My crazy family

With the holidays over and a new baby on the way, I feel lately like “crazy” has really been taken to a whole new level in my family. And when I mean my family, I’m talking my immediate family and DH’s family.

From November-January, we had visitors (of the family sort) coming and going, and had to deal with all sorts of drama from intense political discussions, to personal sob stories to simply insane-you-wouldn’t-believe-it-but-that’s-my-family sort of stuff.

And now that the holidays are over, it’s baby advice. You know, the silly, old wives tale type of advice that make you wonder if your relatives aren’t from some kind of alien race. Keep in mind, of course, that I’ve been through one pregnancy and am pretty certain I can care for myself during this second round. In addition to baby advice, there’s planning our summer calendar so that people can visit and help take care of the new addition and his older sister. Don’t get me wrong, I know I will appreciate all the help I can get. Initially. But at some point, if I know me, I’m going to want my house to myself to spend time with my own family.

And I’ll leave alone all the nonsense that’s happening on DH’s side between his elderly mother, ill older brother and unstable niece. There’s simply too much drama there for any person to deal with.

For all the complaining I do, a conversation with my best gal pal recently reminded me one thing: they may be crazy, but they’re my crazy family. I love them. There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for them. They drive me mad. At the same time, all the ridiculous stories that come out of both my and my husband’s families provide hours of conversation, evoking tears, joy, fond memories. Even the things that make us sad. I know one day we’ll learn to embrace them as part of who we are and smile or even laugh about it. It’s what helps us grow and be better humans. As I share these stories with my best friend, and console her on her own family’s insane mess, we both laugh and cry together, and imagine sharing these stories with my own children one day.

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The nation’s debt is my debt

If I managed my family the way the government runs our country, we would probably be on the streets or in a homeless shelter. Thank goodness I don’t run my family that way. I know that in order to keep our budget balanced, we spend only on things we need and live well within our means. We have our bills paid on time and have limited debt that we are able to manage.

But, MAN, how much would you love to be able to keep raising your credit limit, or pushing your debt collection deadlines continually? Seriously, if my accountant managed my money that way, I’d have his or her butt fired so quickly. Why aren’t we firing our politicians and our President? Don’t they know all they’re doing is making it worse for the American people’s future? This country’s debt unfortunately falls on me and millions of other Americans who in all likelihood cannot afford to pay off this debt. I cannot afford to pay more taxes than I already am. So STOP SPENDING MY MONEY NEEDLESSLY! AND NO! YOU CANNOT PRINT ANYMORE MONEY. All that does is make the money I do have worthless.I hope this nation can have patience, faith, pity and mercy on the soul who finally has the senses to say, “it’s time to address our money issues, America, and it’s not going to be fun.”

My family and I are considering doing something a little bolder than we normally would. I hope others consider doing the same. We are calculating how much money we would have paid to the government for every day they have been shut down these last few weeks, and are planning on withholding that money from the IRS come tax time. We’ve simply had enough and if the IRS wants to come after us for this…bring it.

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That moment you realize you’ve become your mom (or dad)

“I’m never gonna be like you! I would never treat my kids like you treat me!” Probably something many adults recall saying to their own parents as a child. I definitely did growing up.

Now, as a mother to a nearly 3 year-old, I can’t count the number of times I’ve stopped and thought to myself, “Oh my gosh, I’ve become my mother!” And I’ve only been at this for 3 years! I think the majority of these instances have come in the last 1.5 years as my daughter develops her independence, self-confidence and verbal skills.

Usually, my initial reaction is horror. I can’t believe I’m treating my child the way my parents – and especially my mom – treated me. Fortunately, at this age, my daughter can’t yet express her anger and frustration through hateful and hurtful words. But, I imagine the day will come.

However, the more I think about it, the more I take comfort in knowing that my mom really did know what she was thinking and doing and has, in many ways, prepared me for this. In most cases, I think in hindsight she did the right thing and was not unreasonable. Without gloating, I think I turned out to be an alright individual. Furthermore, I realize I’m not exactly like my mother, and I have developed my own ever-evolving parenting style with which I’m quite satisfied.

