I have to admit, there are times, that as a Mum I feel really really guilty about the amount of time The Dribble Stop Top takes up. The times when I am supposed to be watching my son at football practice and I tell him I will watch him from the car because I am cold (which is in part true) but I am actually only really half watching him as I am sitting in the car writing a blog. Or when I have left my little one watching TV for half an hour too long – because it lets me get on with the emails I have to quickly do. I know Tracy often feels the same – like when she is walking back from school through the park and her mobile goes – and she ends up in deep conversation with someone about our Dribble Stop Tops, rather than playing with her boys before it gets dark.
We all know time with our children is precious and we should relish every moment. But in reality I also believe that we are teaching them a valuable lesson. That things don’t just fall into your lap and sometimes you do have to put off what you would rather be doing so you can get on with work. I think we are helping to teach our boys that you have to work hard to earn money.
That showed when my 3 younger boys were at a football match watching their big brother play (and no I wasn’t writing a blog post!) and they were telling me about something that they wanted to buy in the shops. I explained to them that ‘money doesn’t grow on trees’ and that I can’t afford to buy them everything that they want. So they went off, back to climbing trees and running around (because they aren’t really at all interested in watching Ben play football!) After a little while, they came over to me and told me that they wanted to earn their own money and asked whether they could set up a cookie and lemonade stand at next weeks footie match.
Now here is where I have to explain that Jacob is the best biscuit maker in our house. At school the boys are not allowed to have shop-bought sugar laden snacks, so they always have a homemade biscuit put in as a treat (probably just as much sugar as the ones you buy in the shops … but they are homemade!) Now, for the last 4 or 5 months, every other night Jacob comes home from school (he is 8) and makes biscuits – he loves it and knows his recipes so well now that he doesn’t even need a recipe book! And believe me he makes the tastiest biscuits!
In any case… back to the blog!
So I said ‘Yes’ and that it was a great idea! I told them that I would buy their first batch of ingredients and from then on they had to buy what they needed out of the money that they made.
So the following Saturday the boys spent the afternoon baking shortbread, making lemonade and colouring in signs ready for their stalls at Ben’s football match the next day.
They did really well, and even though they seemed to consume copious amounts of shortbread and lemonade themselves, they made over $30! They were so excited to have made their own money and have since done the same thing a couple more times. Fair enough, they still spend their money on a load of old tat – but the difference is, it is their money and not mine!
Tracy’s older son Adam has also been out trying to earn money to buy the next Xbox FIFA game – which we all know costs a fortune. He has been rolling up his sleeves and spending his free time at the weekends washing cars around his Close. He may get cold and wet – but he learns that money has to be earned – and I am sure that when he sits down in front on his Xbox and plays his friends at the new FIFA game, he will feel kind of proud knowing how hard he had to work to get it.
But the best feeling comes when people see the photos on Facebook of our boys working hard and they make comments like ‘wow, they are little entrepreneurs, just like you!’ and then when those guilty feelings emerge and we worry what effect working so hard on the Dribble Stop Top has on our boys – we don’t feel quite so bad!