Monday, February 16

The Trailer Trash is Furious

I grew up poor. Really poor. As in I grew up living in beat-up trailer in the crappiest trailer park in town. My mom, when she was able to work (which wasn't often), worked at Wendy's. My dad, once he got out of the Air Force, worked assorted temporary jobs, including a stint at a gas station. Right now I make about six times as much money as my parents made combined, even in a good year.

Because nothing was ever handed to me, I learned something very important very young--I learned that if you want something, you have to work for it. I delivered newspapers for three years to save enough money for my first car. I babysat so that I could buy myself clothes. I worked three jobs my senior year of high school so that I could go to Spain as an exchange student. I worked my ass off.

And I would have it no other way.

A strong work ethic has catapulted me to success. Meanwhile, I have watched former classmates who were given every privilege in the world grow into adults who can't function without talking to Daddy first. The same people who once looked down on me because I wore crappy second-hand clothes are now incapable of making it a month without asking for hand-outs from their parents.

There was a time when those people could get under my skin. A little insult there, a blatant put-down here, they were able to get me down. Then I grew up and realized that money isn't everything, and that working hard will get you what you want. As a bonus, I don't have to worry about being manipulated or guilt-tripped by someone who paid for something. Nobody paid for anything I have now.

I thought I was past all that feeling bad about myself cause of economic status thing, but it turns out not so much. Why? Because recently someone has made me feel like crap for not putting Alexis into an elite preschool. We CHOOSE not to put her into one, and I absolutely believe it's ridiculous to think the freakin' preschool a kid goes to makes any difference whatsoever on his or her success. I am absolutely evidence that the school you go to makes ZERO difference in one's success. It's all about learning to work for you want that matters. Period.

So, Alexis, we won't send you to a preschool that "auditions" its students. We won't send you to a preschool that costs more per semester than some people make in a year. We will not put you in a class filled with snobby kids who don't know what it means to be told "no."

We will require that you earn what you get.

And if anyone makes you feel like a heel for any of that, just ignore them. Your trailer trash mom will take care of it.

87 comments:

  1. "We will require that you earn what you get."

    This is why Alexis is amazing.

    This post . . . I love this post. That's all I can say.

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  2. So. Many. Comments. So. Little. Space. Head. Spinning. Where. To. Begin.

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  3. Don't ever let anyone make you feel bad about the choices you make for Alexis. I don't know you all that well, but in my one chance meeting with you & Alexis, I think she is awesome, as are you. :-) My parents were pretty strict when I was growing up. I was told NO a lot. But it taught me good behavior, gave me a conscience and made me respect my parents a great deal.

    Oh, and that picture? It's freaking priceless.

    I'll let you know when I got to the outlets. Not sure when I'll make it there...

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  4. I know it's difficult, but please, please, please try to put whatever that elitist idiot said in the trash where it belongs. I, too, grew up poor and worked for everything I have. Nothing replaces loving and involved parents in a child's education. Private pre-schools are a joke. They just continue to wipe away a kid's chance at actually having a real childhood. Kids today will face enough pressures to succeed and conform soon enough. Let Alexis enjoy and actually have a childhood. From what I've read of your blog, she's well on the way to a being a well-adjusted, bright and engaging individual.

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  5. We try to teach our kids that money isn't everything, you work hard for what you have, you are grateful for the things that you do have and nobody is above anyone else because of the money they do/don't have. So happy to know that we aren't the only ones!
    I didn't even know that there were elite preschools!!
    Good Job Mama!! Keep doing what you are doing, Alexis is a great kid and she will be successful in knowing how to be kind, caring and compassionate!

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  6. Right there with you girl. Trailer trash girls, UNITE! :)

    I do NOT get the fancy preschool thing. I didn't go to ANY preschool. Graduated with a 4.0, scored a 1200-something on my SATs, went to an excellent college (that I paid for myself with loans, thankyouverymuch) I don't think it makes a lick of difference. 99% of it is parenting (and probably a little bit of genetics, heh) My parents did an awesome job, as did yours... and so are Alexis's parents.

    I tend to have a bit of a chip on my shoulder when people make comments about our comfortable living situation now. Most of the time, they have NO idea what it was like for my sister and me growing up. Not that we were starving or anything, but... well, you know what I mean.

    Our #1 goal with Maggie (and any future kids we have) is to make sure that, even though we'll likely have the means to give her pretty much whatever she wants, they will NOT get it for nothing.

