I don't proofread my posts before I publish them... cause I keep my thoughts au naturale.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Disney hand-me-downs

As I sit at my computer at midnight tonight, I found myself searching eBay for Monsters University figures for H's second birthday next month.  A month ago I was planning to do a Yo Gabba Gabba theme for his gifts and cake (although we don't have parties, I like to give their birthday a theme).  But in the last two weeks he has become OBSESSED with Monsters University.  He will sit in his brother's room most of the day and play with toys while it is on TV in the background.  This is a recent development that on child #1 I would have told myself was a no-no, but now that I have four, I'd do about anything within reason to keep them all occupied so I have a chance to breathe and maybe use the bathroom once in awhile.

Anyway, while searching eBay, this got me thinking.  The year A was born, Monsters Inc. came out in theaters.  I've always been a fan of Disney movies, so I ended up buying it for myself, but when she became old enough to watch it, she fell in love too.  So, I found myself scouring eBay for toys.  Then came Toy Story... and again she loved it, so I found myself looking for toys (oh, btw, I'm cheap, so I don't believe in just going to the store and buying a toy.)  Then, L was born in early 2008.  As he got a bit older he liked Monsters Inc. okay, but he LOVED Toy Story.  Luckily I already had the toys from when A liked them.  But as the kids got older, they found new interests, so I got rid of those toys to make room for more as I thought I'd be done having kids.

Fast forward several years... Toy Story 2 came out (which I wasn't a fan of), then Toy Story 3, which I took the older 2 to the theater to see... and now Monsters University.  Which, had I known I'd eventually have more kids, I probably would have kept some of these toys as Disney movies never go out of style.  However, I try to declutter as often as possible because I know I have a propensity towards hoarding.  Now I am thinking of other shows that I had bought toys for that are still around, like Dora, Veggie Tales, Diego...  so if H or Baby A ever decide to become infatuated with those shows, I'll be kicking myself for not hanging onto those toys.  Luckily since my oldest is a girl and the other three are boys, as she grows out of things like Bratz and Barbies, I don't have to worry about hanging on to those (no more babies for me!)

Likewise, it does my heart good knowing that one of my daughter's favorite movies is The Little Mermaid as it is my favorite Disney movie and I watched it when I was little.  It used to be A's favorite, but now she has put Frozen in the number one position.

I guess it just goes to show that Disney movies are timeless.  Although I am not a fan of the commercialism of Disney and how they make billions off impressionable children... we as parents sometime have to sacrifice our principals in order to make our children happy.  Well, now it's 12:30 and I think I might continue searching on eBay... but here's a final thought:

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

MIL, FIL, SIL, BIL... it's all relative!

“A son is a son 'til he gets a wife, but a daughter is a daughter all her life. ”

I think that nine times out of ten, parents will find out that this is the truth.  I could make assumptions or hypotheses into why this is, but I won't make many.  I'd like to know what my readers' thoughts are on this, though.  Why do you think this is?

That makes you Public Enemy #1

So, this leads to things after a marriage that can make life miserable for various people for various reason.  The son has now switched his entire focus to his wife and has made her priority number one.  That is difficult for his family to understand or accept.  I think the wife makes her husband priority number one, but still keeps her family a close second because she likes the comfort of familiarity.  She felt support and nurturing for her family that HOPEFULLY her husband provides, but she still wants members of her family to be there when she needs them.  Sons are different as they don't like to ask for help and they like to look brave and in charge.  Plus, their needs and goals change and their "other" family gets pushed on the back burner.  Is it sad?  Sure.  Is it part of life?  Yep!

 As a mother of three boys, I know this will eventually be what happens in my life.  As of now, I'm pretty okay with this as long as they don't ask me for money or expect me to raise their children.  I'd also appreciate if they never asked to live with me because I'd want to say no, but wouldn't that be awful if I did?

I also feel like I would strive to be the coolest mother-in-law ever.  I want my future daughters-in-law (or sons-in-law if any of them end up being gay) to think I'm funny and that I'm cool to hang out with.  It might not happen, but hey, a mom can dream.  I just don't want to be that stereotypical mother-in-law that talks shit about the wife behind her back and has this warped idea that her son has become distant and brain-washed by his bride.  Ooooookay.  God forbid that he has a mind of his own.

Anyway, I'm sure this is very common and cliche.  I will say, that it is great when in-laws butt out because they don't know the strain it puts on the relationship.  I will say that with both my marriages, the first year was by far the hardest just because my husbands' families made my life so much harder.  Luckily in my first marriage it got better and although I know my previous father-in-law didn't respect me, my previous mother-in-law was very nice to me and to this day, we get along great and she is SO FRIENDLY.

My current (ha) husband and I have only been married about a year and a half, so I can't speak to how things may be down the road.  And I can't speak about how they are now, why are you asking me???

What in-law experiences have you had, good or bad?  (Feel free to post anonymously if needed.)  

P.S. How do people luck out with my mom as a mother-in-law??  Lucky ducks!! 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day to my other BFF!

Free Dictionary defines "best friend" as:  
             Noun 1.  best friend - the one friend who is closest to you
             friend - a person you know well and regard with affection and trust

I would say I have two best friends according this definition: my husband and my mother.  Whenever something exciting, scary, crazy happens or if I hear some juicy gossip, I always call my mom.  Sometimes I even tell her before my husband, which irks him a bit, but she's usually available at that time and I can't hold it in.

My mom has been the absolute BEST role model for how someone should be as an adult!  I know I've mentioned these things before, but my mother is probably the most respected person I know, both professionally and personally.  Everyone that finds out she is my mother tells me how lucky I am, or how great she is or how much they miss getting to see her at work.  Even friends of mine who had her as a teacher tell me she was their favorite.  It makes me feel proud to be associated with someone who has touched so many lives.

