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We've never had a ton of money, and I've really never been envious of wealthier people, but lately it's been bothering me. A lot.

 

Today I dropped my DD7 off at a friend's house for a playdate. They live at the other end of town, in a brand-new area of McMansions. I came back to our tiny old house and cried. I don't know why it's bothering me now. I think it's because of the group of friends that DD has...they are all in their 20s, living in nice houses, drinking Starbucks and driving around in new cars. And here I am pushing 40, in a 2 bedroom house with my 4th (suprise) baby. Our 2 older kids have the main floor bedrooms while DH and I and the younger two share the unfinished basement. We have one car. I could use some new clothes (one of my 3 pairs of wearable pants now has a hole in it.) We had to put off paying two bills just to buy groceries this month.

 

It's just...embarrassing. We've never been this broke before. DH was diagnosed with a major chronic disease last fall while we were uninsured, and even though he now has a new job that pays more and has benefits, we're still getting caught up on medical bills. His prescriptions are still an extra expense even with insurance. And we had zero stuff for the new baby when she was born (plus the cost of her birth, which was cheaper because she was born at home but still it was $2k). For some reason I thought that when he got his new job we would be suddenly caught up. Plus, it seems like just when we think we're getting over the hump, we slide back down again. In the past two months our clothes dryer died along with our lawn mower and we had to replace two tires on our car.

 

I know we'll get caught up eventually, but right now, things just seem overwhelming to me. :(

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We've never had a ton of money, and I've really never been envious of wealthier people, but lately it's been bothering me. A lot.

 

Today I dropped my DD7 off at a friend's house for a playdate. They live at the other end of town, in a brand-new area of McMansions. I came back to our tiny old house and cried. I don't know why it's bothering me now. I think it's because of the group of friends that DD has...they are all in their 20s, living in nice houses, drinking Starbucks and driving around in new cars. And here I am pushing 40, in a 2 bedroom house with my 4th (suprise) baby. Our 2 older kids have the main floor bedrooms while DH and I and the younger two share the unfinished basement. We have one car. I could use some new clothes (one of my 3 pairs of wearable pants now has a hole in it.) We had to put off paying two bills just to buy groceries this month.

 

It's just...embarrassing. We've never been this broke before. DH was diagnosed with a major chronic disease last fall while we were uninsured, and even though he now has a new job that pays more and has benefits, we're still getting caught up on medical bills. His prescriptions are still an extra expense even with insurance. And we had zero stuff for the new baby when she was born (plus the cost of her birth, which was cheaper because she was born at home but still it was $2k). For some reason I thought that when he got his new job we would be suddenly caught up. Plus, it seems like just when we think we're getting over the hump, we slide back down again. In the past two months our clothes dryer died along with our lawn mower and we had to replace two tires on our car.

 

I know we'll get caught up eventually, but right now, things just seem overwhelming to me. :(

 

 

I'm so sorry. It's so hard at those times. Praying for abundance to come to you soon! You deserve it.:grouphug:

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I understand where you are coming from but don't be embarrassed. Remember that you can't see other people's bank accounts. They could be just as broke as you and you don't know it. Things will improve but until they do be thankful that your small house and single car means you aren't looking at foreclosure or repossession. Living within your means is so important and will teach your children important lessons in life. Just think about how much worse things would be if you had been living on the other side of town with two cars before your DH got a new job! Head up momma.

 

FWIW my family was much much happier living in a one bedroom motel room last summer versus the three bedroom house we had the summer before. Now we are looking for a new place and will be moving into a 2 bedroom apartment even with a third child on the way. The small space brought our family so much closer together.

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Sorry. It's easy to get bogged down comparing yourself to others. We are renting a tiny two bedroom house now and it's been a very humbling experience. It's also made me think about our values and priorities a lot.

 

My only piece of consolation would be this: You do NOT know those other families' situations. When we lived in our new little neighborhood we had a simple life and I worked full time. I was constantly shocked at how much money our neighbors would spend and they had a SAHM. I felt like we were working SO hard and we should have...more. Well, it took me a few years and many private conversations to learn that most of the families I envied at the time were up to their eyeballs in DEBT. SO MUCH DEBT!!! While this wasn't the case for some families, I was truly shocked at how common it was. So now I try to remind myself that we all have different priorities and situations. Starbucks mom in her SUV could have just paid for that with her fourth maxed out credit card (true story) while the simple family down the street has a dad that could retire young and well.

