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.