I’m eating my son’s S’mores Goldfish crackers while I’m writing this. And I don’t feel the least bit guilty about it. You know why? Mommy Tax.
I came up with the idea of Mommy Tax when my son got upset that I polished off a bag of my favorite organic Doritos while he was sleeping one night. I freaking love those things, and I wasn’t about to apologize for eating some snacks out of my own pantry. I have every right to eat some damn Doritos if I want.
My son whined and complained, because he somehow felt entitled to the aforementioned Doritos. And then, I just snapped.
“I clipped the coupons. I made the grocery list. I planned the meals for the week. I went to the store in the rain, got all the groceries, lugged them home and put them away!” I exploded. As I eventually caught my breath, I declared, “We share around here. I can eat Doritos, and YOU don’t get to harass me about it.”
From that point forward, I imposed a Mommy Tax. I work my butt off keeping the house clean and making sure everybody is fed and taken care of and taxied around town. If I want to skim a little something off the top for my own enjoyment, well, I’ve earned that right. So, I charge my kids taxes.
That means if I want one or two or seven bites of the Blizzard I just bought you, then I can have it, and you are going to be gracious about it. If I finished the S’mores Goldfish that were intended for your lunchbox, well, that’s within my rights as the Mama-in-Charge. Nobody’s gonna starve because I ate some fishies.
We are living in a shared household, and that’s the cost of doing business around here. If I want to sit down for two minutes and finish my bowl of cereal before fetching you some clean socks from the laundry, that’s another form of Mommy Tax. Mommy will be there to help you, but you gotta treat Mommy like a person, too.
Once I laid down the law, they got with the program… though the sassy one still occasionally ribs me about the time I flipped out over Doritos.
“Who ate all the Cheez Its?” one of my little boogers asked the other day.
I raised my hand. “Mommy Tax.”
Now, he just nods. No whining at all. It’s awesome!
“Can I have a fruit snack?” the 9-year-old asks.
“Sure,” I tell him. “But you can wait until I finish sorting the mail and go to the bathroom. Or better yet, you can get one yourself.”
Halloween? They know to hand over two Reese’s peanut butter cups. Each. Please and thank you.
I take care of them, they take care of me, and we are patient, kind and charitable with each other — and if not, well, Mommy Tax is a good way to remind everyone.
Now let’s see, where did all those S’mores fishies go?
This post originally appeared on Sammiches and Psych Meds.
Jacqueline Miller is a freelance journalist who has appeared in Scary Mommy, Her View From Home and Sammiches & Psych Meds. She lives in the Midwest with her husband, two sons and a rescue mutt. Find her at www.boogersabroad.com and https://www.facebook.com/boogersabroad.