Trailer park communities get a bad rap across the country. A lot of people associate trailer parks with people who like to party, spend their days chasing the dog (or their partner), and wondering when the lights will go out (because they didn’t pay for their electricity bill yet again). If that weren’t enough, a lot of people believe that trailer park families have a hard time keeping up with the rest of society mostly because they seem to be in their own little world. A lot of trailer park people haven’t even ventured beyond their own zip code.
With that being said, here are 20 things that we would probably only see from a trailer park parent. Now, that’s not to say that all of these points are bad. After all, learning how to make breakfast, lunch, and dinner on one's own will teach anyone life skills that would benefit a child later on. But not having a proper nighttime routine, drinking and eating whatever they want, and wearing clothes that would look more appropriate on a 20-year-old are just a few things we wouldn’t put in the ‘good parenting’ category. Take a look at our list below and let us know those thoughts in our comments section below.
20 No Designated Bedtime
One can only wonder if trailer parks have clocks inside their homes because it seems like a lot of trailer park families like to live their lives without one. Don’t be surprised if you visit a friend in a trailer park just to find that he or she doesn’t have a designated bedtime, even on school nights. And while they might live a “rule free” life, there are some great advantages to living in this kind of community: everyone watches out for everyone else, with the kids included.
Mobile Home Living writes, “Childhood memories made in a mobile home park are often cherished. When a park is managed correctly, with proper background checks and safety protocols, the entire community becomes a safety net for the children within the park.”
19 Skipping School Just Because…
School? Who needs school? We are sure that a lot of kids think that way, regardless if they grew up in a trailer park or not. Every kid would love to skip school, especially if they are given the opportunity to do so. And just like clocks, it seems as though calendars don’t exist in many trailer park homes, either. Actually, every kid has probably skipped school for one reason or another. Just because you live in a trailer park home, that doesn’t mean you are any different than your classmates at school. But trailer park kids might have different reasons for skipping school. Sometimes the gator from the nearby pond gets in the way on your driveway, or your morning alarm clock (the rooster outside your door) moved locations.
18 Trailing To School Late Every Morning
Getting to school on time every morning is hard, regardless of who you are or where you come from. Everyone looks forward to Saturday mornings for a reason, right? Well, trailer park kids are no different! Sometimes they trail to school late every morning just like their classmates. That’s because they are too busy exploring the world by their mobile homes or RVs.
Winnebeagolife.com writes, “Seeing our kids try something new for the first time or try something that they were afraid of at first is another perk of living this lifestyle. Traveling full-time, we are coming across these situations on a pretty consistent basis and it has been awesome to watch out kids grow into confident adventurers!”
17 No Nighttime Bath Routines
Life is no fun when you are clean. At least, that’s what every kid would say especially after spending a day enjoying a fun-filled day in the outdoors, getting mud, grime, and everything else in between their toes. All jokes aside, you’d think that living in a trailer park meant that you make your own rules as you go. But that’s not always the case. There’s plenty of structure, and on average, trailer park residents are very happy with their homes and their lifestyle. "It's very quiet and always clean," says bartender Sue Bobbitt, according to the BBC. "That's one of the main things I was looking for.”
16 Partying With Adults
Age ain’t nothing but a number, right? So why fret when you see a bunch of kids at an adult party? While seeing kids at parties made for adults might be controversial for some, it’s normal for others. Plus, at least you get to keep an eye on your children while you get to hang out with your adult friends, too. It’s a win-win situation for many trailer park parents. You can’t say that you are neglecting your kids when they are right beside you. Just because you choose to live in a trailer community that shouldn’t label you as a parent. No one should also judge you just because you like to party with friends but keep an eye on your kid at the same time.
15 Calling Everyone ‘Sir’ or ‘Mam’
If there is one thing that can be said about most trailer park kids, it’s that they know how to greet their elders. You can bet they’ve got good manners. You can almost guarantee that every kid that has grown up in a trailer park will call a female adult “mam” while they call male adults “sir.” It’s just part of their everyday vocabulary and the way they were raised, especially in the south. In some ways, many parents would say that is one thing that’s lacking in today’s society. Kids don’t know how to correctly speak to adults, let alone use proper titles.
14 Ignoring Your Child’s Wardrobe
Now, this is one thing that even trailer park parents feel split on. While some do tend to ignore their children’s wardrobes, others are surprised that they have so many clothes in their closets to begin with! Don’t worry, we’re joking. We are sure that there are days in which many parents don’t pay attention to what their kids are wearing before they leave the house. What mom hasn’t buckled her seat belt in her car just to find out that her child is missing a shoe in the back? We’ve all been there so many times. No judgment on our end whatsoever.
13 Drinking And Eating Whatever You Want
When you are raised by trailer park parents, does that mean you can drink or eat whatever you want? Not all the time. It’s not the wild, lawless lifestyle many think of it to be. People would be surprised to find that many trailer parks are above par. "Not everyone who lives in a trailer park is poor," says Charles Becker, a professor of economics at Duke University, according to the BBC. "And there are parts of the country, like Michigan, where living in a mobile home community doesn't have the stigma it does in the south. You also have retirement communities in Florida where people aren't poor at all."
12 No Privacy - Ever
One of the downsides of living in a trailer park community or an RV community is that as a parent, you never get the privacy that you need or deserve for that matter. That’s because space is so tight and in some cases, limited. Life can be pretty tough living in the same room as the rest of your family and many parents can attest to that. Winnebagolife.com writes, “Privacy – we don’t have any. We knew this coming into it and were prepared for it. But I can definitely say there are times I miss my big Jacuzzi bathtub and being able to sneak away upstairs, shut the door and take a bath while Craig watched the kids.”
