In last week’s article, Marrzipan Director, Davina described her difficult pregnancy so far. This week she finds out the true “cost” of parenting…
I was finally feeling well enough to leave the house for an hour, and was very excited about going baby shopping for the first time! Note: By this, I mean shopping for baby things, not shopping for actual babies. That would be weird.
My husband and I, happily linked arm-in-arm, entered the door of the baby shop and stopped abruptly, frozen to the spot, like two deers in the headlights. Wow. Rows upon rows of…just…stuff. How could something so small need so many things?
We wandered from one aisle to the next, looking at equipment we didn’t know existed a few minutes earlier. We got to the area with the prams and nearly feinted…up to $2000…for a pram?! Good grief! We left the shop with a newborn onesie and made a speedy retreat.
On the way home, my husband announced, in a heroic “cave man” voice, that he would build the cot himself. He’s previously managed to build us a bookcase and a wine cabinet. Although based on the questionable end-quality of these, I think I might supervise this project a bit more.
Don’t get me wrong, I am totally for buying (or building) things of quality that last. But when something is to only be used for a few months before the baby gets too big for it, I hate the idea of throwing it out, especially when so much of it seems to be made of plastic. Zac (our Auckland teacher and Recruitment Manager) shares my sentiments. He has been vegan for the last eight months and is very passionate about reducing consumer waste.
Not to mention the mounting cost – money seems to be disappearing as fast as my belly button is. As I have already shared, we narrowly escaped the cost of doing IVF to actually get pregnant, but we had no idea of all the costs associated with actually having a baby.
I marvelled at how our Marrzipan-Parents have been able to feed and clothe their little humans for years, and invest in their future by sending them to Marrzipan classes! Not only that, but when parents generally get four weeks of annual leave each year, and children get around 13 weeks off-school, it struck me what a challenge it must be to juggle work and childcare, or to keep your children entertained for so long during holidays.
I liked the idea of having some “pre-loved” second-hand baby clothes, which then lead me to an odd idea… What if we could exchange our old things for services we need now, rather than needing money to switch hands? There must be hundreds of Marrzipan parents out there who have old baby clothes lying around (that you have been meaning to drop off at The Sally’s!), and who would love some (amazing!) free activities for your children these school holidays. And here I am; needing baby clothes and have some spaces available in our holiday workshops…
So my random proposal is: If you have a bag of old baby clothes in good condition (age 0-12 months) that you would like to “exchange” for a free day at one of our Holiday Workshops, then let the Marrzipan office know so they can book your spot (if spaces are available), and then just drop the bag of goodies off to the teacher when you drop off your child at the workshop! Easy! We will only be able to offer this for five individual days at each of our holiday workshops, so get in touch ASAP if you want to be part of this madness.
But what if you have already given your baby clothes away but your child desperately needs more Marrzipan in their life?! Well, we also offer scholarships for those families going through financial hardship at the moment, or whose child is struggling and needs extra help. In the past, we have offered scholarships to families where one parent has lost their job recently, or where a family member is very sick/terminally ill. Also to students that have Selective Mutism or severe Social Anxiety but whose family cannot afford classes.
So if you or your child could really use an extra helping hand at the moment, just email your Marrzipan teacher or the office and explain your situation to them to see if we can help. Each teacher is authorised to give away five days worth of holiday workshop spaces (this could be one day to five different families, or five days to one family depending on circumstances).
Finally, I have also done my best to ensure we keep the cost of Marrzipan as low as possible. When it came to increasing from 3 days to 5 days per holiday workshop, and increasing the day from 10am-4pm to 8.30am-5pm, we wanted to ensure that the cost per day didn’t also increase. In fact, we managed to decrease it! We went from $73 per day (for non Marrzipan-ers) to $60 per day, even though students could now attend for an extra 2.5 hours per day! And for students that attend the whole week, we reduced it even more to $270 per week, which works out at $54 per day!! Can you tell I am a bit of a math geek? I love numbers!
As an expecting mother, whose child hasn’t even been born yet, I am already seeing the mounting cost this little bundle of joy is going to create! My hope is that as parents, we can all support each other in whatever random ways we can to ease the financial burden – whether that be through donating or swapping old things you don’t need anymore, or simply just helping someone in need.
I have been so touched by the messages I received in response to last week’s article, where some parents bravely shared your hyperemesis/pregnancy stories. It truly helped me not to feel so alone as I battle through these last few months of pregnancy (or 85 days, not that I am counting!) It is your kindness that inspired me to write this article, as I truly feel…we are all in this together!
Until next week…