It seems that everyday I read another article online about another family online who is willing to be the brunt of an article. They are willing to open themselves up to the criticism that they know will follow.
Today's article (A Day in the Life of a Family of 6 Trying to Survive on Fast Food Wages) featured in the New York Magazine is about a family in Texas. Four of the family members work in fast food. Dad is ill, Mom works two jobs, and two of the high school daughters also work. They live in a small apartment.
When I read these articles, I always take the time to look at the comments that people have left. Inevitably there is the comments about having too many children. What got me today was the other comments that are so common. They have an iPod.
Oh no! How dare they have something for entertainment!
Take a step back now please... when was the last time you saw an iPod? There aren't that many being used anymore. Most of the iPods out there are old, many scratched up, and still many more sitting in a drawer doing nothing. I know that a lot of people think that this family should take that little iPod and pawn it or sell it some other way. For all of you out there, is the $10 or $15 worth it? Is it worth to sell this trinket, a bit of normality and entertainment, for what wouldn't even amount to a family meal?
You see, my daughter has an iPad. Not an iPod like this family, but an actual iPad. It's a first generation one without any camera and most of the newer apps won't work on it because it can't be upgraded anymore. Her iPad was a gift for her 8th birthday last September. It's not the greatest and it dosen't always charge correctly, but she loves it.
Last weekend I took her to the pawn shop with me. She was going to trade in her iPad and with a few dollars savings that she had saved up wanted to get one with a camera. They offered us $15 for her little iPad. The next step up would be almost $200. Needless to say, that was a lot more than this little girl of 8 had saved up and a lot more than Momma could afford to add to her savings. She choose to keep her beloved iPad.
I know that people question how I could possibly justify her having an iPad when I make barely over minimum wage myself. I justify it simply as it gives her enjoyment. They don't need to know that it was a gift or that selling it would only merit $15.
My daughter sacrifices a lot already. The five of us live in a two bedroom apartment. The boys have a room and us girls share a room. Only last month was I able to find a cot I could afford so that all three of us girls aren't sharing one bed. Emma has her own bed again, it's a camping cot with some old couch cushions on it to make it a little more comfy. She will lounge on it as if she's queen of the world with her precious iPad watching videos on YouTube or playing a game of MineCraft.
Judge me if you will as you judge these families, but a $15 dollar dinner isn't worth it to me to take away a small luxury from my daughter.
She's keeping her iPad, so go ahead and judge me like you do these other families. It's okay. I'm a Momma Bear, I can handle it.