A Little Bit Of Friendship

girlfriendsGirlfriends always carry each other in their hearts, whether they live near or far from each other. Girlfriends walk through life together. They’re there for each other no what, sharing everything. They wear pretty dresses with flowers in their hair and hum songs to the beat of children’s laughter. They say nothing at time and that silence is the greatest solace. Other times they talk for hours, or until the sun sinks into night. They remember when the days when life was defined by complexity when they dance in the moonlight and vowed that their friendship would last a lifetime.

They wouldn’t trade their friendship for anything and nothing else could begin to bring them contentment, the craziness, the laughter, and all the thousands of things they share together. Friends like that don’t need to see each other everyday . .  . no matter how long it’s been since they were last together, they just pick right where they left off. Friends like that just understand that life isn’t always bright, and they take turns cheering each other up. Girlfriends like that don’t need to tell each other how much they care . . .  They can just feel the strength of their friendship in their hearts and that’s the very best kind of friendship of all.

A Letter To Mom

There is a little girl in all of usDear Mom, Now that I have children and grandchildren of my own, I’m beginning to realize what a challenge it is to find the balance between encouraging them to continually strive to do better and instilling confidence in them and letting  them know that I’m happy with their best efforts.

I’d like to know your secret, because you’ve always seemed to know just how to do that with me.In school, of course you wanted me to make straight A’s, but if I’d truly done my best and gotten a B or a C, I didn’t have to be afraid  to tell you. You let me know that you wanted my best, not perfection.

Even though I wasn’t the best athlete, no one in the bleachers looked prouder than you, and knowing that pushed to keep trying and improving. Thank you, Mom for being my inspiration. Love, your child.

Why I’m thankful you were my mom…

 You never tired of practicing words with me the night before the spelling bee.You comforted me when things went wrong.You ran to help me when I fell and told me funny stories to ease my pain.You wiped away my tears, held me close, and loved me. In your arms there was shelter from the storms of life, peace when my heart was troubled; joy when the day was dark.

Your love never failed me.You forgave me when I messed up.You patiently cleaned up the many spilled glasses of milk with only a gently reminder to be more careful the next time.You listened as if I was the only person in the world.You inspired me to do my best.You taught me about God’s love.You made our house a home.You always believed in me.You cheered me on even when no one else thought I stood a chance, you always cheered me on!

Mom,If I had a flower for every time I have thought of you, I could walk in our garden forever.I know other beautiful things in life come in twos and threes, by dozens and hundreds.There are plenty of roses, stars, sunsets, rainbows, brothers and sisters,aunts and cousins, comrades and friends. . . but I only had one mother in the whole world.

 

Would Your Rather Clean Your House Than Spend The Day With Your Mother In Law?

 Would you rather clean your house than spend the day with your mother in law? A survey by iVillage in 2010 found that 51% of DILs (daughter-in-laws) said, they would rather spend the day cleaning their house than with their MIL ( mother in law); and 28% percent they’d rather have a root canalA Cambridge University study of hundreds of families over a twenty-year period found that more than 60 percent of the women said, their relationship with their mother-in-law was stressful for them! Daughter-in-laws had a chance to vent about  their mother-in-laws and grandmother in-laws. The answers were immediate, intense, and anxious often saying, “What ever you do, maintain my anonymity. 

They might not apply to you at all, but it’s good to get a window into what DILs are thinking. If you’re sure you want to know what they said, here’s what they said… Thanks, but no thanks when it comes to parenting advice. They want to raise their kids their own way and make their own mistakes. The story you tell about how your son loves your home-baked deserts that you tell just as your daughter in-law brings out the cake she bought at the bakery is an example of a mother in law being passive-aggressive in her  behavior and if you are a mother in law you may be surprised to be told you are still being aggressive even if you are being subtle stop it!  Let’s stop standing on ceremony.

 One daughter in law said, it bothered  her mother in law when she didn’t send her a thank-you note for the baby’s birthday present. She though of her as family and felt like saying, to her mother in law, ” I am not the rude ingrate that you think I am and yes, I am good enough for your son”. It’s sweet that you think your son is so perfect, as long as you also understand that I’m perfect for him. DILs would appreciate it if  their MILs would ask them for some gift ideas and respect the limits  for birthdays and holidays.

