Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Little Study in Insecurity

Unlike many of my peers, my parents were raised during the Great Depression.  Both were born in 1927.  I honestly think there is a different way that people look at life when they've done without.  This is what I was raised by.

Most of my peers and their parents, I would venture to say, have never lived without.

This morning, my children woke to a strange new world--a world without.  Well, not exactly "without," but with a whole lot less than they're used to.  I saw different wheels turning in my children's brains as they prepared to start the day.

Let me explain....The Warden gets paid on Thursday.  The grocery budget has been spent.  In months in the past when this has happened, I have dipped into another budget to buy more of whatever we've wanted (you'll notice I use the word "wanted" not needed.  I decided this month that I'm not going to do that and see what happens. 

So, I will buy food on Thursday when that portion of the budget has been replenished.  I also must explain that like nearly every other LDS household in the world, we are not lacking by any means.  The pantry is full.  There are also apples and oranges in the fruit bowl on the counter.  There is bread that has been pulled from the freezer.  There are cans of tuna in the food storage.  There is one gallon of milk in the fridge.  There really is plenty here.  They are not going to starve.  It's just not the stuff like they always get that they end up throwing half away.

But...there is no string cheese.  There are no baby carrots.  There are no bananas nor applesauce in those cute little packages nor little tiny boxes of raisins.
Let me also tell you that part of my reasoning for doing this is that I've slowly watched my children become pickier eaters.  They have thrown away very edible, even delicious food without even a second look.  UGH!  Any really wonderful things are eaten voraciously immediately.  There is no rationing so that something can be kept to even put in a lunch.

One morning, on facebook, I commented how wonderful it was to have leftover lasagna for breakfast.  The replies were very funny to me.  I am a leftover for breakfast kind of girl.  Leftover anything I'd choose over cereal or pancakes or even French toast.  One comment was, something like "Eww!  I only eat it for dinner."  Basically, if it's not eaten for dinner, you toss it down the drain.  UGH!!!  No way!  Send it over to my house.

I read recently, in regard to finances, that you should never tell your children that there's not enough money for something because it will make them feel insecure.  Puhleeeze!  Oh yah, you should lie to your children, tell them they can always use a credit card.  They can always file for bankruptcy.  My children have heard it plenty from me.  My children hate it, but I hope they are learning the value of a dollar and the value of working for that dollar.
The other sorry thing for all of my children but one is that their lunch accounts for school lunch are limited as well.  I put enough money in for them to buy one lunch a week each month.  They can use that money as they wish.  At this point, only one child could buy lunch today.  It was funny to see the different attitude that child had this morning.  It was clear that the lesson hadn't been learned in that case.   The others considered carefully that tuna fish sandwich and apple that went into the bag and quickly realized that if that didn't get eaten, it couldn't be thrown away because then, what would he eat for lunch tomorrow?  If you take it, you eat it, or don't even make it because someone can use it the next day.

I feel the value of children learning these lessons at a young age.  I don't want my kids to be out on their own before they finally learn the cost of things and the price of things.  I am grateful that our home isn't a place of continual lack, and I credit God for that blessing.  I know He takes care of us, but I want my children to realize this as well.  We are entitled to nothing.  All that we get is because we work for it and are blessed for that work.

We'll see how the next few days go.  Could be rather interesting.


See Mom Smile said...

Thanks you for stopping by my blog. Ye we have a lot in common! I have six kids in the smae gender order of your first six. We were trying for one more girl but quit while we were ahead! My parents were raised without and so was I. My kids certainly do not know what that was like. I tell them all th time I don't hae money to buy something but that we are not poor! We are rich in happiness!! Love your blog and header!

Alyson said...

Best experiment ever! Makes me want to try it. Because even when we "lack" we still have a better, healthier diet than most of the world at their best. And there's no reason to waste.

CNHGustad said...

I have really enjoyed your blog Julie..You teach me a lot. I have been trying to, to live w/with in my means more and having 7 compared to my one..I admire you.Good Luck!

Jo Tapasa said...

Amen, Sister! Gratitude for the blessings we have is so important. We have deinitely gone from the "Restauranting" Days to homemade bread, homemade noodles and canning windfall from graious neighbors' yards. We even have CTR dinners and they have become eclectic fun meals...(Clean the Refrigerator...made that one up myself, thank you. :o) ) My older sis would make AMZAING homecooked meals for her family and they always had the PB&J opt-out option. One time she spent all day making a new dish and she ended up eating the majority of it herself as they all chose PB &J...Now she wishes she had not had that rule. (Live and learn)
Anyways, wanted to stop by and play your song list while I work today~ Hugs!

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