Money Makes The World Go Round (But Little Love)

Here a few things you need to know about me, you know, beyond the More About Us post I wrote not long ago.

I write a lot. I work hard. I don’t have any money. My wife works even harder than I do but doesn’t make any more money. I’ve never really had much money – when my parents divorced, my mum had to work three jobs to support us. We didn’t have much money to spare. The dinner table got woodworm but we could never replace it. I didn’t eat a meal at a table at home until we moved to Wales. Things were better there but there still wasn’t money to spare.

It didn’t matter.

It doesn’t matter.

For me, I grew up in two different worlds almost – when I was with my mum I was happy but skint. I had free meals at school and had to save every last penny to buy anything and still had to steal money from the penny jar if I wanted to buy some sweets. I got a fifty pence extra off my mum for lunch at school sometimes and a couple of quid pocket money. I was happy in mostly good health (except for the fact I caught measles, rubella and whooping cough once cause I’m not vaccinated but that’s another post). I was well-fed. Clean. My mum spent time with me and took me places. I did my homework and read books and okay, I wasn’t always happy, because depression knows no boundaries, but before that kicked in I was good.

With my dad, things were different. I had money. I had money and no care. My dad drank and spent most days in the pub from around one in the afternoon to anywhere between seven and midnight. Depending. On Thursday he did the banking first. Sometimes he went to a working man’s club. My dad gave me a tenner a week, that I put in the bank, my dad paid for me to go swimming and the cinema and I can still get him to buy me most things. He has a saying, “I can’t only give two answers, yes or no.” If it came to money, and he’d had the right amount of alcohol, the answer was usually yes. The wrong amount of alcohol and the answer was no, buried deep inside a slightly threatening guilt-laden lecture.

I had videos, and fifty pound Nike trainers and money for sweets.

I ate poorly. My nan made us dinner but it was mostly tinned potatoes, frozen pizza. We drank coca-cola by the bucketful every day, more if we went to the pub with dad (and we often did). I stopped showering there sometime in my teens and washing my hair. Both my sister and I returned home to my mother filthy, full of sugar, lacking vitamins, and usually with nits and rashes (we never took our meds or used our eczema cream) and colds.

I had money for sweets but ate those sweets sitting in a smokey pub watching my dad drink with a bunch of other kids, watching their dads drink. The working man’s club was better, less smoke, more room to play. Card games and there was a playing field and we had imaginations that weren’t dulled by the atmosphere we were thrust in. I had so many toys, Lego galore, my dad took us to Spain one summer holiday, my nan spoilt us. Everyone spoilt us.

I could go on. But it’s rehashing old memories and old issues I have mostly passed and I did have therapy for this thing.

Basically, I know what I’m talking about when I say money isn’t everything.

I don’t own my house, and I literally this month finally caught up on my bills. My microwave is fourth hand, my Xbox too. I bought my tv off my friend, sold my old to my sister. The hoover was a present. The netbook I’m using cost like sixty quid on eBay and is probably fourth had too. I buy food in bulk wherever I can find offers. Most of the furniture in my living room comes from Craft – a second-hand store in town. My bed is new. So is the mattress. That’s about it.

Tattoos, I spend money on tattoos. Those are new.

Again, I could go on, but I don’t need to justify myself or my life to you or anyone. I don’t care what people think.

My wife does…

I wish she didn’t because it really doesn’t matter what people think of our financial situation. Or what they think about anything in our lives. She will be an amazing mother, she is an amazing person – the best one I know. She has a good heart and a pure soul and is better than every other person you will ever meet. She takes everything too hard and I wish I could make everything better for her.

The thing is we have a roof over our heads and food for our cats and as I start my Dispenser training life will always improve. Slowly.

The money will never really make a difference to how I raise my child, how much I will love it. I don’t have six hundred quid for a fancy pushchair but I do have time and love.

My baby will have shelter and poetry, warmth and words, sustainable and soul.

For me, that’s what makes the difference. And when my kid is thirty-three and writing their own blog, I hope they will remember that too.

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76 Comments

  1. This is a beautiful post. “I donโ€™t have six hundred quid for a fancy pushchair but I do have time and love. My baby will have shelter and poetry, warmth and words, sustainable and soul.” THIS is the most important! Your child won’t remember the sweets you bought them, but what will stick with them throughout their life is how you raised them, spent time with them, taught them things, and listened and nurtured them. Great post!