    You are my hero :) Love, A Fellow Trailer Trash Mom.

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  7. I think it's needless to say here that Karma is an absolute bitch. I bet those assholes who picked on you in highschool went to an audition only pre-school. Alexis will thank you one day, don't let anything get you down. You're her mom and you're doing the absolute best thing for your daughter.

    I went to a pre-school run out of the teacher's home. absolutely no frills. i graduated college in 3 years instead of 4 & i can color inside the lines/share.

    :) hang in there xoxo

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  8. Audition for pre-school????Give me a break. Thank God my kids are grown.

    If you judge what a person becomes by what they did in preschool,One of the boys in my son's class should be doing 5-10 years in Wetstern Penn by now. Instead he is just finishing law school. Which he paid for himself, by the way. He used to come into the classroom every day and say "Good Morning Mother F**kers." The teachers almost fainted.

    The next time she says something to you tell her how much easier her kid will be able to get heroin in most of those "elite" schools when she's older.

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  9. We weren't that poor, but I had to pay for a lot of things myself also. I had hand me downs from my older sister that were good enough and if I wanted new, I could save my babysitting money to get it. That's how I bought my first pair of Nike's. My Jordach Jeans came from Marshalls and were irregular. Now when my daughter struggles with everything her friends have handed to her she gets frustrated, but she gets it. She has to earn some things and pay for some things herself and she respects them more. We recently bought her her first cell phone. She told us she would not throw it against the wall to break it so she could get a new and improved one. Of course she knows that would be stupid because we would not replace it, she would. But how sad is it that many if not most of her classmates do have this mentality and that is why she said it.

    As for the preschool. You said it best. Alexis is lucky to have you for a mom (and her dad, too.)

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  10. And here I thought preschools were free, but what do I know?!

    That picture is just the BEST!!! Love it!! It is making it really hard for me to gather my thoughts!

    An involved parent is worth more than any "elite" school.

    Love this post!

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  11. Oh my holy hell yes!!

    Love the picture. Alexis couldn't do better in any overpriced pre-school than she does with y'all.

    MWAH

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  12. You are so RIGHT. My problem? I came from where you did and we're no longer there either. But my kids? I don't want them to be the kids you described. Sigh. I'm scared though, it's great that we can give them so much, but I'm worried too that they won't know how to get it themselves...

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  13. Great post you couldn't have said it better!

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  14. Earning and paying your own way are the best ways to be. Depending on others to pay your bills and buy you things only works for children. Once past high school they should definitely be learning the value of earned money rather than handed to me cash. I own all my stuff too, paid for with my own hard earned wages. It's a great feeling.

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  15. I LOVE that picture and I LOVE this post. You can truly appreciate everything you have because you worked hard for it. I too refused to give in and send my girls to the "elite preschools" because I wanted them to know what it was like to work for what you get. No one should ever put you down for doing what is best for your child so shame on them! Alexis is lucky to have you! : )

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  16. The photo should be framed. That is how a family photo should look :)

    "We will require that you earn what you get."
    Thank freaking God I'm not crazy for thinking the same thing. We were watching Desperate Housewives sunday night and heather kept yelling at Susan for being a tool on getting her kid into an elite school.

    I want the best for Jackson when he's born and will do whatever I can to provide that but the kid also needs to learn the value of hardwork.

    This is a fantastic post.

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  17. I wonder just how many of those corporate CEOs now receiving billions of our tax dollars had parents like you.

    I think ZERO

    It starts and ends in the home.

    What a refreshing post!

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  18. I grew up poor too. Very, very poor. We didn't live in a trailer only because we lived in the tiny apartment above my grandmother's. And I mean TINY. I went to an urban district school for 13 years. I was never handed anything.

    I, too, worked my ass off for every ounce of success I have and I'll be damned if any kid of mine will think it exists any other way.

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  19. (Standing up and applauding!)

    Well done, Mom! I also grew up poor and have always worked (except for 2 years that I spent at home with the kids). Even with my physical challenges, I continue to work HARD and go to grad school. I was raised by parents who believed in the value of work, and I am the same way. My son? Makes me proud every day. My daughter? She is still waiting for her personal bailout. Go figure....I didn't raise her that way.

    I know Alexis is going to be amazing, always. She has a great mom!

    Peace - D

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  20. I can't believe preschool is an issue with people. You guys keep doing what you think is right.

