Facing Your Age: Them Young ‘uns

Recently, a friend messaged me complaining that her regular sitter, a young lady in college, cancelled on her at the last minute. The sitter wasn’t sick, she had scheduled an appointment during her regular babysitting hours. Oh, and the sitter didn’t actually call my friend. My friend happened to call the sitter to relay some information, and BOOM now she’s gotta scramble to find someone in two hours.

It sparked a conversation in our friend group, and apparently, it’s only a matter of time before something like this happens to any one of us. We all agreed that when we were in our babysitting years, we never did anything like this and wondered …

Why is this happening? 

I have a theory:

Take it allll the way back to 1982. My parents were married at 20 and 24. They moved to a crappy apartment in Monroe while Dad finished pharmacy school. They had cinderblock furniture, ate chicken and ground beef and a whole lotta peanut butter. Their friends? They were doing the SAME DAMN THING! and everyone had fun.

They moved home and into a trailer because they were broke and were soon expecting a baby #cestmoi. They worked hard and saved up to buy their first home, and, looking at pics from then, they had a few pieces of furniture and a couple pictures on the walls, but they were in a precious cottage on an acre of land that was theirs! We eventually moved into a larger home in the city, and my parents moved again into their dream home … and again in a dream home only 4 minutes away from me #yay, but my siblings and I SAW their struggle and hard work to get all they had, and they instilled in us that there is NO SHAME in starting small and working your way up. They have been a lesson in humility and perseverance and love for my whole life.

People are having kids later in life, after settling into a job, owning a home, owning cars. How many people do you know who are getting married at 20 nowadays? Not a lot. These parents are going through their struggle, their humble abodes, before they are having children, or even getting married. When they do have children, this life that took their parents maybe even a decade to build is the norm. They don’t understand the work and time that it took to accumulate some wealth and stability to get to that point, because they didn’t see it. So they think they deserve all that right out of the gate. And if their parents are not directly reinforcing the #humbleroots concept, then these kids may think that there is shame in smallness. They need to see and understand the growth, that there is no shame in a hard-earned jalopy or trailer home.

This isn’t a post to slam parents for providing bountifully for their children. There is no shame in reward for hard work. But the hard work is the important part! That’s the lesson. That to achieve great things requires great work. And a well-earned Camry will be taken care of a helluvalot better than a gifted BMW.

I mean, I have no experience with a Beamer, but I loved my Camry.

Moral of the story: as parents I feel we want to shield our children from the struggle. Of course we do. We want them to feel safe and secure in all aspects of their life. But #thestruggleisreal and it will be extra real when they are flying solo out in the real world.

A little struggle in the safety net is good for the soul.

Sarah Keating
Sarah is a 30-something mom of four children under six and wife to her high-school sweetheart. She returned to Acadiana two years ago following her husband’s completion of medical school and residency in Shreveport. After the move, Sarah switched gears from full-time pediatric speech-language pathologist and working mom to full-time stay-at-home mom to her brood. Her current hobbies include “speech-therapizing” her children, re-reading the Outlander series, catching up on her Netflix queue after the kids go to bed, completing XHIT videos at naptime, and taking her medication every morning. She loves and respects the sacredness of motherhood, but sometimes you just have to let go and laugh it out. Motherhood has been the most humbling, and empowering journey she has experienced.


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