If you’re reading this, I assume you’ve completed your 2016 taxes. Congratulations! If by chance you’re reading this and you haven’t finished your taxes, might I humbly suggest that you do that first and come back? I’ll wait. Back? Okay, great. If you’re anything like me, now you’ll put your feet up and try not to think about taxes again until, oh, early 2017. It’s great to be an American, isn’t it?
The one caveat to not thinking about taxes is that if you have a tax refund coming your way, then you might enjoy thinking about how to spend that tax refund. Motherhood doesn’t typically offer a ton of opportunities for money to spontaneous fall (back) into your lap, unless of course maybe your kiddo does, like, modeling on the side or is a talented child actor of some kind, in which case BE CAREFUL WITH THAT MONEY because I don’t want it to ruin your relationship when he or she becomes a teenager and starts asking tons of questions about it.
Anyway, for the rest of us, a tax refund, no matter the size, is pretty much always a good thing. And yes, while there are lots of responsible things you should and will buy with it, because you're a grown ass woman, isn't it fun to fantasize about what you would buy if you were responsible only for yourself? The average US tax refund is over $3,000, so join me on a magical tour of the things moms — or at least this mom — wish they could buy with their tax refunds, things so glorious that I almost don't dare speak their sweet, sweet names:
An Instant Coffee Machine ($200)
If I'm drinking two or three (okay, six) cups of coffee a day, I would like some help. As in no filters, no grinding, no pot to clean, consistently and instantly delicious, get my drift? There's nothing better than drinking straight luxury out of a Mickey Mouse mug, trust me.
A Week's Worth Of New Shirts To Replace Your Favorites That Got Ruined ($250)
Not to point fingers, sweet toddler, but I wouldn't need to replace them if someone hadn't just gone through a ketchup-throwing phase.
A Few Upgrades To Your Scarf Game ($75)
I'm sorry, even if they go out of style, someone will have to pry my giant scarves out of my cold, dead hands. They are one-part neck blanket, one-part fashion statement, and one part shield when my toddler has a runny noise and is hungrily eyeing my shirt like it's a lotion-infused tissue.
One Third Of A Date Night, Including Wine & Childcare ($80)
Of course, an entire date night would be preferred, but we have to be realistic about the likelihood of the sitter calling approximately forty minutes in, because that's just how life works sometimes.
New Phone Case ($15)
Why is a $15 item on this list? Because I've been needing to buy this for months and have yet to get around to it, and I'm ~guessing~ that I'm not the only one. Now that I'm pretending to be Scrooge McDuck and bathing in refund cash, it's finally time. I'm leaning toward something industrial-strength and unbreakable, but also on trend and ever-so-slightly feminine because that's been my mood lately. Also, that I can hold squarely in my hands to limit the blur in my photos. Oh, and also that makes french fries. Is that too much to ask?
Noise Cancelling Headphones ($50)
And by "noise," I mean "loud playdate."
Very Important Keratin Hair Treatment You've Been Daydreaming About For YEARS ($200)
Expensive, sure, but looking like you had a blowout every morning? That's priceless.
A Many-Hours Long Spa Treatment ($225)
I kept this vague instead of naming a specific treatment like a massage because, let's be honest, if you already have someone else's sticky hands all over you constantly, a massage may not be all that appealing. All that really matters is that this is an opportunity to lie around in a bathrobe for few hours without your family stepping over (or on) you.
Trendy Eyeglass Frames ($150)
Maybe because my son is aging me, maybe because there are tiny perma-fingerprints all over the lenses, maybe because they've been grabbed and dropped infinity times in the last year (thanks, buddy) or maybe because I want to do a little shopping under the guise of medical necessity. Does it really matter? And sure, they may go out of style next year, but Future Me can deal with that. My fantasy, my rules. Actually, Future Me can upgrade with next year's fantasy money. Problem solved.
New Designer Sunglasses ($185)
Because the weather's about to get nice, and also because sunglasses are an instant portal to glamour, mystique, and hidden under-eye circles.
Tinted Car Windows, $175
Can you really put a price tag on hiding your backseat messes and avoiding eye contact at drop-off? Apparently, but it's worth every penny. Plus you get to feel like Rihanna and/or the president.
All Five Seasons Of 'Game Of Thrones' On Blu-ray ($195)
I mean, this isn't a splurge so much as a required tool for research, since you need to catch up before season six premieres, obviously.
A Weekend Away With Your Partner ($600)
Who cares if all you do with this enormous stretch of free time is nap? You have small children; sleeping on sheets that don't have peanut butter smears on them is the epitome of luxury.
A Bouncey Castle ($400)
THIS IS FANTASY, OKAY? I DON'T HAVE TO EXPLAIN MY FANTASIES TO YOU. Please stop staring at me.
A Month (Or Ten) Of Housecleaning Service ($300)
Shout-out to moms who get this done on the regular, I am not one of you. Although I would certainly love to be. Fist bump over not wiping out your own microwave, today, tomorrow, always.
And now, a moment of silence for the best $3,000 I'll never spend.