I’m not what you’d call a rich gal. I live within my means. A few friends have called my house a “starter house” because it’s so small and on the poor side of Austin, but I love it and hope to always live in a place my family can count on if only one of us is employed. We don’t buy clothes for ourselves or my kids and am thankful to have friends and fam pass on a bag of shirts and pants that we don’t mind giving another run. If something is broken, Hubs fixes it. If something has a rip, I sew it. I find deals for Christmas gifts or make it myself. We work. Hard. And it’s not always easy, but we are happy.
Last year I was ashamed to enter my family on MODG’s WANA post (we are not assholes) saying my kid was only going to get my old toys from the attic. Both hubs and I had just lost our jobs, sold the car to pay down credit cards to be more affordable, and asked family for help. It’s one thing to reach out to family in private. It’s another to tell perfect strangers you feel like less of a parent because you can’t provide like you hope to.
This year we’ve pulled ourselves out of the hole by not feeling like we are about to lose the house because I was able to get a seasonal job back sooner than expected, and hubs is working like crazy every waking hour to keep our business afloat (which includes one other friend, who relies on hubs to provide for his own fam. But we are not there yet. We have taken loan from our parents (we don’t want any more handouts), lived off of credit cards for the last two months, and eat most meals through WIC benefits. Hubs and I are uninsured but the kids can go to the doctor through CHIP and Medicaid. We survive, but barely. I don’t have that screaming panic I had this time last year. But I’m also selling everything that’s not nailed down (anyone need maternity clothes?)
What I’m getting at is this: I have a great deal of pride, feel resourceful in my endeavors to make what I can’t afford to buy, but will ask for help when I need it. I made a post for help on MODG’s post today. And if you need help, there are beautiful people out there that are in the position to help you. (Don’t be greedy, of course, but if you want to make sure your kids have food on the table or clothes for the next season, you might have a miracle coming to you this Christmas.)
Last year, I had three lovely ladies send EB clothes and a few toys. This year I’m confident the grandmas have taken care of them present-wise and I found dollar books at half price, so I was at least able to play Santa this year. But those women unwittingly made our worries go away just long enough to enjoy the holidays. Maybe there’s someone out there who can do the same for you.
Or if you feel like you are in the position to help some lucky family, go find and “in need” comment and make a new friend. Hopefully this time next year I can pay it forward.