My mom is a very traditional woman, and went into her marriage like all of us do, planning on forever.
All she wanted out of this life was to be the best wife and mother she could be. She always knew she wanted to be a stay at home mom, so that’s what she did. She trusted in her marriage and she didn’t go to college after high school, didn’t have a job or any type of plan B.
So when my mom and dads marriage ended (it was pretty ugly), she was left with 3 children (5 and under), no education, no savings, no family around and no financial help from my father. All she had was the little money she had gotten in their divorce settlement and a car.
She took the money and put a down payment on a little 3 bedroom home in Vidor, Texas.
After paying for the house, all she could afford was 1 air mattress, an ice chest for our food, a microwave and a couple lanterns and candles.
Recently her and I had a conversation about when we first moved into that house and she told me about how much she cried during that time. She said she would see us running around and see us laughing and playing and then sneak off to her room and cry because she felt so sad about how little we had.
But if only she had realized that, to us kids, we didn’t see that we had very little.
To us we were camping. We made hot dogs in the fireplace, we walked the halls in candle light. We were getting to have sleepovers in the living room and telling lots of stories. I remember having so much fun running around the house just yelling, we were fascinated with how the halls echoed, the house was that empty.
I was telling her this story from my perspective, something that for me, is one of my favorite childhood memories. A time where we had nothing and I was still just smiling from ear to ear thinking about it. But for her, it was a sad(ish) memory.
It’s so natural for us parents to want our kids to have everything. Only the best.
But what we forget is that kids don’t care about material things. (Unless they’re teenagers, unfortunately they care). Lol
Isaac has so many toys, but he would rather play with an empty water bottle over anything else.
They care about being loved and about having fun, playing pretend camping and catching creepy bugs outside. Things you don’t have to pay for and things my mom never deprived us of.
Somehow she never let us see any of her struggles and she made the best of everything for us. That’s why we love and respect her so much.
I would just love to go back in time, give her a hug and tell her not to worry. 💛
*What are your favorite things to do with your kids that they love that doesn’t cost any money? 💜 Leave it in the comments. 🙂