Things I wish my mom taught me sooner…. Part 1
Let me start by saying I am not a parent.
While I hope to be one in the future I hope that this post would come back to me as a reminder to my future parent self.
Now that my formality introduction is out the way here are a few things I wish I learned sooner in life.
I was originally going to name this one How to budget. But then I realized I wish I knew more than that – how to budget, how to invest, the best way to save – overall money lessons.
I learned how to budget when I went off and away to college. Before that I just happen to “always” have money in my pockets. However, my experience growing up in a Haitian house hold I’ve come to realize my parent “babied” their children – especially the girls. Maybe a better word would be they (parents) are over protective of their children. They want the best for them and they want them to succeed – yet they can be stifling.
One thing my mom did always tell me growing up – always have money in your pocket and always have enough to pay for your own meal. I try to be sure that I always have at least $100 dollars to my name. It’s not much but its something.
The older I get the more I see how money touches every aspect of my life. Yet I also see how so many people mismanage it. I can’t remember where I heard the analogy but it said something along the lines of “We are managers of Gods money, if we can’t manage it well why would he bless us with more?”
The World Owes You Nothing
Sounds harsh right? Let me back track a bit. This topic of money comes to my mind because of a situation that happened today. I’m not sure why the small lessons of money didn’t carry all the way through to each sibling. The lesson of responsibility starts at a young age and I could see first hand how my mom delayed that sense of responsibility with my sister. Rather than tell you what happened to her I’ll tell you what made me decide to save my money and get a car. Let me mention that I saved money up three times and blew it before committing to put the money to buying a car. Lesson surely learned after this experience.
This story takes place when I was working at retail. One night after having to stay late with a few coworkers folding up clothes and making sure the drawers proofed, I had to wait a bit later for the bus to show up. It was freezing cold out and it started to rain. I didn’t have an umbrella so I called a few friends that I knew had a car to see if they could pick me up. I called one friend – no answer. Another friend, car problems, another friend – a flat out no. By this time I realized I’d have to walk home. Fast forward to getting off the bus and I had no umbrella – just a hooded Guess Jacket. I had ballerina shoes on my feet and thick leggings and jeans. Needless to mention I was freezing and getting sopping wet.
I had one more block to walk until I arrived home and I started to cry. I started screaming and shouting (as though someone would hear me, or stop to take me home). I was crying out of frustration. I had graduated from college only to end up doing retail. Some people do make a career out of it, but it wasn’t for me. And retail wasn’t going to help me get my bills paid. While crying and walking home in cold sopping wet frustration, I vowed I’d get my car by summer time. I began saving like crazy, and asking around for help in purchasing my first car. A few months later I got my baby blue Toyota from a friend. She’s still riding with me today – no car note baby! Anyway whats the point of this story? I wish my mom taught my siblings and I (one sibling in particular) how to save money. How to be prepared for “expected unexpected life events”. I wish she enforced that you get out wha you put in. And that the world owes you nothing. When I hear some of the stories about my moms past I know she had a difficult life. I know america didn’t turn out to be the dream that was sold to her. I also wish that she openly told me that …
Double Standards Exist
And for me they started at home. There was always a double standard between my brother and I – and to this day if my brother were to come home and say he was tired and needed a nap, my mom would bend over backwards to be sure everyone in the house was quiet. Let it be me trying to get a nap in and pots are banging, the Haitian radio is blasting, humming, singing, shouting, laughter on the phone – this all “happens to take place” when I want to take a nap. Oh and sleep – forget it. As a “woman” you have to cook, clean, work a full-time job – rest is not really in the equation. Let me clarify – my mom is from Haiti. I know she gets her work ethics from my grandmother. Grandma would be up at 4:30/5:00 am making coffee, and eggs or having coffee with bread and peanut butter. There is always work to be done. I don’t agree with the double standards, and I know at times I am even guilty of them within my relationship with my boyfriend. Lets face it double standards exist.
A few things my mom did teach and enforce were
– always leave the house with clean panties on – (her reasons were crazy) but a main one: hygiene.
– figure it out.
– value your education, it will take you far.
– make your bed when you wake up (okay, I’ll admit I still struggle with this one. Pure laziness but I’ll get better at it. I did make it today!)
While there are more lessons I’d like to share, I happen to make my word count (don’t judge me). If you made it this far I’d love to hear a few lessons you mother (or parent) taught you – or lessons you wish you learned sooner. Comment below!