When we welcome children into the world, we promise to give them the sun and the moon. But as expenses pile up, responsibilities grow and children develop, it becomes harder and harder to afford fancy new toys, trips and clothing!
Cassandra Lane, a loving mother of five, knows this hard financial lesson better than most. Money gets tight in their home and the Lanes have had to make sacrifices every so often.
No matter how strapped they may be for cash, Cassandra knows that loving her children is the most important thing she could ever give them. However, Cassandra’s confidence in her parenting abilities came crashing down one afternoon when she saw how much other children her son’s age had it…
Cassandra’s problem began when she and her son Zeke were waiting to take his high school senior photos. She shared her realization, and her emotional conversation with Zeke days later with the Love What Matters Facebook page.
“Earlier this week we went to get Zeke’s senior yearbook pictures. On the way, I noticed his hands. Working hands. Hands that look familiarly like my dad’s work-stained hands and like Brandon’s in the early years of our marriage.
I told him not to worry about it because they were doing headshots. I was wrong.”
“As we sat in line, I notice kids in letterman jackets with their class rings. And I notice Zeke’s stained hands. I began to tear up. Have I given him everything a parent should give to their child as he has grown up? He works out in the heat, 30-40 hours a week during the summer. He didn’t want a class ring or a letterman jacket. He didn’t get a new car. The mommy comparison game tells me I didn’t show him how much I love him with things. I left there feeling bad about myself and how we have raised our son.
I’ve been reflecting the last few days and crying a lot, honestly. I apologized to Zeke and he laughed at me. He said, ‘Why are you sorry? Because you’ve taught me to work hard for things I want? Because I know the value of a dollar? Because I’m not going to think that I deserve to have everything I want?’
And my sister reminded me that the best things in life aren’t things, but relationships, and any shortfalls in my parenting are covered by God’s grace. So, mama’s, if you’re struggling with the parenting comparison game, just know that God gave you the babies you have because he wanted you, YOU, to be their mama. Not someone else.
I am beyond proud of Zeke, who has taken his brother shopping for a canoe today, using his money that he earned in a vehicle that he fixed with his own hands and gas he paid for by himself. I’m not ready for Zeke to grow up, but I think he’s well on his way.”
Instead of being upset at what he lacked, Zeke was happy to have a family that taught him the ins and outs of life. There’s nothing special about being babied and never having to earn something for yourself!
As parents, we may not be able to provide our children with all of the material items they want – but we’ll give them all the love they need. And that’s the most important lesson of all!