I was having a conversation with a friend this week reminiscing about my mother’s childhood in comparison to my own. My childhood wasn’t glamorous by any means, but it was safe and secure. While my mother’s was anything but. I don’t want to go into too many details, because that’s her story to tell, not mine. However, it’s safe to say my mom worked her ass off to give her children a better life than she had.
Although I didn’t have expensive outfits, or go on fancy vacations like some kids, I had everything I needed. I was okay with that. At least most of the time. Of course, being a teenager your identity seems to go hand in hand with what you wear and how you’re perceived. So, I did have my moments of being ungrateful. For the most part though, I was used to it.
Although I was at peace with it, I never fully appreciated where I came from until recently. It took me awhile to get over thinking the “rich” kids and more privileged kids were the lucky ones. It took a long time before I realized I was lucky too.
Now that I’m older and out of the house I have a lot more appreciation for my mother. Not only do I respect her more, I realize all the sacrifices she made to provide for her kids. She worked hard up until her late 40’s until she was finally able to become a stay at home mom for my youngest brother.
When you expect something out of someone it’s really easy to overlook everything else they do for you. Just because my mom wasn’t able to provide my every whim and want, doesn’t mean she didn’t provide. I’m sure the same is true for your parents too.
They Dedicated Their Lives to Making Sure You Could Have a Better One
It’s really easy to play victim, and to say you can’t move up social classes because you were born in a low or lower middle class family. That’s BS though. While it is harder work to move up social classes than to stay in the one you were born in, it’s completely feasible.
Your parents worked their whole lives working jobs where they probably didn’t get paid or appreciated enough to provide for you. They probably did this in the hopes to allow you to have the possibility at a future they never had. So don’t let their sacrifices and hard work go to waste. Create something for yourself, if not for you, for them.
Don’t blame your parents for the mistakes they made in their life. Learn from them. Just because they weren’t able to create success for themselves, doesn’t mean you can’t.
Robert Herjavec (on Shark Tank) is one of my favorite success stories of someone who came from nothing and created tremendous success. Click Here for his story.
It’s Made You More Independent
Yes, it would be nice to have money handed to you whenever you needed it, but it probably wouldn’t be that helpful in the long run. Coming from a family that can’t always help support you financially can give you a jump start on your independence.
Being a college Sophomore, I’m surrounded by hundreds of kids who have their tuition and rent paid for by their parents. While I sometimes envy them, most of the time I’m thankful for my situation. Student debt may be stressful, but at the end of the day I’m in control of my finances, and I’m better at budgeting because of it.
The weight of a dollar means a heck of a lot more to me than it does to some kids who have it handed to them. This has made me really cautious to what I can and can’t afford, and how to budget my finances. It has also lead me to find ways to solve problems by myself. If I need money for something, I usually try just about anything before asking for a dime from someone else.
You’ll Appreciate Your Success More
Just like you have to know pain before you can truly know happiness, you have to know broke before you can fully appreciate riches.
If you’ve seen your parents work taxing jobs all their lives for little pay it will make you appreciate all of your victories more. There’s nothing better than knowing that you are creating something from scratch, and that you are responsible for your success.
They Did the Best They Could
Maybe they don’t deserve parent of the year, but chances are they did the best they could. Once you have kids it’s a heck of a lot harder to change your circumstances than before you have kids. Especially if you’re a single parent. Sure, it’s still possible! However, don’t hold grudges against your parents because they were never able to provide the life other kids had.
The most important thing at the end of the day isn’t what kind of jeans you were wearing when you were 17. So move past it. What’s more important is the fact that you had a support system, and sufficient resources to prosper. You don’t need $100 dollar jeans to get good grades after all.
So, make sure you thank your parents! Maybe you didn’t always like your circumstances, but they did everything they could to give you a life where you could prosper and achieve greatness.
I hope this article helped make you a little more thankful for growing up in the circumstances you were handed! I know that I’ve grown to be thankful, and I admire my mom now more than ever. She worked really hard for a really long time to give me a good enough foundation to build success for myself. She’s basically the BOMB.com, and I’m sure your parents are too!
P.S. all these photos are photos of mine, including that sassy little girl! Yep that’s me!
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