Life as a single Mother-Empty nest, Dating, Ex-husband, Best Friends, Full-time Employment, Unemployment, night school...How do these all relate to one another? Come with me:

Friday, March 20, 2009

Uphill both ways

My most impressionable years were in the nineteen-seventies and nineteen-eighties. With my younger years being impressed upon by prime-time television families such as the Brady Bunch, eight is enough and wonder years. Later in my teens, there was a little more independence with big hair, neon clothing and MTV.

At the time, we were unaware of just how great things were. I didn't grow up in an upper class family and we were barely in the middle class but in the eighties, in my small town, it did not matter. We spent hours ratting our hair into huge styles, guys included. We spent hours on end at the local shopping mall. However, money was not important to most of us. Most fun could be found on a dime.

Fun for us would be riding our bikes across town to see friends, stopping in at the school sports meets, or just plain driving around town saying hello to friends who worked in the local hang-outs. Just plain 'hanging out'. Life was just easy.

Cheap cut-off shorts, tee shirts, stretch leggings and high top tennis shoes and you were in fashion. Friends were not worried about what you paid for your clothing, more so about what cute boys would we see while walking the mall.

We didn't spend hours on end in front of the computer because most of us didn't own one. When cable TV came about, we spent a lot of hours watching MTV or HBO but it was usually reserved for Friday and Saturday nights relaxing after being out building forts all day in an empty lot.

Kids today, including my own, cant understand how we ever got along without the technology of today. As a single mother on a budget, my kids have never had the latest gadgets. A few years ago I broke down and added a line to my cell phone account for all my kids to share the line in case we were in a crowded venue or if they ventured out on their own and needed a safety net. Within the first few months, my oldest daughter had run up a $1200 bill calling and texting with friends. Lesson learned. She still has a phone, as do my other two, but a $25 unlimited plan has saved my sanity. There is just no way to control that. What would she say if she were tethered to a cord?! Or limited to a 15 min phone call as my parents would allow- god forbid!

I think of myself as a technologically savvy mother, I work in 3D design on a computer for a living. And well, I blog you know. But I cant help but see the huge gap between my and my kids generations. I can recall conversations from my past with my parents when I was younger. They would tell me that I had it pretty good. And, well, I did! And my children more so.

My children will not know this until they possibly have children of their own. They will also never know what it is like to do a school book report by actually reading a book or encyclopedia at the library. Google, to them, is the library. They will never know what it is like to build clubs and forts in the empty lot next door. Population growth has left few empty lots, and those few that are left are littered with no trespassing signs probably due to vandalism or injuries resulting in lawsuits. And they will never know what it is like to just hang out- this does not in any way sound fun to them. Cruising main street?! what?

I wish my kids could experience the swimming in a watering hole, swimming in cut-off shorts as I did as a teen. digging in the dirt or snow in order to make clubhouses... not these new fangled dollhouses that are miniature mansions. I wish they could experience more of the simple things I did in my youth. Maybe my parents feel the same.

I have done my best to instill in them, the value of money, and hard work at the same time showing them some of the best things life has to offer free of charge. And we have done a lot! Just wish there was more time for more. Without a phone stuck to their ear.

I would never spend hundreds of dollars on a hair cut, I would never buy a pair of $200 shoes. But time together, in our cut-offs at a swimming hole or fishing pond, soaking up the sun, that my friends is priceless.- Seriously- ever been to a crash derby? or a rodeo?

As a single mother you could say we have always been in a deficit, we have always needed a stimulus plan, and we have not wanted for anything because all that matters is us.


  1. I am bit younger then you and just had my first baby so I am not there on the parent level yet. But I agree our children today don't/won't have it bad, and part of me is sad that mine will miss out on some the awesome adventures, I had as a child. Since in today's day and age it just isn't as safe anymore.

  2. Welcome to my blog Bobbi, and thank you for the comment. congratulations on your baby, parenting is a blast.
    Hope yo keep reading and comment more.

  3. Great post. I too grew up in the 70s and 80s. Cutoffs, t-shirts, etc. were the norm. No cell phones, computers, ipods. The big thing where we lived was having a van and decking it out with shag carpet on the interior. But that was for older kids.

    And phones that weren't cordless! Parents listening in on conversations! How would today's kids cope?

    My son is great at finding natural things to do. He'll find sticks, and roll down hills, and climb trees. At least when his friends aren't texting him. Ha.

  4. WB DH,
    yeah those were the days. thank you.
    shag carpet in a van? I my town that was a pimp mobile!? yes definitely older. haha.
    I guess my kids think that I still live in the 80's as I still play the music, and watch the movies... now they love the 80's too.


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