Monday, December 14, 2009

Sacrifice In A Different Generation




I was looking at two pictures from when I was a baby.  Pictures of my mom. (with her sister Peggy above and with my sister and I below.)
It brought back memories of how much she and my dad sacrificied for us.
And how her sacrifices were so different from what most of us consider sacrificies today.
Which also made me think of two neighboring moms I grew up knowing.
Mrs. R and Mrs. P.
They each had 3 children.
I'm one of 5.
And ALL these three moms made just about the same sacrifices.

My mom and dad bought an unheated "summer home" to live in for their first home.  They saw the potential and the beauty of the land surrounding it.  And plus, it was what they could afford.  My mom remembers sometimes waking up with frost on the quilt in her bedroom...they gave my sister and I the warmer room.

Mrs. R and Mrs. P lived in what would now be considered very small houses. They all bought well below their means, and saved to expand, as they could afford it.  (And they all 3 live in these same houses too!)
I know the other 2 moms counted on my mom at one time for emergency car borrowing because for a little while they were 'one car' families...and their husbands drove to work with the one car everyday.

Now, don't say "back then they didn't have choices."  Because they sure the heck did.  These are very smart, educated women.  Who chose to stay home and pinch pennies and do without a heck of a lot of stuff.

'Do without' meaning:
-The one car thing.
-I don't remember my mother having new clothes for years. 
-I also remember that we all had VERY simple wardrobes.  Less laundry my mom would say.  And don't little kids like to wear the same thing everyday anyways?  A couple things...I remember the neatly stacked little piles.  One pair of pj's.  Two pairs of shoes.
-I don't remember my parents going out to eat.  I had McDonald's ONCE when I was little, take out pizza a couple times a year.  (It was SO good...that food was different back then, wasn't it?  Didn't have as many chemicals maybe?)
-I don't remember getting any little surprises and presents just for the heck of it.  We got Easter baskets with a small toy, and a few chocolates and jelly beans.
-Birthdays...maybe 5 or so gifts.
-Christmas's...maybe 7 or so with a stocking.
-A pack of gum was a huge treat for us kids..
-They couldn't afford expensive cameras and electronic gadgets, the kind we expect now.
-I know my Dad and one of the other husbands (who was a teacher), worked 2 jobs.  Picked up some extra money here or there...delivering papers, coaching, helping out at a farm.  They were hard workers who were proud to support their families by themselves, and didn't expect their wives to help financially.  And their wives worked with the money their husbands provided no matter what it was.
-I remember these three mothers all organized a little pre-school.  Instead of paying for one, they switched houses once a week for a small activity and social opportunities. (That's where I met my BFF...we knew each other since we were toddlers!)
-We had simple straight forward meals without many snacks.  There weren't a million and one choices. 
-We went on one vacation a year rarely and sporadically and not till we were older.  And then we ate PB and J's and spaghetti...no going out on the town or to theme parks or anywhere that costs money.  After all, we were lucky enough to GO on vacation right?

We expect MORE these days, don't we?  
Times are different but it's mostly because of US I believe. 
It's our expectations of what we are entitled to- what we believe we must have compared to what it seems everyone else has. 

Our idea of sacrificing seems so much different than what their idea of sacrificing was generations ago. 

58 comments :

  1. What a great post...so true!! Plus geez you look like your mom!

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  2. That's so true!
    Everybody complains about the high prices of things, but the stores are packed with people buying expensive things for Christmas, because if you give someone PJ's or socks, that means your sheap or old fashioned.
    Sad, but true...
    :)

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  3. Sarah, I was just thinking about this topic because last night, my husband and I and our two kids walked down the street with a hot out of the oven apple crisp to take to our elderly neighbors to wish them a happy holiday season. We know them but haven't ever been in their home until last night. They invited us in and I took in their charming yet very dated 60s home that the husband had built himself by hand. It was dated but clean and charming. My husband sat in a rocker that she told us was her mother's. Her mother's! This woman is 79 years old and it was immaculate. Nothing was new or shiny. It was just all clean and well maintained and nice. It really made me think. I thought about how when they must've been about 30, they were a married couple who bought this lot and built this house and have spent the last 49 years living there, quietly and contentedly. There is so much to say for being happy with what you have, making the most of it, and doing without so many of the things we all take for granted today.

