From One GeekMom To Another: Don’t Beg

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Image By Rebecca Angel

Dear Caprice:

I too was a young mother, getting my degree, and not having any money to spend on “me time.” I was also a geek. Although I took my children with me to the comic book store, there were times I wanted to remember that I had a life and interests that did not involve being a mother. So I understand where you are coming from.

But when I saw your crowdfunding site to attend Otakon, I was dismayed. Should you have a weekend away from your kids? Yes! Is attending a geeky convention a great way to do it? Totally! But begging shouldn’t be your path. Begging is reserved for when your children are starving and you have no other options.

Crowdfunding is a fantastic tool for projects that require start-up capital, and the backers receive part of that project upon completion (lots of examples by artists). There are also incidents when a mother dies, leaving two young children, and the community starts a fund for the kids’ college (just happened in my town).

But asking money from internet strangers to go on vacation is akin to standing outside a movie theater begging people to buy you a ticket. You’re a mother! Be proud, resourceful, and get your priorities straight!

You are asking for $1,000. This tells me you have done no planning or creative thinking whatsoever. I went to cons when my kids were little and I had barely any money. How? Well, let me tell you from one GeekMom to another:

The Ticket: I worked at the convention and got in for free. In the last few years, I’ve been able to get a press pass through this here writing gig. Yes, if you work, you can’t go C-R-A-Z-Y because you have to, well, work. But there is always time for play. Being an adult is about balance—even on vacation.

The Food: Bring a water bottle and fill it at fountains at the convention. Go to the grocery store ahead of time and assemble sandwiches, and leave them in a cooler in your car in the garage to eat at breaks. Instant soup is also light in a bag, and all the cafes will fill up hot water for you. Make your own granola to bring along. Pretend you are your own mother—you know those fries are too expensive and won’t make you feel good anyway.

The Sleeping and Travel: Stay at someone’s house or at least share a hotel room. Travel with someone to share gas and parking. If you don’t know anyone, why are you going to a big expensive con? Go to a small, local one to meet people on the cheap instead.

The Stuff: A tiny art commission? One box of Pocky? An ice-cream treat? A fan-art keychain? Decide on one cheap thing you can spend extra money on and that’s it! To survive as a mom, you’re going to need self-control. Figure it out.

Caprice, I really hope you go to Otakon to remember that you are more than just a mom. But you need to set your sights down, realize what is financially possible, and plan ahead. And if you whine about not being able to buy that overpriced anime t-shirt, then you need to grow up. Now.

By making this post, I realize I am giving you more attention for this, but that’s OK. Personally, I’d rather give you tools than cash, so I’m not going to donate. But everyone makes their own decision visiting your crowdfunding site.

You’re going to school. Eventually, you will get a job that allows you to save enough for the geeky convention of your dreams. Just not yet. Set a good example for your kids.

Be true to your geeky self, but don’t beg.

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Rebecca Angel was one of those kids that put the dragon book on top of her pile in the hopes that someone would say, "Hey, I'm into that stuff too!" Alas, she had to wait until she was an adult to find fellow geeks. Luckily, she married one and their kids are too. Rebecca is a lover of tea, science literacy, music, funky tights, RPGs, anime, manga, comics, fantasy books and movies.