Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Budding Years

No fun graphic today, I can't find the humor currently. When I see it tomorrow, I'll come back and edit.

But for now, I would just like to shout out my hoorah's, hugs, and much love for all the mom's out there who give up time, effort, and things on their own wish-lists to provide for the needs of their kids. I know for a fact that I am not the only mom who does this. I remember my mother doing it when I was young and stupid and selfish (and clueless.) And now I find I am doing it myself. Only normally I do it and don't realize I do it. I love my family, and serving them is what I do. I have these children because I love them and want them, therefore it makes no sense to resent them for needing things as they grow.

But for some reason, today I was sad for a few moments. Perhaps a little bit of selfish crept in. Perhaps instead of being grateful that I had the money to purchase the needed items, I was sad that I didn't have enough to get myself some things, too.

It is not cheap to have six children, and it is even less cheap to have girls. As girls hit puberty, they require all kinds of specialty items that boys just don't need. And some girls are extremely picky, even if no one other than their gym-class member see what's under the layers of clothes they all wear.

Now, at my house, there is never a lot left over after we pay the rent and the other monthly bills. So when I get some extra cash from footzoning, it is a luxury to go buy new things. Even if it's just walmart quality new things. But hey, at least it's new, and that's huge here. On the list today for three of my growing and budding young girls: sports bra's, regular bra's, training bra's, socks, and underwear. Typical things moms have to shop for, and doesn't include the other list of monthly supplies we stockpile. Except that growth spurts have hit, and the girls had to come with me so they could be sized and I'd know what I was buying would fit them for more than just a minute.

And it ate up my entire budget. Everything I'd earned the past month as "extra" money went toward this. In fact, it went $0.84 over. I can sleep knowing that my girls will be supported, will feel cute, and are taken care of. But I almost cried on the way home because that left nothing, again, for me to get a hair cut, or a new blouse, or new knickers of my own that aren't worn or old or falling apart. And I know that will come another time... maybe... it's second nature to put their needs first. (even if I have to take them kicking and screaming to the store because I KNOW they need these things and they don't believe me or are too embarrassed to try the stuff on)  I've been doing this for close to nineteen years now. And normally I don't give a second thought to it.

But, you know, life happens. My favorite set of bedsheets has worn holes now, which my son thought were the coolest things ever and are now no longer bed sheets, but instead are shredded props for some Halloween costume. I have gray hair and really want to buy some hair product I recieved a sample of in the mail that actually worked at taming my crazy locks. My skin no longer reacts to the cheap face cleansers the way it used to, and I would like to get some of the more expensive Young Living or Arbonne cleaners that make me feel GOOD when I use them. I would dearly love some new bookshelves. Good ones. And the list goes on. And on. And on. And when one has a limited budget, really, these are things that just are not priorities. They are wants, certainly nowhere near needs. It was much more important that my girls have things that fit right. Even if they are the cheap bits from a cheap store that will need replacing in six months. By then the girls will have grown out of this stuff, anyway.

Please don't take this the wrong way. I am extremely grateful to have the ability to buy these things and provide them for the girls. I am grateful to have a little bit of extra to save and set aside for things. I love my girls and do not begrudge them this. I just needed to take a moment to express that sometimes, once every nineteen years, I wish I could have spent the money on myself instead. That doesn't matter anymore when countered by the hugs and chipper happy faces as the girls go through their days without worrying about these things. They may or may not go through this down the road when they are parents. They will have trials of their own when the time comes.

I do know that whatever the cost, my girls are worth it. And while I may be the meanest mom on the planet for making them do things like laundry, and dishes, and vacuuming, and yard work, and shop for underbits, at least I know they are taken care of and will be able to survive once they have grown up and left the house. It occurs to me that I left my mother's house with the same set of skills. I have an idea of some of the things she sacrificed for me. I'm sure I don't know the half of it. I know my girls don't. But I do know that all mother's who work and strive to make life liveable for their kids are heroes.

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