Confession: Amy Dacyczyn really bugs me - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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#61 of 120 Old 06-24-2007, 01:05 AM
 
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I don't play with my kids. I just am not that type of person. I find children's play mind numbingly boring and can't stand it for more than a few minutes. My kids play just fine without me and I am happy to watch or look or listen if they ask me to, but I don't think they need me to help them build a castle out of blocks.

Mightymoo - Mom to DD (6) and DS (4)
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#62 of 120 Old 06-24-2007, 08:13 AM
 
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I think the point is that she has said that she is TOO BUSY and TOO UNINTERESTED to even play a game with her kids. I am not saying she has to spend her whole day entertaining her kids. I don't do that, either. But she really went out of her way to point out that she DOES NOT play with her kids. She stated specifically that if her kids wanted to spend time with her, it had to be on her terms. It's not the fact that she doesn't spend all day playing with her kids that makes me feel squeegie. It's the fact that she says she NEVER plays with them because she is too busy being frugal.

I'm not saying she neglected her kids or wasn't nice to them. I'm just saying that, she made a big deal about how she was frugal so she could be home with her kids, but then she made a big deal about how being so frugal used up all her time and she couldn't play with her kids, and I just got the impression that she was more interested in frugality than her kids. Just the feeling I got from her, I don't know her at all so I can't say what her life with her kids was really like.

dm
: . That's how I was looking at it. I don't expect every parent spend all day mooning over their children. I grew up with a mother who put everything before me and I was last. I grew up feeling (and being) neglected and unimportant so her (Amy's) attitude just rubbed me the wrong way. Frugality can be a way of life that does not have to negatively impact your children, even if you spend hours a day canning, making bread, sewing clothes, ect...
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#63 of 120 Old 06-24-2007, 09:45 AM
 
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I'm kind of shocked that I didn't pick up on that in her book. I was wondering if you have a page that that is on, or which of the books it's written in that she is uninterested in playing with her children? I'd like to go back and read that.
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#64 of 120 Old 06-24-2007, 10:15 AM
 
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I think I put the book away for good when she got to the "give Christmas gifts that come from trash/yard sales" part.
Many of the Christmas gifts I give are from thrift stores or new things that I got for turning in points I'd saved up with survey companies (I do a lot of online surveys).

Last year, dh's dad got a trifold picture frame we got at the thrift store with pictures of the kids in it.

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13yo ds   10yo dd  8yo ds and 6yo ds and 1yo ds  
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#65 of 120 Old 06-24-2007, 10:47 AM
 
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Oh yea, I would MUCH rather get/give used gifts....

I am all about re-using.

IME that was one of the MOST helpful ideas...

And of course I don't give out broken appliances, but I've given some brand new outfits I've found at goodwill, a georgous painting, and once even a set of China.

However most people I know aren't picky about used vs new.

And heaven knows there are enough kids' toys floating around, why not reuse ones already made? Especially considering the price. And I always let DS know that by getting a used gift, not only does he get the same thing as he would in wal-mart, but part of the money spent on it goes to a very good cause, so it's like a double present.

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#66 of 120 Old 06-27-2007, 07:41 AM
 
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Oh yea, I would MUCH rather get/give used gifts....

I am all about re-using.

IME that was one of the MOST helpful ideas...
So true. If I see something that would make a great gift for someone, I'm not going to worry if it's new or secondhand or how much I paid for it. Much of the stuff we own was bought secondhand.

I don't find her books to be preachy or judgemental. I suppose it's all in how you interpret it. She seems to me like a caring, loving mother who did a lot for her kids. She threw amazing birthday parties, made cool Halloween costumes and taught her children an amazing array of life skills. She also focused her energies on the things her kids cared most about. She seemed to be pretty in tune with each one. Her husband retired young and was a SAHD. I certainly don't feel sorry for her children.
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#67 of 120 Old 06-28-2007, 11:59 AM
 
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[I do love her. She reminds me of nearly all other women of that generation. There was not alot of emphasis on nutritional value, beyond the basic four food groups. My mom, for example, believes organics are a big hype. So, it's not that she's being cheap - she just honestly didn't see any benefits! Also, the big problem with powdered milk is obviously that it's no fat = no calcium and actually draining your bones of calcium. BUT, those facts were not known when those newsletters came out. And folks from that generation aren't all that likely to just jump on the new trend bandwagon, KWIM?

