W e parents are hard enough on ourselves. Why, just this past weekend when my dad visited us, no fewer than twice did he start a sentence with, “There are a lot of things I regret; things that I wish I’d done differently.” And though I did my best to ameliorate any bad feelings he has, I know that this is simply one of those things that each parent feels as he or she gets older.
So, it really bothers me when we parents, as a whole, make it seem like there are things that other parents should be doing; especially when those “things” are not endangering the child’s life, or for that matter, even making the child sad in any way.
Here I am then, about to admit to something that has been plaguing me since my kids were born–something that I’ve (we’ve) not been doing that I’m sure many folks out there will frown upon and which might possibly shock some considering that according to U. Sam, we don’t deserve a government “pre-bate.”
Here it is:
We’re not saving for our kids’ college!
There ya go. Fire away. I know we’re scum. No, we’re worse than scum, we’re incompetent parents who apparently can’t think 18 years down the line well enough to know that we’re jeopardizing our children’s future–nay, our children’s children’s future even.
Ok, in the name of theatrics, I might have over-stated the situation a bit. We do in fact have savings accounts (with ING) for each of our kids where we deposit all the checks from the various family. What we don’t have is a dedicated college savings account.
Call me crazy, but right now, the $20K we’re spending each year on daycare pretty much sucks up all the free money we might normally have to put in a fund. Add to that gas prices, food prices and just simply the cost of “living” (i.e. satellite TV so the kids can TiVo Iron Man and The Superfriends), and we’re pretty much just treading water here.
Now I will say that once these boys are in school (probably public), we’ll start funding those accounts more heavily but right now we’re not and quite frankly, I’m not losing too much sleep over it. I didn’t go to college until I was 29, and though I wish I’d done it right off, things turned out OK for me.
But I’m wondering how many other parents out there are carrying around a dirty little secret that wouldn’t really be dirty if society weren’t such a pain in the arse about it.
Care to come clean?