So, if you know me and you are reading this, you already know that I prefer warm temperatures. I absolutely love living in Florida, and I keep the air in our house set at a temperature that makes most of my friends gasp. Believe me, when I go grocery shopping I take a sweater. Our AC broke a couple of days ago. Hopefully it is just a minor issue, as we have reason to suspect. We are waiting for about a week to have it repaired so that the repairman will be here while my husband is not at work.
So, for about a week, we are living in ninety-degree temps. We have several very strong fans, and I haven’t been very uncomfortable. I think about my grandparents, and how they lived through it all summer, every summer and they didn’t even have the fans. We lose perspective sometimes. When I am feeling particularly overwhelmed I remind myself that my grandmother had three babies in cloth diapers, and no hot water in the house. She had to boil water to do the wash and then hang them out on the line. I have trouble fathoming how she did it.
Sometimes we don’t have a clear vision of exactly what we have gotten used to, that we could really manage to do without. Then sometimes we sit back and realize exactly what we have been going without all along. This specifically applies to parents. We sacrifice a lot. After having our foster children, my husband and I decided that it was simply essential for us that we have one parent stay at home. I got that job because my husband can’t breastfeed, and the twins were essentially latched onto me for the first year of their life.
Surviving as a single income family, with three children, requires an awful lot of sacrifice. I have never paid for a manicure or a pedicure in my life. The last time that I had my hair cut by a professional, it was done for free to donate to Locks of Love. I haven’t spent more than twenty dollars on an item of clothing since before my children were born. The last time that I purchased a pair of shoes for myself was about a year and a half ago. I store bottles of wine to share with guests, but when they’re not here, I drink boxed wine, all the way.
I’m okay with all of this. Honestly, when there is more money around here, I will still be drinking boxed wine, I might just be able to afford a better brand. I don’t need manicures; I would like to be putting away for the kids for college instead. Rather than shoes, I would like to be able to visit our families more often, or put the kids in more extra curricular classes, or go out to dinner more frequently. Sacrificing stuff doesn’t bother me much at all. Experiences hold much more value in my mind.
There is also the consideration that I am basically stuck with my three little minions twenty for hours a day. I get an afternoon here or there when my husband isn’t working and I run to the store by myself. That’s about it. Babysitters are definitely not in our budget. This is my choice though, and I see the evidence every single day, of how much this choice benefits my kids. All parents sacrifice. Lucky for me that I never had any aspirations of a high-powered career. It’s also a good thing that I prefer to wear flip-flops.
I know that I am doing the most important job I could ever do. Most of the time, I would admittedly describe myself as on the edge of insanity rather than blissfully fulfilled. I can laugh about it though, and I am genuinely happy. I may be sitting in ninety some degrees right now, but I consider myself pretty blessed. Yeah, there's sacrifice. My kiddos are worth it.