After my oldest was born was mom was there, to remind me, that I never did without, and that my child should never do without either. My income did not matter, what mattered was that my little baby girl, who could not walk yet, had the best shoes available. Only leather, of course, let her feet be accustomed to the good stuff. Four month old babies NEED swim lessons nowadays, and of course, ballet is of supreme importance. Now that I have three kids and live so far away that nobody I grew up around can drop in on me – I’ve developed rules that are a little different. For example, my youngest, didn’t get his first pair of real shoes until his first birthday because babies don’t need shoes anyway. I may have let my husband splurge on a pair for a family picture, but those were promptly lost – never to be seen again.
Then last month, an unexpected bill, mixed with an unexpected this, turned into an unexpected that and wow, my grocery money is a fraction of what I’m used to. My Momma Bear complex came back with a vengeance. I DONT CARE HOW MUCH MONEY I HAVE, MY KIDS WILL NOT DO WITHOUT!!! I searched, and surfed, and looked, and counted, and meal planned. I shopped at varies different stores, but only if I had other things to do in that part of town so as not to waste any extra money on gas. I made sure that I put delicious, nutritious, organic, sustainable food on the table just like always. My kids and husband barely noted the difference (except for my constant bragging on how much money I saved). At the end, I was in awe of the reality. I can feed my family, delicious, nutritious, food at a fraction of the cost. AND. That’s a whole lot of work, to make sure you don’t have to eat quesadillas and beans for dinner three days in a row. Quesadillas and beans are GOOD.
And that’s how I was able to reach a whole new level of doing without, and how its ok. We ran out of butter? Eat your toast dry. You ran out of syrup? Skip the french toast and have (dry) bread and scrambled eggs instead. Ran out of oil? Make soup. All this time, I have been in fear of doing without, when all it is, is an opportunity to do things differently. Doing without is not the same as living in poverty. Doing without, is an exercise in questioning: What is it we really NEED to be happy?