Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Amanda Lamb: Living the American dream

Posted September 27, 2015
Updated September 28, 2015

I truly believe one of the hallmarks of a happy life is flexibility. I have not come to embrace this philosophy by nature, but by nurture. As a Type-A, OCD, intense first-born child, my parents worked hard to instill this belief in me. Two things solidified it: Becoming a television reporter where you never know from moment to moment where you will be or what you will be doing and dropping everything in my life in 2012 to care for my dying mother.

This fall, my family has gone through a test of this virtue as we have moved out of our house into a lovely cozy condominium while our 30-year-old home goes through some long-awaited renovations. My daughters are sharing a small room, a closet and one dresser. We have one old-school television with twelve channels and a weak internet signal that only works when all but one device in the house is disconnected. I am loving the ease and little time it takes to maintain, straighten, and clean such a tiny home, but my girls have not been so thrilled with the change.

“When are we going home?” my teenager asks for the hundredth time with a groan and her trademark eye roll.

“Everybody disconnect your devices, I need to print!” my younger one shouts like she’s on fire, running into the kitchen/living room/den in a robe with her wet hair wound up in a towel turban.

They don’t like sharing a room. They don’t like the fact that they don’t have a billion television channels and that they don’t have enough Wifi to power Netflix, Snapchat and their school computers at the same time. They also don’t like the fact that they can’t have friends spend the night because there is simply no room.

But I think its great for them to realize how privileged they are to live in a house with all of these luxuries, to have their own rooms, to have the space that people in other countries, and some people right here in own community, don’t have.

Let’s face it: Many of us are living the American dream. Our kids are spoiled. It’s hard to un-spoil them, but maybe, just maybe, if we try very hard, we can teach them to appreciate the life they have been given …

Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including some on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.

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  • Amomoftwo Sep 28, 2015

    i attended parent orientation when my daughter started college at Elon. There were about 300 parents in the auditorium and the speaker asked how many had children who shared a bedroom...1 mom raised her hand and she had 6 children! The speaker pointed out that living in a dorm room with a stranger without all the luxuries found in our own homes would be the student's biggest..and that proved true for many.