Thee and Thou

Photo by Levi Damasceno on Pexels.com

Round and round we go.

What’s good for thee, isn’t good for thou.

There’s an exception to everything.

Blended families are tough, to say the least. I have made this no secret here on the blog. As I have stated previously, lots of material comes from my experiences in this arena.

And here we are again. Thee and thou.

In the past, I have protested how parenting by one parent of their children should be different because they are adults and have their own families. Yet, it doesn’t seem to make much of a difference as it still is done (much to the satisfaction of the child). I am always told that if the situation were reversed and it were my own child that I would think and act differently.

“Just wait till it’s your daughter…”

And she may have been right.

The situations don’t play out exactly the same and a key difference is that my daughter is not yet an adult. She is getting closer with each passing day, but in the eyes of the law I still have some responsibility there. But, the way you parent adult children and minor children should be completely different – as in, minors should receive more assistance than adult children who can make their own decisions, have their own families, and their own jobs/income.

Now, when a situation arises that is similar to a situation of the past with the other children, and I handle it similarly to how the adult children were handled, I am greeted with scorn. The protests about how I didn’t like it when the adult children were parented that way so why am I doing it that way now with my own daughter come raining down. As if the fact that she is a minor and they are adults are completely disregarded for the sake of a disagreement.

Nice.

So, round and round thee and thou go.

17+1

group of people making toast

NOT MY FAMILY – Photo by fauxels on Pexels.com

I took the day off yesterday, from and blogging.

Family is in town from out of town, so yesterday was when everyone could get together at the same time.

It was actually kind of a big deal, since most of the time people are uncooperative and typically chaos ensues as the planning and execution of said plans happens.

So, 17+1 all managed to make it to another¬† part of the state and gather in a sort of “family reunion” type gathering. 17+1? Well, there were 17 people, plus one on the way.

Family? My wife and I, our combined 6 children, 2 of their spouses and a significant other, and 6 grandchildren (plus the one on the way).

Picnic lunch, visiting shops and stores amid a pandemic and ridiculous restrictions, ice creams stops, and lots of driving (about 6 hours round trip). So, as you can imagine, there are always a bit of wrangling issues when you have people in your group from ages of 53 to 2. But, for the most part, it was a memorable time.

Granted, these are the people that a large portion of the topics here on the blog deal with, but yesterday they were all exempt. Genuine effort by all made for a day that was mostly pleasant.

So, today, while I don’t feel like Pissing and Moaning, I guess I’ll just be appreciative.

Grow up

blue white ribbon on pink box

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

It never ceases to amaze me at how adult family members can be so immature, especially family members who are in their late 50’s.

A few details about my BNL. Single. Lives alone. Makes great money as a machinist in a local shop. Like to talk about himself, but that mostly includes his cats and his job (which he talks in technical jargon so no one can understand what he is talking about). Is a bit out there in ideology, but not extremist by any means. Likes rocks, gems, and nature photography.

Now, he always shows up at holiday celebrations. Rarely shows up for birthday celebrations, other than for his parents. Always comes to consume, but almost never contributes. Never participates in planning get-togethers and never shares in the expense, even though he will show up for them. When asked to bring something, he feigns not knowing what to bring, and if he is asked to bring something specifically it is never enough for size of the gathering.

Over the weekend, my FNL had his 80th birthday. His daughters (even one from out of town) planned the gathering and provided nearly everything for it. BNL showed up before the gathering and didn’t help with setup, tried to carry on conversations while we were setting up (as in, watched while we worked), didn’t offer to help, didn’t offer to help with expenses, nothing. But he made sure he was next to first in line for food. The only thing he actually did, or offered for the whole thing….he picked up some folding chairs at the end. Otherwise, he was busy hiding in the house and doing other things.

Time for someone to grow up and not think of themselves? Yeah, pretty much. Why do none of his siblings say anything to him about it? I have no clue.

Maybe there is history I don’t know about, but I am pretty sure he would have already told me if I stood there to listen to him long enough.

Irritating, you know?

Once again

uyuni salt flat

Photo by Leonardo Rossatti on Pexels.com

I don’t know why I bother, because I am going to be ignored either way.

Advice.

Why ask for it if you are going to completely ignore it?

Family. I tell ya.

Kids. *shakes head* Damn, kids.

When they ask for advice, they don’t really want advice. They just want validation for their own thoughts and opinions, and if you don’t give them what they want then they discount your advice and do what they wanted to do in the first place.

Gets old, ya know?

 

Loud and clear

sunset love lake resort

Photo by Download a pic Donate a buck! ^ on Pexels.com

You ever feel like you are under-appreciated?

We just passed a holiday of sorts – Father’s Day.

I remembered my dads. I have three (dad and two FILs). It’s an easy thing to do, right? Talk to one, remember the others. Acknowledge them, appreciate them, take time out of your day to help them feel special for a moment. Doesn’t take a long time, but it is important.

Now, background here…I married into a lot of kids the second time around. Most of them adults by the time they came into my life. So now, including spouses of the kids who are married, there are eight.

Could of days ago, I heard from three.

That’s it. Three.

Didn’t hear a peep from 5 of the 8. There haven’t even been any “after the fact” acknowledgements either.

So, now full disclosure, you know the source of a LOT of the Piss and Moan material.

I try to deny the fact and ignore it, but there just isn’t any denying it.

Look, I realize they have another dad. I haven’t ever expected to be the top of the list. But at the very least acknowledged? Yes.

I am not looking for anything fancy, lord knows that most of them can’t afford crap (see other, numerous, posts about adult children living in our house or on our property). But it doesn’t take much to make someone feel appreciated, right?

Is it wrong for me to feel this way?