They know that they are not like their mother in-laws. But that doesn’t mean they don’t respect the heck out of them.  Remember, she married your son knowing full well that “She married the whole family.” All this  Mother in law business is not a great mystery to daughter in-laws because after all they understand that  their mother in law was the first woman in her husband’s life and have known him longer (and maybe better) than she does. She has taken care of him… and did it very well.  She may be expecting to share holidays and all special occasions with her son’s wife and  family.

The mother in law has her own relationship with her children…the grandchildren and she will usually take her son’s side… even if she doesn’t say so aloud.You can decrease the issues somewhat and sometimes but not all the time. If  you are a mother in law you may be saying to yourself why brother? The answer is simply, you try your best for your grandchildren! You may wonder why should you make the first move? For your grandchildren’s sake that is why! Why let things pass? For your grandchildren that’s why! Let’s start with a few suggestions: See what your daughter-in-law is like with other people, and don’t expect her to be different with you.

On the other hand if she is kind and considerate to other family members and her close friends and not to you. There’s your answer, she doesn’t really like you but you still have to be kind to her for your grandchildren sake! Treat your daughter-in-law with the same patience and politeness you show your own daughter or your close friends or even new acquaintances. The odds are that your daughter-in-law will not have the same kind of personality as your daughter or your close friends because they are like you so go for new acquaintances.

If things get really tough, pretend you’re writing a movie and become an observer instead of participant… it will help to give you psychological distance and enough emotional breathing room to feel in control of your emotions, and sometimes a laugh. Look at the up side of this one you could end up writing a book or a movie script or just feel better and don’t forget to vent with all the other mother in-laws who are in the same boat. Remember you’re not alone just take a few minutes and read any book about DILs and MILs.

 You may be surprised to learn that there are many of blogs used for DILs or MILs as a place to vent. Take a look on-line there are thousands of  women venting about the women in their lives. The most important thing to remember is keep your sense of humor and pray, pray and then pray some more. Want to calm the stormy seas? Here are some tips: Never, never, never…say, “My son is right. Never say, “I think you should. Never say, “I just assumed that…”  You may be asking yourself is there anything we should say? Here are a few suggestions from seasoned mother-in-laws and grandparents…

Tell her stories about your son that will amuse her and interest her and not stories that will make her feel that you think he’s perfect. Make sure you say positive reinforcement statements and yes that can be a challenge when you know in your heart of hearts that she doesn’t like you or resents you but do it for the grandchildren. Say positive statements, like “I respect how you’re raising your kids.” They may not do things the way you did, but it’s a different world today. Find something positive to say that will ring true. Offer to do the dishes or the laundry… or make dinner, be there to help. Don’t be surprised if she tells you “know” that she prefers to it herself it’s an ego issue.  Try saying things like,” Don’t worry; you’re wonderful parents.” They’re probably nervous about every decision they make, and those kind words can make them feel so great and so warm toward you! Your children are wonderful.” All kids go through difficult stages. Tell her your kids did, and they turned out great.

“I’m here if you need me.” You know they’re up on all the latest information about child safety, diet, and development. Just let them know that if they want your advice, they can ask for it and you’ll be happy to share it. Daughter-in-laws usually turn to their mothers, grandmothers, sisters and aunts before they’ll ask their mother-in-law. Oops! Does that sting? “Keep in mind that all parents feel insecure sometimes.” Parenting can be learned only on the job, and not matter how many blogs and books they read or experts they consult or even if they ask for advice from you, nobody knows their child as they do.

In the Bible, Ruth praise, respects, and loves her mother-in-law, Naomi. Although some of your friends or maybe even you think that your daughter in law (DIL ) feels the same way, most say they are not as lucky as Naomi. They describe their mother in law/daughter in law relationships as one of the most sensitive and complicated relationships they’ve ever had. But at the same time, they know in fact we all know it’s one of the most important relationships we’ll ever have, because if we don’t have a working relationship with our daughter in-laws, we won’t have a relationship that works with our grandchildren! So if you have an excellent relationship with your daughter in law cherish it! And if you don’t, there are things you can do to improve it, the first step is to pray about it and talk to a seasoned mother in-law you respect.