 

We just never know, so try hard not to compare yourself to what you see on the *outside.* It isn't always true- or better. :)

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I understand where you are coming from but don't be embarrassed. Remember that you can't see other people's bank accounts. They could be just as broke as you and you don't know it. Things will improve but until they do be thankful that your small house and single car means you aren't looking at foreclosure or repossession. Living within your means is so important and will teach your children important lessons in life. Just think about how much worse things would be if you had been living on the other side of town with two cars before your DH got a new job! Head up momma.

 

 

:iagree: And your kids get to see how you deal with actual financial issues, which their friends will apparently have to figure out for themselves one day.

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We moved to Wyoming after dh had a LONG time of unemployment (unemployed for 9 mo then got a job for 4 mo before they went under then unemployed for a year-- this was in Mi when the economy was at its worst) Since moving he had 2 times when he was unemployed. Now he has a good job (it has been 18 months but the first 6 months were in a VERY low paying position until he was moved to another position!) but it is SO hard playing catch up. It really is. It will happen though. I went through a phase like what you are. It will get better! Be thankful for the job he has and his health! The rest is just stuff. That is it! The material things don't matter as much as the family! Hang in there :grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:

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Sorry. It's easy to get bogged down comparing yourself to others. We are renting a tiny two bedroom house now and it's been a very humbling experience. It's also made me think about our values and priorities a lot.

 

My only piece of consolation would be this: You do NOT know those other families' situations. When we lived in our new little neighborhood we had a simple life and I worked full time. I was constantly shocked at how much money our neighbors would spend and they had a SAHM. I felt like we were working SO hard and we should have...more. Well, it took me a few years and many private conversations to learn that most of the families I envied at the time were up to their eyeballs in DEBT. SO MUCH DEBT!!! While this wasn't the case for some families, I was truly shocked at how common it was. So now I try to remind myself that we all have different priorities and situations. Starbucks mom in her SUV could have just paid for that with her fourth maxed out credit card (true story) while the simple family down the street has a dad that could retire young and well.

 

We just never know, so try hard not to compare yourself to what you see on the *outside.* It isn't always true- or better. :)

I agree with the bolded. We live on a very high COL on an not high salary. While we have a really nice house (parsonage) we do not have a lot of extra for classes, field trips, etc. It always amazes me how much money folks around here drop. I feel jealous when they respond so quickly to really expensive field trip ideas. Dh always reminds me of the above. We don't do debt (except for mortgage.) Remember it's not the house that matters. You know that. We are the same family w/ the same joy and struggles in a large house that we were in a small house.:grouphug:

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I understand how you feel. I did notice that your post didn't mention marital problems, and though that does not mean your life doesn't have any marital trials, it sounds like you love your DH and family very much......and what a blessing to have a surprise baby!!!

 

I am not chastising you in the least, just saying the wonderful things I see in your life that many of the people in the Mcmansions only dream of having.

 

Try not to let it bug you. I hope things get better soon. Old medical bills are so tough.

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Sorry. It's easy to get bogged down comparing yourself to others. We are renting a tiny two bedroom house now and it's been a very humbling experience. It's also made me think about our values and priorities a lot.

 

My only piece of consolation would be this: You do NOT know those other families' situations. When we lived in our new little neighborhood we had a simple life and I worked full time. I was constantly shocked at how much money our neighbors would spend and they had a SAHM. I felt like we were working SO hard and we should have...more. Well, it took me a few years and many private conversations to learn that most of the families I envied at the time were up to their eyeballs in DEBT. SO MUCH DEBT!!! While this wasn't the case for some families, I was truly shocked at how common it was. So now I try to remind myself that we all have different priorities and situations. Starbucks mom in her SUV could have just paid for that with her fourth maxed out credit card (true story) while the simple family down the street has a dad that could retire young and well.

 

We just never know, so try hard not to compare yourself to what you see on the *outside.* It isn't always true- or better. :)

 

:iagree:I never understood how my sister's dh could afford the home they had and the lifestyle they led. It all made sense when they filed for bankruptcy a few years back and had 150k of credit card debt. :svengo: also, they bought their house for one price way over 20 years ago and they now owe DOUBLE what they did. Equity loans.

