If you’re just now joining us, this is the 2nd post in my Summer Sanity Series. Last week I encouraged you to explore the idea of getting your kids into the habit of helping out with household chores. For those of you with older kids (and teens), stay tuned, a post with specific chores targeted for that age group is coming.
The topic of today’s post has full potential to majorly stress some of you out since memberships = MONEY. But, in our experience, we’ve found that purchasing the right memberships save us money AND save our sanity.
I see you crinkling your brow not sure about where this is going… hang with me.
What is the “right” membership? Let’s start by answering that question first.
The right membership is to a place.
That’s important… to a PLACE. A PLACE being a physical establishment of some kind that is not in your home. You leave your house to get to it. I am not referring to a subscription e.g. Netflix, Hulu, YouTube TV, all kinds of the “boxes” that can be delivered to your home. That’s not what I’m talking about.
What I’m talking about is when you pay money, either annually or monthly, and it gets you unlimited access to a PLACE that you GO to.
Examples: zoos, aquariums, museums (bonus if it’s cool museum that curates with children in mind), indoor playgrounds, gyms that offer awesome childcare (yes, that counts!), the neighborhood aquatic center, etc.
As I am writing this we have three such memberships… Our local zoo, an indoor sensory playground, and our neighborhood pool. The zoo is an annual membership, the playground is for 6 months, and the pool is just for the summer.
What this means for me is that during the day, no matter what the weather is like, I have a place I can go that I know my kids enjoy. I know where the bathrooms are. I know what the rules are. Basically, I already have my bearings there. And it’s already paid for! All I have to do is load the kids in the car and go there.
It takes loads of stress of me AND my husband. He has so much peace knowing I’m taking the kids places by myself that are safe. Because 99% of the time, I am going to these places by myself.
Picking the right membership for your family is going to be based on your family’s needs. My kids are too young for our town’s children’s museum, but in a few years, they may prefer it to the zoo.
When choosing the right membership you should also consider cost and accessibility. Are you really going to make it there enough times to get your money’s worth? Are you going to leave feeling spent, in all the bad ways, or are you going to leave feeling empowered, like you just had a successful outing with your kids?
We’ve yet to regret purchasing the three memberships we currently have. I use one of them at least once a week, and honestly, during the summer, it’s been more like 2-3x a week. For us, each has been a worthwhile investment, not so much for the kids’ entertainment, but for my mental load. Plus, it’s GOOD for me to get out of the house. I need places where I can go with them that are positive outings for all three of us.
Do a little research and see what’s accessible and affordable for you. Live somewhere in the middle of nowhere without any of the above mentioned places within a reasonable distance? Stay tuned. I’ve got more ideas coming your way.
Until next time,