    They actually AUDITION kids??

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  21. Like Kell said, Karma is a beautiful force. Mother Nature takes care of her good girls, and the bad ones? She drops a house on their prissy a$$.
    May the snobby girls who wouldn't take a ride home from track practice in my father's farm truck because it was rusted and might wound their image someday get what they deserve.
    Prissy preschool? Once upon a time there was no such thing as preschool at all, and we all turned out alright, didn't we?

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  22. *Applause* The elitists can bite me.

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  23. The happiest and most successful people in the world worked their way there. Parents do their kids a grave disservice when they give them everything. Alexis has an awesome set of parents.

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  24. We have more in common than I originally thought.

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  25. I could have written this post down to the hurt someone made you feel about the elite school. We turn into momma bears for our babies. Not to worry darlin, you're doing right and good.

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  26. I take from this post that you are living pride in yourself and the importance of work as lessons for Alexis. Good for you. We all know that they watch us way more than they listen to us. I have my daughter in a independent school right now because we couldn't find daycare near her school and it makes me kind of squirmy. The cost is the same as what we paid last year for daycare but the idea of her not being in public school makes me squirmy. I hope that she doesn't notice.

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  27. What an excellent post. And I adore the picture.

    I can't wrap my head around having auditions for preschool. WHAT?

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  28. I grew up in much the same way (although in a rental and not a trailer, but it's the same mentality/treatment). I worked my butt off to get the things I wanted and never expected someone to hand me something, although I was treated very well by relatives who did have more. My kids are hopefully being raised with the same mentality. My Oldest Boy (age 6) already earns money for "chores" (a quarter a piece!) and he then uses that money to buy things he wants. He's learning that things actually DO cost money and don't just show up because you want them. Some parents are ridiculous! Ignore them!

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  29. Amen. Seriously. From one ghetto girl to another. You're a great mom. Don't let any snobby twit try to make you feel otherwise.

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  30. Working to get everything you have is a positive thing. It is SELF RELIANCE and it makes you a better person. Just reading this post alone, tells me you get it. You are raising a good person.
    I am so proud of you!

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  31. I love this post. I was just thinking about this yesterday. Madeline is only a year, but I know that we'll send her to a private preschool, church-sponsored. Not because it's elite, but because the public preschools in my town tend to have 30-40 kids, which I think is too many to focus on anything.

    ANYWAY when taking her to the pedi yesterday we drove by a Montessori preschool - one of those buildings where you know it's going to cost $5 to walk in the door. And I had a moment of doubt, like "Why haven't we even considered that?"

    This is why. Because I want her to know the value of work. I want her to go to school amongst a variety of people, not children all the same due to social status, etc.

    Great, great post, and fabulous mothering.

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  32. Awesome post. A friend of mine married into a wealthy family, got divorced and raised her two daughters pretty much by herself. Through the years, her ex in-laws set up and contributed to huge trust funds for both girls, but she never let the girls know. She raised them to always take responsibility for their actions and earn what they had. They both went to college through scholarships, working and loans. One works for CNN & one is a nurse. I'm 100% sure they didn't go to a preschool where they had to audition. Things are worth more to us when we have to earn them.

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  33. Amazing post. Really, amazing.

    While I have slightly different feelings regarding sending my son to schools that make you audition (which, I'll admit is absurd at PRESCHOOL) I do think your story is amazing. I can't say I have the same story, but I *did* grow up poor, living in a house owned by my Mom's friend while my mom was on social security disability. But I was lucky, because my mom was well educated and fought for me to go to a wonderful private school. It was that, or one of the worst public schools in the city of Pittsburgh, where, honestly, I wouldn't have made it.

    Bravo to you. Alexis is lucky to have such an amazing mother.

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  34. Love this picture - so perfect for this post. :-)

    Also love the post. Alexis is a smart chick with smart parents, and shelling out a bunch of money for a preschool isn't really gonna give her anything she doesn't already have at this point in her life, y'know?

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  35. I completely agree. I would not send my kid to some snob school...I've thought about sending him to the local Catholic school, because I've heard good things about it, but it is not a stuck-up school where only rich people go. A lot of our local doctor's send their kids there, though, and I don't want him to see them getting everything and thinking he doesn't have to work for what he gets.

    I say those people can shove it. you send her where you think she should go.