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  4. I'm with you there! I have chosen to cut way back this year, not because we can't afford things. Only becuase some things just aren't necessary. My kids only get 3 gifts from Santa this year and that includes clothes and books. Only 1 toy! We also give up all fast food for months at a time. My kids rarely ask for it anymore! I grew up with similar sacrifices made by my parents. I think it makes you more appreciative of what you have. I hope my kids feel the same!

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  5. Oh, my. This speaks to me. My children were unusually whiney and complaining and demanding this weekend which prompted a discussion on how they have too much which prompted a discussion on how the whole family (adults included) have too much. I all the time buy or do things out of the ordinary due to sheer laziness and need for instant gratification. Now, it's a given. Delayed gratification, peseverence is not the norm in this house unfortunately. Guess what my New Year's resolution is?

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  6. Excellent ... I was just thinking about this the other day.

    I grew up much the same way and have very similar memories of my mom. My children are very blessed. I think they are spoiled, but then I see other children way more spoiled. It's hard to remind my own that they are lucky to have so much when they see others with even more.

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  7. Thank you so much for reminding me to be grateful for what I have, society is so focused on instant gratification these days it is hard not to get carried away, especially at this time of year. I also had a simple, but amazing childhood, on a farm with very few material things, but a rich exsistance all the same. Why are we always striving to have more/better/bigger??? I'm sure it does not lead to happiness. Thanks again for a fantastic post, just what I needed to hear!
    :)

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  8. Yes. So true. It seems many of us are trying to give to our children what we didn't get when we were little. This is causing our society to be selfish and overindulgent in every sense. I thought about that the other day when I was cleaning my house. So many of my friends have maids (housekeepers, fine). Not that I wouldn't WANT one, but I just can't seem to spend the money on one if I can do it myself. I AM home! There are lots of things like that today. Pinch a penny, be proud of shopping frugal, why not?

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  9. Yes. yes. yes. Look at families back then too. They "survived" a little more often, didn't they? Focusing on what really matters in a family. time together.loving eachother. creative play. supporting eachother. easy.simple stuff. The get more and more mentality wasn't there as ferociously as it is today. Once again,a great post. Thank you.

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  10. I love this post! Truth in every word! I really believe that if we could once again embrace that lifestyle of living with what we have, saving for the things we want and forgetting about the junk we just don't need than things would be much better for everyone.
    I'm as guilty as the next person of owning crap I don't need or use and always wanting to upgrade something around here, but last summer when our auto lease was up, I decided to take my time and see how long I could go without buying a new vehicle. I live in a great little place where I can walk my kids to school, walk to the post office etc. It has been 6 months and we are still a one car family. It has been surprisingly easy to give up something that I thought was so important!

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  11. Thanks for a great post. It's amazing what we think we "need" these days. I laugh when I watch House Hunters on HGTV and see these people who want a bedroom AND bath for each person. We had 4 children in 5 years and they grew up in a 3 BR, 1 bath home. And so far none of them are in therapy!

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  12. Thank you for this reminder. My parents were just like this. My dad started his working life as a physicist, during the race to space. He was rapidly advancing in his career, but felt unfulfilled. My mom, who knew how much he enjoyed helping with the Boy Scouts, suggested he try teaching--huge salary cut! He loved it, and taught math and physics for the next 33 years, and became well known in the community for engineers, scientists, and other individuals who credited him for their success. Mom, in the meantime, stayed quietly in the background, making do with the very limited income from Dad's teaching salary.

    Do you want to hear something amazing about them? When Dad retired, he and my mom were invited to a surprise banquet, organized by the high school, former students, and members of the community. There, they were BOTH recognized for what they had done for 33 years--my mom's sacrifices so that Dad could teach were specifically mentioned. It is unusual for a wife's contribution to her husband's success to be noticed that way--I love that I grew up in the type of community that noticed.

    Sorry for the long comment!

