We’ve all heard the cliche.
You know the one,
“Beggars can’t be choosers”
And I’ve been thinking about this for a hot minute.
The other day I was looking for a new preschool for my kids and someone told me that “beggars can’t be choosers” when I mentioned a preschool I wouldn’t send me kids to.
I guess the way it played out was that one recommendation was off the hook expensive…to the point that as a married-had-no-shortage-of-money women, I wouldn’t fork over that kind of cash.
The remark was made because I am adamantly against sending my kids to a touted “premier” preschool in town.
You know, the one where all the ‘cool’ parents send their kids.
And the one where they make your kids go to chapel every day to pray without you there.
THAT is what makes me uncomfortable.
I deal with the ‘elite’ parents of the town all the time.
They aren’t the issue.
The issue is when people who aren’t you take your young kids into a place to teach them ‘truth.’
I am not ready for my kids to learn ‘truth’ when I’m not there constantly to see what ‘truths’ they are being exposed to.
Now, I’m all for religion and all.
I’m actually really supportive of the idea of my kids being exposed to all kinds of religions.
But – I am kinda ‘controlling’ in the fact that I don’t want my kids indoctrinated into something that I’m out of the loop on.
Perhaps a tiny bit insane.
The kids dad is actually on the same page as me on this one.
And he comes from the land of Catholicism.
So – let’s review.
Am I on an insanely smaller budget than I used to be?
Does (or did for that matter) my access to money define me?
Does my lack of profuse funds now mean that I have to lower my standards as to where my kids are when I’m not with them?
In fact, I think that it makes me much MORE of a “chooser” and my lack of a fat ass wallet doesn’t make me a “beggar” anyway.
(And I am pretty sure that I asked for recommendation for preschools, not for someone to PAY for preschool…slight difference in request. That being said, if there is someone who WANTS to pay for preschool, I’m not so sure I would say not )
Having standards is something that money doesn’t define.
Regardless of income, as a responsible parent, you make decisions that are ‘right’ for your family.
Choosing who my kids spend time with the the ideologies they will be presented with is something that I won’t give up.
I don’t have to settle for something I am uncomfortable with just because I’m not raking in six digits.
In fact, I refuse to settle.
I think that I kinda took offense to the comment for a lot of reasons, several of which I won’t go into (I’m practicing that whole ‘biting my tongue phenomenon that I struggled with last winter), but one reason was that I can’t understand why ANYONE would think that socioeconomic status defines an individuals standards.
There is a sociological theory that explains the comments and the individual that made it, but again…I’ll play ‘bite my tongue’ to not offend.
But, without the theory (and people who know me know I love a good theory), I’m just kinda confused and somewhat bewildered.
Money doesn’t make you.
Money can break you (you know, if you define yourself by it).
But, money is not the defining factor in how an individual with personal integrity makes decisions.
I know some people who are surviving some pretty shitty life situations right now.
Families living in cars.
Living in camp ground.
Living without running water and electricity.
And you know what?
They are all GOOD people.
Living with standards that many people, people with the deepest pockets, can’t hold themselves to.
But these families are working hard and diligently and with pretty darn pure intentions to make life better.
They are starting from scratch.
I”m lucky. I had to start again, but not nearly from the point they did.
I was in a pretty shitty place this time last year.
Financially, I’m still digging myself out.
And it’s a big one.
I’m living with standards.
They may be standards that other people don’t agree with
But they are standards that I created on my terms to ensure that my kids have as much as an opportunity at success as I have had.
I don’t settle when it comes to what I want in life.
And I sure as hell am not going to settle for what I want in my kid’s lives.
So – can beggars be choosers?
Am I a beggar?
I wouldn’t say so
(although I am sure there are those out there who beg to differ – I’m not quite sure who those people are, but – I’m sure they are out there).
But did I give up my right to choose when someone closed out my bank accounts?
I lost a check book.
Not my brain.
Or my standards.
Or my ability to raise my kids in a safe and healthy environment.