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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Mommy Guilt


Sometimes mommy guilt hits me hard

My kids work very hard they help to care for our home they help with animals both 2 legged and 4 legged they help out with the gardening and cooking and every other task that needs to be done in this house


So why do I feel mommy guilt? sounds like I am doing my job to give my kids balance and structure and to let them know that they are not the center of the world and that they can learn to entertain themselves instead of BE entertained

(hence the movies and the cartoons they create and the books they are working on)

So why the guilt

it comes on strong when we are involved at the school or functions where other kids are

We do not have a whole lot of a whole lot of anything (except clutter and junk) So when other kids can get things because they are able to (not that there is anything wrong with that their parents are being good parents giving their children something they would like) I wish I could give it to my kids

My boys were just involved in a nice little production at the school. A really cool little theater camp that I hope the school brings back every year. It is a great program where this company comes in works with the kids for a week, and at the end of the week they put on a little show. Lots of fun for the kids and gives them something cool to work on for a week.

At the end of the show they sell T shirts $15.00 EACH

HOLY CRAP

now $15.00 is not that big of a deal I mean it is something special

but when $15.00 each comes the same week I have to pay the electric bill and that $15.00 is multiplied by 3 that is $45.00 and when it comes the same pay period that we had some oppsies with the checking account and it comes when we had the "big" shopping week for groceries (we were out of EVERYTHING this week it seemed)

then that $45.00 seems like a really BIG DEAL

Now I know all about things like budgeting and being careful with money and living without etc.. So you would think that by now at MY age things would be a little more secure around here.

Well of course they are NOT why would life be that easy

One mistake can lead to a landslide effect that can take months to correct

and then something else will happen that makes me feel better

Yesterday I went grocery shopping and aside from spending more than the normal amount. I took my oldest with me because he had his birthday money burning a hole in his pocket.

He wanted a phone. He has been saving his babysitting money, and money from mowing a friends lawn and his birthday cash and he had enough. So he bought himself a track phone (I am probably spelling that wrong too)

So why does my boy wanting something and then buying it make me feel better?

well that $20.00 phone has made him so happy he has it in his pocket the first numbers he added to his address book are our home phone number and his Dad's cell phone (no I don't have a cell phone) He says this is great MOM now when I am stranded at school cause I miss the bus I don't have to run to the school office before it closes

and if practice lets out early I can call you

and I can text my cousin

It is things like that those little events make me feel better.

I also got a great e-mail from a friend (Hello professor!) You see the professor offered me an opportunity to invest in making my little blog into a web site however this of course costs money and ..well it costs more money than I can justify spending even if the opportunity will make money (no guarantees on that like any business venture there are no guarantees)

So I told him in an e-mail that I cannot do this right now ...even though I envision this fabulous family friendly user friendly site that has everything from e stories for kiddos and games similar to Energy Hogs to tool advice to gardening to ...well geez how about videos on basic sewing for those who can't sew but really want to!

SO you can see I do know how to dream big but ..well my brain and imagination are larger than my pocketbook ...for now

part of being able to survive struggles and hardship is to have hope and to try not to let the other fluff and stuff get in the way.

Some things are out of our control I can't change gas prices
I can't change that food prices have skyrockets

I can't change how much money we make or our bills (within reason)

I can control how much we buy
I can control how we use energy(again within reason)
and I can control how I think about things

if I sat around obsessing over the "bad" things in our lives I would be such a depressed mess I would be institutionalised and on heavy medication

HOWEVER

if I look at the things in our lives that are good the things that WE work to change that WE do to make our lives better

1 comment:

Professor Brandenburg... said...

Sue, this post really tugs at my heart strings.

I can truelly feel your pain and sadness at not being able to give your kids all that you'd like to.

From what you have shared with us, they really sound like some great kids. And Dave sounds like a really good-hearted guy too.

Just don't be too hard on yourself because when they are older, your children will realize and appreciate the self-sufficiency and work ethic they were taught.

And as you indicated, there's only so many variables you have control over, but it sounds like you have done an outstanding job optimizing what you can control.

And besides, this frugal way of life may ultimately prove to be the best investment in your childrens' educations you or your husband could ever make. This practical homesteading knowledge may help them survive the future, whatever it may hold.

They've got a friend in Mother Earth thanks to their parents, and that alone is a strong innoculation against both affluenza and welfare.

My family was very poor when I was growing up and I can vouch that as adults your children will probably look back and realize how much of an advantage in life they have over those who were spooled growing up.

Even still, that is probably little if any consolation to hard working American families like yours who are being hardest hit by all this inflation - most of which is caused by a government of, by, and for corporations whose products are largely petroleum-based and whose rights for growing their bottom lines have gotten so bloated as to significantly threaten the future of this country. I guess that's what they call "progress".

The sad irony of it, though, is that your family is feeling the pain especially, and yet your sustainability efforts actually exemplifies a solution that everyone in this country should be playing a part in.

You should be rewarded for this rather than being squeezed more and more.

But I do think a major reckoning is underway and I think you and your family are an important part of it Sue.

Radical changes have to happen, otherwise many American families won't be able to survive the economic fallout. It's scary stuff, most are afraid to think about.

Living off the fat of the land is a concept both foreign and completely out of reach for throngs of struggling urban families. In the next several decades, who knows, maybe knowledge of how to grow a garden, raise livestock, make bread, clothes, forage wild food, ect might be what ultimately separates the haves from the have nots.

We can't eat money or gold afterall, but who needs it if we know how to prospect for nature's bounty. Will we someday return to a barter system? Some are already there by choice. At least your boys will have knowledge of how to get the alternative "currencies" if needs ever come to be.

P.S.

Sue, you are clearly intelligent, passionate, and most importantly persistent. And you've already got your feet wet on the internet with this blog.

In the future, an online business will go far in securing a new source of income to improve your family's situation. The internet really is the great modern-day equilizer allowing even the little guy to own a small business with minimal overhead and a global reach, not to mention to be totally mobile.

Please let me know if you ever reach a point when you have the spare time to start really growing this all into a win/win family business online. At that point, I would like to be your benefactor toward covering your start up costs so you won't have to worry about that your first year. Usually within a year, overhead ceases to be an issue going forward. But like you said there are no guarantees and your success depends proportionally on your efforts. It is hard work initially but it'll keep paying dividends for many many years even after the effort is put in. It's like starting a garden - breaking ground and conditioning the soil requires the most upfront sweet equity, but it gets easier as you start picking the fruits of your labor (and the 'Grapes of Wrath' are few and far between on the road less traveled too;^)

Just say the word.
Your friend,
Marc