What were the perks of being raised by a hard working single mom?
First question that comes to mind is, :-) Were there any really? What were they?
The reality of it is that there were three children being raised on a single income, there were bills that went unpaid in certain months, like the start of the school year where school fees were a priority. No matter how one looked at it, it was far from being rosy!
The bare necessities were taken care of but there were no luxuries. There was always food on the table every night. Going to McDonalds for ice cream was a pipe dream, one only got the chance when there was a generous aunt or uncle who happened to be visiting.
But also if they decided to take us out not give mother money to take the kids out! if that money landed on mom's hands she had a few debts to cover, or bread and milk to buy for another week or so!
Why was bread and milk so important you ask, are we such carb lovers?? :-) Now we run from carbohydrates!
Milk is no longer that important! or is fattening, or is actually not good for our diets!!
The hand me downs
Clothes were passed down from first born to last born, the recycling was the order of the day! If the youngest saw an item being mishandled she would look at it and think, by the time I get that shirt it will only have the remnants of thread running through it!
But the luxury of complaining was never afforded or even entertained. In fact the youngest child would look forward to the day they got that shirt from their brother.
Mind you these clothes were over worn and washed out, looking at it now! But life was great as a child, one was still happy and playing with other children and you never thought you were under privileged.
I think hand me down school uniform was the worst, it was your first day of school but my uniform had already lost colour.
Looking at my peers in class in their crisp clean and new smelling uniform, I was nowhere! I could not even compare myself! But it was my reality to deal with. I didn't know i could complain to my mother either!
In fact I remember a story being told by my boss, where he said when he started school he wore a girls uniform pants because he only had sisters and his mother could not afford to buy him his own! Needless to say he went on to be a CEO of a company!
Your past does not define you
For me this was a clear revelation that its not where you come from that defines where you end up, it's about how hard you work!
For some parents the priority was their children getting an education! It doesn't matter where you come from, you have no control over it, what matters is where one ends up!
As a hard working parent are you hoping your children are learning the value of hard work from you? You hope they will grow up and want to be different from you and have different struggles.
You definitely want them to do better than you, so you sacrifice many a luxuries to ensure they have a better future than you had!
Through mentorship and patience you have had to learn the value of hard work! You hope your children will only learn from the stories you have told them, of how hard you have had to work to provide the lifestyle they now have.