By: Mia L. Hazlett
I can talk about money all I want, but both of you know, in our house, you have to earn it. My job is to make sure you have love, morals, values, food, shelter, and clothes. That’s it!! Anything above and beyond those, is because I love you. I was not put on this earth to make sure you got every Barbie ever made. The food category is not inclusive of fast-food and whatever candy you see and want in the check-out line.
You see my loves, I work damn hard for what we’ve got. I’m up at four in the morning and my head doesn’t hit the pillow until nine, ten, sometimes eleven at night. Understand I will never complain about having to provide for you the best I can, but in return for working hard, I get a paycheck. I’ll be damned if we have a full refrigerator of food, and I’m wasting a dime at McDonalds every night. Here and there, we go out to eat, but part of being financially responsible is working hard for what you’ve earned. When you work hard for your money, you tend not to blow it on things you don’t need.
That’s why when you ask if you can have this or have that, I ask you for what? When you tell me you would like a book, something for school, or softball, you usually get it. I’ll work hard and readily hand my money over if I feel like what you are doing with it is going to make you a productive person. However, when you ask for Dunkin’ Donuts or McDonalds, you best bet, you will hear “no”, or better have depleted all the money on your little gift cards I know you hoard, pay for it yourself with your birthday/Christmas/whatever money, or there best not be a stitch of dirty clothing in the house that hasn’t been washed, dried and folded/hung.
Reason being, I work too hard for my money to just hand it over. I appreciate what I’ve earned. If I just give it to you, you will think when you want something, you can just ask for it and it will be given to you. That’s not the way life works. Life is about earning your place and realizing, “free” is a gift not a right. We have what we have and can do for you because I began babysitting at the early age of 12 and have earned my money ever since.
Because of this work ethic, even though we were plagued with my unemployment, I was able to pick up where I left off when the opportunity knocked. I never took anything for granted. I was able to carry our family through the worst because your grandparents never allowed me to feel entitled to anything I didn’t work for. Meaning, I built up to what we had over my many years of employment. When we lost it all, it was restored because I know how to get a job and start all over. If everything had been given to me or I constantly borrowed we would still be in the same position. Because if you’ve never built something, you’ll never know how to rebuild.