When I think back to my childhood, the happiest memory is Beans on Toast and an early night!
Up until the age of 7 I lived in the family home where my Mum grew up, in fact she was born in the front room.
We lived there with my Grandad who was unwell and two, uncles Andrew and John and it hard to imagine it now, but there was no wall to wall carpets, no double glazing and no central heating.
It had the old sash windows, the heating was from a fireplace in every room and an old stove that had to be lit every morning to get hot water.
But that wasn’t unusual then, I was born in 1967 and so we left there in about 1974/5.
Beans on Toast for dinner and an early night getting into bed with Mum for a story was a treat and it still is a very happy memory and yet I saw it through the eyes of a child and it was only a few years ago that I found out the truth.
Eventually my uncles married and left home and so it was me, Mum and Granddad who was in the back room downstairs and very unwell.
Financially things were very tight and so Beans on Toast was a cheap meal that Mum could give me and it would fill me up.
Then bed early for a story and sleep in Mums bed was because it meant she didn’t have to light or keep alight a fire which meant burning coal. A hot water bottle and in bed together for warmth was the cheap option!
So it goes to show that all a child really needs is love!
I only remember the love of my Mum and not the fact that the house was cold, although I do remember in winter that the condensation on the inside of the windows would freeze.
Not every family has enough money to live comfortably, in fact we are now living in a time where poverty is rising and parents are struggling to feed their children and many are left relying on foodbanks.
Despite this the Conservatives have once again retained their grip on power and for me and many others this can only foretell more hardships for the lower classes.
But don’t allow your hardships to affect the love in your family.
Yes of course the children will know that there isn’t a lot of food in the house, there won’t be those treat foods and they will particularly be aware things are not the same as friends families at times like Christmas and Birthdays.
However it is important to not place the burden of financial hardship on young minds, don’t discuss it in front of them and don’t allow them to feel that they are also battling financial hardship.
It isn’t easy, but just show them love, allow them to have a childhood and missing out on having expensive presents doesn’t mean unhappiness, sometimes the children in this situation will often appreciate gifts more than those that are drowned in too many and expensive presents!