11 Forgetting About Your Child In The Parking Lot
If you forget your child in the parking lot of a trailer park community, don’t panic. That’s because there’s a very strong possibility that one of your neighbors might be keeping an eye on them, even when you don’t realize it. And we don’t mean that in a bad way. Security in most trailer park communities is tighter than what you’d expect. Mobile Home Living writes, “Many mobile home parks are age restricted, most being 55+ neighborhoods. This is a perfect setup for retirees that appreciate limited disturbances and enjoy the company of those within their own age range. There’s something to be said about the quite in a 55+ park – it’s so peaceful and serene.”
10 Being Careless With Pets
There’s the assumption that trailer park kids like to be careless with their pets. But is that true? That can be up for debate. After all, a lot of ids, regardless of where they live. The AACP writes, “Pets are part of many children's lives. Parental involvement, open discussion, and planning are necessary to help make pet ownership a positive experience for everyone. A child who learns to care for an animal, and treat it kindly and patiently, may get invaluable training in learning to treat people the same way. Careless treatment of animals is unhealthy for both the pet and the child involved.”
9 Hair Highlights Before School Pick Up
As mentioned above, a lot of people think that trailer parks are ridden with poverty. Little do they know that they are in some cases thriving communities. A lot of parents can do what other parents do with their disposable incomes. “My mom downsized, and it was absolutely the most affordable thing she could do,” one trailer park resident told Curbed.com. “She moved into a one-floor living space so that she could age in place, and when we walked into it, she said, ‘I like this one. It feels like a house to me.’ Now, she’s getting her hair done at the community center once a week with her neighbors.”
8 Not Knowing How To Properly Install A Car Seat... Because You Don't Need One
A lot of people think that if you are a parent that lives in a trailer park, you probably don’t know how to properly install a car seat. That’s because you probably don’t even have a car seat. Or, that you don’t even have a car, for that matter. The only mode of transportation you need is a golf cart to get you from one place to the next. Talk about stereotypes, right? A lot of trailer park parents can attest to the fact that they do use car seats and that they do know how to install them, just like any other parent out there.
7 Ranting About Your Mobile Home Life On Social Media
There are some people out there that are going to complain, no matter where they live or what they do for that matter. Trailer park people are no different. Some have an issue with the name of their communities or even their homes. People just can’t make up their minds. Crystal Adkins, a blogger for Mobile Home Living writes, “My issue with all this name changing is simple: You cannot change how people talk and you cannot change a product’s reputation by calling it a different name. I’ve called these awesome adobes ‘mobile homes’ my entire life and I’m not stopping now.”
6 Not Watching Your Kids
Do trailer park parents watch their children? It depends on who you ask. In many communities, you can get away with not watching your kids while they play outside, despite the risks. It all boils down to making good decisions and trusting your own judgment as a parent. Trailer park parents are no different. Winnebagolife.com writes, “We have come to the conclusion that if people are coming to an RV park or campground they know that things will not be quiet. And there are times when we will just be loud. It’s a thin line between being respectful to our neighbors and also letting our kids be kids.”
5 Or Not Knowing Where They Are All Day, For That Matter
A few generations back many kids spent their afternoons and weekends roaming the streets without a care in the world. These days, and in most HOA-restricted communities, kids can’t do that. The one exception might be the trailer park community, though. They really do watch out for one another all the time. And yes, people are genuinely happy. Offbeathome.com puts it this way, “Our trailer is exactly what I always wanted my home to be — it is cozy, comfortable, cost-efficient, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, with a kitchen, and our neighbors are some of the nicest people I have ever met. I love my trailer and my trailer park life."
4 People Think You Are Always Unhappy
A lot of people have the misconception that living in a trailer park community means that you don’t have to parent your children as often as homeowning families. That’s because the kids are outside most of the day. There’s also the misconception that many trailer park parents neglect their children’s emotional needs because they are too busy doing other things, like wasting time on social media. But that’s not always the case. A parent is a parent, and they will always love and care for their kids no matter who they are or where they live. What do you guys think?
3 No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problem
When it comes to the trailer park life, everyone lives by the same mantra: no shirt, no shoes, no problem! At least, that’s what it appears to be at times. They like to live the kind of life we can only dream about: running as free as they can be! Is that such a bad thing? It depends on your perspective. Some people say that the best kind of childhood is one that is spent running free in the outdoors. A lot of parents would even agree with that. As much as trailer park living gets a bad wrap, they do have some advantages over the rest of society, even if that means not wearing shoes on a daily basis.
2 Mud... Everywhere
When you live in a trailer park, it’s almost inevitable that you won’t have the same structures, surfaces, or even amenities that regularly-built homes have. With not much of a yard, there’s a good chance that you will have mud everywhere. That’s only a problem if you call it a problem, right?
Owning a mobile home once didn’t have the stigma that it has today. “Mobile homes in the 1960s were for young people who were starting out and making their place in the world. Anything after 1976, though, can’t be called a mobile home,” says Patricia Boerger of the Manufactured Housing Institute, according to Curbed.
1 Chicken And Waffles And Cake For Dinner?
Some trailer park families don’t have set times or routines whenever it comes to breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s either first come, first serve or you eat whatever is available to you, even if that means chicken and waffles for dinner. With that said, we have a feeling that a lot of kids wouldn’t complain about that, especially if dinner happens to be an ice cream sundae during some nights, right? Plus, let’s not fool ourselves here. Plenty of parents allow their children to have “cheat days” and “cheat nights” by eating whatever they want throughout the day. Some trailer park parents are no different.
Source: Offbeathome.com, BBC, Winnebago Life, Duke University, Curbed.com