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  13. Totally agree. I'm one of 6 children.....my dad is an engineer......one salary family.....simple childhood. We bought our cars, paid for our own insurance, etc. Never got a "surprise" or any sort of goodie at the grocery store. My kids don't today, either.

    Great post!

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  14. Again I am saying to myself you are so right this is so true! My grandparent only owned one home which they purchased when they got married and raised 4 children there and it is where we took care of them before they passed away. It was always clean always well maintained and ALWAYS ALWAYS FULL OF LOVE!!!!! my grandma stayed home and took care of all the children and the house she even made alot of my mom's and aunts and uncles clothing!!!there was no buying a christmas outfit or a new dress for easter she made them all with her hands even new coats for the girls!!! My grandfather worked hard all his life even after he was diagnosed with cancer, I often look at them and think to myself What a wonderful life they had full of love and respect! My how times have changed!

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  15. I really love all you had to write. How great that you can look back and truly appreciate your parents hard work and true sacrifices. Such a rarity today. My favorite quote from our church says,"The greatest success will come within the walls of your own home." And I am sure he meant a home full of love, not new furniture and toys.

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  16. What an eye-opener. Thank you! My husband and I are strapped financially now more than we ever have been due to a job shift. But I look around- after reading your post- and could laugh out loud at what is around me and how much more we can sacrifice. You are so right in saying what we think is a sacrifice is nothing compared to back in the day. Thanks for sharing your insight and making me think this a.m.
    Have a great day!

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  17. This is a great post...but we can't ignore the fact that life is different today. Yes, our values should remain the same throughout the decades, but life around us changes. For example, I was forced to go to work instead of be at home with my kids because of health insurance. Our family of 6 needs health benefits, no way around that. I miss my kids while I'm at work, but I'm enjoying the added security my job is bringing to our family. For years we lived simply. It's been fun this Christmas to get a little crazy and buy some fun gifts! I'm ok with this as long as we keep things in perspective and our values don't change.

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  18. I love this post Sarah. I grew up much the same way and my parents love reminding me how little we had and how those were the best years of their lives! As I try not to spoil my kids, to avoid a sense of entitlement, it's almost funny to think that people today who raise kids in the manner we were raised are almost considered radicals! "What - no heaps of plastic toys?" they would say. "No TV? How do you manage?" Sounds like paradise to me.

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  19. I love this post and my husband and I have talked about the same thing numerous times. We as parents create the monster with our children, but I know it is because of us trying to make up for the childhood we didnt have. I have to admit that as a preteen it was sooo... important to me to have those certain shoes or I felt that I didn't fit in, but it wasn't my parents who taught me that (they couldn't afford to)but my own inferiorities. It is so hard to teach our children to have confidence in a such a materialistic world, but I think its important for us to teach them to find their self worth in God and not man. Im certainly not saying I have mastered this myself, but Im just sayin' what a great weight would be lifted off so many of us!

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  20. I think it is a good post but you have to remember that women back then did not have all the opportunities they have now...to go to college, to join the army, to go to law or medical school. So sure, many women sacrificed but many women also wanted more. I think it would be a shame to say that we haven't come miles as a country so women can go to higher education and do the same things that men do. Equality is a wonderful thing. I want to be seen as an equal to my husband and I believe "back then" women were not seen as men's equals. They were expected to keep house, it wasn't really an option if you know what I mean. I am not saying it is not a great sacrifice (it is) but at the same, it was more pushed upon them then it is now. Now women are liberated and when they "choose" to stay home, it really is that, a choice, not a sacrifice. That is probably why times are so different.

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  21. This is SUCH a good post...I so need to read it. I struggle with this so much b/c I want my kids to appreciate but it's hard to appreciate when you have everything.

    It's hard to sacrifice when in reality you don't have to but in the process I don't want to bring up children who don't even have that word in their vocabulary!
    Sandy toe

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  22. Both of my grandmothers and my mother worked, two of them nurses and one of them a teacher. I'm also a working mom. I never ever grew up assuming that I'd get to stay home. Good thing, because the man I fell in love with and married works at a couple of different colleges as an adjunct professor. I carry the health insurance for our family of five. I don't think any of these women, who worked or didn't, think of themselves as sacrificing anything. I think its just the way it was done back then...not a lot of waste, simple and non materialistic values. I really really admire my grandmothers and mother for cooking meals and sewing clothes and keeping up with the house while holding down a job. Amazing! Jennifer

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  23. I distinctly remember my mother buying a new dress to wear to a holiday party with my dad. It was shiny black with blue flowers and she looked beautiful in it.

