We Want More For Them

We want more for them. We say it all the time as we plan, sacrifice and make dreams come true. We want more for our kids than we had. My husband and I are both from low (at times no) income homes where having anything more than what we absolutely needed was not a true option. The times we had things we wanted were rare and few. Since starting our lives together, we have always said that we want more for them. We want our kids to want for nothing and dare to dream for it all. Still, there are days when even the best intentions have unexpected results.

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Back In My Day

Every parent has started a sentence or lecture with these four words. Back in my day… I didn’t have this, I had to do this. However it ends most times our kids stop listening before we even begin. Yet when we start the sentence most times we are trying to teach them something. That what they have now is more than what we had then. I can almost see my kids check out when my husband begins talking about how he had to work from the age of 12 and had nothing given to him. I understand that for them none of this is relevant they have no clue what it’s like to need and it’s our fault.

Work Is Not An Option

I worked from the time I was old enough to have working papers -do they still do those?- my Grandmother didn’t give me the option of whether I wanted to work. Our home was one where she always had a hustle and made sure that what I needed was there but that didn’t always mean my wants were as readily available. So when she saw that what she had wasn’t enough to give me more she taught me to get it for myself. I started my first job as a cashier at age 13. I worked full time, went to high school and took any and every over-time possible. If that meant working outside the books – hey. I did it.

We Want More Bed

Why? I had seen my Grandmother’s struggle. I had a Grandfather who made sure I went to the best schools and had clothes on my back but he saw no need for more. That was left to her but no matter how she tried to hide it I saw the baked bean sandwiches, the hand stitched clothes and nights we slept with three blankets to save on oil. I noticed when my Easter dress came at the cost of her own. I didn’t miss it when she would skip a church meeting simply to save gas for me to get to school the next day. I didn’t want that to be my always. I wanted more for me and for mine. The extras, the wants and the desires – those had to be worked for – earned.

We Want More For Them | TheMrsTee.com

My husband was raised in even tougher conditions. For him work was no more an option than breathing. If he didn’t work he didn’t eat. His desire to survive taught him that he had to work to make it possible. I always tease him that his work history is longer than anyone I’ve ever met. He had 2-3 jobs at a time and when one job didn’t give him what he needed he found one that did. When that wasn’t enough he joined the Army. It was always about provision for his family no matter the cost. That’s who he was then and  the man he is now. He is always looking for the way to provide the best for him and his.

Teen Parents

Being a teen parent isn’t ideal. Is it doable? Yes. Is it easy? NO! Both my husband and I were Teen parents. I had my oldest son at 17 and he had his at 16. As kids we had already learned that work was something we had to do but adding a child brought responsibilities put that work ethic to the test. Each dollar earned went to pampers, baby food, clothes and the care that child. It wasn’t about what we wanted anymore it was all about them.

By the time we met our kids were older, we had each figured out how to survive. Survive. Survival is not living. When we met we both felt we were barely making ends meet. When we married and combined our families we knew we wanted more for them. We didn’t want them to survive. We wanted them to live. We wanted more.

The Cost of More

This meant sacrifices. My husband continued his service to the Army and we set about giving our kids all we never had. He sacrificed time with us at home to be sure that the home they had was all we never had. They had dance classes, art classes, music classes, vacations, road trips and more. They had more.

We were doing it. We are doing it. We are living a life here they have more than we could have imagined and seeing the happiness on their faces makes each sacrifice worth it. Instead of simply surviving they are living and enjoying their childhoods to the fullest without a care in the world besides doing just that.

When my oldest son started High School we told him we didn’t want him to worry about working. We wanted him to focus on school and enjoying being a teenager. I heard my husband repeating the same thing when he started college. We had both worked through our entire school lives missing out on activities, memories and things we felt were unfair to be taken away from us. We wanted him to have all of that and he did.

Yet when it came time to teach him the foundations of the value of things, what it takes to earn something. He didn’t get it. I look at my younger kids and see they don’t either. Somewhere in our desire to give them more we failed to give them the lessons they need to get that on their own.

Making Up Time

Our 3 oldest have jobs now, they are learning the lessons we learned far earlier but they are learning. We gave them more but now they are learning how to get that for themselves. We may have lost a bit of time in giving them this important foundation but I am so happy we are making up for it now. They are all working for what they want and realize that even though we gave them more than we had there is still more out there for them to get for themselves.

My youngest children are learning now too. We still give them what we missed out on but with lessons of responsibility, gratefulness and appreciation along the way. There are times I think my husband and I wanted more for them to make up for the little we may have had. I understand our motivation but thankfully we have also come to understand even good intentions can have bad results.

