Thankfulness Thursday-Things to think about…

My sweet Sister-in-Love over at SomeGirl’s Website hosts”Thought-provoking Thursday”.  Sometimes I take part, usually I just lurk.  The articles that link are usually uplifting and (as the name states) thought-provoking.

I am also linking up with Shell @ Things I can’t say~ for pour your heart out.

I had an eye-opening experience this week.  It’s sometimes hard to remember to be thankful.

It’s an important lesson, I’m trying to remember…..trying not to forget.

I, like many mothers all over the United States, am gearing up for back to school.  I have spent more money that I care to talk about on new clothing, school supplies and lunch boxes.  I’m not done yet, middle school students here in my area don’t get school supply lists until school starts.  School starts on August 22nd.

I stress about the amount of money I am spending on back to school.  My husband and I save up for back to school, so that the sheer impact of the money spent on back to school does not hurt our monthly budget.  It’s crazy. Like a car payment crazy…Meh.

Don’t. Get. Me. Started.

I’ve bought 5 new shirts and 5 new pairs of pants per kid, bought undergarments,  bought socks and belts.  I’ve bought binders, pencils, notebook paper, pens, a backpack and lunch boxes.  It’s a lot of stuff.   It does not seem like enough though.  I felt guilty.

Guilty?

Yes, guilty that I had not bought more.  Was 5 outfits per kid enough?  Was I doing them wrong? I started feeling like maybe I was.

I began mentally beating myself up for not being able to afford more, do more, be better.  Somehow, I made myself into a bad mother because I had not planned for a whole closet full of new clothing.

Silly? Yes, but I still felt bad. 

I’m not feeling guilty anymore and it’s due to a comment made by a sweet cashier at a drug store.

I am a creature of habit, I tend to go to the same drug stores and grocery stores each week.  Since I coupon shop I am extra friendly.  I’m not sure if it helps offset the massive couponing I do, but it sure makes my time in the stores more pleasant.  Because I am friendly, chatty even, store employees usually like me and sometimes we become “Store friends”.   Store friends are people who I go out of my way to talk to when I am in the store they work at.  If I see these people outside of the store they work at I am always happy to talk to them. We don’t hang out, we’ve never chatted on the phone, but they are nice people and I like them. 

One of my store friends was our checkout cashier.  We began talking about back to school, commiserating about the items we have to purchase…about the cost of clothing.  She talked about needing to go to the 2nd hand store to pick up gently used clothing for one of her daughters, she talked about the fact that gently used was the best that she could do…. and it hit me.

Why was I beating myself up about school clothing?  My store friend was doing the best that she could and so was I.

It’s no use eating beans for a month just so you can buy your kids more.

It’s clothing, not brain surgery.

It does not have to be perfect. 

So, my thought for you to mill over today is:
  • Be Thankful for what you have and what you can afford
  • Be grateful for the things you can provied and for the things that are provided for you
  • Let the best that you can do…..Be Enough

Because it is enough, at the end of their childhood my kids won’t be fussing about how many pairs of school clothing they had.

If they have issues, it won’t be school uniforms.

*Cough* Zombie preparedness training *Cough*

Be happy, Be grateful, Be satisfied.

Live, Laugh, Love.

Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

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30 Comments

  1. The best you can do is MORE than enough! Kids don’t want stuff from their parents (well, they do, but it’s secondary 😀 ). I appreciate what my parents have done for me, but what I appreciate most is time/activities together. I don’t remember the clothes/toys/etc. my mom bought me. I remember sitting around the house reading together on weekends. I remember talk-and-walks (in which my mom and I would go for long walks and just talk about everything). I remember camping in the backyard with my dad. I remember past and ongoing canning adventures 😀 You are clearly an awesome mom, and I know your kids appreciate you for you, not what you buy for them. ‘Cause you know, loving and being loved is what matters, and it’s really all we need. *sappy message of the day=complete* I love this post and the message in it–be happy with life, not with stuff 🙂

    • Good sappy message. 🙂 you’re totally right.

      I just forget that sometimes.

  2. Last week in Arkansas they had a sales tax free day for school supplies. Does Texas do that?

    • They do, but it’s like Black Friday on crack. It makes me want to hurt someone, so I don’t partake.

  3. Good advice!

    • 🙂 every-time I see your picture icon I smile. Is that one of your nieces?

