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5 Things Poverty Taught Me About Parenting and Friendship

5 Things Poverty Taught Me About Parenting and FriendshipMoney is important.  We need it, we want more of it, and many of us have a love-hate relationship with it.  But did you know the energy of money is more powerful than the value?  It’s this powerful energy that makes it such a change and chaos creator in our lives!

I was raised by a single mom. She worked hard and always provided for me.  When she was misdiagnosed, then properly diagnosed with cancer in her 30’s she almost lost her life.  She received a settlement that gave her and me a very comfortable life. When she ultimately passed away when I was 21, I received a large inheritance.

When you are a young woman alone without immediate family, you learn a lot of things the hard way. You make mistakes and trust the wrong people. You learn some people will do anything for money, even the money that isn’t theirs. And you recognize the impermanence of most things, including money.

Five years ago I found myself going through a divorce. Both during the divorce process and in times since, I found myself relying on the programs supporting those with low income. These were the same programs I supported when I was wealthy. With an abrupt shift in my financial status, I learned both that money matters and that money also doesn’t matter.

Here is what poverty taught me:

1. Real Friendship

When you have nothing to give back and have to ask for help, real friends will help you. They may not help in the way that you think you need but they will help how they can. And your poverty won’t make them uncomfortable.

2. Healing May Cost You Friends

The friends who are attracted into your life at your worst may not like you when your life gets better. They may have been subconsciously satisfied by feeling like the helper and that they are better off than you. When you are healed and grown, you become an unwelcome reminder of the healthy changes they are not willing to make.

3. Fleeting Friendships are OK

Some people come into your life for a specific time and reason to help you grow. It may not be a lifetime friendship, but there is lifetime gratitude.  Be grateful for the helpers brought to you on your path.  And, know it’s ok to lovingly let go.

4. All You Need Is Love, Actually

Your kids will love you poor just as much as they loved you wealthy. The money will never be a substitute for your love, attention and time. If your children experience extremes in wealth and poverty as part of co-parenting dynamics, remember it’s not a financial competition. Love is love. And love is all that matters to children when it comes down to it.

5. Your Example Is Powerful

Your children learn so much from your struggles. They respect the heck out of you when you work hard, keep a positive attitude, keep helping others and give even when you have nothing. When you begin to have successes, they celebrate for you! Even if YOU try to downplay it.

Here’s a bonus:  As my momma taught me, a classy woman isn’t what she wears or spends, she is conscious and truthful above all else.

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