What Do Grandparents Want To Know

Being a grandparent in today‘s world isn’t what it use to be, it’s better. If you’re already a grandparent you know that being a grandparent today isn’t just about babysitting and boasting it can be the most challenging role of your life.

 Grandparents today are so different from all other generations especially from their grandparents. A new grandparent is created every twenty seconds and if you are one of them, welcome!

There are a lot of us already statistics show that we make up one-third of the U.S. population. There are now 70 million grandparents in the United States, and 1.7 million more every year. And while there are a lot of books written to help parents who worry about their baby’s health, their baby’s size compared to the charts, and what IQboosting toys they should buy for their toddlers, there are very few books for us. Their parents. The grandparents!

Do we really need a book about grandparenting? After all, weren’t we parents already? Aren’t we founts of help and advice? Thrilled and devoted? Ready to jump in and help, but wise enough to know when to bow out and be silent? The givers of gifts, and guardians of family history? Mature? Mellow? and Marvelous?

You might be thinking yes, but… and isn’t grandparenting natural? Weren’t their grandparents long before there were books? Isn’t it instinctive? Basic? And built-in? Yes, but… haven’t we grown up watching our own grandparents in action? We had grandparents, our children have grandparents, and now our grandchildren have grandparents. It’s the way of the world, isn’t it? Yes, but… You’ll find that while your emotions may be universal and the problems are timeless, one thing is very different for today’s grandparents. We are different!

Who we really are is a question that many grandparents are asking themselves and each other in today’s society. Here is what a few grandparents are saying; We are healthier, more active, and more youthful and young at heart than our predecessors. Plus, we’re still working and working out, teaching, and learning, traveling, marrying, divorcing, remarrying, and melding our families. Grandparents today have more access to information full of tips on ways the can be the best grandparent they can be.

Our book cases are full of books about cooking, traveling, art, gardening, home improvements, investing money, how to look ten years younger, how to use our nooks, Ipads, cell phones, computers, the million apps that we can use for free, consumer reports covering the A to Z’s of any thing you could think of to buy along with the series of “Dummy Books” and let’s not forget how to be a modern grandparent.

I don’t know if there is a book called ” Grandparenting for Dummy’s” or not I just thought of that. I can tell you that if there isn’t one I’m sure someone will write one soon and it will probably be a best seller. It’s time to google Dummy Books to find out if there is a Dummy Book for Grandparents let me know.

What do grandparents today want to know? Since we are grandparents like no others, our questions are like no others. We want to know how to pick a name of ourselves. What’s wrong with “Grandpa” or “Grandma”? Nothing, but it’s often already taken, since our parents, and perhaps even their parents, are still alive. With so many grandparents, blended and melded grandparents, and great-grandparents in most families, grandparents today want to know how to be the favorite or at least, among the favorites.

We want ot know if it is normal to have “favorites,” to feel bored at times or stressed when our grandchildren visit. We want to know how to make grandchildren smile without spoiling, and help their parents provide for them financially in this bad economy without becoming a purse or a nurse.

We want to know how to handle divorce without hurting the grandchildren (our divorce, their parents’ divorce). We want to know what our daughter-in-laws really think about us and how to develop a better relationship with them so we can get even closer to our grandchildren.

Grandparents want to know so they participate in groups focused on distant granparenting, daughter-in-law problems, grandfathering, financial concerns, and much more. Lots participate in the online surveys. Many of them enjoy contributing and reading grandparent humor. I love everything about grandparenting humor and sometimes I write about something my grandson’s have just done and I find myself laughing as I am writing it’s a blast isn’t it?

Grandparents from every walk of life and from across this country are asking questions about grandparenting we want to know and if someone would write a book called “Straight Talk for Grandparents” telling us what we want to know we would appreciate it and maybe in the future our grandchildren will say thank you grandma or grandpa for believing in me. Grandparents are busy enough so a book written in plain english full of do this and do that because it is in the best interest of your children and grandchildren would help make the world of grandparenting run a lot smoother.