 

Hope the endless shopping sprees, fancy vacations, boats and constant eating out was worth it:glare: they struggle to pay their mortgage each month. I am surprised they still manage to.

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I agree with what the PPs said about not knowing others' circumstances. As an example...I have been through some crazy things over the past several years. Marriage problems, financial issues, job losses - you name it and it has happened to me. I have had periods of being very down and feeling bad for myself. Anyway, the other day I went out to eat at a local restaurant with my kids and my dad. Our waitress was a girl that I graduated from high school with. Things were kind of awkward while she was serving us and when she brought us the check, she went on and on explaining why she is working in a restaurant (single mom, going to school, etc.). My dad commented later that the girl was probably feeling insecure and probably viewed me as having a great life (eating in a restaurant with my kids and dad while she served us). It was just so obvious that she was uncomfortable. It made me wish I could go back and tell her the realities of my life! I do realize that things are usually not as they seem.

 

(But :grouphug: to you OP, as I know exactly how you feel)

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Sorry. It's easy to get bogged down comparing yourself to others. We are renting a tiny two bedroom house now and it's been a very humbling experience. It's also made me think about our values and priorities a lot.

 

My only piece of consolation would be this: You do NOT know those other families' situations. When we lived in our new little neighborhood we had a simple life and I worked full time. I was constantly shocked at how much money our neighbors would spend and they had a SAHM. I felt like we were working SO hard and we should have...more. Well, it took me a few years and many private conversations to learn that most of the families I envied at the time were up to their eyeballs in DEBT. SO MUCH DEBT!!! While this wasn't the case for some families, I was truly shocked at how common it was. So now I try to remind myself that we all have different priorities and situations. Starbucks mom in her SUV could have just paid for that with her fourth maxed out credit card (true story) while the simple family down the street has a dad that could retire young and well.

 

We just never know, so try hard not to compare yourself to what you see on the *outside.* It isn't always true- or better. :)

 

:iagree::iagree:

 

I know people who live in a McMansion. Both *must* work full time jobs to make the payments for the house and the yearly hot spot vacations they take every winter, paid for with their credit cards. Every now and then I find myself being envious of the fancy vacations (not the house...who wants to clean that?!?!), but I look at what I *do* have and in the end, it's so much better. I get to be with my kids every day while they are growing up.

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And...those people in the McMansions have likely a big debt load, would you really want to swap lives with them?

 

Just one thought regarding replacing expensive appliances which always break down at the most inopportune moment.

When my frontloader broke a few months back, I did not want to fork over $500, so I bought a used washer from a Craig's List ad. I don't like it very much (spins the heck out of clothes) but it saved me $400-500 at the time. I can replace it whenever it's more convenient for the budget.

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This I know:

Smart is the new rich. Just get smarter, it is way cooler.:D

Luxury cars are out.

Huge houses are out. People are downsizing and the trend is to move toward urban areas, smaller houses, less stuff... I am 100% sure I am older than you and have been there, done that. I am in the middle of doing all this myself. Save yourself the trouble and MONEY and just skip it!

Think micro...

Your feelings right now are understandable and normal. Now just be your own awesome self and love where you are!

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We are the working poor. Mostly, it doesn't bother me, but some days, it just feels overwhelming and a real bummer. :grouphug: I wouldn't trade my marriage or the size of my family for anything ever at all!!!!! But that doesn't mean that I don't sometimes wish I could just go buy the groceries we need or get the kids clothing and shoes when they need them instead of looking for hand-me-downs, etc.

 

It's Ok to feel blue about finances. It doesn't mean you aren't grateful for what you do have, it just means that sometimes the struggle makes you tired. :grouphug:

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And sometimes, the people with large homes and new vehicles really do just make a lot of money and even manage it well and wisely. Some people are truly blessed materially.

 

However.

 

Everyone's struggles come to them in different areas and at different times. That new SUV mom may have a happy marriage, good children and an all around happy life. It may be EXACTLY what it looks like on the outside. But we don't know how she grew up, if she had struggles as a child, a young adult. Or if she will have them later in her life or how may appear.

 

Rejoice that your friends are in/may be in a season of plenty. You have had seasons of plenty and WILL have them again. It is hard, hard, hard to get through the times that are lean, but that gives you areas to be creative in finding joy in your journey.

 

:grouphug::grouphug: and prayers.