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  36. Okay, first off, I commend you for working as hard as you did, (and still do), to rise above your circumstances.

    I am sure that there are snobby kids at those schools, whose parents hand them everything, but I also think there are parents who work their ass off to send their kids to those schools just so they will have opportunities that maybe they never had. There are kids at those schools who receive scholarships.

    The kids at my "dream job" went to Winchestor Thurston, and they( and their parents) weren't snobby at all. They were some of the most creative, intelligent kids I've ever met. Then, there are people I know who came out of a school barely able to write a coherent sentence.

    I guess what I'm saying is, yes, I think it is entirely possible to get a good education at a public school. It depends on the school, the teachers, the parents, and the kids motivation. I also think it is possible to go to a private school and not only get a good education, but come out a good person. Geez, I guess I've been thinking about this a lot lately!

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  37. I'm sure you wouldn't be surprised to hear that I agree. I have little patience for spending tuition type money on pre-school and even less patience for just handing your children everything.

    And kudos to you on the whole boot strap thing.

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  38. I agree 100%. I never went to preschool, repeated Kindergarten, and wasn't one of the "chosen ones" that was placed in challenge classes in first grade, and I have made it pretty darn far in life. It is all about working hard for what you want, and not getting it handed to you. Great post :)

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  39. This is a great post! I think Alexis is so lucky to have level headed parents.

    I didn't grow up poor, but I was not handed one thing I didn't earn, I think it is a wonderful thing to know I earned everything I got.

    Great picture!

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  40. I agree, those preschools are crazy!

    I think, no matter if you are born wealthy or dirt poor, just set an example and teach your kids the importance of hard work and not depending on anyone other than yourself. Just as there are spoiled rich kids who are handed everything and spend their life with an elitist and selfish attitude, there are also spoiled poor kids who spend their whole life depending on the government's handouts and never learning the meaning of working your ass off.

    What a great post! You are inspiring and will definitely turn out one terrific kid there.

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  41. You know it was the same way for me. I spent entire summers working in the hot Fla. sun in the fields just so I had clothes for school, as well as providing for my brothers and sisters. It built something in me, that I wasn't afraid to work to get what I wanted, to survive. I tried to smooth the road for my daughter and let her go to college with no hardships.

    Perhaps she's too much like her mother and could only learn the hard way. After a year she dropped out. Now she is working harder than ever at a low paying job, going to school and keeping her own home while her husband is off in Iraq. The kicker is this hardship is teaching her far more and giving her strength she wouldn't of had without these lessons.

    I think Alexis has a great foundation to start out with. (Hugs)Indigo

    P.S. I absolutely love that family photo!

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  43. I'm so with you! It's crazy really! The owners of my old company sent their kids to an elementary school that cost more than The University of Minnesota! They're being robbed...

    My friend who is a teacher interviewed at a fancy private school and found that they offered $10k less a year than the public schools! So where's the money going???

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  44. Auditions for preschool!? That's ridiculous! I totally agree with you. Love the silly face picture!

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  45. This is one of the most valuable lessons we can teach our children. Alexis is a lucky kid. Though she probably won't realize it until she is much older.

    Shame on the person who critized your decision. No one knows better what is good for your kid than you. I deplore people who hide behind their computer screen and cast stones at others. Just dirty!

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  46. I'm one of those kids who was handed stuff. And I laugh at those snobby folk, too.

    It's not where you go to do your learning that matters. It's what you do with the opportunities you're handed.

    (Okay, that said, I won't leave our school district 'cause of their special ed for my kids. It's the best in the area. And one of the reasons I love it so much is the head teacher, who is all about having the kids, even in kindergarten, step up and take responsibility for their own actions, their own schoolwork, their own EVERYthing. She's helping give my kids that attitude of "It's what you make it and I'm going to make it rock.")

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  47. Amen! That is the stupidest mess I've ever heard. Who teaches you how to count isn't nearly as important as you knowing what counts!

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  48. A-freakin-men! I made just as much as my parents combined when I was working part time (well, 4 part time jobs concurrently) in college. Last year my DH & I made about eleventy-billion times what they make in a year, and we were able to make the decision to NOT have me work and be a stay at home mom because we can afford to do so on just his salary.

    My younger sisters, on the other hand, were taken wherever they wanted by my parents (even though they never paid for gas and *I* had to take the bus or find a ride if I wanted to go anywhere), and my younger sister just started growing up (at 23) and taking charge of her own life. My youngest sister (at 20) wants to get knocked up so she can quit her job and go on welfare, the lazy bum. (and yes, she seriously told me that).

