Friday, December 19, 2008

Nothing To Complain About

I sat down at the computer about 45 minutes ago prepared to write a blog about how bad things suck in my life right now and how i really need a break. I got distracted (as i often do, as i am sure i must have ADHD or ADD) by this new show called Secret Millionaire on Fox. For those of you who don't watch TV or just don't watch reality TV i will give you the low down on it.

Secret Millionaire is a show where they take a person or family who is a millionaire or multi-millionaire and strip them of everything for a week. They provide them with welfare wages and send them to the most poverty stricken neighborhood in their state. They have to live without the luxury of their wealth for a week and in that week they have to find people that they want to help. At the end of the show they are required to give at least $100,000.00 of their own money away to the people that they have met and been touch by through out the week.

Now as i sat and watched this the thought that my life is sooooooooo bad vanished. I suddenly felt so happy for the things i do have rather than bitching about the things that i don't. I by no means have a lot of money. For that matter we (and this is very hard to admit) live, by all standards, in poverty ourselves, but i can not complain about it. Are bills are paid, we have heat and running water, we eat breakfast lunch and dinner everyday, and we have some luxury.

I thank God every night that we have a roof over our head, clothes on our back, and food in our bellies. My husband has a great job where there isn't an immediate threat of being laid off or fired. I have 2 beautiful children who are smart and talented. I have the luxury of staying at home with them (for the past 4 years as i will be getting a job after the new year or sooner). What do i have to complain about.

There are people just in my neighborhood that have it worse. For example i just saw a family, today, walking up the street with trash bags of their clothing and shopping cart with lamps and a TV in it. The eldest boy who walked tall beside his mother was pushing a small child in a stroller and his younger sibling was helping his mom push the buggy. As i watched them walk past me i wondered what had happened to them but i didn't ask or help.

I think a part of me feared that they would think i was being uppity if i ask if they needed help, and another part of me (as much as i hate to admit this) was scared of them. Society has told us that if you are poor it is because you choose to be this way. You choose not to get an education and you choose to live off of welfare. I have done my fair share of bitching about welfare moms but how can we help those who need to be helped without helping some bad people also.

I don't know who in their right mind would choose to live off of welfare wages just because that is easier than getting a job. Now don't get me wrong i am full aware that some people do. Some people abuse the system and that is wrong, but most people are just looking for a helping hand or at least i would like to think that. I like to think the best of people even if all the evidence points the other way. Who would choose to for go college so they can stay at home and pop out kids for a $400.00 a month pay check. I don't know many who would be happy with this life.

I have heard it all from a lot of different ethnicity's, religions, and genders. Why don't you just get a job? Close your legs so you don't have so many mouths to feed! If you can't support you kids give them to someone who can! Those have never been said to me but i can admit that i have said those at times and i will tell you why. I myself and the recipient of Food Stamps and those who do abuse the system do make it hard on those of us who really just need a helping hand.

My husband works 40+ hours a week for $10.00 an hour. He slaves away in a restaurant and barley brings home enough to pay all the bills plus buy some extra food. Yes it would help if i got a job but i cant afford daycare. For two children, at most day cares around my area, it would cost $50.00 a day. Add that up for 5 days a week and you have $250.00 a week or $1000.00 a month. If i got a job, having no college degree, for minimum wage, i would be working to pay for daycare. Now can any of you tell me that makes any since? So i stay at home with my kids and take my $120.00 worth of food stamps a month. If you wanna know the harsh reality of it we survive with that much food plus what little extra we can afford. I don't cook elaborate meals, but we are fed and my kids never go without food...EVER! When most family spend that much a week we make it last a month!

The whole point of this is that i have no right to complain. Their are people in far worse situations than me. There are people who don't have the money to feed their kids, to put a roof over their head, to shelter them from the rain. There are people who don't have clean water or clean clothes to put on. There are people who will be evicted because they got laid off and cant make their mortgage or rent this month. I have no right to bitch about my life. Because as i sit here comfy in my computer chair, with my kids sound asleep in their warm bed, typing away on my (highly over priced) Internet...i know i am blessed. I know that God has blessed us with all these things. We are safe, full, warm, and i am thankful!

PS...i just read through this again and realized that i admitted way more than i care to usually share. I don't like to admit to being "poor" and i don't like to admit to being on food stamps, but i refuse to allow myself to take this post down. I think i needed to see that it is OK. That although i am not rich in money i am rich in friends and family and love. Thank you all who read this and please i hope you all are thankful for what you have tonight! that their isnt any confusion as to how i will afford daycare when i do get a job. A friend has offered to watch my kids for next to nothing. She is a saint and i love her to death.

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