I have this fear – that my child will be the ‘smelly’ kid at school. That he’ll be bullied for being ‘weird’ and different. I know I shouldn’t be thinking about these things when he’s only so young – and we’re not even set on sending him to school just yet – but I can’t help it.
I watched a documentary about parenting a few nights ago on BBC Three and one Mum was holding down three jobs just to buy her children whatever their heart’s desired. The thing is, they weren’t happy once she had bought them everything they wanted from the various toy shops.
I remember having leaky shoes and often times never having socks as a child. I remember my Mum skipping meals so we could eat. I remember being poor and it scares me that my child will have to go through that. My childhood was feeling a bit cold and a bit hungry but always knowing you were loved. My parents weren’t great with budgets or paying off their debts (I remember several times having to switch the TV off and hide when various people came to our door asking for money.)
At the time, it was a bit of fun, however when I look back now I can’t believe how thinly stretched my parents must have truly been. My Mum always had a job, my Dad always had two jobs. It was crazy and it still seems crazy to me. I’ve learned to NEVER get into debt – and so far I’ve managed it (other than student loan debt.)
I don’t take out credit cards, I don’t buy things on credit and I most certainly don’t buy things I can’t afford. We never go on holiday as a family because we can’t afford it right now. I don’t live for the thrills and pay the consequences later; I think things through carefully. And it’s this thinking through carefully that I am worried about; I worry I hold on too tight to my cash. I hate spending money because I fear it will all disappear.
I know that material things don’t equal love and I know I’d rather be debt free than up to my neck in problems.