I can't believe that nobody has responded to this. Calcium is a mineral and is not stored in, nor carried by fat. One cup of whole milk is 4% milkfat and supplies 30% of your daily calcium needs. One cup of fat free milk is 0% milkfat and supplies 30% of your daily calcium needs. So actually you are probably getting 4% more calcium from the fat free milk. The number one dietary component that is leaching (draining) calcium from American bones is phosphorus, which we ingest in sodas (both diet and sugar sweetened). I do not serve my family powdered milk to drink, but with the price of milk soaring, I may have to consider doing that in the future. Personally, I usually buy the Borden Kidbuilder Milk because: 1.) Borden does not use growth hormones in its milk production, and 2.) I have 3 teenage boys that are building bone mass that will have to last them a lifetime. Kidbuilder is fortified with extra calcium; each cup supplies them with 5% more calcium than regular milk. It also is healthier because if is 1% milkfat. This is my opinion based on what I have learned about nutrition.

Amy is someone you like, love or hate, but I have to say after reading ALL of her books, she is a dedicated mother. Using many, but not all, of her ideas made it possible to be a SAHM for eleven years. But the best thing I learned from her was how to think. My strategies had to be in my comfort zone and were unique to my situation. She says that everyone has different goals and live in different parts of the world; figure out what is best for you.
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#68 of 120 Old 06-28-2007, 01:40 PM
 
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I loved that book to the point of finally getting a brand spankin new one because my other was at one point in three.

Now that frugal lifestyle is a lifestyle that is mine and not something I feel like doing for a while, I donated it to the preschool parent library along w LLL books and Dr Sears books. I have the AP thing down and 3 1/2 years of breastfeeding I have that down too. SO I am passing it along.

But, I didnt care for all she wrote but I took more away than didnt. She seemed to follow a lot of my rules- dont water down juices because than the child wants the sweeter stuff, just give less and less often. Dont "cheat" anyone in a deal or steal for frugality. She also wasnt a huge "dumpster diver" as some are.

but yes, a few times I found her a bit militant and my way or the highway sometimes.

I also like the couple who are now carrying the torch- the Econmides. They have a similar book out now. They also respond to email etc on their website and have a similar newsletter.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#69 of 120 Old 06-28-2007, 01:58 PM
 
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I didn't agree with everything, either, but the Tightwad Gazette made it possible for me to SAHM with our kids while my DH went thru an apprenticeship! I modified advice for our family values, or skipped things that didn't apply. We were ridiculously poor but happy. My own mom had used many of the same techniques in the early 70's, but I needed to learn how to do it on my own.

I think Amy is being a little maligned about the child neglect thing. I remember one article where she was talking about the needs of babies. She said babies don't need toys; they just need measuring cups and spoons and the arms and smiling face of their mother. She also breastfed longterm and made homemade baby food. For the older kids, she enjoyed visiting and talking with them as they washed dishes or snapped beans together. That's how it was done in my childhood home, too. Kids play together, and kids and adults work together. Amy also played board and card games with her kids, and worked with them to create toys and clothes that they liked.

So especially for the ultra-consumer early 90's, I give her two thumbs up. I don't think her kids were neglected at all, or lacked for attention from their parents. Amy's husband sounded pretty hands-on as a dad, too.
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#70 of 120 Old 07-12-2007, 08:23 AM
 
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I do love her. She reminds me of nearly all other women of that generation. There was not alot of emphasis on nutritional value, beyond the basic four food groups. My mom, for example, believes organics are a big hype. So, it's not that she's being cheap - she just honestly didn't see any benefits! Also, the big problem with powdered milk is obviously that it's no fat = no calcium and actually draining your bones of calcium. BUT, those facts were not known when those newsletters came out. And folks from that generation aren't all that likely to just jump on the new trend bandwagon, KWIM?

I don't see what's really not to like about her frugality on food. Her basic idea is to buy when cheap, and buy in bulk, that can go for powdered milk or doritos or organic almond butter. Make a pricebook, scout out sales or work hard to find your cheapest source of the foods YOU eat and then buy enough to last until the next sale. I don't believe I ever read her saying that you should eat exactly what she eats. She's just giving tools for shopping - not eating. She does advocate organic gardening, eating most produce that you grew or was grown locally, as well as cooking from scratch, using whole grains, etc.

I have heard she's doing really well. They are financially independent, all the kids are grown, I think she has grandkids now. They do great things like use their time to volunteer, support local charities, businesses and artists, etc.

About what her DD said - I think that's bull! She clearly states in her book that her kids are free to buy what they want with their own money. They are free to earn their own dang money and buy overpriced sneakers themselves She'll even help the cause, by paying what she would consider a good price for new shoes (or whatever it is), and then the child has to make up the difference. Seems fair to me!
IAWTC.