  4. We mostly had hand me downs and second hand school uniforms (we had to wear the full formal blazer, hat, tie etc), but so did a lot of other children. Some had new every term, and that was fine too. I don´t remember us judging each other, I don´t rememeber feeling ashamed. I remember summers with my parents, rainy day Sunday picnics, family suppers…it sounds like you have bought your children up to appreciate the important things in life and not the material stuff. Good for you all!

    • Ha! Blazers and ties, cute! I’m sure they don’t care about the clothes near as much as I worry that they do.
      You’re right, it’s about the quality of time, not the quantity of things.

  5. We’re all just doing the best we can. And our children will be fine with what we are able to manage. A great reminder!

    • Thanks Shell. Thanks for the link up. It’s a great idea.

  6. Such truth in what you say Jamie. It’s so easy to think our kids need more stuff when really, what they need is more time. I volunteer at a single mom’s ministry here in Orlando and we have a clothing closet for moms and kids. You can’t even imagine how many moms come in who need school clothes for their kids. They have nothing and it makes me remember to be grateful for what I do have.
    You have a lot of wisdom and your kids are blessed to have you!
    I like the new look of your blog!
    Blessings

    • Thank you Kate! 🙂 have a wonderful day!

  7. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the 20 months I’ve been a mother, it’s that the guilt is never-ending. No one told me this. No one told me about the guilt. But it’s always there, bubbling under the surface over every.blessed.thing. So, it’s important to stop and remind ourselves that we’re all just doing the best we can. Even if we don’t necessarily believe it at the time.

    • That’s true Kristin. What ever we do, we want to do better. Our children are so important to us. Just keep reminding yourself that you’re doing your very best. My children are tween/teen now. I know, from experience, that it can be rough.

      I am envious of your Gal Pal getaway! It looked like fun!

  8. Good share; my friend was talking about the enormous expense of back to school the other day; as I have a 21 month old, I’m not there yet, but it does always seem to be something that strains the budget. I try to remind myself that my daughter doesn’t need EVERY developmental gadget out there; what she does need is me, and my husband. It is hard to do; we want to give our kids the world! Great reminders about thankfulness:)

    • Thanks for the comment. You’re right, we do want to give our kids the world. I loved your 10 year anniversary post.

  9. Alison Lee

    You’re right of course. Your kids won’t measure their memories based on how many outfits they had. They will remember that their parents did their best for them, the time their parents spent with them, and the love they’re surrounded by.

    It’s hard sometimes to lose track of that, but your message of gratitude? You’re on the right track.

    • Thank you for stopping by Alison, and thank you for the comment. Being a mom is a tough job. It’s a wonderful, weird, frustrating, awesome job.

  10. We have had a time in our life where the last bit of money was used for a pair of shoes for the child, rather than food – and yet we had a roof over our heads, when others don’t. Each day I remember – there for the grace of G-d go I. If your children are loved, that is what they will remember 🙂

    • You’re so right Tandy!

  11. Thank you for writing this post
    we mothers tend to beat ourselves up…always feeling we need to do bettere, do more..
    a moment to think things through and say thanks for what you have sure helps

    • 🙂 thanks for the sweet comment. You’re right we want to do our best, and the bar we set for “the best” keeps moving up.

  12. I think children remember the moments more than the stuff, and hopefully, we are filling our children’s lives with memory-worthy moments. I love your line about “It’s clothes, not brain surgery.” Too funny! And so true!

    • You’re right Heather. The moments and memories are what matters! Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  13. I really appreciated this article because I go there sometimes in my head too. I think you were spot on in the end and it’s a good lesson for our children to learn this as well. They have you and and that’s all that matters.

    • Thanks Lori! That means a lot to me. I always value your opinion.

      We do our best and just love the heck out of our kids. 🙂

  14. Some good words of wisdom, there.
    Jessie.

    • Thanks for the comment Jessie! Thanks for stopping by.

  15. Janice

    You are doing your kids good. No need to feel guilty. Several of my kids’ friends get like everything they want, and some of them are the most rottenest spoiled children with no respect to their own parents! Some are such prima donnas, at age 8! It doesn’t do the kids good to give them everything because then they don’t grow up humble and compassionate.

    • Thank you! It’s just mom guilt. Ya know?

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