The Motley Fool crew is no ship of fools. We're putting Mom first, and so should you. Check out all of the Fool's Mother's Day articles.
It's your turn to be the favorite mom on the block.
You know who I'm talking about. In every neighborhood, there was one mom who stood above all the rest. Her kids were the envy of you and your other friends; it felt as if she adopted every single kid who walked in the door, and part of you wanted that adoption to be real. You might occasionally hang out somewhere else, but it seemed like gravity slowly pulled you back toward the house with the Best Mom Ever.
Now that you're a mom yourself, wouldn't you like to be the best?
Now or later?
The question, however, isn't whether you want to be the best mom you can be for your kids. Of course you do. The real question, though, is when.
When your kids are young, being the best mom on the block involves simple things. Having the best snacks, handing out an extra juice box here and there, or even just getting to know all the children in the neighborhood can be enough to raise your status in young kids' eyes. As those children get older, the way to your children's heart may take a path through Best Buy or a visit to the Sony website for the latest video games to show off to the neighbors.
Yet as a mom, you're in it for the long haul. Walking the line between making your children happy in the moment and giving them the skills they'll need when they grow up challenges even the best parents. You may think that your lessons are just wasted time on your part. When you decide not to spend money on something now in order to save money for their future, whether it be education or some other financial goal, all you'll see are tears.
Reaping the rewards
But don't despair. Even if you don't immediately see big results from your efforts, that doesn't mean that you're not having an impact on your children's lives. You plant a seed, and hopefully that seed takes root and flourishes.
One of those seeds is education. Your 10-year-old probably won't be thrilled to hear that you're putting your money into a 529 plan instead of buying the latest cool gadget, but 10 years from now, the story might be a lot different. And as adults, your children will see the value that education brings. In the newly released issue of our personal finance newsletter, Motley Fool Green Light, you'll see that college graduates earn nearly twice as much as high-school graduates.
Getting your kids to college isn't always easy. With competing priorities for your money, you can't save for everything. But if you aspire to be the Best Mom Ever, you should at least know your options. Again, Motley Fool Green Light can give you a refresher course on the best way to invest toward your children's education, with the scoop on the best plans for your education savings. With dozens of different plans to choose from, having a little help can save you time and money.
If you're lucky, you can do a little spoiling for your kids while setting a few bucks aside. But if not, then you might have to wait a decade or two before your kids realize you're the best mom ever. You know better, though. Sooner or later, they'll appreciate you.
You can read the latest issue of Motley Fool Green Light with no obligation. Just sign up for a free trial and see how our personal finance service can help you do everything you can for your kids.