I've read the book several times, the complete edition, and learn something new every time. I found her attitude to be better than expected, honestly, as a lot of these books are so "bootstrap" that I can't help but chuck 'em against the wall. AD actually talked about privilege, although she called it "gifts" so I was pretty impressed.

I still drag out my copy whenever I need the inspiration.
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#71 of 120 Old 07-12-2007, 01:00 PM
 
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Even tho' I don't go to church or anything, I'm not offended by the way that Dave Ramsey ends his radio broadcast by saying something about "knowing the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ". I'm not really bothered by the sometimes repetative nature of his advice. I don't mind that he discounts and minimizes the importance of your FICO score.

Why does none of this bother me? Because I don't have to listen to his show, or read his books. I am free to live in a Dave Ramsey-free universe should I so choose.

I like DR. His advice doesn't always apply to my life, but some of it I can use.

I think that saying that AD is a less-than-stellar parent is no different than all the versions of the Mommy Wars that go on. I think if AD were a man, we wouldn't have this thread.

It makes me really sad that women beat up on each other.

Trying to turn hearts and minds toward universal healthcare, one post at a time.
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#72 of 120 Old 07-12-2007, 01:44 PM
 
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I think if AD were a man, we wouldn't have this thread.
If AD were a man and wrote a book in which he claimed that he does not read to his kids or play games with them because he is too busy washing sandwich baggies but yet he spends his evenings (after the kids go to bed) watching tv to relax, yeah, I'd say the same things about him I said about the female AD.

dm
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#73 of 120 Old 07-12-2007, 02:07 PM
 
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I'm pretty sure that AD did read to her kids. She just did a gang story time.

Amy at Stone Fence Farm
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#74 of 120 Old 07-12-2007, 02:56 PM
 
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I'm pretty sure that AD did read to her kids. She just did a gang story time.
She did; she talks about reading chapter books to her middle child Rebecca, specifically.
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#75 of 120 Old 07-12-2007, 09:40 PM
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I liked some of her ideas.

I didn't get the sense that she neglected her kids emotionally at all, although reading some of the excerpts here makes me want to go back and check again!

I didn't like her attitude towards nutrition. The ghastly flavor of powdered milk aside, bologna is NOT a healthy food! C'mon!
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#76 of 120 Old 07-16-2007, 07:10 PM
 
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I highly respect Amy D. for being transparent enough to write a book in such detail about herself and her families life.

It represents a paradym that many/most Americans might never even consider or believe possible. I love her books and own them. I wish she had written more. I don't have the ability or desire to live exactly as she does, however the way she thinks has definitely influenced and on some levels made possible the way that I live today.

I am grateful to her. I would love to meet her in person.

I also respect, however, the fact that you do not feel the same way. : )
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#77 of 120 Old 07-26-2007, 12:15 PM
 
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Ah, Amy D.

Her books were my Bible when we were first married and poor as church mice. Yes, she's an extremist...WOW, is she an extremist...lol...but I am firmly in the camp of "take what you can use from her, leave the rest." She taught me a lot, I still recall tidbits from her books even though it's been years since I've read them, and it's because of her that I even think about stuff like reusing baggies, using bread tabs and hot glue guns to fix stuff, and that if I ever get around to gardening...composting dryer lint.

She's a trip.
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#78 of 120 Old 07-26-2007, 01:48 PM
 
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composting dryer lint---hmmm I dont rmember that- I think I will try it!

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#79 of 120 Old 07-26-2007, 02:13 PM
 
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composting dryer lint---hmmm I dont rmember that- I think I will try it!
LOL...it's odd the things I remember from those books (I read all 3). She had this whole blurb in there about how she asked a neighbor if she could compost dryer lint from synthetic fiber clothing. I.e., could she only compost lint from cotton and natural fibers, or could she compost poly-cotton, etc.. Yes, these are the things that stick in my brain. That and using a coat hanger to make a new overall clasp and using bread tabs or juice can lids to repair a torn dish drainer mat.

: I remember weird things, I know. :
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#80 of 120 Old 07-26-2007, 08:37 PM
 
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I like her! I never felt that she was being judgemental - just highly enthusiastic. I think it is great that all the ideas are in the books. Even if most people wouldn't use them. If someone was in really tought times - worried about losing the house, etc. - they have a resource that covers almost every aspect of spending. How great is that?

I don't think she set out to show people how to parent. I don't think it is possible to get a full picture of what kind of parent she was. I didn't like the part about not reading books to her kids as well. But then I books.

