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The haves and the haves not

Discussion in 'Parents Off Topic' started by Becky Stevens mom, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. hawkeyegirl

    hawkeyegirl Approved members

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    I get what you're saying, but to some extent think that if you (generally you) live in fear of "what if", the lottery wouldn't help that much either. I mean, probably our greatest fear as parents is losing a child. And we can do things to minimize that risk, but as parents of type 1s, we all know that lightening can strike anytime, and we are sometimes powerless to prevent it. Having all the money in the world can't protect us from that sort of loss.

    And winning the lottery brings its own stresses with it. Can you imagine the "friends", neighbors, and long-lost relatives that would be knocking at your door? The letters from strangers with their sob stories? The solicitations from charities and financial advisors. I think it's easy to say those sound like problems you'd like to have, but if you read interviews with lottery winners, the reality can be very, very stressful.

    Anyway, when we look around at our friends and neighbors and are jealous of material possessions, we're usually not talking about lottery winners anyway. My job puts me in the position of knowing quite a bit about a lot of people's financial situations, and you'd be appalled if you knew how broke some really "rich" people are. But I agree with you Scott, that it would be comforting to know that you had enough money in the bank to live comfortably, even if you lost your job, and that may truly be something worth coveting.
     
  2. KatieJane'smom

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    EXACTLY, Scott! Because of the economy, my husband did lose his job of 22 years. I cannot begin to tell you how terrifying that was, especially because we lost our good insurance that he had with his job. That was 1 1/2 years ago and he still hasn't been able to find a job with a salary even close to what he made before (just temporary work here and there) but we haven't lost our house yet. We have had to cut way back on many, many things and we do have to pay a ton more for much worse insurance coverage than we had before. The good news is we have been able to do some creative financing and we are not homeless. I still have my teaching job which makes the house payment & pays the insurance. I only said all that to say it is terrifying to lose a job but we are surviving.

    If we won the lottery (not much chance of that since we hardly ever spend money to buy a ticket) then we would still live in the same home but make some much needed repairs. In my dreams, I would buy an old '65 Mustang and pay for our children's college tuition (maybe take a trip or two). I don't think we would tell anyone, even our children, if we suddenly "won the lottery". I just think we would be able to relax a little more and not worry so much that we could lose what we have at any moment and be able to invest and donate to the causes that are important to us.

    I agree with Becky, material possessions and money don't really represent happiness or lack thereof. Now that my children are getting older, I have my own regrets about not going frog hunting more often. Well, maybe not frog hunting but at least butterfly & lightening bug catching.
     
  3. Ellen

    Ellen Senior Member

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    Gratitude gets me through every single day from sun up to sun down and from sun down to sun up. Life is not easy, but I can find much that I am ever so thankful for - even when confronted by the plethora of difficult challenges. It takes work to focus on the positive when things are really hard. Today was one of those days where gut wrenching sadness hit, and appreciation for friends and family was valued.

    I try to be mindful and to live in the present moment. Comparing my family's life with that of others' doesn't serve a meaningful or beneficial purpose. It's natural for children to compare and to see what others have that they would want for themselves. My children have simply been taught that we don't have those things and that we buy what we can afford. It's okay for them to wish they had it - age appropriate, and those feelings are perfectly valid. As parents we just live by example.

    I wear a heart shaped necklace that is inscribed with the Hebrew words that when translated reads:

    Life is not to know
    Life is about change
    To seize the moment
    and to enjoy

    Who doesn't learn from It's a Wonderful Life? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0k_Vsmqf6X8
     
  4. timsma

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    Reading your post here breaks my heart for you. I don't even know you, but I feel very bad for you. (((HUGS)))
     
  5. MamaC

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    Thank you for that.

    I've deleted that post as it has sent things in a direction I did not intend.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2010
  6. Becky Stevens mom

    Becky Stevens mom Approved members

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    Its very true that we dont know what goes on in other peoples homes except our own unless of course members of that family share that information. When I was growing up it wasnt done, it just was never even thought of. I never shared with anyone that my Father was an abusive alcoholic who had numerous affairs on my Mother and verbally and physically abused her before leaving her with the remaining 5 children that were under the age of 18.She was 40 at the time. No one ever knew that I had to care for my 2 young brothers because Mom had to go to work after being a SAHM to 8 children. I didnt tell my best friend that I often heard my Mother crying at night because she didnt know if she would have enough money to put any oil in the tank or feed us because my Father was late with the support check again:( I didnt tell anyone including my Mother or my husband how much I hated walking to my Fathers sawmill to ask for the support check each week!:mad: If he was drunk he was hateful and mean and would say things like "Is this all Im good for?" "Tell that ***** of a Mother of yours that she doesnt deserve sh**" And I never told anyone of my friends or any of the teachers at school when my Mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer at the age of 45. When they called and asked if I could go to a basketball game I always said I had homework. The fact was is that I had to care for Mom. Help her to the comode, get her food, help her change her nightgown. She died when she was 47, I had just graduated from high school. Most of my friends had no idea that my Mother was ill. Once again, it was something to do with my family therefore I couldnt share it. Now looking back I wish I had shared this burden with my friends. Maybe they would have been supportive, Id like to think so. Now I share it with my therapist and hope to get involved in ACOA someday to share the burden of my Fathers alcoholism. I forgave him long before he died and thats been a great weight lifted off my shoulders.