    I didn't know moms bought clothes for ~themselves~.

    Seriously.

    That's how much my mom sacrificed for us. She never, ever complained.

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  24. I love your blog ! Your last two posts were great. The other night at dinner I almost choked on my food thinking of you and watching my husband. Today's post is also great. I quit my job months ago and have cut back spending incredibly. It isn't hard to have less. My motivation to not get another job is big so it makes easier. But I do have so much and I am so grateful. I'm happy to enjoy what I have and I love my downsized lifestyle. Thanks foor the great blog.

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  25. Fabulous post! I couldn't agree more. My parents are in there 70's and they still have their first living room couch purchased when they were newlyweds. Guess what - it is still in style!

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  26. You look JUST like your Mom, it's crazy!! And it's a compliment :)

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  27. I agree with you completely, our idea of sacrifice is pathetic in comparison. Your 7 christmas gifts reminded me... we TRY (but don't usually stick to) a Christmas gift rule in our house: . The kids get 1) something they WANT, 2) something they NEED, 3) something to WEAR and 4) something to READ. Santa gives one (usually not the best one because I want credit for the biggie. Just thought I'd share! Good post!

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  28. I'm just looking forward to the day when my kids are mature enough to have this perspective rather than feeling like their lives are so unfair.

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  29. Your post follows a lot of the things I feel on a regular basis. It amazes me that so many kids these days have their own tvs, dvd players and phones in their bedrooms and many have cell phones. Growing up we had one tv (that you had to actually get up to change the channel) and one phone. It amazes me to watch the home buying shows on HGTV when people NEED the big walk in closet for just "her" clothes and need a separate playroom for all the kids toys. Our toys had to fit in our bedrooms (nothing allowed to linger elsewhere). We never received gifts if it wasn't Christmas or our birthday.

    I think it is good that I don't have kids. I'd be the mean mommy who didn't buckle to the pressures to give them everything.

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  30. I THOROUGHLY enjoyed reading this post today. And from reading through the other comments, it was inspired. I don't remember how I stumbled onto your blog, but this is one of the truest blog posts I've ever read, and so timely. Good job!! We are going to discuss this in our family and see if we can change a few things. Thanks!

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  31. Thank you for that WONDERFUL post that puts so many things in perspective! I don't have memories like that because my mom always spent till she was in so much debt and my dad wasn't much better with his "toys" and they fought over money all the time.

    I want to live my life more like your parents did now, not just to save money but also because my faith in Jesus calls me to live with just enough, give some away, and save some too. I struggle so much with doing that, and boy our culture sure isn't like that.

    Your parents and those around you sound so much like my husband's parents, who also BTW bought an unheated, gentleman's "summer home" south of Richmond, VA for their home--having 10 acres on the water was a dream come true for them, but they were always frugal. I'm so glad to have married a man that can show me those values and help us raise our kids that way.

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  32. Great post. I feel this same way. I only wish my husband and family were onboard with the less is more mentality. I can not even get my family to just buy my children one gift each. All the stuff is just killing us. This year I am not letting my kids open or keep more than one item per gift giver.

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  33. My mom, who is now 60, did the same things. (Except our couch was orange and brown, not avocado green.) But here's where I think the most striking difference is: They didn't think of those things as sacrifices, at least my mom didn't. That was just the way people lived. She just accepted it as normal. It's all about contentment.

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  34. What a wonderful post! It is truly amazing what our parents sacrificed for us all growing up (and then continued to sacrifice for my brother and I to send us to college too)! And the best part is that I truly don't remember not having much (except for never getting an easy bake oven & not having Jordache jeans, but who wouldn't remember those things!) :-) I try each day to help my children remember how blessed we are!