BTW - I heard that dried milk is no longer as cheap as it was back then. Not sure if that is true, but it might not save $ now.
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#81 of 120 Old 07-28-2007, 10:05 PM
 
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I thought some of you might find this interesting:

http://forums.about.com/n/pfx/forum....ving&tid=39111

I have not read her book yet but I just ordered it out of curiosity. I've been reading the comments on this forum and thinking ..."hmm..I never thought of that" We might try some of them if there is any way they could be considered sanitary.
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#82 of 120 Old 07-29-2007, 07:58 PM
 
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Am I the only one who is a bit freaked out by her being referred to as a woman of "that generation" like she is 90 years old or something? I never really thought of her as from a different generation of parents. Sigh, maybe I am just old.
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#83 of 120 Old 07-29-2007, 08:02 PM
 
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I think I wrote that! I am guessing she's in her early 60's now? She's got (all?) grown kids. The last I heard, the twins were teenagers, and that was several years ago. No offense intended

Mama of 3 amazingly sweet kids jumpers.gif, living the dream on our urban farm chicken3.gif

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#84 of 120 Old 07-29-2007, 08:18 PM
 
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I think I wrote that! I am guessing she's in her early 60's now? She's got (all?) grown kids. The last I heard, the twins were teenagers, and that was several years ago. No offense intended
Amy got married in 1982 or so. I think she would be in her early 50s. Given that she had her first baby "9 months and 15 minutes" after they were married, that would make the first born (who was a teenager when she stopped the newsletter) 23-24.

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#85 of 120 Old 07-29-2007, 08:41 PM
 
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Amy Dacyczyn will be 52 in September. Not exactly a relic; at least not to me.
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#86 of 120 Old 07-29-2007, 10:22 PM
 
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Some of the tips I found amusing- like the whole powdered milk thing. Around here, powdered milk is the same price, per quart, as the cheap fluid milk.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#87 of 120 Old 07-29-2007, 11:49 PM
 
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I am so old that I was one of her original newsletter subscribers. She's only 51!

For those who find her advice outdated--well, yes! It's from 1990 to 1996 . But from a historical perspective, please remember that her newsletter was literally the ONLY PUBLICATION OUT THERE in the early to mid-1990s that talked about these frugal methods.

I LOVED getting the newsletter every month and was excited to try all the tips (well, not the composting dryer lint, or--my personal favorite--using a bread bag as a diaper cover in a pinch!).

I never found her to be condescending. But she was sarcastic at times--and in the 1990s everything was "spend spend spend" so some of her attitude is pushback against that.
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#88 of 120 Old 07-30-2007, 09:54 AM
 
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I always wonder how her kids turned out...i.e., are they frugal zealots like her (she calls herself the frugal zealot...), or did they go 180 degrees from her? I find that children of extremists (like myself...my mother was/is an extremist on a lot of different subjects...) often turn totally opposite of their parents, at first as rebellion, then because they find the extremism to be almost repugnant (like me). My sister and I are about as opposite from our mother as we can get when it comes to things she's an extremist about. We found her extreme behavior/speech/actions so constricting and restricting that we just totally rejected them outright when we became adults. So I wonder....what are HER kids like?
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#89 of 120 Old 07-30-2007, 10:55 AM
 
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I agree with a lot of PP about her frugal menus. Yuck! We don't eat like royalty, but I sure don't want to eat Tuna on crackers as a main course. (It's been a while since I read the books, the previous statement is likely inaccurate) but that was the gist. Again, Yuck!
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#90 of 120 Old 07-30-2007, 11:57 AM
 
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Amy D. & her Tightwad Gazette were insturmental in helping me be a SAHM for 11 years (before all 3 boys were in school). Her tips were great and I found her style of writing to be humorous. The most important thing that I learned from her was how to think. I mean really think outside the box as to what was important to me, my husband and our children. The way she showed you how to figure the amount you were saving by doing various money saving activities and how to prioritize your actions by what was important to you you. Some of her ideas were too extreme for me from time to time, but I'm sure people in dire financial straits found them to be quite helpful. She always said that folks living in different parts of the country had to come up with their own strategies for saving money. She also talked about saving for YOUR OWN desired lifestyle, not necessarily hers.

Thanks to her message, my husband and I were able to save $300 - $500 a month on one income. We took frugal vacations every year with the kids and they truly wanted for nothing. So, if you are really serious about scaling back and living on one income, THE COMPLETE TIGHTWAD GAZETTE is a great place to start.
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