Last night I was thinking about a conversation we had with some friends a while back. We were talking about birthdays for our children and I made the comment, somewhat out of jest, that Zach and I are all about setting the bar very low. Meaning, if my kids aren't used to ever getting anything nice, they wont ever come to expect it. Now, even though that comment was made jokingly, it still rings true. It's no surprise that we don't have a lot of money. I mean Zach works in ministry and I am a stay-at-home mom. We love what we do. I love staying home with my children and having the flexibility to do different things. The flip side is we live on a very limited budget. We think it is worth it, others may disagree.
Years working with teenagers have proven to me that so many kids these days are terribly over indulged. They are given whatever they want and are constantly going and doing. As a result, many of these kids are impressed by nothing. We found when planning Youth trips and activities that many of our suggestions were met with disdain because how could an inexpensive weekend trip to the lake compete with tv, xbox, extravagant trips, etc.
Since we do not have the funds to plan expensive trips or meals out we have had to be a little more creative when finding things to do as a family. We have found it is not too difficult to spend a Saturday enjoying our family and not have to spend much, if any, money. I hope that this is also teaching my children to appreciate the little things.
I find it somewhat disturbing though to realize that few share my ideas on this topic. Many parents are under the impression that to be the best parent, they need to provide their children with all the things they missed out on as a child. Now, let's be clear, I love my children and I want them to be happy. I want to be able to take my children places and create loving memories with them. I struggle ever year with what to give my kids for Christmas and their birthdays and would love it if money weren't an issue. However, I do not honestly think that they are suffering because they will never have a bouncy house at their birthdays. I hope instead, that they can look back, thumb through the scrapbooks I lovingly keep, and know that they were loved. Know that their parents made a lot of effort to spend loving time with them. And to know, that while we never had a lot of money like other families, that they did have their parents there with them. There is nothing wrong in working hard and providing for your children, but for many, the money and possessions seems to take the place of parenting. The idea to provide the best in material wealth vs. the idea to spend time together.
I am reminded of a quote I heard on the Today Show interview with reality tv star, Kate Gosselin, when asked about doing something outside the realm of the public eye :
"Well, it's a situation where Jon may be accepting of mediocre for his kids and working a regular job. I want the best for my kids and the best opportunities not unlike every parent," Kate said during a Monday morning appearance on NBC's Today show. "I think that to be a good parent is to work as hard as you can and give them the best opportunities in life, and this has provided that."
Let's just leave it at I disagree.
On more Bechtold news, yesterday Zoe had her well-visit with our wonderful new pediatrician. Zoe is in the 95% in height and 50% in weight. She's a tall girl! She also got her shots and was so good and brave, Zach and I were both so proud of her. Noah starts going to daycare one half-day a week beginning this Wednesday. I am excited for him. I believe that there is a definite benefit for a young child to be in daycare around other kids. They seem to learn so much more.
Work for both of us is going great. We are coming down off a busy weekend for Zach so he took a mental health day yesterday. We just relaxed, caught up on some tv that we were weeks behind on, and got take-out chinese.
I have been watching tons of baseball (just another benefit of being home during the day ;) ). I am so excited about the World Series. I like the Cardinals but they don't hold a candle to my Rangers.
Thank you friends and family for enduring my ramblings... Love to all!