted and I haven't even talked to her in almost a year. She rarely wanted to take up any of my non-restaurant suggestions.
I mean, I don't believe in having an austere life, or never having fun or never getting out. But both of these folks were as insistent about going to a restaurant as I was resistant to it.
There are three issues for me. First, I've always been somewhat of a homebody, though those feelings have intensified since I became a mother, and they've really exploded since I've been pregnant again. I am wholly uninterested in being around large groups of other people, especially folks I don't know. Second, I realize this may be a passe notion these days, but I don't like bringing babies/toddlers/etc into adult spaces. Audrey is astonishingly well-behaved for a 2 year old, but that doesn't mean she isn't unpredictable and doesn't ever fuss. Folks pay good money at most restaurants, in movie theaters and the like and I don't understand why parents -- particularly of my generation -- think it's okay to bring their kids into adult spaces where there is a reasonable expectation of not being disturbed. Finally, of course, is the cost issue. What used to seem to me a totally reasonable sum of money to spend on lunch now seems like a big waste and opportunity cost.
I've gradually shifted my social life to spend time with folks who are on the same page as me in this arena. On the upside, most stay at home moms with toddlers that I meet tend to not want to blow money, and tend to not want to deal with the "will they or won't they?" stress of bringing a toddler into a restaurant. So we'll meet at one or another's house, and if someone gets fussy or melts down ... who cares? We're all going through the same thing.