I want to thank my grandparents for making me feel like the smartest and most talented grandchild in the world. Doesn’t that statement just melt your heart? Take a minute and  image that your grandchildren are saying thank you Nana for making me feel like the smartest and most talented grandchild in the world. Don’t you feel all warm and tingling all over just thinking about them saying that to you? I know I do!

When Childhood Is Tea Parties and Chasing Butterflies

Childhood is hanging your pictures on the refrigerator, and tea parties you always cater.

Childhood is chasing butterflies and picking flowers, playing with blocks and making towers.

Childhood is hating nap time, and thinking everything is MINE.

Childhood is crayons and coloring books, playing hide and go seek in all the right nooks.  Childhood is falling asleep to your favorite lullaby. Childhood is wishing you had wings so you could soar into the sky. Childhood is only crying over a scrapped knee, or being stung by a Bumble Bee.

Childhood is collecting seashells, building sand castles, swimming and roasting marshmallows down by the seashore without a care in the world.

Childhood is thinking boys have cooties, or your mom making you wear itchy booties.
Childhood is ruining mommy’s new rocking chair, and making friends and keeping them forever.

Childhood is a time when we are innocent, when our world seems to be fair and when our universe is around out toys.

Childhood is a time when we live in dreams, when everyone seems selfless, when everyone appears to be a friend.

Childhood is the time when our life is full of colours, when sorrow never knocks on our door and when a smile is a gift presented to everyone.

Childhood is a time when love is pure, when there are no obligations and when tenderness prevails.

Childhood is a time which is long gone for many of us but smiles flow from our faces and our eyes sparkle when we revisit our childhood. Our childhood will never come back but the child within us will always be able to dream of catering tea parties and chasing butterflies.

Do You Have A Grandparent Rival

Grandparents love indulging  grandchildren, love surprising them, love giving them presents, and love seeing the smiles on their fabulous faces when they walk in the door. It’s so much fun! Isn’t it?

A recent grandparent poll asked grandparents this question:  Do you have a grandparent rival?  62% said, Yes I can’t help it and 38% said, No we’re fine. The response to the 62% group was don’t be surprised or embarrassed it’s natural, if you feel a bit competitive with the other set of grandparents and want to be the favorite… or at least on your grandchildren’s favorite list.

But of course, being the favorite grandparent every minute of every day isn’t always possible. First of all, no grandparent can always give their grandchildren everything they want and never say no. Grandparenting may be more fun than parenting, but it’s not a free-for-all. As my grandmother use to say when she had to say No,”anybody can be your friend but my job is to be your grandmother.”

The truth is you probably can’t out do all the other sets of grandparents all the time even if you wanted to. But thank goodness grandparents don’t have to. Just like grandparents, grandchildren have enough love to go around. We can love all our grandchildren and they can love all their grandparents! You may not be your grandchildren’s only favorite, or favorite every day, but if you treat them with love and respect, you will always be a winner in the end. And so will they!

And finally, if you feel like you’re losing the “favorite” race from time to time because you’re the grandmother-in-law and your daughter-in-law prefers her own parents’ brand of grandparenting to yours, you’re probably right! The same Grandparenting poll found 57 percent of paternal grandmothers (that’s the husband’s mother) often felt left out.

It went on to say, After all, your daughter-in-law is parenting the way she was parented by her own mother and in some circumstances it may have been a grandmother, aunt, older sister, or a father who did the parenting but try to remember they did their best.

After all it’s familiar to her and seems “right”. And besides, you were the first woman in her husband’s life, know him longer and better than she does, she’s probably compared to you too often, and if you have a daughter of your own, you may play favorites yourself without even realizing it.

Grandparents who live far away worry that grandparents who live closer will be preferred, and the grandparents with less money worry that wealthier grandparents will gift their way to first place. And if there’s only one child, the stakes are even higher.

So, being “the favorite” may be only a grandparent’s fun fantasy, but there are lots of fun things you can to do that can help you make your dream of being on your grandchildren’s “favorite” Grandparent list.

