As a mother, I know what it's like to try and keep a tight budget, keep up with the laundry, the house cleaning, cooking meals (on a tight budget), helping with homework and school projects, attending school meetings and assemblies, shopping for groceries (again, on a tight budget) and birthday and/or Christmas gifts (yup, on a tight budget). I also know what it's like to have to take all three children to doctor's appointments--quite often. You have your dentist and eye doctor, your pediatrician, but we also have a neurologist, pediatric orthopedic, speech therapists, occupational therapists, tutors, all three of my children have had surgery and two of them have had surgery in just the past 5 months . . . they keep me busy!
We moved to a new town a few months ago and expenses have all been higher. However, you will not hear us complaining because the house is bigger and better than what we had and we love how beautiful this town is! We also live on one income because so much of my time is occupied with doctor's appointments and therapies. But, that saying, "Money isn't everything," is so true. We are happy. We have everything we need and it has been so much fun for the kids and for us to come up with creative things to do as a family. I remember hearing stories that my grandparents once told me about how life was when they were children. My grandpa talked about the few toys he had as a child and I remember thinking, "That's it? How sad." He didn't seem to think so. He said that they appreciated all that they had and took nothing for granted.
I look at the world around me and I see that we take a lot for granted. We seem to think that we deserve to have all of these things. Spending money, having things . . . it makes us happy, right? While we haven't been able to afford a lot of things or spend a lot of money on things we don't need, I have learned that this isn't exactly true. I think my grandfather's family had it right. We don't need a house full of things or a brand new, expensive car. We don't need to live in a mansion. Imagination, creativity, laughter and love are better than filling my childrens' rooms with store bought stuff they say they want (Not that they don't have rooms full of toys, but you get my point, right?). My children are learning to appreciate all they have and are learning what is important in life.
While it is stressful at times for money to be so tight, it has actually been a great lesson for all of us and (dare I say) a blessing. Money can buy a lot of stuff, but it can't buy happiness. Instead of focusing on all that we want we are now focusing on all that we have--and we are so thankful for it all!
And, let me tell you, right now . . . we are happy!