 

Tag-alongs

five white sheep on farm

Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

Nope. I’m not talking about small, over-priced cookies distributed by your little local vested gang…

I am talking about family members (adult children, really) who don’t ever make any plans on their own, but just “tag-along” on the plans of others.

Birthday parties, Thanksgiving, Mother’s/Father’s Day, etc…never their own plans, always the question that comes one of two ways, “What are the plans?” or “What are you doing?”

Both of those questions are then followed up by the assumption that they are automatically invited to the event (even if it doesn’t really involve them) and don’t have to put in any effort into it. Sure, sometimes they offer to bring something minimal but most of the time they just show up and consume with little to no appreciation.

I have watched from afar and up close and personal, so here’s an example of which I speak:

Mother’s Day planning is done for an elderly mother. Plans are made, set, decided upon, and food is purchased for said get together. Planning has been done by the child of this mother BUT what soon follows is the children (the adult grandchildren of the elderly mother) of said mother doing the planning don’t plan anything for their own mom. Instead, the children just horn in on the plans for the grandmother – they don’t make any effort to plan anything for their own mother, other than just going to the gathering for the grandmother.

Does that make sense? I tried to explain that as clearly as possible, but I am not sure I did it successfully.

Anyway, this kind of tag-along thing happens all the time and, quite frankly, the mother needs to say something about it but doesn’t have the heart to speak up and tell the kids they need to do their own planning.

Of course, I can’t speak up either because that is a battle I can’t win no matter how I approach it. I am sure you can assume you know how that would all go over.

Irritating, really. And all I can do is sit back and watch it happen…

Unsolicited Advice? If you have are an adult child with parents who are still around, make your damn own plans! That might be challenging depending on family situations and timing, but the effort is noticed and appreciated. DON’T just tag-along (even if you are invited to). Grow up, be responsible, and truly appreciate your parents instead of just relying on them.

 

Expenses and new adulthood

man sitting on sofa reading book

Photo by Craig Adderley on Pexels.com

Here’s a TOUGH question for you?

At what point do you have your adult children fend for themselves?

Specifically, a child has graduated from high school almost a year ago and is now 19. Oh, and I’ll add that the child is not currently living in your home. Said child has college expenses covered already (tuition and housing), but has no job.

What do you think?

What do you continue to support/provide and what do you not? What would you consider “extra” versus necessary?

There are some difficult discussions coming up and I am curious how you see this topic. I realize this is a bit of an open ended question and can be taken in a lot of different directions, so I am open to any and all responses.

Babysitting

photo of a boy reading book

Photo by mentatdgt on Pexels.com

I have known for quite a while I don’t like little people. That’s why I didn’t become an elementary teacher. I just couldn’t handle it. It drove me nuts.

Then I had my own child and I survived the little people stage. It wasn’t as challenging as I thought it would be, but I was glad when it was over. I definitely didn’t want to repeat it again. It’s one thing to watch your own young kids. It’s another to watch someone else’s, no matter who they are.

So, naturally, I hate babysitting.

But, I find that I am required to do so once in a while for a family member. Mostly it is because I feel obligated and can’t really say no, even though my selfish heart really tells me I should. I have no desire, at all, to spend time with little people. None.

Unfortunately, my sister needed some help this last Saturday and thus, I am obligated to watch my 3 year old niece. She is smart. She is relatively well behaved. I still don’t like it. I can’t wait for nap time to come.

Like really.

Nap time for her. Nap time for me.

Why do I say yes to this torture……??

“Emergency”

dead end road sign

Photo by Dustin Tray on Pexels.com

Why is someone else’s “emergency” suddenly mine?

How does someone’s repeated poor choices, bad decisions, and terrible money management become my problem?

Why am I forced to suffer the consequences of others’ stupidity?

These questions, unfortunately, will never be answered. I am just unlucky enough to have to ask them on a frequently repeated basis.

I had to buy a used car this weekend so that I could loan it to a family member for a short period of time. Because they have no transportation and desperately need to keep their job, which is needed to keep other disastrous things from happening…which might still happen anyway.

It’s something I really didn’t have much of a choice in because I am damned if I do, and damned if I don’t.

 

I don’t want you…

white and black soccer ball on side of green grass field during daytime

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Kids. They can be so confusing.

When my daughter was really young she used to tell me that she “didn’t want me.” I, of course, knew she was mad at me and knew that she wasn’t really speaking truth, at least the truth of a 2-3 year old.

Now I find myself in the later years, as she is a teen, saying more things that start with, “I don’t want you…”

Most of the time is related to a request for her independence and I respect that. I shouldn’t need or want to do everything for her. I am willing to let her explore things on her own and allow her the freedom to have success and to make mistakes. I may not always be happy about the choices, but they are hers to make. I can, of course, choose not to honor the “I don’t want you…” if I know the choice or decision isn’t in her best interest and is dangerous.

She now has a job. It’s doing something she likes (kinda, kids don’t really like to work) and in a sport she has enjoyed for a long time. She has been reffing soccer games for the parks and rec. For the most part, she has enjoyed it and she has been successful at it this year.

I once said, shortly after she got the job, that I was going to come watch her some time. Her response was, “Dad, I don’t want you to come watch me ref games.” When asked why she said that was just weird, that parents aren’t supposed to go to their kids’ place of work just so they can watch them. OK, get that. We visited my son at Taco Bell shortly after he got his first job just to tease him a little but it wasn’t to sit and watch him during his whole shift.

So, to honor her request, I have stayed away. Part of me wants to go watch her and be proud of the job she does, but I can also do that just sitting at home. I don’t have to see her to know she is doing the best she can, really enjoying what she is doing at the time, and be proud of her too. Right?

Am I correct in honoring her “Dad, I don’t want you…”?


Why can’t kids come with a damn instruction manual?

white and black soccer ball on side of green grass field during daytime