  2. Very well said. Money makes the world go around but it doesn’t make our life any better. It’s still up to us to make it as good as it is. I love that you appreciate what you have, you are far richer than any millionaire in the planet with just that mindset alone.

  3. It sounds like you have your head on straight. Life isn’t about the things that we have, it’s about the bonds we share with those we love. Or children’s memories won’t be about the luxuries they owned, but about the time they spent with us. We have to make that time golden.

  4. Thanks for sharing your childhood and grown up point of views with us. You’ve definitely lived in two worlds and I can see from your writing that you appreciate everything your mother gave you even though she could only give very little. I love that you can see that now as an adult. I pray blessings for you and your family!

  5. Love is said to be the most beautiful feeling on Earth. The people who experience this feelings are said to be the luckiest people on Earth. People often say that they can live their life happily if it is filled with love and that they can live without money. Thanks for sharing your very interesting story of your life. You such an ideal person for me.

  6. There are more important things than money, that’s for sure. I’m glad you could care less what people think. That’s the perfect attitude as far as I’m concerned.

  7. This is beautiful, I never had much money either but I have realized that having too much money can make you unhappy. Focus on the little things or in your case the impending pregnancy. I can’t wait for you to have your child and both you and your wife will be amazing parents.

  8. It is so easy to get lost in thinking we need everything everyone else has, I have done it at times. When my eldest started school and everyone seemed to have fancy houses and cars and hand bags I felt like I was nothing, I felt embarrassed and didn’t want to invite people home. We moved home and took out a larger mortgage to try an fit in. It tok me four years to realise what a fool I had been. I was loosing sight of what really mattered. I feel embarrassed about that now. I feel like who was that girl so lost it was like being back in high school and wanting to fit in. We sold that big house last year, we are moving into a smaller house and I am so happy about it! I know who my friends are and who matters to me and I am so much more at peace with myself now. It is a journey that many of us go through. I still like nice things, but I now do what I do for personal reasons and not for others! Great post, your baby will grow up very loved and happy

  9. This reminds me of my stepsons. They step into a world of discipline and attention and support in our home then go to ‘Disneyland’ Mom who has only given them broken promises and no real attention. They thought they loved the ‘anything I want’ life when young, but they see through it now.

  10. Thanks for sharing your story. Man I feel like we had similar stories except I had both of my parents. So I wasnt poor but I wasnt rich but I did feel like money was always an issue growing up…like we never had enough to do even important things. But as an adult I am not rich but working on my happiness and building my own worth.

  11. I’ve been on both spectrums. When I was young I was raised with my grandparents who were very wealthy. When I was 14, and desperately in need of my mother, I made the decision to go live with her. She lived in a single wide trailer in a small town and counted every penny spent. Even taking a calculator to the grocery store to make sure we didn’t go over the budgeted amount. I’ve thought a lot about my childhood recently. Things that happened to me that I hold buried deep and probably the stem of most of my highs and lows. Lately a lot of downs that I’m trying hard to fix. I have relationships with both my parents but not the way I would like them to be. And like you I want to be different with my kids. I want them to know they matter more than anything or anyone else in my life. Thanks for linking up with #momsterslink. Great piece and I hope you join me this week again!

  12. What a heartfelt post.
    You definitely have the priorities straight.
    It is hard not to care what people think, we just have to keep reminding ourselves daily and not allow it to hold us back.
    I love how you care deeply and love your family.

  13. You are right – it doesn’t ‘matter what other people have or what they think about what you have. I don’t think people think about others as much as we think they do – if that makes sense? There’s no need to feel self-conscious about what you have in life. I’m sure you will be great parents! It’s an exciting time for your family. Thanks so much for linking up with us! #bloggerclubuk

    1. Thanks. My therapist would always ask me how I knew people were thinking about me, and if I were thinking the same thoughts about them. Turning it around like that week after week sunk in eventually.

  14. With babies especially, they can be as expensive as you want them to be. There is so much lightly used free baby stuff, cheap cloth diapers, breastfeeding if possible, etc. It’s all about what you are comfortable with and where you want to put the money. As they get older I suspect it gets harder and probably feels good to have emergency funds set aside. You guys are going to be great parents.

    1. Thank you. Youโ€™ve hit the nail on the head, you donโ€™t have to spend the money. I have two pushchairs in my house. I paid nothing for them. And thank you

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