Here a four Secrets of Favorite Grandparents out of many

  1. Don’t buy love. Reassure yourself that your grandkids will love you even without the nonstop presents and then prove it. Set a one-month gift or candy moratorium, and just play with the kids when they come over, or read to them, or teach them something special, like a funny dance or a goofy kids song, instead of taking them shopping. Let yourself see that you are valued and loved even if you don’t dispense gifts.
  2. Don’t load them up with contraband. Gifts of toys and candy are a problem in another way too. If we take our grandchildren to the candy store, and they stuff bags full of candies and carry them back home, we’ve put their parents in the position of saying yes to junk or no to the special treats. The kids should not bring home varieties of toys and candy that are not allowed in their house, because then you won’t be given many chances to become a favorite!
  3. Do Listen. Ask questions about their likes and dislikes, their games and friends, real and imaginary, their TV programs, books, and their electronic games… and then really listen to their answers. Listen when they talk spontaneously, when they talk repetitively, when they talk endlessly. Listen when they are silly and serious. It’s been said before, their parents just can’t listen to them on a daily basis the way you can when they are with you on a visit. Be the grandparent who understands, the one who is patient, the grandparent who accepts what they say without a lot of lectures and criticism.
  4. Do find Similarities. Become one of your grandchildren’s soul mates and they will feel a bond that will never be broken. Start by going throughfavorites” lists and compare notes. They are called the “Top-Three Lists”. Try top-three favorite… vegetables, meats, fruit, candy, snacks, colors, activities, holidays then do the “Bottom Three” you get the idea. Then go through secret wishes, hardest school subjects, least favorite chores, funny movies and so forth. Every time you find a match, make a big deal out of it. Shout, “Match!” Write it down but mainly remember it. When you talk to your grandchildren, even by phone, Skype, chat, text, e-mail, try to bring up one of those similarities. Like “Our favorite holiday is only three weeks away,” or, “I had to eat our least favorite vegetable today because it was in the salad already.”
  5. Make your home their home away from home. If you have the space, set aside the basement, a room, or even a corner of the living room as your grandkids’ very own space. Let them keep their toys and games there. You’re not only telling them they’re welcome, your backing up with actions. This keeps them wanting to come back again and again. And after all, that’s the plan!

Being a grandparent in today’s world isn’t what it use to be, it’s better! Lets embrace our exciting new role and create wonderful relationships with our children and grandchildren. Remember being a grandparent today isn’t just about babysitting and boasting and it is different from our predecessors.

A Relationship Isn’t Like Grandma’s Silver

A relationship isn’t like Grandma’s silver that you can take out of its box once a year to polish. It’s something that needs constant spiffying up.

How you and your partner cope with these statements: I had a hard day or I have bad news to tell you can set the stage for how the two of you spend the rest of your evening together. Depending on how and when the two of you talk about the hard day you had or the bad news it can rob you of your joy. Learning relationship skills can help you and your partner return to joy faster and that is better than remaining angry and up set for the rest of the evening isn’t it?

Your home is your castle but sometimes coming home after a hard day at the office or a hard day traveling or it’s just a hard commute. The kids may have acted up, the washing machine may have broken down or the loneliness was too much.

Up or down, down or up, what ever the cause, sometimes opening the front door, the tensions can be cut with a knife. Coming home should be a time of relief. A man or woman’s home is his or her castle. When that front door close behind you, there’s an expectation of calm and getting off the rat’s treadmill for a little while.

So when that open door presents you with an out-of- control maelström of anger, crying or tension, you’re left with no place to go and the bell sounds “round one” the moment one partner enters the house, then no one should be surprised if he or she comes in swinging with words.

There’s no question that the problems at home must be dealt with, but there needs to be a moment or two of transition before they are handed over on a red-hot cookie sheet. So let the person coming home take a deep breath, change out of their work clothes, and maybe have a snack. Then give him or her the bad news or whatever else it is and they will be better equipped to help deal with it.

Here is a suggestion while you may want to give partners coming home a few minutes to gather themselves, you also might want to let them know there’s’ a storm on the horizon. Set up some sort of signal it can be a verbal or a little sign such as an actual red flag so that they’ll know to expect something. Remember a relationship isn’t like Grandma’s silver that you take out of its box once a year to polish it’s something that needs constant spiffying up with red flags and snacks.