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  35. You are so right! I think many of us lived wonderful childhoods despite, or maybe becuase of NOT having all the "stuff" that fills our homes today. When we went out to dinner(either Mexican or Pizza) it was such a treat.

    I always think of how simple life was for us when summer rolls around and my kids complain that they are bored. God forbid they are not in a camp or doing an activity. I loved being bored with my friends, going from house to house, and just being lazy with only our imaginations to entertain us. I never went on a vaction farther than a small house at the beach 20 minutes away...not Hawaii. I have great memories from those vacations. My dad was a high school principal, my mom stayed home. To me we were RICH!

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  36. I agree with everyone else. This is a GREAT post! I'm striving for simplicity in my home too. Teaching my kids how to save for something if they truly want it. Most of the time they will end up changing their mind about it.

    Thank you for this reminder.

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  37. Wow. That's a lot to think about. Thank you. Have a blessed Christmas!

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  38. My children get one gift from Santa. A toy that's around $30 and then a few from us. When the whole season was just getting under way, my oldest was recalling her favorite things about Christmas and they had nothing to do with presents. They all had to do with traditions like our "Elf on a Shelf" and counting down or making gingerbread houses. She said she gets butterflies in her stomach just thinking about Christmas. I think it's important for people to remember what's most important this time of year and to realize that it really doesn't take much to make kids happy. I bet if anyone asked their kids what their favorite things were about Christmas, very few would say presents. Thank you for the post. I think that, especially in these current economic times, it's important to remember what's really important.

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  39. Sarah,

    Awesome thought-provoking post! You and I had a remarkably similar upbringing and so many of the points you made rang really true for my childhood.

    I had an opportunity to purchase a few old Sears and Penney's catalogs from the early to mid 70's. Let me say, perusing those is quite an education. It explained alot for me.

    I never had a new bike. An average kid's bike in the mid 70's went for around $50-60. That would be around $200 in today's money. One winter my parents stuggled to afford a winter coat for me. Just your average coat was about $150 in today's money. The Fisher Price Little People castle was $12.97. That would be around $65 today!

    Consumer products were more expensive. People afforded less. Things we take for granted today as disposable were major purchases back then.

    Also interesting, there were no brand name clothes. The "brand names" of the day were Nylon, Dacron, Omicron! Seriously, that's what is in big print on the clothing pages. Can you imagine a world without Tommy Hilfiger and Abercrombie and Fitch?

    Beyond that, some things that amaze me about my childhood were our 4-5 tv stations (where you had to catch the show when it aired). Watching a favorite tv show was an EVENT! Life came to a screeching halt on "Little House on the Prairie" night. Mom cooked TV dinners in the oven (pre-microwave). Sending film away to be developed and waiting 2 WEEKS to find out if any of your pictures came out!

    We, as an instant society, have forgotten what it is like to be patient. Immediate gratification means there is not the important "mulling it over" time - when poor choices can sometimes be averted. Sometimes we act so quickly, we don't even KNOW what the important things are anymore. (Stepping off my soap box...)

    Thanks for sharing again from your childhood. These are some of my favorite posts.

    Jenn S.

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  40. You are so, so right. Why aren't you writing monthly articles for a magazine? If failing magazine editor's would do a little blog-hopping and recruit wise women like you, their magazines would be selling like hotcakes! The wisdom and creativity of bloggers is amazing! I'm going to e-mail a new magazine called LIFE: BEAUTIFUL and tell them about you and a few other favorite bloggers. Keep up the good work!

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  41. This IS something we need to think about & we need to remember the sacrifices made for us but from my point of view - they were the choices I made, not sacrifices. My dh & I have been married 22yrs. We chose to have one car, no internet, computer, ect, no cell phones, cable, satellite, ect. It was our choice - we made it together. It wasn't a sacrifice. We chose for me to stay home rather than have these things. I could have chosen work, vacations, a nicer home & all that goes with it.

    Our choices helped us to become mortgage-free when I was 33 yrs old. We chose a house as newlyweds & have lived here 20 yrs - half of that time with no mortgage. We chose to live on less while our family was young so we could do more later.

