I believe no matter how unfortunate one’s upbringing may be, it does not have to mold who they are for the rest of their lives. Growing up I was always secretly envious of children who grew up with both real parents and in homes that were permanent. You see, I was an only child raised by a young single mother and we moved quite frequently as I grew up. I watched my mother suffer working late hours cleaning hotel rooms and getting home tired and irritable. She was an 8th grade drop-out and up until I was 16 years old she had to make ends meet for the both of us. My father assisted us as much as he could from time to time, but my mother endured the brunt of the expenses of raising me alone. I got the first job I could as soon as I was of age. I couldn’t wait to make my own money and be able to help my mom with small bills. Even as things got better for us as I grew older, I still never dealt with my demons. I continued envying the “spoiled” kids who had their own bedrooms, working vehicles, and even had allowances just for doing simple chores around the house such as dishes, laundry, or cleaning their own room! These were things I had to do. There was never any monetary reward. My mother always gave me a reality check by pointing out how better off we were than other more unfortunate families. Yet still the anger in me lingered. As an adult now, I have learned to realize that no one ever chooses what family they are born to and I thank my creator for allowing me to be born to the 16-year-old dropout and allowing me to suffer with her as we both grew up together. It was those experiences that have shown me how to be more appreciative of the simple things in life. Today my husband (who had a very stable upbringing with two wonderful, adorable parents) and I have a great respect for money and we lead a very frugal lifestyle with most of our earnings going straight into our savings for that dream house where we can someday create a stable environment for children of our own. In this same home we plan to care for both our aging parents; especially mine, who did their best as two naïve teenagers with nothing more to offer me but love and experiences of a lifetime. I will make certain my children will learn the importance of what makes a real home and how it has nothing to do with materialistic possessions.
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