Life Isn't Fair

I just served my 3 year old popcorn. Dinner is in the oven and I turned my 5 and 9 year old down moments before when they begged for a snack. "That's not FAAIIIIRRR" they both shouted almost in unison. You know what? Life isn't fair.

I remember being a young mom of two kids. I listened with sincere interest as an older mom at a MOPS meeting let me know she always kept it "fair" for her children so that there would be no jealousy or hard feelings. As an only child this made perfect sense to me and I carefully discussed it with others. It made sense to many of them too. With just two small children it seemed perfectly logical and I began trying to make life fair for my girls. If we went out and one child got something from the dollar bin, I made sure the other child did too (even if said child was only 6 months old). Fast forward a few years and I realize that I was doing them (and myself) a great disservice. Not only was I spending money I didn't need to (and in grad school didn't have) but I was also forgetting to teach them an important lesson. Life isn't fair. Period.

I think it was Pinkalicious that said it best when she noted; "You get what you get and you don't get upset". Good lessons from a hot pink story book that was one I read over and over for the first four years of my parenting career. Its now somewhat banned in this house but only because I could see the illustrations in my head at night when I closed my eyes.

As my family grew and I knew that we couldn't keep up with the "fair" lifestyle I had intended. I realized quickly that the new lesson I was teaching may be even more important. Sure, I wish life was fair but in reality its not. In the society we live kids seem to tune out what others don't have and have a keen awareness on what they are missing out on and chances are if you are reading this, your children isn't missing out on much. As a parent with kids ranging in age from tween to preschooler I couldn't manage to keep life fair if I wanted to. To be honest, I am grateful because it teaches them so much more than if I made sure every dollar and minute matched.

As an only child, I assumed that parents always made it even but when I married into a family with many boys, I realized, even and fair is giving each child what they need when they need it. This could be emotional, spiritual or financial or it may be a swift kick in the pants too.

Another little food for thought moment that goes off of the "life isn't fair" statement is that kids get more expensive with age. Heck, they do get better like fine wine but just like fine wine they get more expensive too. I remember another little note my aunt once told me. "Little kids, little problems, big kids, big problems". I think this could be changed to "little kids, little cost, big kids, bigger costs". I see it in food, school, events and gifts. That once $10.00 price tag on a birthday party gift seems to go no where with that tween I am raising today.

Life isn't fair and as your kids get older, they get more expensive. I have been overwhelmed like so many with the notes coming home $1.00 here, $5.00 there and another $25.00 here. With five kids we budget and we budget hard. This summer we just started employing Dave Ramsey's envelope system and I will be darned but it works. It sucks at times when your kids announce "our family doesn't have money for that" but it works. **Disclaimer, we DO have money for it but we are choosing to make sure our family is in a good spot financially...we were a little slow out of the gate finishing school with 3 kids and at age 29.

I always thought I knew how I would parent. When I began parenting I was pretty sure I was THE BOMB but here we are nearly 12 years into my parenting journey and I am a different mess than I was the cold January day I welcomed my first. This mess however is learning, you never say never, those who go before you as annoying as they may sound have some knowledge and you know what kids? Life isn't fair so just deal. I can't give all my kids the same and who would want to for each child is different.


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