I do feel like perhaps the role of "mother" was never something she was fully comfortable with, but she did her best to provide the things she felt she was supposed to.  I don't know that her mother gave the best model of "mothering," but again, her mother was one of the most generous and giving people I have ever met and I miss her dearly.  So she clearly passed those traits down to my mother and that is another reason why my grandmother will always be a legend in my eyes.  At one point, my mom felt so bad for me that I was home all day every day dealing with two kids that she offered to pay to send them to daycare a couple days a week-- who does that??  Only a rational woman who understands that your life doesn't always revolve around they psychosis that comes along with being alone with children 24/7.

When it comes to feelings, I'm not that forthcoming about the big stuff, but I don't even talk to my husband about most of it either.  Although I might not tell my mom every feeling and emotion I have, just talking to her about anything makes me feel better.  One of my favorite things to do is go to lunch with her, just she and I, so we don't have to worry about what ears are listening in or being interrupted with a screaming child-- or four. 

Her generosity knows no bounds.  She would lend an ear to anyone, whether she liked them or not.  She does not want to hurt anyone's feelings and sometimes that requires a sacrifice on her part, but she is so giving, she allows herself to "suffer."  She is always keeping an eye out for a good deal in case she finds something she thinks her grandchildren should have.  She clearly has good taste because she thinks my kids are as awesome as I do!

Although I could never achieve the professional respect that she has because I would never have the patience to work so closely with the same adults on a daily basis, I like to think that the work I do provide whenever I find myself teaching is something to be proud of.  And I like to think that my kids will someday be the same.

So, Happy Mother's Day, Mom.  I love you and hope one day to actually get to spend this day with you again!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Bitterness and Misconceptions

I've often talked with my mom about memories that children have.  Every child seems to have a couple memories that no one knows what they are referencing.  My theory behind this is that some things stand out in one person's mind more than another's because it affected them much more deeply.  I vividly recall certain things that were said to me growing up because they affected my development as a child into who I am today.  Remember to choose your words wisely.  As Frederick Douglas said, "It is easier to build strong children than repair broken men."  This is so true (just ask all the therapists and psychiatrists paying their mortgages with your brokenness!)  That's why child development/psychology is extremely important to me and I try my best with my children so that they don't become broken.

Anyway, this post is about bitterness and misconceptions.  If you have siblings, you grow up with different versions of events than they do, because obviously you are seeing things through a different pair of eyes, that connect with nerves to different brains, with different personalities.  I also believe that parents have favorites.  If they say they don't, they are lying to themselves.  You can love all your children the same, but still enjoy one's company over the other... be more proud of one than the other.  And that's okay... repeat to yourself... that's OKAY! Just don't tell your kids, cause that would be a big no-no in their development and might cause some extra trips to the therapist.

So, growing up I felt like my parents had favorites.  Up until middle school, I kinda thought I was my dad's favorite.  And up until he graduated college, I thought my oldest brother was my mom's favorite.  I don't agree with either of those now, but I'm not going to give my opinion on who I think their favorites currently are, because I don't want anyone to feel jilted or sad sap about it.

I guess I am fortunate to have two mental illnesses that give me the ability not to feel certain emotions.  It's too bad when it comes to not knowing what it feels like to be loved, but it's good when it comes to not letting things hurt my feelings.

Our siblings move away, marry, have children of their own and change their ideals in life, along with occasionally their personalities.  You could have been best friends with one of them growing up and feel like total strangers as adults.  Whatevs, that's life.  The only life I need to worry about is my own and those I care about in that I try to treat them well (except my poor husband gets the brunt of my mental issues.  Poor guy!)

So here's where the bitter misconceptions come in.  Growing up thinking my oldest brother was my mom's favorite, did it bother me?  Not one bit!  I had better things to worry about and I wasn't treated like dirt because of it.  My sister is seven years older than me and I think she still thinks that I'm the person I was in high school, but that's her prerogative.  Does it bother me?  Not so much.  I often brag about her intelligence to people and I think she actually has a funny, witty personality.  Just don't tell her I said that.  But what my siblings think about the past and present is not my problem either.  But when they throw it in my face, I object.

Again, these are MY perceptions, so I shouldn't be faulted for it.  My brothers moved away.  They CHOSE to move away.  I chose to live close to my parents because they are important parts of my life and I want them to be important parts of my kids' lives to.  Growing up, WE always had to drive to my grandparents' houses to visit them.  They RARELY (if at all) came to our house to visit.  If you think about it, don't they deserve the comforts of their own home after spending decades working and supporting their children?  I think so!  So if I didn't care that much about the bond with my parents and my children, I'd move away... but I don't... for that EXACT reason.  So, when my siblings think that my kids get to spend excessive amounts of times with my parents, they would a) be wrong, b) need to realize that they CHOSE to take their kids away from my parents to see them.  I would NEVER ask my parents to babysit in my house because it's not fair to them IMO.  I don't even like sleeping at other peoples' houses!

Anyway, I feel like my brother is bitter that my parents see my kids more than his do... again I go back to that he CHOSE to move and he RARELY visits.  So you know what that means?  I RARELY see my nephews and my children RARELY see their cousins.  That also means I RARELY see my brother, but we aren't close anyway, so I know neither of us care about that.  So when my brother insinuates that my children can't be around my parents when HIS children are because they "never see them," seems a little bit selfish and un-Christian.  Again, whatevs.  I'm happy with my life and comfortable with the decisions I have made and continue to make, but I know that I would never be that much of a horrible person to say something like that.  But then again, what do I know?  I must have a misconception about the whole thing.

No hard feelings!  It's no skin off my back and I'm comfortable knowing that I'm a good person and people like me.