It’s also a good way for me to remind myself that my mother deserves lots of credit for raising me and my two siblings. I’m quite certain my daughter is no where near as bad as I was. I’ve probably got it easy.

I just hope my daughter will be able to understand some day, and realize the same that I’ve taught her properly. At the very least, when the day comes and she tells me she’ll never be like me, I can amuse myself by imagining when she first finds herself in my shoes, and her grandmother’s shoes and discovers, she’s become me. Haha!

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Accountability as a parent

This is my first post, and I was inspired to write something after readingĀ this story about former NFL player Brian Holloway. It’s my understanding that while Mr. Holloway lives in Florida, he has a vacation home in upstate New York. Over Labor Day weekend, Mr. Holloway was alerted by one of his children that their vacation home had been broken into, and hundreds of teenagers were partying and destroying the home. The story came to light as some of the party-goers posted photos of their behavior and activity online, and bragged about what was going on via Twitter.

Shortly after, Mr. Holloway created a web site and shared about the incident, including re-posting numerous tweets and Twitter accounts from those guilty of participating in the break-in party. His goal was not only to request that his stolen possessions (one of which was a headstone for a deceased grandchild) be returned, but also to give these young people an opportunity to right their wrong by returning to help clean up the mess they left. He was ready to forgive these children. Sadly, only ONE parent had brought his/her child to the scene of the crime to make amends and teach the child a lesson about being accountable for one’s actions.

But the truly sad part of the story for me is learning that some of the parents of the teens involved are considering a lawsuit AGAINST Mr. Holloway. The idea and very thought of this action is outrageous and unbelievable to me. Here is a man who has had his property stolen and destroyed. Yet, he still has love enough in his heart to forgive these kids if they would only do the right thing and return his belongings, come back to help clean up and repair the damage that they’ve done. And these parents want to sue HIM?!? I shake my head. I can’t even begin to understand. Their claim that he has essentially damaged these kids’ reputations, good images and chances of going to a good college by re-posting their tweets to his web site and making it available to the public are ridiculous beyond belief. First, they did that themselves. Second, it shows a collective of parents who are entirely out of touch from the world in which their kids live. Those kids made their lives publicly available, and their actions and intentions available, when they chose to post those photos and comments to Twitter. It was only a matter of time before media found those tweets and reported themselves.

And here is a gi-normous opportunity for the parents to teach their children a valuable life lesson that when you make a mistake, you need to own up to it. Fix it. But instead, they’ve chosen to take the low road. “You know what, son? When you make a mistake, don’t worry. We’ll sue the pants off the other person so you don’t look like the bad guy.” What kind of parenting is this?

I read through some of the tweets from Mr. Holloway’s web site, and the one that stood out to me most was a tweet from a kid named Chris Warren, who said, “so glad my parents don’t give a f*$% what I do.” I hope that doesn’t mean they’ve given you a golden ticket to commit murder.

What these kids did was wrong, absolutely. I understand they’re teenagers, and teenagers do stupid things. Heck, I was a stupid teen when I was a kid. But I guarantee you, had that been me, my parents would have dragged my butt over there so fast and made me clean everything twice. On top of that, they probably would have offered my services to Mr. Holloway’s upcoming Veterans’ luncheon and made sure I learned my lesson. These parents sadly don’t see their own responsibility to raise their children to become responsible and moral citizens. Suing Mr. Holloway for further exposing what their kids did to him only demonstrates their own irresponsibility. If the parents can’t take responsibility for their own kids, how the hell are the kids supposed to understand they need to take responsibility for their own actions?

This is not an isolated incident either. I think we’ve seen one too many stories lately about kids partaking in deviant behavior and then bragging about it to the world via photos and ignorant comments. Clearly, a generation has lost a sense of decency and moral compass. And in time, this is a generation that will lead our country. Our politicians right now already behave like children. I’m afraid to imagine what my country will look like when this generation does come of age.

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