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I'm sorry it hit you hard today.

 

I have those moments, too. It's not that we're broke. We do okay financially most of the time. We've been having to cut back since my husband took a paycut a year and a half ago, but we're still better off than lots of people we know.

 

But we've made very different choices about how we spend our money. We rent a small, older house with no amenities. We don't go on big vacations these days. We buy inexpensive clothing and not a lot of it. We're driving cars we bought used and not maintaining them all that well. I don't own jewelry. We have some electronics, but not the latest, newest or coolest of anything.

 

Thanks to lots of fund-raising and a nice scholarship, my son is heading off on a tour to England with his choir in a couple of weeks. The trip is paid for, but we still need to cover the cost of some necessaries for him. Right this very moment, I'm sitting here trying to figure out where I can squeeze enough out of the budget (including rent that is due Wednesday) to buy him a pair of shoes from Payless. All he has at the moment that fits is his dress shoes, which wouldn't survive and be fit to wear for performances if he walks around in them all day for two weeks. (Please don't misunderstand: I can buy him shoes. I just didn't notice until yesterday that he needs them right now, rather than in three more weeks when we get the paycheck that isn't required for rent or basic bills.)

 

But our kids get dance and voice lessons. We have season tickets to at least one local theatre every year. I drive both of them ridiculous distances for auditions, rehearsals and performances. We're paying off the student loans we took to send our daughter to the early entrance college program. And we buy lots of books.

 

And most of the time, I'm really, genuinely okay with our choices.

 

But every now and then . . .

 

My kids do activities that seem to draw well-off families. The moms with whom I interact while hanging around waiting for kids are almost always well dressed, well groomed, wearing nice (real) jewelry and talking about the gym. They pull up in sparkling new luxury vehicles. They mention nannies and housekeepers. Many of their children attend the best local private schools.

 

And usually it doesn't bug me. I'm well aware that my life is what it is because of our choices, and I'm good with that. But sometimes I just stand next to these women and feel frumpy and broke and miserable.

 

And occasionally, I just come home and cry.

 

It passes, eventually, and I'm okay again.

 

I hope you're okay again soon, too, and that it might help a little to know you're not alone.

Edited by Jenny in Florida
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:grouphug: I know how you feel. Many of our friends live in mcmansions and drive brand new cars to boot. My answer to feeling better at times like this is to clean up/rearrange an area of the house. It gives everybody in the house the feeling of something new just because it looks a bit different. Actually, I am sitting here trying to find the motivation to do just this. :tongue_smilie:

 

As an aside, we have also had many of our friends who seemed to be living the good life end of in bankruptcy and had their families fall a part from the stress. It is not always as good as it looks.

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And sometimes, the people with large homes and new vehicles really do just make a lot of money and even manage it well and wisely. Some people are truly blessed materially.

 

However.

 

Everyone's struggles come to them in different areas and at different times. That new SUV mom may have a happy marriage, good children and an all around happy life. It may be EXACTLY what it looks like on the outside. But we don't know how she grew up, if she had struggles as a child, a young adult. Or if she will have them later in her life or how may appear.

 

Rejoice that your friends are in/may be in a season of plenty. You have had seasons of plenty and WILL have them again. It is hard, hard, hard to get through the times that are lean, but that gives you areas to be creative in finding joy in your journey.

 

:grouphug::grouphug: and prayers.

 

:iagree::grouphug:

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I was just talking with someone about this very subject yesterday! I used to really struggle with home-envy and sometimes still do, and I struggle all the time to focus on the truly amazing things I've been blessed with. The thing that has slowly sunk in over time is that having more really has no correlation with happiness. The families in the McMansions are not any happier, they just have more STUFF.

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And sometimes, the people with large homes and new vehicles really do just make a lot of money and even manage it well and wisely. Some people are truly blessed materially.

 

However.

 

Everyone's struggles come to them in different areas and at different times. That new SUV mom may have a happy marriage, good children and an all around happy life. It may be EXACTLY what it looks like on the outside. But we don't know how she grew up, if she had struggles as a child, a young adult. Or if she will have them later in her life or how may appear.

 

Rejoice that your friends are in/may be in a season of plenty. You have had seasons of plenty and WILL have them again. It is hard, hard, hard to get through the times that are lean, but that gives you areas to be creative in finding joy in your journey.

