Sometimes, Life is not Fair

MP900438811As parents, we do everything in our power to make things perfect for our children.  We try to live in the best school systems.  We try to make sure they are well-rounded and have access to various opportunities.  We also go so far as to impede on our personal sanity to provide them with the very best.

But sometimes, there is only so much we can do.  Our children will need to learn to fail or make difficult decisions.  Sure we can coddle them, but in the end we must remember that what doesn’t kill them makes them stronger.

As my daughter recently learned…..”sometimes, life is not fair.”

…………and that my friends can be a valuable piece of knowledge for her to know as she grows up.  As much as we want to fix it, we should be cautious in how we do so.

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Officially Grown-Ups…I think!

My parents with the children circa 2008

My parents with the children circa 2008

Juggling my career and my children and my family was possible mostly as a result of very helping parents and in-laws.  From the moment my oldest was born, my retired father dotted and cared for her when I returned to work when she was just six months old.  Two years later, Little Man came along and my newly retired mother swooped in.

And since then, we have had my helping parents and in-laws at the house for one or two days every week for almost nine years.  Over the years (as documented in many of my posts), we have had our ups and downs.  And while I often mock my very own Mother – aside from her relentless help, she has provided us with much needed laughter and entertainment.

Well now, the party is over.  My brother and sister-in-law are in need of the same help we sought from my parents and I can not deny them what my parents gave to me.

So Hubby and I are officially grown-ups…or at least I think we are.  For the first time, we are managing our careers and the children and the home without any extra set of hands.  We are making excellent use of our dear friendships with local friends and coming up with the most ingenious carpools, in where everyone – including the gleeful kids who have built-in play dates – benefit.

And then there is the laundry and housework.  Good Lord does it suck being the only person doing laundry for four people!  And don’t get me started on the housework.   Boy, did my Mother do far more than I ever gave her credit for.

So I want to take a moment to publicly thank my Mom for just about everything.  She may drive me crazy, but she is the very best.  Mom, I hope one day to be as good a Mother as you are.

ps….can you teach me how to iron?

Connected with …

dai un bacione alla piccola….digli che arriva da Roma….

Goldfish KissingSay what you will about Facebook.  I can tolerate the “look at me posts”,  the “so not-tongue-in-cheek” comments and the political mumbo-jumbo of the entire platform.  What it comes down to – the true beauty of this beast – is its absolute connectivity.

The phrase above translates to: “Give the little one a kiss and let her know it arrived from Rome”.

Can you think of a better message to receive?

Thank you Facebook.

I gave birth to Pint-Sized Negotiators

Recently, Hubby and I decided to give the kids a little bit more responsibility when it came to household matters and chores.   We invoked several mandates such as:

Clean your room or whatever is left that is not put away gets tossed in the big black garbage bag, never to be replaced.Setting the Table

Showering is not us nagging.  It’s personal hygiene.  Get in the shower at least every other day – two days max.

You have your own beds.  Sleep in them or we will turn your room into our hobby rooms.

For the most part, things have been running quite smoothly.  In fact, our youngest has even taken the initiative to do dishes whenever possible.  Granted this process takes twice as long and requires my complete attention, I have been pleased with the results.  But most recently, I have been finding that with each suggestion or given task comes with a much higher price.

$25 please, and I will clean my room in less than 10 minutes…

Look how nice I was to my sister.  That’s worth at least $5…

One Skylander Giant if I set the table…

Girl cleaning the house with a broomI am not sure what gave my children the notion that we “pay” for their services.  Clearly, they do not “pay” us to keep a dry roof over their heads or to drive them from school to practice to play dates.  However, they have become fixated on being compensated for their services – and their rates are outrageous.  Seriously, $25 to clean a room!?!?!  How about I give you $5 and you take five hours to clean it.

After much thought and reflection, I decided that while their pay scale was completely unattainable, their negotiation tactics are to be admired.  I never – at their age – had the insight to be paid for being nice to my brother (although I am sure he would have appreciated it) nor did I negotiate terms for cleaning my room.  So how come my children do?

I think the answer is simple.  It’s my fault.  Way, way, way back when I first began blogging, I explained how I would give an allowance for the chores they completed.  And today, almost two years later, inflation has taken over the pay scale.  So I decided to take matters into my own hands.  I adjusted their rates for their contributions to household chores, but indicated half of what was received needs to be placed in the vacation jar.  The more they do, the more they earn for the ice cream and mini golf and summer time beach fun.

For now, this adjustment seems to be working.  For now, anyways……

Being “Good” is all the Gift I Need

Today, marks the last day of the 7th Anniversary of my 29th Birthday.  Tomorrow, I embark on the 8th Anniversary of my 29th Birthday.

Alright, so I am going to be a 37-year-old person tomorrow.  Big deal.  It’s just a number and according to my son, I still look like a 45-years old so what more could a girl want.

Well, what I really, really, really want this year and every year to come is a gift that monetarily costs nothing and would validate every ounce of who I am.  It was asked of me when I was child and I like to think  I delivered.

Let me explain.

Growing up, I asked my mother what she would like for her birthday.  And each year she would say the same – be good.   I hated this request and would resent my mother for not asking for something like perfume or flowers or jewelry.  It wasn’t until I was much older, with a paying after-school job, that I was able to buy her little things.   I’d like to think in the end, I gave her the gift of “being good” – except for maybe a year or two through my adolescent and college years.

Fast forward to now:  My very own children now ask the same of me.  “Mommy, what would like for your birthday?”

Without a second thought, I simply stated, “Being Good is all the gift I need.”

Shit. No sooner had the words left my lips did I cringe in horror.   Is turning age 37 the year we turn into our mothers?

Well, luckily, my son indicated it’s just not possible to “be good“.

“What if I tell Daddy to buy you a new car?  I don’t want to touch my piggy bank”,  he said.

The truth is, there is really nothing I want other than to know that I am doing a good job raising my children.  I would like to think I am raising decent, caring human beings who will one day be adults who contribute to society in a positive way.

So I changed my approach and asked,  “What about trying to be the best you can be AND some seeds to plant in our garden this coming Spring.”

Little Man seemed to like this idea. He said he would get Daddy to buy seeds and promised to be the best he could be……”but please remind me because I will forget.”

So on the cusp of turning another year older, I look forward to what life will bring and hope that I can be a good enough Mother to have good kids.

…Oh and as for what my Mother is currently asking for – Gift certificates to restaurants, clothing stores, spas and Broadway Plays.    Apparently, she is making up for lost time.

…Oh and to my husband who may be reading this – this post doesn’t really apply to you.  I really really really really want to go to London.