A few months back I encountered a situation that was just down right sad. During one of my many visits to my husband’s parents’ house I encountered a young lady who clearly failed to grasp the concept of putting her children first. She was a longtime friend of my husband’s family. She was single mother of 2 living with her mother sister, brother in-law, niece and nephew in their already cramped one bedroom apartment. She, along with her mother and 2 children had been evicted from their home and her sister had offered them a place to lay their head on a temporary basis. We all fall on hard times and some of us fall harder than others. But that wasn’t the part that troubled me.
Her “temporary” living arrangements had exceeded a years worth of time. She showed no signs of make progress towards securing a place of her own, but had recently purchased new video game consoles for each of her children. To make matters worse her 8 and 6 year old boys’ speech patterned the speech abilities of a 2 year old. Scooby Doo was called “Scoo Scoo”. The Playstation they were playing was called “Stayton” and the oldest boy kept approaching me asking me what “him name is” (what was my daughter’s name). She took pride in the fact that she was able to buy her boys their own gaming consoles and didn’t appear to be the least bit bothered by her sons speech. For some reason I looked down at the floor and when I did I noticed the boys were wearing named brand shoes, new Jordans to be exact, and at that moment I wasn’t sure if I should hug her, pull her to the side and correct her, or do both. I was completely dumbfounded.
At times I have a habit of being judgmental, so I took a moment to further assess the situation, but no matter how many times I went over it something wasn’t right. My daughter’s one year old buddy was clearer in her speech than both of these boys and I couldn’t understand how one could take pride in the fact that they’d recently spent hundreds of dollars on video games and named brand shoes, all while having yet to secure a place of their own. Wowzers! There was no doubt in my mind that she loved her boys, but she’d clearly missed the mark. Her intentions were good. Who wouldn’t want to give their children the best of everything? But there’s a fine line between good intentions and priorities.
If you cannot stay afloat without imposing on others, or if you cannot provide a stable foundation for your children then you may need to re-evaluate some things. Fancy clothing and video games may be your idea of offering your child the best, but if they can neither read the title of the game they are playing, nor properly pronounce the names of the garments they are wearing then your good intentions are meaningless. There comes a point where we mommies have to seriously ask ourselves if our intentions are crippling or maximizing our childrens’ capabilities. At the end of the day it’s not about how many material items you can offer, but rather the foundation you lay, the examples you set, and the how committed you are to them thriving in every area of their lives.