    Yes we made sacrifices but I had a choice. Too many of us don't want to choose less now so they can have more later & we look at it the wrong way. When it feels like a sacrifice look at your choices. It is a choice. Saying no to one thing is saying yes to something else.

    Jen
    cjy5787@gmail.com

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  42. My mother was widowed when my older brother was just a few months old. She was a 21 year old woman in 1960 with a baby who would soon be diagnosed with severe developmental disabilities. She talks about working at a company where the men who had the same job she did (bookkeeping) made twice her salary because they were men, and who could also advance within the company, which she wasn't allowed to do because of her gender. She had several years of trying to make it as a single mom with a disabled son before marrying my dad.

    I cherish the choice I was able to make to stay home with my children. Our children were born while we were still developing our farm, and we had no money to spare. Of course, if I"m being honest, I have to say that I regarded our enforced frugality as a sacrifice, one I don't regret. But my education and opportunities are also a constant comfort to me. If I needed to go back to work, I've got a pretty even chance of making a living wage, something our mothers didn't have the opportunity to do.

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  43. Great posts and what a good reminder to slow down...with everything including spending.

    It made me think back to our childhood vacations of camping. Our "big splurge" was getting to each choose our own, sugary cereal. It was a huge treat and my sister and I would spend what seemed like hours staring at our choices...mmmmm!

    (Not to mention that my mom's "break", her "vacation", was spent cooking and cleaning in the woods. I guess I should remember this when I start too look at 3.5 stars vs 4.5 stars for hotels!)

    Thanks for inspiration!

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  44. Nancy at The Goat and the Kid has been pestering me to check out your post, and I'm so glad I finally did. What a beautiful reminder of focusing on what's important. I'm proud to say today when I went to Target I didn't get anything at all for myself - I looked at a cute purse and then said "Self, that's a want, not a need", put it back and kept on going. Not even close to what your mom gave up - but maybe a little sacrifice is better than none!

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  45. Oh you are so right! I sometimes think that we sacrifice in our household because I do not work full time but it is NOTHING compared to what my parents and inlaws did for their families.

    My Mom talks about not making certain recipes because sour cream and cheese was so expensive or how they could not afford to have company for dinner because of the cost of food. We are so far removed from the sacrifices our parents made and it is a little sad.

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  46. I made that lamp next to the green print sofa. I think I'll make another one and give it to you.

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  47. This post really struck a cord for me. As a kid my family was poor and struggled to make ends meet which always made me hyper aware of what all the other kids had that I didn't. I hated it and I vowed that when I was older I would give myself everything I wanted. And as a young woman, I did just that. But now that I am a mom, I realize that I was far richer than all of my classmates. Who has dinner with their family every night with no TV blaring or phones ringing? What kids get to roam 35 acres re-enacting episodes of their favorite TV shows and build tree forts or fish for crawdads? Who knows how to fix their tires, change their oil, replace their own spark plugs all on their own? Who knows how to sew entire garments (complicated designer fashions at that!) or know how to take simple everyday materials and make something amazing out of it? Not many folks, but I do because that's how I was raised. My husband and I have been forced by the economy to spend a lot less and drive one car between the two of us, and while it sucks some days, at the same time, we're spending more time with each other, our daughter, our friends and families. At the end of your life, will you be wishing you had that shiny new Lexus or a better relationship with your friends and families? Thank you for a very insightful and timely post! I think I need to do the same on my blog!

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  48. What I liked the most about what you wrote...Is they had choices...yes they did...they always did...was it easy? No some choices were near impossible....you gave your mother her due..
    When a family has love...it has everything

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  49. Gosh. It's so true. I grew up exactly like that and my parents are still that way. They never buy stuff. They use what they have. They never update. They are actually horrified by the way things are in this day and age. They look at their children who all have big houses and all the latest gadgets and can't figure out why we behave the way we do. It really is just a terrible habit that society gets you into and now we are doing it to our kids. This is an excellent New Years resolution.

