I love being a mom, and I want all of my friends and family—and all of their friends and family—to share in my joy. That is why I crowdfund all of my son’s financial needs, from diapers and food to baby gymnastics and baby tutoring. After all, in this digital age, we’re just one big, interconnected family, and we should take care of each other. But we should especially take care of Monroe because he is my son, and I therefore care more about him than other people’s sons. Also his daddy and I prefer to stay home and think about names of novels that we probably won’t write. It’s more our speed.
Is using Kickstarter to fund our son’s upbringing too complicated? No way. Here’s how we do it: Just the other day, little Monroe threw his pacifier in the toilet, and I wouldn’t give it back to him. “Too many germs,” I kept saying, but he’s a willful little guy when it comes to that binky. So instead of going to the store and buying a new one, I simply added it to our “reach goal” for our Kickstarter. Presto! We got enough to buy a new pacifier and a new set of headphones for Mommy. See, this is what happens when you support people in need.
Raising Monroe via Kickstarter was difficult at first. People didn’t understand what we were doing, and they had lots of questions and comments and opinions, but we were patient. I knew they’d come around once they fell in love with Monroe, just like we did. I also posted a video of Monroe crying for food, and that’s when contributions really started pouring in. Now, with our monthly campaigns, people include us in their regular bills. We’re part of their extended family. See? If we’d had “traditional” jobs like our other friends, we never would have the time to nurture our extended family!
Raising Monroe the Kickstarter way does take up a lot of my time. I post daily pictures of him on our blog, and we meet with our more generous donors on a regular basis, like Monroe’s grandfather, for example. As a reward for their contributions, Godmother-Level donors have the opportunity change Monroe’s actual diapers, and Mom-Level contributors will one day have the privilege of witnessing him potty train. In this way, Monroe has many different mothers, because it truly does take a village to raise a child!
Frankly, I wish my parents could have raised me with Kickstarter. I probably would have lived out the rest of my childless days Kickstarting all kinds of interesting projects, like my jewelry designs, or a documentary about my own childhood. But when I got pregnant, I knew I had to give myself over to motherhood. Monroe’s father, Raymond, completely supports me. He’s also working on a book about the Kickstarter way of life. He’s seen what a difference crowdfunding has made for our family.
For instance, when I was designing jewelry I often found that I was too tired to play with Monroe at the end of the day, but now we play for hours until he gets tired of his toys and books. His young, active mind really does need constant entertainment, which is why this month we’re asking for an iPad Air, loaded with all the best educational toddler apps. Monroe is very musical and his fingers are agile. We could have a little prodigy on our hands. Patrons will of course get a digital download of his first album!
Regardless of what people will tell you, having other people pay for stuff isn’t just the “easy way out.” It’s just better parenting.