    It's like what Judge Christina said today on her show "and you wonder why America's youth don't seem to have any moral fiber any more" (or something like that).

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  49. Awesome...just awesome! I came from money and wanted for nothing but a relationship with my parents....didn't happen. And I can relate to your story, in the sense that through my daughters...having them and raising them and molding them to be what they want, it taught me many lessons. To me it doesn't matter that I came from money, as an adult, I don't any longer. I am no longer 'privileged'. I struggled as a divorced single mother. But I have the MOST awesome daughters and teaching them the value of a dollar rocks..especially when I learned it in my last 20's. You rawk momma and Alexis is LUCKY and BLESSED to have you as a momma!

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  50. andrea2:40 PM

    i think this post is great.my sister and i grew up poor white trash.when i look at the asses that tormented us at school today irealize that they are more twisted and useles as human beings then i could even fathom. more power to ya!

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  51. The curriculum is the same regardless the only difference is who attends what school. By Alexis not going to the "elite" preschool, she's surrounded by children who probably don't come from the same economic status she does *gasp*. The world is full of different people of all different types. How are you going to function in the real world if you've lived your life in the "elite" world?

    It's an ego thing for people. You need to send your daughter to the same school in order to validate them sending their daughter. Does that make sense? They are insecure and need you to follow the leader just like everyone else. It's a bunch of crap. Alexis is blessed to have you as a mom!

    Sorry for the freakin' novel but us WT gotta stick together. :-)

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  52. I hate the fact that preschools like that EXIST in the world... let alone that people would try to make others feel like bad parents for not putting their kids into those schools! Audition for a preschool? What? Dude... park district preschool is where its at! Thats all a kid needs! Preschool is supposed to be a place where kids can go somewhere a few times a week, and get used to being in a classroom without their parents with them, playing with other kids, listening to a teacher, following rules, and doing some basic learning. Its not college!!!!! People should not put so much pressure on three and four year olds! Right?

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  53. I didn't grow up poor (well except for a few lean years when my dad was laid off). My dad, though, did grow up very, very poor with 5 brothers and sisters. He paid his way for everything he ever needed.

    I was taught that just because my parents COULD give me things, I still had to work for things beyond the essentials. I had to have a job through high school and college. My parents refused to send me to fancy schools.

    Obviously, in my opinion, I turned out pretty good. I don't think I'd be as level headed and hard working and truly know the value of a dollar had they just handed me everything.

    Alexis just might grow up to be as awesome as me. ;)

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  54. We tried a Montessori style school and yanked my daughter right out of it right away. I felt like I'd handed her over to Nazi scientists. Three things make your kid who they ultimately are:

    1. Them.
    2. Their friends.
    3. Your love.

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  55. love this post... just want to say amen, and amen again.

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  56. I grew up just the same way you did, and live my life very similar to yours. I worked hard for everything I have, and, when I was younger, I was SO jealous of all those friends of mine whose parents constantly bailed them out. Now, as a "grown -Up" I wouldn't trade places with them for anything. They aren't living an authentic life, and we are!
    Great post.

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  57. Lauren5:27 PM

    Well said. When we lived in Los Angeles, we tried out a preschool and just didn't like the vibe. When we told the director we were switching schools, she said, do you understand that EVERY celebrity who lives in this area send their kids here? We were like, wow, good for them. We're outta here.

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  58. Hi there,
    Just discovered your blog. I have two sons and grew up poor (we have no trailers where I live). I had to fight for what I have now. I had to work for where I am now. And I sure as hell will teach my kids the values necessary to go through life. Earning what you get is a good principle as long as it is not pushed too far. Let the kid have some fun, give him a break. He should not have to learn lessons the hard way if he can learn them in another. But in essence I agree with you :-)

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  59. I just stumbled on your site and I had to leave a comment.

    Those "elite" preschools are definitely not what makes a child succeed. By doing exactly what you are currently doing will ensure your daughter will be a strong woman with a great work ethic and will learn that if she has the drive, she can achieve anything.

    I never went to any sort of elite school and I think I made it fine. If these other parents are concerned about college, the truth is, as long as the student is dedicated to learning, the grades will come and the colleges will be knocking on the door.

