I really HATE writing posts like my Christmas Wishlist post. It feels to me like I am begging. Like I am whiny, and ungrateful, and needy, and really just want everyone to gimme gimme gimme. Which is the FURTHEST from the truth.
We have been there. We have received the Toys for Tots gifts, and those ones from people at church who donate to some underprivileged child listed on a slip they got off the Christmas tree in the lobby. And while we were grateful for that help, it's EMBARRASSING.
That year we got the Toys for Tots presents...I felt horribly guilty. Because I felt like we were taking stuff from people who REALLY needed it. When in all honesty, we were exactly who the program was intended for...parents struggling and not being able to put presents out for their children at Christmas.
The year we got the gifts from the good-hearted people at our church...it was HUMILIATING. Not that we weren't grateful for the clothes and toys, because we WERE. But because we thought others needed the stuff so much more than we did.
The sad thing is that we are a military family...a SENIOR ENLISTED family. One of those families that *SHOULD* be able to be giving back to the other military families who are just starting out.
- The military just moved us to a state we didn't ask to move to. A state that is a VERY expensive place to live.
- We had to sell our house in another state because we couldn't afford to maintain two residences. We lost a LOT of money on that short-sale.
- We make on the VERY low end of not-poverty-level for this state.
- We moved before I was able to complete my hours to become licensed so I could easily find work in my newly-graduated field. So now I am having a HARD time finding work because I don't have a license.
- EVERYTHING is more expensive here. EVERYTHING.
- The raise my husband gets every year...does NOT cover the rising cost of living, nor does it cover the difference between what we were able to live on in the other state and the VERY expensive place we currently live.
So, while this post is not supposed to be about money, in reality, it IS. Because it is EMBARRASSING to have to tell your children repeatedly that you can't afford something...and you hope they don't get the idea to hate the military, or God because of how deprived they have been. And it is HUMILIATING to not be able to participate in activities or to have to ask for help in order to participate, because everything requires money. And it is HARD to keep doing this for years on end, seeing no end in sight, because people who don't understand what it is to live the military lifestyle are the ones in charge of our paychecks. And THAT is exasperating.