Friday, December 15

I want an Oompa Loompa, NOW!

As a mom, one of the things I really want to strive to do over the years, is not let my children get caught up in the self-absorbed, impulsive, wasteful habits of so many Americans today. I want them to realize how blessed they are to live in a nice home, to have new clothes, to have three meals a day. I want them to be aware of just what it's really like in other parts of the world. I don't want them to take anything for granted and I want them to thank God for all that they have.

I am going to make sure that as soon as they are old enough, that we volunteer with the kids, maybe at a soup kitchen for instance, or delivering gifts to hospitalized children. I want them to grow up with a grasped concept on how important it is to spread kindness to many and to give to many.

I grew up in a wasteful home. I grew up not really appreciating all that my parents provided for me. I guess, I just grew up expecting that I'd go clothes shopping at the end of the summer and pick out hundreds of dollars worth of outfits. I grew up expecting that I'd have a brand new backpack each year and that at Christmastime mostly everything, if not all, the gifts I wanted, I would get.

My brother and I both didn't take good care of our things. And things got ruined rather quickly because of it. And then we'd just throw it away. I never really understood the value of all that I had. I don't want my children growing up the same way.

I do have some impulsive tendencies to this day, because of being raised that way. I find at times, I'll get fixated on a certain item and have to have it right then and there. And I don't mean big money items, because I am pretty realistic with what I can afford. But I do get caught up in having to have something...NOW!

We also struggle with handling our finances, with budgeting, with paying everything on time all of the time, and again, I feel a lot of that stems from watching how my parents handled their finances, which, well, they didn't.

In January, DH and I are going to attend a Crown Financial class for a month every Sunday night at our church, and I am hopeful that that will really start us off on the right foot for the new year.

A month ago, the miss saw the dancing princesses Barbie movie and then a day or so later saw a commercial on television for a Barbie dancing princess doll that spun around and had a skirt that lit up. "Wow, I want that, Mommy," she said to me while staring at the television set in complete awe. This was the first time she had seen something on television that she wanted to have. And like all parents, I enjoy making her happy. So, a few days later, I headed to Wal-Mart and purchased the $20 doll to give to her at Christmas. That weekend, DH and I were both not feeling well, and we spent most of the day laying down on the couch. We were letting the miss entertain herself with movies and her toys. I felt so bad for her though. So, I decided to give her her doll then. I thought it would make her happy and give her something new to play with for a bit.
So, I gave it to her. She recognized it right away and of course was happy.

But the bad thing, I think, is she remembered that that was the doll she saw on tv and that she had told me she wanted it. And since that time, anytime basically any toy commercial comes on television she yells out to me that she wants it. "I want that, Mommy.....I want that!" I feel I created something that I had wanted to avoid.

I think soon here, she'll be old enough to start with chores around the house and work to earn maybe coupons for instance that we can save up and later use to get a toy or maybe see a movie with. I want her to know that things are earned. I don't want her to get into the habit, especially at a young age, of thinking that her parents will give her everything she wants. And I don't want her to get into the habit of thinking that she'll get everything that she wants, NOW!

I also want my kids to realize the value of money as they get older and the importance of tithing. So, when they are at the age to understand money and all of that, I want to allow them the opportunity to earn, save and tithe with what they make. Of course I have some time to devise a plan of the best way to go about doing all of that.

We are so blessed that we live in the country that we do. We have so many opportunities to work, to make money, to purchase many things for ourselves. But with that also comes the ability to put ourselves in debt, to live way beyond our means and to pass those same habits on to our children. I don't want to raise children who go out and get a department store credit card on their 18th birthday, because they can, and max it out in one day, like I did. I want my kids to really, and truly understand the importance of saving and of credit.

So, I hope that little miss' requests of ..I want that...Mommy, will begin to die down through the years as she focuses on giving to others and on the importance of earning what she'd like to have.