Thursday, May 01, 2008

Uneven

Dirk and I each grew up with one sibling. In our homes, things were usually evenly divided between each child. If one of us got new clothes, then you could be sure that the other one would have something new as well. We alternated turns sitting in the front seat. If there was one piece of pie left, it was easily divided into halves.

With the addition of each child in our family, evenly dividing things became more difficult. It gave us the opportunity to teach them important lessons on sharing, preferring, and realizing that we all have differing needs.

I’m sure my children have been stretched in this area. My younger boys have many more opportunities than their older siblings. My older kids did without a lot of things, like vacations, and music lessons, and new clothes.

It’s been a lesson for Dirk and I, knowing that we couldn’t provide for them all the same way. And we’ve had to trust that God knew that when He allowed us to care for them. It’s also reminded me that our Father isn’t fair either. (Thankfully!) He is a just God. He gives us each what we need and a lot of times even what we want. I’m really good with that.

How about you? Did you grow up in a family where everything had to be equal? Do you have a hard time when things aren’t fair or equal?

17 comments:

Nicole Knox said...

I grew up in home that it was ALWAYS equal. I had one brother too. To this day my parents still do it! ha ha

valerie said...

Hey Robin,
I grew up in with three sisters. My youngest is almost 6 yrs. younger than me. My parents were very fair and I never felt like they have ever treated one different than the other. However, :) my youngest sister did get more "things" and get to do more than the rest of us did simply because my parents were able to afford things a little more at that time.
When she turned 16, the rest of us were 22, 24, 26 & all married so my parents could afford to get her a car. The rest of us had to share a car with Mom when we turned 16, but we all knew and understood they couldn't do anything any differently.
I have two kids and I hope and pray they know we will help each one any time we can. When Kristen got married almost 2 yrs. ago, we concentrated so much on that for her at that time.....now Brian is moving into his new apt. by himself for the first time and he's needing some furniture etc. so we're there for him, doing what we can.
I do thank God that He is a just God.
I enjoy your posts. Good to talk to you again!
Love,
Valerie
P.S. Are you going to San Antonio for the Beth Moore conference in Aug.?

Kim Heinecke said...

I don't think I"ve grown out of throwing a fit when things aren't fair...

Abbi said...

Great post! I could talk about this topic for HOURS!!! lol.

My parents were always pretty equal when it came to 'things' between my 2nd sister (3 yrs younger) and I, but privileges (curfew, etc.) were based on our respective maturity/responsibility levels.

With my sister who's 11 years younger than me (and the only one still on the 'dole.' HA!), it seems like she gets more "stuff" than I did...especially clothes and iPods, etc. My expenses were things like college, camps, trips, etc...more experiences than tangibles.

mandy said...

someone PLEASE explain to me why my baby brother always got EQUAL sized portions as me, even though he was 2 1/2 years YOUNGER????

it drove me NUTS! NUTS! the GROSS unfairness!!!!!

HomeSchool Mommy said...

I have two sisters (a year older and two years younger). My parents ALWAYS made things even. We got the same amount of Christmas presents and in our younger years they were even the same or same type of present. We always had the same bedtime and we exchanged chores on a weekly basis so we all had a chance to do each job.

THEN....

There is my brother...He is nine years younger than me. My parents make more money now, there are fewer mouths to feed, and so on...so, he has a totally different life than we girls did. We often say he's spoiled, but none of us have ever minded.

It's not just about material things, though. My parents are just so much more relaxed now that they're older. He does more (and less) than we did. He is allowed to do different things.

I think God gives us the things we need, just as you said. For us girls, God gave us stricter, poorer parents, who were anal about keeping everything completely equal. For my brother, God knew he needed a different upbringing.

HomeSchool Mommy said...

I have two sisters (a year older and two years younger). My parents ALWAYS made things even. We got the same amount of Christmas presents and in our younger years they were even the same or same type of present. We always had the same bedtime and we exchanged chores on a weekly basis so we all had a chance to do each job.

THEN....

There is my brother...He is nine years younger than me. My parents make more money now, there are fewer mouths to feed, and so on...so, he has a totally different life than we girls did. We often say he's spoiled, but none of us have ever minded.

It's not just about material things, though. My parents are just so much more relaxed now that they're older. He does more (and less) than we did. He is allowed to do different things.

I think God gives us the things we need, just as you said. For us girls, God gave us stricter, poorer parents, who were anal about keeping everything completely equal. For my brother, God knew he needed a different upbringing.

Roger Garrett said...

Not getting the same used to eat me up. But now I enjoy it more when I get less and others get more.

I hope you bought more than one pizza because I know that won't feed your boys, that would even feed mine and they are much younger lol

Natalie Witcher said...

No evens in our house! That made it so we could appreciate what the others had. My parents did a great job!

Natalie Witcher said...

and...i agree with kim

Katie said...

Growing up I didn't think about "fairness" or everything being even. Then I married Alexander, whose family does everything even and fair, even to this day. We've talk about this and how differently we think because of how we were raised.

Personally, I am thankful for how I was raised because it taught me not to expect anything. So the things that I did get were more special.

Robin Meadows said...

Well, hello my Katie! : )

Thanks for your sweet words. It was nothing we planned...it just happened because there were so many of you. But, I think it has made you be less selfish individuals, not having certain expectations. And it's taught me to rest in the fact that God fills in all the gaps we leave as parents!

Bobbi West said...

Fairness....um, with my sibling being 7, 10 and 12 years older than I, nothing was fair. I ended up pretty darn spoiled as far as material things are concerned, when I was very young anyway. But in the things that mattered, like a great family and non alcoholic parents... I got ripped off! When they were little, our house was like Leave It To Beaver, when I was growing up, on the best day it didn't even get close to Rosanne. As my siblings would have wanted new Polo socks and bicycles, my desire was for hot running water and my parents home on Christmas Eve. My brother got the bulk of attention/things/assistance and so forth throughout our entire childhood and adulthood. As a child/teen/young adult, it seemed not fair. As an adult, I now see that he needed more of Mom and Dad's attention and help then us girls did, so it no longer seems 'not fair!' So as far as fairness goes, well 'life is not always fair'.
Thankfully the Lord isn't fair either!

Erica Buchanan said...

My 7 year old Emily is always saying, "That's not fair". And of course my reply back (the same as my mom told me), say it with me..."Life's not fair"!!! I used to hate it when my mom said that and now I find myself saying. Go figure. I'm not even sure any of us on this Earth know what fair is!! I know we all have our own definitions based on our life experiences, and I think that is why we are always questioning God about why bad things happen to good people.

Robin Meadows said...

Hey, Bobbi and Erica!!

Thanks for the comments!

shanna said...

My brother is 8 years younger. Well...it was just like he had a completely different childhood than I did...more stable and I am sooooo thankful for that. Nothing is equal around here though...it is a big ole' ball of chaos...but I love it!

princessjes said...

I tried to make things even and "fair" for my brothers and make them share, but it wasn't and isn't, but I love that...God is just! Thank God He isn't fair!