    So now Ive opened the door of my life as the boy in the OP did to my son. I didnt mean to gossip about that boy or his family but wanted my son to be appreciative of what he had and not to think that others had things so much better because they had alot of "stuff"
     
  7. KatieJane'smom

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    Oh, Becky! What a hard life for such a young girl. I don't know how you turned out to be the generous, friendly, loving soul that you have. Your family is very lucky to have such a strong wife & mother who seems to find so much joy and beauty in the simple things around you.
     
  8. BeerMargaritaMom

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    Haven't finished reading this thread - but I wanted to say that based on this comment I like you Katie Jane's mom. Back to reading.
     
  9. timsma

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    Becky, you are one very caring and courageous lady. I'm so sorry for all you had to endure at such a young age.
     
  10. czardoust

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    It's nice to read all of these life stories. Mine was the average life of the latch key kid. I was 9 when I started walking home from school wearing the house key necklace. Both my parents worked 2-3 shifts a day. Mom a nurse, Dad a restaurant manager. Later when they divorced (when I was 10), I lived primarily with Mom and that one bad year that I lived with Dad, he was by then a house painter making not enough to feed his then step family of 5 (the wife, the 3 kids plus me and him). I was never pampered by Mom, never had nice things, but we always always had enough to eat, pay the utilities, and have gas in the car. Dad wasn't able to support his family in that regard (the year I lived with him at least). We went days without eating, and had days without heat, electricity, or running water (sometimes as long as two weeks in sequence). I learned very fast to appreciate all those lessons my grandparents taught me, like "dont let your eyes get bigger than your stomach," and " waste not want not." My kids have never had it easy, being a military family of a low ranking (E-4) soldier, but we have never starved, and have never gone without electricty. Can't say the same for heat, because we froze from mid-January to mid-February last winter lol, but there is nothing wrong with bundling up in layers and layers, and laying blankets all over the couch! :D it can be made into happy memories with the right attitude.
     
  11. Ali

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    Becky
    Only know you through this site, but you really do appear to be someone who has done an incredible job of making sure your life as a grown up and with a family of your own was the best it could be. I do not know how you got to the place you are today but your "wonderfulness" does come through on your posts. So sorry for all that you have had to deal with already in your life. Ali
     
  12. sisterbeth43

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    Memories of my childhood are happy ones. Were we rich, Heck NO! We were probably in the upper-lower class. My father was a share cropper (we rented the farm for a share of the crops). We did have a wonderful landlord tho. My mother was a stay at home mom. I remember going school shopping every year. The girls each got 2 new dresses and 2 pair of shoes--if we needed shoes. The boys each got 2 new outfits also. That was it except for undies and socks. We did not realize how poor we were when we were kids. We always had plenty to eat--raised most of our own meat and veggies. We didn't have electricity until I was about 4 and no bathroom in the house till right before I started high school. We had one fan--a very smallone that was in the LR during the day and in my parents br at night. I remember in the winter, we could feel the cold south wind coming in thru my bedroom window. Would I go back and change anything,---I really don't think so. I just wish I had all my brothers and sisters back so we could play a good game of hide and seek at night. That was FUN!!
     
  13. MissEmi

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    Hide and seek in the dark is the BEST. I didn't realize name brands existed until I was in 8th grade, LOL. My mom made a lot of my clothes for the longest time!
     
  14. valerie k

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    Its easy to look at the "JONES" and be envious. However, what I really really want to see.... is thier bank accounts. And their credit card statements, and thier morgage payments, and car payments. And if they have it all under control... I will feel a twinge of envy, then side up to them for some words of wisdom. A great many of them dont, and live on what they presume others think of them and try and maintain till it crashes down.

    Now, I am so trying to dave ramsey my kids. Great words of wisdom from that guy. My kids need to know how to save for the wants, pay for the needs and give to a charity of thier choice. I used to whip out the plastic for to many things... now, we dont have the money, we dont get it. If we do have the money, first, other options have to be explored. The one to three day waiting period is key for us. For us now, its the thrill of the hunt at thrift stores and garage sales to see if some of thier wants can be met. I know the I-pod touch will never be found... but then again, its not going to be bought by me either. And if they choose to save thier portion of thier money for it after the savings and charity, they deserve to have it. I am also leading by example. I really really really want a kindle or nook or sony reader. Really really bad. Why??? its a supreme stupid want. I would accually have to pay money for the books to be downloaded. :eek: costing more money. But, they see how much mom wants one, and isnt getting one and found the replacement of sorts to the toy. The public library. free. Probably NOT as fun as that kindle in my paws... but free and I get to read and its all good and a great lesson for my kids. (by the way, I do have the money for getting said toy... I choose not to get it... hoping to keep the teaching going for the kids)
     
  15. kas77

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    I went through this situation with my 10 year old this past week, but I'm afraid I didn't handle it very gracefully. I replied to her "Well then I guess i'll just have to give you away to a rich family who can buy you all these things you want so much." I didn't expect her to take me seriously, but she burst into tears and then her little sister started crying too because she had also been asking me for many things that I can't get her. Then my oldest really broke my heart when she said "I don't want you to give me away Mommy. I wouldn't have YOU!"

    Then I cried too.
     

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