    Recently my son had a friend over and they asked if they could go play in the basement. We have a very large home and a great playroom with toys, video games, train table, etc. Our basement is completely unfinished, dusty, messy, full of junk. I have been wanting to get down there forever and clean it out and maybe paint it and set up a play area. It's way too large to finish and would put my taxes even more through the roof if I did. Anyway, they played down there for HOURS and when it was time for his friend to go home they came up and she said "you have the best basement in the whole world". It was the cutest thing. She has a nice finished basement. But they were using all the junk to create a house and using their imagination and that is always the best way to play for kids.

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  50. I stay home with my kids because we chose to. We only have one car because we can't afford to get anything new or have another payment or even save up enough to buy a used one. My husband sells some things online to get us a little extra if we need it. I used to be the head of a department and when we decided to stay home, it really cut into our bank, but I do it. I have not gotten a new pair of shoes in a year until my husband brought home a new pair of Converse tennies last week for me. I have been making clothes for myself this year out of sheets and extra fabric I can get my hands on, but my kids are always dressed and have new things. My needs are simple, as long as I have a working stove, a working washing machine and dryer and my kids have warm clothes to last them in the winter, I am fine. I love this post more than anything, and I am extremely grateful to be home. It is a change, there are sacrifices, but it can be done. It definitely puts your priorities into perspective! -Kelsee

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  51. Thank you Sarah for such a well written and thoughtful post. I am also one of 5 children of the 70's. My Mom was a stay-at-home Mom as hers was before her (my shop's namesake, Nana Moon). I feel that sometimes things were so much easier back then but when you think of all they had to do to make ends meet. I remember my only wearing clothing my Mother made until I got to 2nd grade, then it was hand-me-downs. Thank you for the reminder, it was a good none at this time of year.
    Danylle
    Nana Moon Shop

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  52. Great post!! Seriously got me thinking about sacrifices and what example I am NOT for my children.

    One thing did make me feel better, though. We don't overdo it with our kids for birthdays or Christmas. Bdays = 3 presents, Christmas = 3 presents and only what fits INSIDE the stocking. And, they are almost always highly useful or eductional gifts. I'm almost too practical when it comes to gifts. ;-)

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  53. I realise you wrote this post a few weeks ago, but I just discovered your blog and am loving it. Yes my parents also gave up much for me and my siblings, and lived with little money to spare for my whole childhood. I wonder, though, when the change came between their generation and ours? Was it their sacrifices which gave us our feeling of entitlement? The generation before (our grandparents) knew they had to work and work hard. Perhaps with the availability of so many electrical appliances our mothers managed their homes on their own without much help from their children, and somehow we missed out on the "hard work" mentality and instead grew up with an "I'm entitled to it" mentality, which is carrying on in an even bigger way to our children? Just some thoughts. Loved this post.

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  54. Well said. I loved this post. A friend sent me to your blog and I plan to sit and stay a while. :)

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  55. My mom sent me the link to your blog. I'm so glad she did. I've been reading through it. I just love your honesty.

    I needed to read this. This is exactly the kind of sacrifice we've made in order for me to be a sahm to my 3 kid's. At times living without the extra's (we went this past year w/out a camera or a computer) can feel isolating but I've never lost sight of my priorities (my babies). Every sacrifice is worth it when I see how confident, secure, and well adjusted my kido's are becoming. Largely (I feel) because I'm there. I'm encouraged reading about this generation of strong, inpiring women.

    You're inpiring too ;-) You have a special gift. You've found the word's to speak to the heart of a mother & the courage to say what so many of us feel.

    Thank you.

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  56. I know this is an old post and here I am just now discovering your wonderful blog (by the way, congratulations on your new baby girl!), but I wanted to leave a comment here. I do make those kind of sacrifices now, more so because we have to. My husband doesn't make much money right now with schooling and we have 3 little ones I cannot leave to the care of someone else. So by necessity we live by those standards. I don't shop for clothes ever. I haven't bought myself a pair of shoes in years or any clothes for that matter. I get my hair cut twice a year and my husband and I never go to the movies, again because we can't afford to. But the thing I loved about your blog was the part about contentment. I am so guilty of secretly wishing and wanting more. And someday the time will come when we can afford those things. But your post made me think maybe even when we CAN afford all that stuff, we still won't NEED all that stuff. Its been on my mind for a week now. Thanks for the lesson. I think I really needed it!

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