 

:grouphug::grouphug: and prayers.

 

This. DH and I both came from quite different upbringings, but both endured financial hardship. As kids, neither of us really knew how bad it was at times and I am always grateful for that.

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I'm so sorry. I often struggle with the same feelings myself. Just last night I was crying to DH because we have to rent this apartment and gosh darn, I just want to live somewhere with A/C, a dishwasher, and a private yard.

 

I suppose that for all the people whose situations I look at and covet, there are just as many looking at my situation and coveting. I hope things start looking up for you soon. Sometimes it just seems so hard to keep swimming when you already feel like you're drowning. Take heart, you can make it. :grouphug:

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:grouphug: It will be okay!!

 

I think everyone has a moment when they really want to "keep up with the Joneses." We live in a very small house. During a playgroup at our home about 6 years ago, one mother caught her dd (about 5 at the time) by the arm and said, very loudly, "[Daughter,] this is a TINY little house. You cannot run the way you do in your own playroom!" I'd like to believe that she was saying that out of respect for my home, but given the fact that she let her toddler twins roam without supervision and rip a section of my (then new) wallpaper, I don't! And she couldn't have inserted more venom in the remark if she had tried. It really, really bothered me for a while. Then winter came, and the heating bills began to arrive. And that's when I realized just how thankful I am for my "tiny little house." :D

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:grouphug:

 

Here's the deal. We are quite fortunate, financially. We have never had to worry about bills and having what we need. Yet, this morning, when my sister pulled up in her BRAND NEW Chevy pickup to pick up my DD, I was soooo jealous. It was all shiny and new and shiny... All our vehicles are old, ugly, and paid for, and I have to constantly reign myself in from the envy and lust for something better than what I have. We couldn't be any more blessed than we are with healthy kids, steady job, warm house, clothes on our backs, but I still want more. :glare:

 

I hate feeling that way. To make myself feel a little better, I chant "It's paid for, It's paid for." when I have to park my mommymobile next to one of my sisters shiny new cars. They are $70K in car debt and her husband has to work in Alaska for 30 days at a time ( then home for 14 days) to be able to afford it. He can't find a job here because he can't make enough money to afford their debt. So, while they have shiny and new, I have a husband who can come home every night. :)

 

Anyways. More :grouphug: for you.

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:grouphug:

Just want to say that there is nothing embarrassing about your situation. It's difficult, but nothing to be ashamed of.

 

You can have little, but at the same time have a lot. Some people would love to have four kids, but can't.

 

So true! I look enviously at large families! Even if it meant everyone sharing rooms and less money for stuff, I'd trade it in a heartbeat.

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:hugs: We went through something similar a couple years back when my DH was without a job for 20 months and I was only working part time and then I lost my job too and neither of us was working for 4 months before we both managed to get jobs. It was very humbling but taught us how to survive on the absolute minimum so that when DH got his job we managed to save to have another baby which was what I had so desperately been wanting all the time he had not been working.

 

But having gone through that it is hard and it feels like it will never get better and maybe you never will get to the stage where you have enormous material possessions - but while you struggle you need to decide what is important - usually relationships. Unfortunately you will only realise this when you are through to the other side - hang in there. It will get better and you will learn to cope. Chronic illnesses are hard on everyone too and take a lot to adjust to loving with them for both you and your DH. Thinking of you.

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Something that helps me when times are super tough: You never know another person's debt load. Sure, they may live in fancy houses, wear fancy clothes, stop at Starbucks 10x a day. But they also may have $50,000 in credit card debt, that's probably from frivilous buying not genuine emergencies and medical. I don't know. My dh told me that a long time ago when I was complaining and now I don't feel so bad.

It *will* be okay. I know it doesn't seem like it, but everything is temporary. Hang in there!

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As the mom who lives in "big" house, is there anything I can do to make you feel more welcome at my house? Is there anything I can do to make you feel comfortable inviting my kids or me to your house?

 

Of course, I don't talk about "stuff" or money to you.

 

And, I would (really) be comfortable visiting your smaller house.

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I'm so there with you. :grouphug::grouphug:

We live in a tiny 2 bdr house that is OLD OLD OLD and constantly needs repairs. We're renters, so some of the repairs the landlords don't want to do because they aren't essential (the exterior paint could REALLY use a touch up, etc). We are also a one vehicle family and it is just hard.