    I earned two different scholarships for a private, well rated college and never did my parents put any extra money into my education; they just put extra emphasis on the important parts of an education.

    You made a great choice.

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  60. Hi, I just stumbled across your post and had to leave a comment...

    Good for you!

    I hate that you felt badly about the comment, and I started to say "hey, but look at you! You didn't go to an elite preschool!" But then you answered your own question. Where you go to preschool does not matter one whit to the kind of person you will become.

    Great post!

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  61. You are an amazing mom! Good for you. My kid doesn't even go to preschool so there to the snobby crazy people who made you feel bad! This was a GREAT post!

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  62. Excellent post! We wouldn't be in this incredible economic trouble if everyone were a fraction like you.

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  63. Amen! My father was (and still is bc he won't retire!) a mechanic and my Mom didn't work. Instead she raised the six of us. We weren't privileged but we had each other. Which is a lot more than I can say for families these day. As a new (and sorta successful I guess) father to two amazing boys, I think about this stuff every day.

    Nice to see other young parents are grappling with the same issue. I want my boys to appreciate the world - not think it owes them.

    Thanks for the post.

    Tom

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  64. *Ah* It's nice to hear about parents who take their parenting seriously. It makes me feel better that my daughter will have other kids like yours in the world. And maybe their paths will cross one day.

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  65. What, you don't want to pull up to your outrageously expensive preschool in your overpriced, oversized SUV like the other crazy status craving Moms?

    ha!

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  66. I understand your sentiment, but I'd challenge your execution. Putting your daughter in a good school doesn't mean she'll be a weak sap. It means you've given her an opportunity you've never had and given her a bit of a head start in life. Maybe she could get even further than you in life if she has your same drive but is able to start out a few steps ahead.

    It is a proven fact that children that don't attend a preschool program (homeschooling counts) almost never catch up to those that do. The anecdotal evidence provided by your readers don't hold up to decades of research on the subject. I would agree that there are many good preschools at an affordable budget that will provide a perfectly solid foundation in life. But if there was one that was hands down better than another, why not pay the price?

    I've chosen to send our daughters to one of those "elitist preschools." That doesn't mean I don't make them work for things. They'll work for a car, they'll have an after school job, they'll work for a new pair of jeans and do chores for free because it's expected as part of the family. They'll do volunteer work so they can give back and learn humility and gratitude. But having our daughters work for those things doesn't make them any smarter, they build character, increase drive, and make them want to meet goals. This is the effect I believe you were intending to achieve by denying your daughter a better education than you can afford.

    Again, I appreciate the sentiment, but I believe your cause and effect is a bit off in what you are trying to achieve. There seems to be a prejudice against those that didn't work as hard as you to get where they are that prevents you from being able to determine what your true intentions in determining what is best for your daughter. If the elite school is cost prohibitive, by all means find a good suitable cheaper school. But if you have the means to provide something better for her, why deny her that opportunity? She'll have many other character building moments while still getting the opportunity to get a head start over the rest of her peers.

    Is it because there isn't anyone at that school that you would want your daughter to associate with? What an ignorant and unfounded bias. Not everyone who was born rich is a pompous arse and lives off of family money with no drive in life. Based on the comments of many of your followers, it would seem many think it almost a crime to have a little money in the bank and to want what's best for their children.

    In the meantime, my very down to earth two-year old daughter is in preschool learning Spanish, Mandarin, computers, handwriting, yoga, ballet, tumbling, art, and music all while getting tons of play time and lots of love.

    Like I said, she'll get plenty of opportunity to work hard and build character. For now, I'm going to give her every opportunity to set the foundation so that she's got the tools and the knowledge to make good decisions as she works hard in life. Why deny a child that?

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  67. I absoutely agree with you! My husband was raised the same way as you and I was a bit spolied. He has a much better work ethic than me and thank God for that!
    I'm sure Alexis will be just as amazing as her Mama!

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  68. Hand raised...I did my time in the trailer park. I gotta tell you, the kiddos that go to the crazy expensive schools here are no more impressive than the kiddos who go to the public school down the street.
    Husband knows MANY wealthy folks who send their kiddos to the public school. Parenting is the key to making any education work...I'm just sayin'

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  69. Anonymous12:27 AM

    Awesome

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  70. A-freaking-men.

    That right there is INVALUABLE.

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  71. I second N.W. Well said.


    Glad I read back through the twitters.

