Tuesday, August 16, 2011

An Argument for Preparedness

Why do I care?  Well, it is really simple.  When I gave birth to my first child, something happened inside of me.  I wanted to make sure that I was able to protect my child and provide for him to the very best of my ability.  I didn't want to be caught out at the mall and not have enough diapers, or an extra set of clothing.  I didn't want to go somewhere for the day and end up spending the night and not have enough food or clothing or blankets for my child.  My diaper bag was packed with everything that I could pretty much possibly need with him, including band-aids, extra washcloth, extra diapers, extra clothing, and more food than he could eat for twice the amount of time we were planning to be out.  Not only that but I tried to have extra items in the car (just in case) too.  My son liked to spit up a lot so I also often had an extra shirt for me in that bag too.

I ended up having three children in three years.  The diaper bag got bigger and with a few in diapers at the same time, I often had enough items in the diaper bag to get us through an entire weekend without worry, just in case...

I liked the feeling of being self-reliant, prepared for anything, and most of all, I loved the fact that when we went to my in-laws house and my child spit up all over themselves, I didn't need to borrow ANYTHING from my mother-in-law who would have LOVED to rub it in that I wasn't a great mom and I wasn't prepared for my children.  I didn't want to borrow one thing from that woman and I didn't want to have to ask her for anything.  (that is also a whole other story for another day.)  Most of all, I loved being ready for just about anything.

Over the years, we didn't need that diaper bag so much and eventually we didn't even need any extra items.  However, I found myself always packing an extra outfit for many outings that my family would take.  You just never know when that child of yours might decide to go into the river or water past their knees even when you told them not to.  You never know when your child might not make it to the bathroom even though they have been potty trained for years.  You never know when that bottle of ketchup in the restaurant might practically explode all over your child's shirt and pants.  So as we ran out the door, I found myself grabbing that extra pair of underwear, shirt and shorts that were sitting in the pile of clean laundry on the dryer. Many times I was so glad I did.

Now as my kids are verging on teenagehood, I want to do what I can to continue to be prepared for what comes down that pike.  I can't control everything but just the feeling of being able to provide for my family and help to keep them as safe as possible makes me feel good.

I know I have gone off topic a bit.  Back to my argument for being prepared.  My husband owns his own business.  In the winter he has a bit of a lull for about two months where he doesn't work hardly at all.  In your own business, no work equals no income.  This happens every month and it happens around and just after the holidays.  We have found that if we stock up when we can prior to the lull time, we can weather this time much better than if we don't.  So for us the economy of our family lends itself well to us having food storage as well as extra storage on items we use everyday.

Then we move to the external forces that surround us.  The American economy is terrible.  People are continuing to lose their jobs every day.  I haven't had a pay raise in 4 years and I actually took a pay cut 2 years ago.  We are living on wages of 2007.  If for some reason I were to lose my job we would be in quite a pickle.  Being prepared would help us out tremendously in those times.  Also there is the unknown.  Our country does a great job with national security but no one can be 100% sure that nothing will happen.  We haven't had war on our soil in a very long time but you never know.

Thus, being prepared is only beneficial.  And that is why I am actively working towards being as prepared as I can be.  I hope that you will too.

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