 

 

I know that we are blessed in many other ways, but honestly? Most of the more well to do people that I've tried to have relationships with just looked down their nose at me. That's why I rarely invite people over to my little house. I don't want to feel judged in my own home.

 

It's hard.

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And sometimes, the people with large homes and new vehicles really do just make a lot of money and even manage it well and wisely. Some people are truly blessed materially.

 

However.

 

Everyone's struggles come to them in different areas and at different times. That new SUV mom may have a happy marriage, good children and an all around happy life. It may be EXACTLY what it looks like on the outside. But we don't know how she grew up, if she had struggles as a child, a young adult. Or if she will have them later in her life or how may appear.

 

Rejoice that your friends are in/may be in a season of plenty. You have had seasons of plenty and WILL have them again. It is hard, hard, hard to get through the times that are lean, but that gives you areas to be creative in finding joy in your journey.

 

:grouphug::grouphug: and prayers.

 

:iagree:

 

Please, I beg of you, listen to me for a second.

 

There is NOTHING that will tie up your blessings like being envious. I know it's hard, I lived in a teeny house (1000 square feet) with 7 kids. I *get* it. I really do. But believe me, you must work through how you feel and change your heart. I remember the frustrations and crying, but give the suffering up to God, and turn and be happy for them.

 

 

Be truthfully, truly, heartfelt happy for those who are being blessed. Apart from living in a state of gratitude, being whole heartedly happy for other's blessing is the way to open up heaven for yourself.

 

:grouphug: It's a hard lesson to learn, but it's freeing.

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Please don't feel embarrassed. And yes, I can sympathize with you. I'm not jealous of other folks who have "more", it's just that I sometimes feel like you do, that we can never get ahead. Just when everything seems to be going great, an appliance breaks or the cat needs emergency surgery. I have some down-in-the-dumps moments too. My dh reminded me the other day that we are better off financially than we were a few years ago, which is true, and that our kids are all healthy, and that he has a good job. So I'm trying to concentrate on that and be grateful for what we have. Hang in there, sweetie :grouphug:

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To the mom in the big house,

 

The mere fact that you want others to be comfortable visiting you says a lot. Often the insecurity we feel is our own doing and cannot be changed by outside forces. Be a friend, be understanding that what is a drop in the bucket to you can be the matter of groceries on the table for your fellow man but don't make a big deal about it. Never second guess a person's reason for not wanting to go do this and that because I know I am not always 100% truthful when I say no I don't want to go. Sometimes I do but I have to choose to do what is best for my family's budget and don't want to make others feel sorry for me. Don't feel sorry for your friends or acquaintances who do not have what you do. Like I said we don't have a lot of material stuff or space but we are abundantly rich in love which in my world is all that really matters. Please feel free to share your joy even if it is the result of being well off financially. I would hate to know that a friend didn't share something joyous because they were worried I would be hurt. My best friend held back how excited she was that she was nearly debt free. I was more hurt that she didn't think she could share that with me than the fact that I am nowhere near there because I don't have the money to pay off old debts at the moment.

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I was insanely jealous of a friend who takes her kids to Disney EVERY YEAR. She's expecting her fourth baby, and her kiddos all wear name brand clothes.. The big kids go to a private Christian school. The mama is an RN and her DH is a police officer. I felt guilty for not going to college and getting a better job.

 

They stopped paying their mortgage last year. They have to be out by this fall. You NEVER know what's going on in someones bank account.

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Oh, lots of :grouphug: and more :grouphug:.

 

I think lots of people have these moments and we're supposed to put it into perspective, which I'm not so great at doing. I just dropped dd14 off at her friend's house. I feel like I've got to have great credit just to drive into their neighborhood.

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As a 'McMansion' mom myself, I have to say that some people are just blessed in a financial way and it's not always a case of living on borrowed money (we are not in debt). I often feel as if some of the people we have playdates with are judging us for the way we live and it makes me uncomfortable. I am grateful for what the Lord has given us but I also know He can take it from us if He chooses. I have been on the other side of things (grew up dirt poor), and I always come back to the fact that the Lord looks at the heart. I am not defined by my possessions and I don't judge my friends for what they have or don't have.