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  72. Oh this sets me off! We're Catholic and we send our kids to Catholic schools. Here in Nashville, the parochial schools are very good, and while not free, are not as expensive as the private schools.

    But we have a giant private Catholic school - not part of the church-parochial system - and their tuition is private level, not parochial. Lots and lots and lots of the parents at our church put their kids there, and I swear it's because they get to go with an elite-private school, but still a Catholic one, which is showier than a little church school.

    When we put our son at a little church school in a not-so-fancy part of town, I was disappointed at the reaction of some of these folks. We can afford to send our kids to any school in town that we would choose, to be honest. We choose a small school (there are only 16 or 17 kids in his class), with an excellent principal, and an excellent academic program. We made the best choice. It just wasn't the fancy choice.

    Arggg. This is such a "thing" now I can't stand it!

    (The Catholic high school near us we do not like, so when he gets to that point, we may go with the expensive boys school. I dread that possibility, but we will make the best choice for him and price isn't the reason. I swear some people WANT to pay more, just to say "my kid goes here"!)

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  73. You go girl! I didn't live in a trailer park, but I did move 17 times in 5 years because I couldn't afford to pay the rent. Yah, sometimes us single moms do what we have to do to survive. My kids weren't handed anything, either. They worked hard in school, to earn good grades. My oldest earned a 4 year academic scholarship to college. She would not have been able to go otherwise. Youngest worked her way through, and maintained her GPA so she could get the HOPE scholarship and pell grants. My son joined the Air Force so he could get money for college.

    They all three turned out fine, and not only did not go to posh pre-schools, they changed schools about 3 times a year for most of the time they were in the lower grades. Kids learn what we teach them. If we teach them to work hard for what they get, that is what they learn.

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  74. Ummm...it's preschool. Really? How much more is she going to learn in on vs. another? People need to get over themselves. A kid can learn how to share and their colors just as well in a church basement, daycare center, etc. as in those hoity-toity places.

    I really think the important thing about preschool is that a) your kid is happy there, b) the teachers seem clued into your kids needs, and c) you are happy with the choice.

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  75. Oh gosh, it's probably that school that advertising on the radio CONSTANTLY and it's so annoying. We were just discussing it last week at the salon and about how crazy expensive it is!

    Don't let anyone make you feel bad or guilty. Alexis seems like she is headed on the right path and no school is going to change it, it's her parental guidance that helps mold who she is to become.

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  76. I am just wondering if you said anything in person to the person in question about how she (?) made you feel. You make some broad assumptions about the type of person who sends her/his children to an expensive preschool and why. For example, that the child is not told no and is going to be a snob. I don't think that's very fair of you.

    I think you are a great mom, regardless of where you send Alexis, of course. I think moms and dads who decide to send their children to a more elite-type of school can do so for good, sound, and caring reasons, too. Not just because they can, or they want their children to have some kind of privilege. I think Bridget makes some very good points in this vein.

    ciao,
    rpm

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  77. If I could give you a standing ovation, I totally would! This is an amazing post and so very, very true. With your amazing guidance, your daughter will also be successful in life. Kudos to you!

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  78. How come I didn't know that Mr. Husband is hockey-player-hot?

    :P

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  79. Wow, I totally understand what you are saying-this post is awesome!

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  80. Wow. And here I thought I was the only one that didn't go to an elite school, have rich parents hand me everything and still managed to make a successful life for myself.......
    Honestly though, there are so many people in this world that didn't have a silver spoon in their mouths growing up that get along just fine in this world. You and your daughter are testaments to that.
    Well done.
    Rebecca

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  81. I can't believe I missed this. You rock. I totally agree with everything you said. Nothing is more important in life than a hard work ethic. Good for you for that decision. I hope it makes others think.

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  82. amazing. i'm so glad i stumbled upon this. i grew up in a middle class family. my parents worked like dogs to give my brother and me the best they could...including private school. we were at the bottom of the socio-economic (and fashion) chain there and took some grief over that. i'm very proud of the adults we became...not in spite of those times but because of them.

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  83. Anonymous12:44 AM

    You rock! Great post!

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  84. Great post. Just wanted to say you are very amazing, you know. I think it's inspirational, really, how hard you worked to get what you wanted to get, and achieve what you did. You have a lot to be proud of. Money is not everything, not at all. The only thing that truly matters to me are my children/family/health/happiness.

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