Writing Prompt: What Would You Do If … #amwriting

I’ve been playing around with some of the 100+ writing prompts I shared with you earlier this week. I’ve had a really good time with the  one line generator, especially the random situation generator. Here’s one that got me writing.

Writing prompt: What Would You Do If… You Had No Money To Feed Your Children?

It’s really sad, but I think in this day and age this is not an uncommon thing in society, I’m not talking third world countries I mean built up society. I can’t speak for elsewhere but here in London, the cost of living is ridiculously high. I have spoken about this before so I won’t rant again, but take rent for example if you rent from a private landlord the prices are sky high in some of the more “nicer” parts of London. Here in the UK we have a system that does offer help with rent payments to those on low incomes or out of work, under the current government we have, when they first came into power the amount of support offered was capped. The result of this was many of those on lower incomes were pushed out of the ” nicer” areas of London they were renting in, and had a struggle to find more cheaper homes to rent. Really sad. Then there’s the average salary vs things like rent costs, food costs, and transport. All very expensive outgoings in London- not to mention child care. 

Parents ( especially women) are often faced with the tough decision of staying at home or reducing their working hours as the cost of full time child care in London, easily eats up a huge part of your income- trust me I know! Just while children are under school age a woman’s career may be set back. Some how here in London economically in some cases it can make more  sense to stay at home rather than work, as the living wage just won’t not cover  all the bills and childcare. This is a blog post for another day! It’s a big subject.

So with these points in mind, I saw this writing prompt and thought this is something a lot of parents may (at one point) have been faced with. The extent of it will vary but we’ve all been there. I have decided not to pay a bill in order to survive, I have no shame in saying that! LOL just life and real, London is expensive!

Luckily, I’ve never been put in a position where I could not at all feed my son, but let me tell you if I were ever in this situation here is what I would do. He is my king and he always comes first. Let’s assume I had no mum, sisters, support system  etc and I was totally on my own…

  1. I’d ask my local shop keeper (really nicely) if he will help me out and explain my situation. I’d like to think after going to the same corner shop (as we call it here in the UK) for almost ten years where I live, he’d help me out with food. Just until I can repay him.
  2. I’d steal it- I tell you no lie I would. This is my son we are talking about. Yes I know this is wrong but I would actually steal food from the store, if the shop keeper said no. I don’t know if I should confess this but oh well! I would probably head to one of the larger food chains. The major ones who can afford to miss the cost of one meal as their profit turn over is ridiculously high. 
  3. I’d try to find a food bank. Here in London or actually around the UK they became very popular when the recession hit back in 2007. I’d turn on the news and see news reports on how much local charity aid  increased in demand, due to job loss vs the need to feed a family.
  4. I ‘d look in my cupboard and see what I can possibly russel up for dinner from what I have. One thing I learned from my mum is keep emergency supplies of things like pasta, tuna, rice etc. To this day I always have these tucked away – just in case.
  5. I’d go out and swallow my pride and ask strangers for help. I really would for the sake of my son. About two weeks ago, I was  outside a cafe, I just stepped out onto the pavement and started to debate what errand to run first on a Monday afternoon. A young girl approached me she looked around her mid -twenties. She said to me ” excuse me miss, do you have any cooking , cleaning or babysitting work for me?” I was quite shocked  and politely I said ” no I’m really sorry.” She then continued  to explain ” I have just come here from my country and it’s really hard, no work for me so I can’t eat or survive.” My heart strings were tugged, I asked her where she is from, it turned out  imagine this from  Greece! Of all the countries. I’m sure you all kept up with the crisis that country experienced when it went bankrupt and residents were limited to just something like sixty euros per week to withdraw from the bank, as there were no funds!  The country and its people were left high and dry. I could not believe what she said to me. While I had no cooking or cleaning jobs I did give her some money for food, just my luck I had no change so I ended up giving her a full £5.00 note. Before I handed it over, I thought to myself what is £5.00 in this day and age? It can just about buy lunch, or a travel card for the day this is not a large sum of money I’m parting with. She was so grateful. All I asked from her is that she did not spend it on drugs or alcohol, I watched her walk into the Wimpy cafe and take a seat ready to order. I walked away feeling like a better person for that charitable deed that day. If I ever have no money to feed my baby, I hope if I stop a stranger on the street and explain they will feel no ill feelings about parting with £5.00 just as I did.
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