When we think of homeless, we think of the people at the red lights [panhandlers] asking for money, those sitting on the sidewalk holding signs, the man on a bicycle strapped with belongings, or the drunkard who pushes the grocery cart collecting cans….
What we don’t think of is the family touring the museum, the family on the beach, the family at the State Park, or the family at the grocery store – we don’t think of the blogger mom, the beautiful teenage girls walking down the road, the handsome boy carrying his little brother on his back, or the beautiful baby girl laughing in her daddy’s arms…
This is not what we think of… THIS IS HOMELESS
Our readers here probably recognize those cute kids because they are mine and that is my family. Aren’t they beautiful?
I never truly used the term homeless until recently. I referred to it as being “between homes” or that our family was “camping”, “traveling”…. whatever didn’t sound so “homeless”.
Our friends have referred to it as our “adventure”… I guess we do make it look like one most of the time. No one really knows how difficult some days can be. When the weather is good – we, as parents, can forget about our living situation and enjoy the sunshine a little. But when the weather isn’t so great and we have the car seats in our tent because we are sleeping in our car… SMACK… reality!
As a blogging mom and virtual assistant, work can be difficult. If we are tent camping we seldom have wifi at our campsite. This means I will spend six or more hours in a library or McDonald’s. I can only do this when my husband is available to watch the kids so I am often tagging him in at the end of the day after work so I can leave to go to work. When I started working from home… working from McDonald’s was never my intention.
When we are in an area that doesn’t have reliable wifi and I try to explain that I have missed a deadline because there isn’t wifi at our campsite, I have had clients say things like “I wish I had known you were on vacation” (….facepalm. I tried to explain it, but it just doesn’t hit the brain as quickly as “homeless” – and that one hits my stomach every time I say it so I just let it go.)
After several months of not having our own home, we are looking forward to a light at the end of the tunnel. Both parents are employed and we have found an area that is affordable and perfect for our family. The only problem is, we don’t have the money for deposits. You see, it cost a lot of money to be homeless. If we are tent camping, our daily expenses are $60 for food, gas, lodging. If we are staying in a hotel, our expenses can be upwards of $75 per day. If you have done the math, you just figured out that it costs us between $1800 and $2250 a month to be homeless!
Surviving Survival Mode:
We have stressful days and less stressful days just as any family does. We try to take advantage of free activities in the areas we are in so our children aren’t so affected. It is hard to hate tent camping when your campsite is some of the most beautiful places in America. The photo above was taken at Antelope Island, Utah on the Great Salt Lake. We were surrounded by Bison and antelope and beautiful flowers. As difficult as things are – the world is truly beautiful and you have to give yourself moments each day to realize that or you will go bananas!
Our bigger bunch realize our situation but manage to make us smile on days when we struggle. We know we have amazing children that deserve the world and we hope we can provide that for them one day.