Jennifer Pearce

Hi there! My name is Jennifer and I am one of the newest members to MomTalk and JustKiddin'. I am a 40-year-old mother who works outside the home. I live with my husband of eleven years and our two young daughters. After being a stay-at-home-mother for six years, I re-entered the workforce when my husband was briefly unemployed. When he returned to work, I chose to keep working due to economics and the age of my daughters at the time. I now work as the advertising manager of a community newspaper and appreciate how working has gotten me much more involved in my community. However, I often miss the opportunity to spend more time with my daughters, or to volunteer more time with their school and activities. My older daughter is a 10-year-old fourth grader, and my younger daughter is a 6-year-old kindergartener. Their many activities and my husband’s complicated work schedule make scheduling our number one family challenge. He works a rotating shift in a retail store that includes many nights and weekends. We struggle to preserve our time together as a family and make the most of it, while still finding time to accomplish our individual goals and pursue our favorite interests. My interests include reading, writing and photography. I love taking family photos and completed a Project 365 in 2010, taking a photo a day for the year. It was a wonderful experience to document our life for a year and appreciate all the little pieces of it. I am currently working to put the 365 pictures into a scrapbook…if I can just find the time. I look forward to sharing our journey with you here on JustKiddin'!


Souvenirs: To Buy Or Not To Buy?

While in Walt Disney’s Animal Kingdom waiting for a parade, my daughters were doing some window-shopping at a nearby shop. First-grader Connie asked me if she could buy some princess lip gloss at a cost of $10. I pointed out that we could buy lip gloss at the drug store for $1 and suggested she find something else, but said it was her decision. Her dad chimed in that he would take her to a drugstore on the way back to the hotel.

This elicited some knowing laughter from a mother and daughter sitting next to me. They explained that they had similar conversations in the past.  I asked the young girl what she thought Connie should do, and she looked at Connie and said, “Buy a bunch of lip glosses at the drugstore!”

Her mother explained that her kids earned their money for their souvenirs, but that in the past, she had set a money limit and let them go crazy up to that amount. The daughter blew it all on a bag she really wanted. The son was spending his on several small items. Both were happy.

While I had a general idea of what I was willing to buy and spend, I hadn’t really crystallized it, and I definitely hadn’t communicated it to the kids. I think following this mom’s advice was wise.

With fifth-grade Maggie, it wasn’t really a problem. She is very cautious with her dollars. But for Connie, I sent a misleading tone from the beginning. I knew I was going to buy her an autograph book and mouse ears before we arrived, so I bought them at the newsstand outside the gates of our first park. I probably should have taken a moment to tell her that was all she would get that day.

Don’t get me wrong, neither kid ever threw a fit or even seriously pouted about not getting something and I really don’t regret any purchases. I just think managing expectations prevents disappointment.

If souvenir shopping is in your future, take the advice of my parade-buddy from Louisville, KY: set a limit ahead of time and consider having them earn their own souvenir money.

How do you handle shopping on a vacation?

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