It was a Tuesday, last Tuesday, and I went to drop off Fiona at my mother-in-law’s Mary’s. Fiona had the tail end of a cold so I go to dig for a wipe to dig at her green booger crusted face. And I discover…there are no wipes. In fact, there are no diapers either.

Grammy and Fiona from Making Do on

I remember this happening once before with the first child. No diapers in the diaper bag. They must have all been removed at daycare for back-up. Mary says, “No problem, we’ll make due” or “figure out something”. She’s from the old school of hard knocks parenting. You made do with what you had and the kids survived.

I stood there in the realization that I had two appointments in my imminent future and I needed to get hustling to round-up diapers. Then I left to buy the diapers and wipes. Because that little girl was due up for a poopie. No way was I OK with thinking I’d be at my doctor’s appointments and I would be worrying about her nappy necessities. And what my Mother-in-law could possibly be “makiing do” with.

Grammy and Fiona from Making Do on

These older mothers, they know trenches. Making do was what they know and they were masters of the art of not needing. We’re the ones creating high maintenance kids with out hovering and our over-doing. My husband was told to clean his plate because there was no more. Sure he and I share abundance issues but my point is, they won’t die if we don’t snack them every half hour and then wonder why they never eat. And they won’t remember if their Grandmother uses a dishtowel as a nappy. But that will only happen if I am blissfully ignorant of the lack of nappies. I have my limits. And my mother-in-law has hers. They’re just somewhere I’m unwilling to go.

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  1. This is so true what you say. My mom did what she had to do with very little. With six kids you just make do! Right? I’m sure I mostly did without. Back then, I didn’t know the difference whatsoever. Now I think kids know. Could that be a difference, too? Anyway, I think it’s fine to have your limits. That makes sense to me.

    1. When they’re wee like Fiona, they don’t know they have a dishtowel nappy in their pants for a couple of hours. It’s us modern parents who say,”We don’t have to live like our parents did.” And then we go out and buy organic groceries at Trader Joe’s and put ourselves in the hole for our pride. I really need to make do more with some stuff. And no, I only buy organic at the farmer’s market and the Trader Joe’s is across the Bay bridge so I’m not going there either. But yes, there’s a line for all of us.

  2. I am not understanding what you mean when you say you have your limits and they’re just somewhere your not willing to go? Just wondering.

    1. I mean Kim that I am a spoiled mother who does not want to think of times being as hard as our parents had it. That we don’t need to make as much do because we have more resources and choices. At least that what we’d like to think. Even if we put ourselves in debt or overcompensate in our giving to our children so they’ll never have to go without. Right? I am in no way saying that Mary’s limits are less than or bad but her reference is to a different time and to be respected for what she did have to do to make her ends meet. My limits are are about being less limited.
      Thanks for reading!!

      1. Thank you for explaining it. I think that my mind went to mush. I know you love and respect Mom and only mean well. I enjoy your stories.
        Love ya

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