How do you teach your children the value of what they have?

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Tiffany is the ‘ Tee’ behind TheMrsTee.com - a Lifestyle Blog created as a place to share her love of all things Faith, Family, Fashion, Food, Fun, Tech & Travel. Tiffany has established her influence within both the Blogging and Vlogging Communities. She is a 2016 VOTY Award Honoree, Contributing Author with iBlog Magazine and BlogHer.com. Tiffany has also been a Panelist for the MomsEveryday TV Show for 2 Seasons.
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Tiffany is the ‘ Tee’ behind TheMrsTee.com - a Lifestyle Blog created as a place to share her love of all things Faith, Family, Fashion, Food, Fun, Tech & Travel. Tiffany has established her influence within both the Blogging and Vlogging Communities. She is a 2016 VOTY Award Honoree, Contributing Author with iBlog Magazine and BlogHer.com. Tiffany has also been a Panelist for the MomsEveryday TV Show for 2 Seasons.

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16 thoughts on “We Want More For Them

  • veepeejay

    I don't have any kids as yet, but I understand wanting to give your kids more than you had. I agree that teaching them the value of those things is definitely important.

  • Katherine G

    This is a great post! We have our kids study to earn the things that they want. If they want to play the game they have to make sure all their chores are done before they do it. I am with you. It is important for kids to learn the value of earning things.Thank you so much for writing this post.

    • MrsTee Post author

      Thank you Katherine!! That is a great motivation for earning things they want. Love it! Thank you so much for your comment and for coming by!

  • sheenatatum

    I was raised by a single mom who was also disabled. I didn't have all of the fancy clothes and was teased because of it. I now realize that I had ENOUGH and I was truly content until what I didn't have was slung in my face. The issue was not me, but those who lacked compassion and put too much value on material things. Because of my childhood experiences, I made a promise to give my own children what I didn't have, but not at the expense of my own sanity. They have been given so much that anything new loses its wow factor. It's not that they're ungrateful, they're just content with what they have. So now we are trying to get back to the basics living simply, giving them more experiences (affordable) and memories vs things.

    • MrsTee Post author

      “It’s not that they’re ungrateful, they’re just content with what they have. ” That’s exactly what I feel has been happening. I am sure we will both be successful in getting our families and kids back to the basics 🙂

  • foodfashionandflow

    Very good post and definitely relevant. Every parent wants their children to do more and to be more and to have more. I try to teach my son to value everything he has, by not spoiling him and by teaching him what it means to be blessed and to have lack. I make sure he is aware of what is going on in the world and that he is sensitive to the homeless and those that don't have as much.

    • MrsTee Post author

      Thanks so much!! You’re right. I know this is something every parent desires for their children. So important!! To know the difference between having and not having is key to learning the value behind it. Thank you so much for such a thoughtful comment…

  • Kiwi

    Girl yes I know every parents desire is to give them more than what they had. This generation of young adults and teens need to be responsible though because i am starting to see a trend of excessive laziness and entitlement. Yes they can have more but they still have to be functional adults one day so they can have a good legacy for their own kids. They can be kids and young adults but responsiblity still need to be instilled into them and when I have kids, I want to provide them with more – but still enforce to work as well.

    • MrsTee Post author

      Yes! That trend is happening to much and I don’t want to contribute to it in any way. I want them to feel secure while still learning the essentials they need to be self-sufficient! Amen Kiwi! Thanks so much for coming by…

  • linkouture

    Thank you for sharing your story. I was very fortunate to grow up where we didn't have to worry about money, but my parents still instilled the value of money and hard work at a young age. I had my first job at 13 also, and worked through most of high school and all of college, and paid for things like car insurance that my parents told me were my responsibility. I think regardless of your own financial situation, these are valuable lessons to learn, and I will certainly teach them to my daughter.

    • MrsTee Post author

      Thank YOU for coming by and such a great comment!! I am happy that we can give our kids an upbringing like yours, where they don\’t worry about money, but I also want to achieve what your parents did and still give them the value of what they have and how to earn it for themselves. They are definitely valuable and needed lessons for all. Thanks again Bev!!

  • Karen

    Awesome post! I agree, I want more in that I want AJ to be grateful for what he has, appreciate life, know what happiness really is not what others say it should be. I want our moments to be more important than materials things.

  • Julie Hage

    I love this post! As parents of teens, my husband and I are also trying to walk that line of giving them more, but teaching them the value of what they have and what it means to work for it.