Sunday, April 20, 2008

What it's like to be poor...

Imagine growing up as a child having to without things. Not because your parent doesn't want you to be spoiled but because your parent can't afford to buy you things that you want. You have to wear home made or second hand clothing because your mother is a single mother who does not get child support and can not afford to buy you a lot of new clothes. You have never had any sort of name brand clothing. Even the toys you have to play with are "store" brand and not name brand.

Remember when Cabbage Patch Kids were big back in the 1980's and they were around $40.00 a piece (which is a lot NOW in my opinion for a doll!). They were so beautiful and so cute. All of your friends had one. You begged and begged you mother for one but she just could not afford it. She went to a yard goods store and purchased a doll pattern that she sewed together and stuffed with that cottony stuffing stuff (lol, whatever it is called) with what was supposed to be a Cabbage Patch Kids look-a-like face, but it was far from! You were disappointed when you saw the doll but yet you didn't want to hurt your mothers feelings because you knew how much work she put into it so you acted as if you liked it. Deep down inside you were hurt and disappointed but yet felt badly for feeling hurt and disappointed!

As a teenager you wanted the stylish name brand clothing but you knew your mother could not afford it so you went with the store brand as always. You never had name brand shoes. The only kind of shoes you had were the $10.00 Kmart brand shoes that fell apart quickly but you still walked around in those shoes even when the soles were falling off! You saw the other kids your age going on fun vacations with their families or going fun places with their friends but you never got to do those sorts of things because your family was poor. A lot of kids get cars for their 16th birthday and get to drive to school, but you don't. You have to share the family car which was difficult to do since mom was working all of the time!

Now turn it the other way around. You are the adult now. You have these beautiful children in front of you but you hate yourself for not being able to give them the things that you wanted as a child. You and your spouse work all of the time but the cost of living is so high and jobs pay so poorly that you have to struggle from paycheck to paycheck. You are not even sure if you will have enough money for gas to get back and forth to work every day until the next pay day. Buying your children a toy that they want here and there is usually completely out of the question because there is just not enough money in your pocket! They are good kids, well behaved kids and they deserve to have the extras once in awhile but you just can't do it. You look into their eyes and see the same pain that you went through as a child but you don't know how to change it! Kids grow so fast and constantly need bigger clothing or bigger shoes and you struggle just to be able to squeeze that in there some how! You are constantly getting collection letters in the mail that you can't pay. Disconnect notices on utilities that you HAVE to find a way to pay even if it means borrowing it from someone else or asking for help. Your husband works 6 days a week and you work as much as possible but it just never seems to be enough. You try to better yourself. You try to get yourself somewhere in the world but it seems you just constantly get pushed right back down. Every day is a constant struggle. You hope your children will learn from you and better their lives at a young age..but yet your know that your mother wished the same thing for you!

You look at other people who are younger than you and have nice houses and nice vehicles and you envy them. Some of them have just been handed everything for their entire life. Others have worked for what they have and just got a lucky break along the way. You wish you could be like them and you wonder why life has held you back and why you can't get ahead no matter how hard you try to charge ahead. Sometimes you just want to give up trying. You feel embarassed for people to see your tiny little house or your noisy old car. You are a good person but it just seems like being a good person is not good enough to get anywhere in this world.


I wrote this from my own personal experience. I am one of the countries low income citizens! You probably never would have known it from my blog, but I am. My husband and I work our asses off every day just to GET by. We don't have a savings in the bank to rely on. We don't have credit cards to use in case of emergency. We don't have family that we can call on to help in an emergency. We are just surviving day by day, paycheck to paycheck. It's a hard world to survive in these days...and with the cost of living going up and gas prices costing an arm, a leg and both butt cheeks it is making it even more difficult just to survive. Our kids miss us because we are always working and don't have much time to spend with them. We miss them, too..but we don't have a choice. We have to survive somehow.


Neurotic Mom said...

Yes poverty sucks, I never thought i'd see the day we could get out of a very small apartment and get a house. Things are still tough but thankfully it's yard sale season again.

Neurotic Mom said...

Sorry hit enter before i finished....

don't give up, karma will find you (((hugs)))

The Prince of Centraxis said...

Slavery didn't end in the 1800s. There's far more than enough wealth to keep everyone happy and comfortable - but a tiny minority manages to convince everyone else that they 'own' everything.
Turn on, tune in and OPT OUT.

We live in a wooden shack in a rainforest without mains power. The kids wouldn't trade their life for all the toys in wall-mart - which utterly fail to impress them anyway.
Dharma will find you too - keep your heart & mind open to NEW POSSIBILITIES!

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