Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Literary Mama Rewind: Money

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Welcome to Literary Mama Rewind! Every few weeks we'll round up some of our favorite essays, stories, poems, columns, and reviews from the Literary Mama archives relating to a particular theme. The economics of motherhood are not always clear. This week we have work that explores questions of money, economic stability, and the finances of life.

In my dreams I was a well-paid journalist, happy and well-rounded with a busy life and a family. I never for a moment imagined that it was the family that would take over my life.

  • Spent by Sarah Cedeño in Creative Nonfiction

"We don't have money for that or we don't have any money? Like, seriously, are there zero dollars left in our bank account?" I wonder if it's possible for this to happen.

At first glance, the tagline for Crystal Paine's newly-released guidebook seems to promise the stars: Slash Your Spending, Pay Down Your Debt, Streamline Your Life, and Save Thousands a Year. But after the first few pages, it's clear that The Money $aving Mom's Budget is filled with practical suggestions that make sense.

The money isn't in a trust. My mom and grandfather have always been clear that it is in our names, but that Grandpa knows best how to take care of it. Now I want to do something different.

  • Money Matters by Vicki Forman from the Column Special Needs Mama

The bills from Evan's hospital stay used to shock me with their astronomical amounts: during that time, the kid cost thousands and thousands of dollars a day, and as those days added up to months, the amounts became absurd.

So when my daughter was born I did what we had planned and happily quit my job. What we didn't plan for was my husband losing his job.

Raising three boys on one salary (his), with a trickle of freelance writing and editing checks (mine), in an economy that depresses even those of us who still think Freddy Mac and Fannie Mae might have been Grandma's neighbors -- well, it's not easy.

I stab a finger at the menu in the window. "Look at those prices. It's too expensive. Can't you wait till we get home?" "C'mon, one lunch isn't going to break us."


Amanda Jaros is a freelance writer and blogger, focusing on nature and science stories. Her work has appeared in numerous journals and magazines including Terrain.org, Newfound, Life in the Finger Lakes Magazine, Highlights for Children, and Cargo Literary. She holds an MFA in creative nonfiction from Chatham University.


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