Thoughts on Being a Poor Mom

We’ve been having car trouble. Repeatedly. It has been something every month… and it’s starting to be every week. Some small thing. $50 here, $100 there. So yesterday Hubster and I went in to a local car dealership. We weren’t looking for anything flashy or fancy. Just reliable. Admittedly, it was one dealer, one lot. But the way the numbers laid out, we realized that a new vehicle wasn’t realistic for us. Part of it is our credit. It’s not great, although we have been slowly trying to improve it. Part of it is that Hubster has not been at his job for very long, about 3 months. But part of it is just that we don’t make a lot of money. The dealer said several times “Well, you just don’t make a lot…”. Which is mind boggling, because I know people who somehow survive on minimum wage, and Hubster makes more than that. But money just doesn’t go as far as it used to… although that’s the history of the world, right? Inflation.

Regardless, we are technically poor. We qualify for food stamps and WIC. It’s a weird thing to really look square in the face. Even weirder to write a post about.

I guess it seems so weird because I don’t generally think of ourselves as poor. Hell, we are doing a lot better than we were a year ago! I think back two or three years… And it seems like we’ve come a long ways. We are able to pay rent. We have food to eat and clothes to wear. We are almost always current on our bills. We don’t overdraft the bank account on a regular basis anymore.

Sure, our clothes aren’t the height of fashion. Most of my wardrobe is several years old. It’s starting to look a bit worn. But if it gets stained, torn or holes I put it in the “to donate” pile.

I had a good cry when we got home from the dealership. It wasn’t really about the car thing. It was about being confronted with the fact that for all the progress we’ve made, we are still poor. Our finances is the main reason our surrogate stepped down all those years ago. It’s why various friends and families weren’t supportive of TTC. But Seedling has everything she needs! Heck, she has plenty of fun extras that aren’t necessity!

I don’t have grand plans for our family. My dreams are fairly modest, even a bit archaic. A little piece of land where we can raise our own meat and garden. Teach our children about God and faith and the value of working hard and doing the right thing. But I also want to be able to give my daughter dance classes, and horseback riding lessons or underwater basket weaving if that’s what really strikes her fancy. I want to be able to help her go to college. And it’s a tough pill to swallow to realize that with our current situation I can’t do that.

Generally, I’m content. I have a wonderful husband who us a fabulous father to our delightful little girl. My basic needs are met. We are surrounded with loving family, a strong church, and I’m slowly making lots of great new friends through my mom groups. I just wish that society could see that my life is rich, even if its not in material goods.

5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by yourothermotherhere on June 2, 2013 at 7:32 am

    For what it’s worth, people really don’t spend all that much time judging impoverished individuals. They are too wrapped up in their own lives.

    It may sound trite, but truly, the best thing you can give to your children is your time. Everyone has at least one good memory of the time they spent with their parent(s) as a child, a memory that will last their lifetime. Toys will be forgotten – memories, never.


  2. Oh sweetie. Let me just say that you are not alone. Seriously, sometimes I think about the fact that we could qualify for food stamps and WIC here. It’s hard and sometimes I get pretty down about it. And I get a lot of pressure from others to go back to work instead of being a SAHM. It’s so hard to live on one income in this day and age… but it is possible. I choose to stay home and be poor, so that we can be rich as a family. My children need me and I need them. Period. These are sacrifices I’m willing to make, that I knew I was making when I chose to stay home. They are hard. But they are worth it!!!

    Colleges give loans and scholarships. And children whose mothers are involved do better in school and are more likely to get those scholarships. Don’t worry about things that are that far into the future. Be prayerful and decide every day what is best for “right now” and the Lord will guide you to a future that He knows is best for you. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

    I know it’s so hard. And in a couple months, when my POS car finally breaks down all the way, you’ll need to say all of this to me, because I honestly have NO IDEA what I’ll do when that thing is no longer there… But I do believe that the Lord will provide. He always has, and He always will. So just… *hugs*… have faith and courage… and like they say in Nemo “just keep swimming, just keep swimming….”


    • LOL – Nemo 🙂
      I promise to remind you of all this when you need it!
      I love being a SAHM. Although the reality is that daycare and gas cost more than I made at my job, so I’m technically saving money by staying home… insanity!


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