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As a 'McMansion' mom myself, I have to say that some people are just blessed in a financial way and it's not always a case of living on borrowed money (we are not in debt). I often feel as if some of the people we have playdates with are judging us for the way we live and it makes me uncomfortable. I am grateful for what the Lord has given us but I also know He can take it from us if He chooses. I have been on the other side of things (grew up dirt poor), and I always come back to the fact that the Lord looks at the heart. I am not defined by my possessions and I don't judge my friends for what they have or don't have.

 

Runnermom you are so right. I hope you didn't take what I said badly. Not everyone is living on borrowed money but I also don't know everyone's financial situation and choose to not compare myself with others. People with more could have more because they can honestly afford it or because they are living outside their means, we just don't know. Comparing yourself to others doesn't do anyone any good.

 

As for the bolded, believe me it goes both ways. You are not the only one feeling that way and it stinks.

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I grew up with a family of six kids that lived across the street from a family that had two. They were always getting great presents for birthdays and Christmas. Like stereos and fancy bikes. We got clothes and board games. They went to Florida on vacation. We went to a cabin at the state park. Etc.

 

I had a great childhhod with lots of fun, and board games, and improvised Olympic Events, scavenger hunts, frisbee, tag, kickball, camping in the yard, building forts out of scraps and old refrigerator boxes, reading lots and lots of books...

 

The kids across the street complained a lot, got in trouble at school, and got in more trouble as adults.

 

You can't buy your kids a sense of appreciation.

 

I pray your financial situation is blessed so you can have what you need and more. But if you're good parents that's all that matters!

 

:grouphug: :grouphug:

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And sometimes, the people with large homes and new vehicles really do just make a lot of money and even manage it well and wisely. Some people are truly blessed materially.

 

:iagree: :iagree: :iagree:

 

It's easy to generalize and say that the people who appear more wealthy are also deep in debt, but the fact is, many of them aren't in debt. And that should be OK.

 

A nice person is a nice person, whether she is poor or wealthy. It doesn't matter. I have had friends who were flat broke and others who were worth more money than I'll ever see in a lifetime, and it worked out just fine. It doesn't work when someone decides to get competitive -- but if someone is really competitive, they're going to find something else to compete about if money isn't the issue, so again, it's about the person and not the money.

 

I'm glad to see that the OP isn't pre-judging the other moms (or the kids) based on their cars or their homes, because many people do that, even right here on this forum (not in this thread, though! :001_smile:) I hope she realizes that the other moms probably don't think any less of her because she doesn't have as much stuff, and that they like her and her family because of who they are, not because of what they have or don't have.

 

I think it's very easy to compare yourself unfavorably with others, because everyone knows someone who has more or better stuff, but that's the best time to ask yourself if you would truly trade places with that person if you could -- because I'm sure the answer would be NO.

 

It can be difficult to be happy with what you have, but it's something to aspire toward. And FWIW, there are billionaires who aren't satisfied with what they have, and who are still envious of the next guy up on the Most Wealthy lists, so it's really about your own personality than it is about any of the material possessions.

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Sometimes I wish I had more stuff. Mostly I've gotten older and better at recognizing it's stuff. Really having a 2E ds and Dev Del ds has given me a little perspective on the stuff issue. I have other reasons besides stuff not to invite people to my house.

 

As some pp's said some of these people are in debt

 

Another pp said you don't know their background. I recently reconnected with a childhood friend. She leads a charmed life. Her ds's are sports stars. The family is boating, rafting, scuba diving every weekend. They go on fabulous vacations. My friend had a terrible childhood with divorced parents. Her dad, she now knows suffered from untreated depression. She doesn't communicate with him and hasn't for 10 years. Her dad did some bad stuff. She still has contact with him through her brother, but she needs the distance. Her mom died years ago. My friend went through the wringer as a child and young adult, she's definitely aware of how blessed she is.

 

My dd had a friend a few years back who lived in a McMansion. The three cars they regularly drove were in the driveway because her dad had 3 vintage racecars in the garage. He raced them sometimes. The mother could only be described as a controlling, anxious mess. The parents are divorced now. dd sees her old friend sometimes, but the girl is going in a direction socially dd does not want to go.

 

It's taken me time to accept how I live and know I won't be doing the things with my family I dreamed about. The thing is the time I spend pining away for a different way of life is time I miss out on enjoying my kids now. My kids are cool people and I don't want to miss out because of something unimportant.

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