Best Mom Tip #27: Remember your tax deduction

There is a lot about being a parent that feels rather like drudgery. There’s a lot that feels as though this might be a thankless job (at least until your kids start thanking you for what a good job you’ve done). That’s when I think about my tax deductions.

When I was pregnant with my first child, my husband and I went away for the weekend with some friends who had kids. Their then-4-year-old daughter barfed in the car on the way down the mountain. The dad, who had paper towels in the car (I was so impressed with that at the time–since our car-barfing experience, I have some, too), cleaned everything up and told us that this was why we get a tax deduction. We laughed at his joke, but I now think he was on to something.

I’m pretty sure that tax deductions have to do with making taxes more “fair” for everyone, but it makes me feel better to imagine it as some sort of governmental “thank you” for raising the next generation of tax payers. Whenever I’m doing something gross or repetitive that no one is going to fully appreciate, I just think “this is why I get a tax break.” It makes me smile for the moment.

This morning, for instance, my son had one of those explosive diapers that soaked his PJs, his sleep blanket, the sheet, and the mattress pad cover. While I was rinsing off the clothes in the toilet before getting them in the washer, I thought “this is why I pay less taxes.” While I was washing my dry and cracked hands for the 432nd time this week, I thought “I’ll enjoy my refund in March.” When I finally got him cleaned up and he then spit up in my hand (why did I try to catch it?!!), I thought “maybe I’ll spend my refund on a purse.”

I’m sure one day, when my children are grown and have their own kids, they’ll say thank you for all of the hard work. Until then, I’m going to remind myself that Uncle Sam thinks I’m doing a good job–he even gives me money for it.

The clip from YouTube below includes “The Taxes Song” followed by Vice President Elect Joe Biden’s response.

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