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Archive for the tag “Parenting”

Kiddies In The Crossfire – It’s Not A Good Thing

Okay, last post about relationship/divorce type stuff (for now).

I just wanted to say that if you’re separated or divorced and have children, please keep in mind that all those shots you take at your ex wind up hurting your kids. It’s hard enough for them to have their family split up without having to hear all the ugliness you and/or your spouse spout off about each other. Certainly do not under any circumstances put the children in a position where they feel like they have to pick sides.

If you want to bitch about your lying, cheating, no-good, spendthrift/penny-pinching, lazy/workaholic, shiftless, mean, insensitive ex-spouse, do it out of earshot of your kids. Go out with your friends, have a beer, shop, shoot some skeet and vent at will, but when you’re around the children, remember that if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.

Divorce is a hard thing for kids to deal with. I personally remember coming home the day my dad had been by our house to clear out his stuff and how hurt I was to see the empty places where his things had been. Each spot on the bookcase where his statues & books had been felt like it left a hole in my heart. Adding an ugly narrative to the situation just compounds the hurt.The other thing is that holding onto all that anger and hurt is just as bad for you as it is for your kids. At some point you have to let it go and the sooner, the better. All those bad feelings are bad for your health and can shorten your life. Really the best thing to do is pick a date where you are going to move on and then do it. Your relationship with that person is over except for parenting your children. Find ways to be good to yourself and heal. Fill your life with positive things and thrive within that life.

The best revenge is living well. Do it for yourself. Do it for your kids. Do it now.

Here’s an article  about what kids think: Article


Choosing To Be Happy

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2011.

Whether or not this year will be a happy one for you will depend on many things, but your outlook will be an important factor in how good (or bad) it is.

Happiness and optimism are states of mind. Embracing these outlooks make the downturns in life bearable. When things don’t go exactly as planned or go down the toilet altogether, being positive is the best way to turn things around.

My daughter Hannah and I struggle with this philosophy on a regular basis. For her, it’s easier to fall into a defeated state, even about small stuff. I thrash about why I am not progressing fast enough (or at all) with my personal goals and aspirations. The thing is, it’s easier to throw up your hands in despair than to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and try again. It’s the path of least resistance and a darned bad habit.

I think I’ve gotten better about handling my own setbacks because of these pep talks with Hannah. I can’t very well sit back and feel sorry for myself when I’ve just had an hour long talk with my daughter about turning her attitude around.

Being happy is a choice. It takes a conscious effort to stay happy during tough times. The great thing about staying positive is that once you’ve worked through all the tough stuff, you feel a whole lot better about yourself simply because you persevered and worked through the problem. It’s a whole lot better than wallowing in misery and moping about the awful state of affairs.

I don’t care for old trite sayings, but “Winners never quit, and quitters never win.” is true. The thing about winners is that they never defeat themselves by giving up when things get difficult. Winners also understand that even if they get off track once in a while, beating themselves up over it will not help them to achieve their goals.

Hannah and I are going to keep working on our positive outlooks. We’re going to focus on being happy even though everything doesn’t always work out the way we had planned. 2011 is going to be a happy year because we’re going to work at, not just because things worked out to our advantage.

I hope you’ll join us!

Labor Day Weekend 2010 – Sunday Mass Clean-Up, Part II

We dragged Grendel’s blankets back out onto the lawn and I started on my older daughter’s stuff. My Sprite has been much more particular about her room, but I knew there were things lurking in her closet and under her bed which needed to go. She was also delighted to be out in the beautiful day going through all of her things and deciding what to keep and what to jettison.

Both girls were done by dinner and had taken all the keeper stuff back to their rooms. I worked on multiple loads of laundry during the day and got them to help me go through everything that evening. We have many bags to go to the thrift store and even more for the garbage man to handle. Our carbon footprint grew immensely this weekend but I’m happy that all that stuff is out of the house.

Our poor vacuum was put through its paces as I went through the almost empty rooms and swept up dust bunnies, dog hair and various beads and pieces of plastic. We have a bagless model with a cylindrical tank. I think I must have emptied that thing twenty times as I worked my way through the house. It feels good that all of us made progress in getting the house in order.

Red, Hot & Blue for dinner – smoked sausage links, onion loaf & potato salad! So delicious!

Labor Day Weekend 2010 – Saturday Mass Clean-Up, Part I

I’ve been meaning to work with both girls this summer on cleaning up their rooms (one of which was in very bad shape) but every time I thought about doing it, I’d turn away defeated by the sheer size of the job. Seeing as how Labor Day officially marks the end of summer break and we had three days, I forced myself to turn to this project. I went down to our storage room and found three very old blankets and spread them out on the front lawn, dropped the bomb on Grendel that she was going to have to deal with her stuff and started carrying stuff out of the house.

My reasoning behind dumping everything on the front lawn was simple – it forces her to handle every single item and it takes effort to carry it back into the house. Over the past couple of years I’ve done major clean-ups in her room, but since I was the main person cleaning, she didn’t take much ownership in maintaining her room’s neatness. I’m hoping that since she was forced to take a greater role this time that she’ll be more mindful about her sloppy habits.

She actually seemed to enjoy the process of going through her stuff and it was a beautiful day to be outside. I did feel a little stab of guilt about throwing all of her stuff out onto the lawn, but it wasn’t as if she wasn’t welcome back in. Just a lot of her junk was persona non grata.

We had a very simple dinner since all of us were busy on projects, but that’s not to say it was plain – Cold marinated London broil with cucumbers for the girls and a lovely iceberg lettuce wedge with local farm grown tomatoes sprinkled liberally with blue cheese and topped with blue cheese salad dressing. Uncomplicated and yummy!

My daughter ran out of daylight before she was done going through all of her stuff so my husband wound up dragging the blankets into the foyer. At least taking them out in the morning would be a snap.

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