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.

 

Find The Funny In Your Days

Some gals holler, others get very, very quiet. How do you let people know you are mad? Personally, I’m a walker just let me go for a long walk and talk it out to myself and then I return a different gal. How about you? Are you a cupboard door slammer or maybe you just get very, very quite. Emotions are interesting things aren’t they?  We all have them, we are all affected by them, and we all try to hide them sometimes.

Then there are those gals who cannot hide their emotions and are subject to comments like, “she wears her heart on her sleeve”  or “It is written all over her face.” “Twitching eye-brows, clenched  jaw, blushing checks and pursed lips are telltale sign of our inner fluttering hearts, churning stomachs, indignant sensibilities, or raging hormones. But emotions don’t like to stay hidden for long. In subtle, or not-so-subtle ways, we broadcast our feelings to the world.

Our emotional vocabulary includes some pretty interesting phraseology. We talk about our stomach dropping out, our heart stopping, or blowing our stack. We feel  down in the dumps, hopping mad, in a tizzy, all choked up, in a funk, sick at heart, swamped, and at odds with ourselves. And when it is time for these emotions to come gushing out they take many forms: temper tantrums, endless ranting, sleepless nights, mood swings, critical attitudes, blind rages, constant complaining, pity parties and hissy fits. Unfortunately these very popular options have some serious consequences and if you have experienced  venting to a friend, co-worker or spouse and they have betrayed you by gossiping or even ending the relationship then you clearly understand how hurtful and embracing venting to the wrong person at the wrong time can be.

Proverbs 29:11 says. “Only a fool vents all his feeling, but a wise man hold them back.” That doesn’t mean we should bottle it all up. No, Even God knows we just need to release some of that inner turbulence carefully. Do you have someone you can trust, someone who will never tell what comes up during an angry spat, someone who can listen with understanding, someone you can vent to? Though it comes most naturally to let off steam in the form of angry words or bitter complaints, laughter is a wonderful alternative! Remember the advertising ” Don’t get mad, get Glad!” t.m. Have you ever turned a frustrating event into a funny story? Try it and see if it changes how you feel about the situation. We can sigh about things, or we can laugh. Both these responses release pressure, but which is  the most fun? We laugh so we won’t scream. What ever it is probably won’t go away, so we might as well live and laugh through it.

When we choose to release some of our frustrations with laughter, we allow others around us to relax and join in the chuckle. It’s  not hard to spot complainers, with their furrowed brows and down-turned lips. Their ways of  venting can be downright depressing to those who are forced to endure them. The next time you encounter someone in a such a state of disarray, interrupt their coming tirade and commands, by ” putting your eye brows up.” It might sound silly, but it works. It’s very hard to maintain a frown with arching your eyebrows. First try it on a child their expressions dissolve into a smile and a giggle. Then, their concerns can be talked about without the stormy face. Try it! Remember that in the midst of our fears, our worries, and our stresses, God encourages us to call for Him 24/7 at no charge. We won’t get a busy signal or a voice mailbox. He’s right there, waiting for us. You might  even try texting Him who knows…

“When Mama Ain’t Happy, Ain’t Nobody Happy!”

Many couples are putting their children at the center of the family. This doesn’t sound like a bad thing, after all, aren’t your grandchildren the apple of your eye too? But when parents put their children ahead of  their own needs, ahead of their marriage, it may seem child friendly, but it can lead to complications.

When children are the absolute center of the family, they can grow up without boundaries. This can lead to demanding, entitled kids. Who become demanding, entitled adults. You might have a friend or two who are demanding and they can be difficult to get along with. Can’t they? 

 No one wants their children or grandchildren to turn out to be demanding. Do they? Some acting out might be all right for a child, but future bosses, spouses and friends will probably not be so tolerant. Will they? Furthermore, being the center of the family is too much pressure for most childrenChildren cannot fulfill all their parents‘ emotional needs and it’s not fair to expect them to. Children in this position often feel they need to parent their parents and that’s not their job. Actually, it’s your job to be there for your children when they are parents.

Remind them to make time for themselves, their spouses and friends if you want to be helpful offer to babysit so they can have a date night or weekend getaway, and you’ll get to spend extra time with your grandchildren.  Bob and Jane being the wise parents and grandparents that they are, offered to babysit their grandchildren while Jim and  Lynn went out on the town.  As Lynn was leaving, she told her children to listen to Nana and Pops and then gave them a kiss on the cheek and thanked her parents.

Well, Bob winked at Lynn while reminding her of this old saying,”When Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!” Bob’s point was that couples need to spend time together just the two of  them and keep the romance going.  Now Jim plans romantic surprise date nights at least twice a month and all Lynn has to do is show up . Jim and Lynn are feeling reconnected and Nana and Pops are “Happy Grands.” Jim agrees with Bob “When Mama Ain’t Happy, Ain’t Nobody Happy!

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!

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.

Create A Happy Heart

Life is full of opportunities to create a happy heart. My mother use to say the most wasted of all days, is one with out laughter. She believed in positive thinking and that singing happy songs help to make for a happy heart.

 She loved to dance, sing and laugh. When I was a young girl my mother had a happy song, dance, a funny joke or saying for every situation in life. I don’t mean that as a metaphor I mean it literally.

When life dealt her lemons she was the kind of mother who would make lemonade out of the lemons. She was a half glass full kind of mother. One of my favorite examples of my mothers positive attitude and keeping a happy heart took place when I was thirteen and my best friend Vicky was celebrating her birthday at Disneyland.

The day the invitation arrived I was ecstatic. As far as I was concerned there was nothing better than the E ticket rides at Disneyland. I had lots of E tickets from  previous visits and I was full of expectations. The night before the big day all I did was talk, talk and talk about the rides. I don’t know how my mother kept her wits about her while she listened to my excessive talking. 

 One of the songs my mother and I use sing and listen to was called ” You Talk To Much”. I remember she was singing the words to the song under her breath. I’m sure she was hoping that I would get a clue and stop talking but you know how thirteen year old girls are.

Finally when the big day arrived I woke up and my neck hurting when I told my mother she did everything she could to try to help stop the pain but nothing worked. I was broken-hearted when my mother told me to call my Vicky and let her know that I wouldn’t be able to go.

I hung up the phone and I realized that I was not going to be able to celebrate Vicky’s birthday. I wondered how was I ever going to get over being disappointed?  The girls and I had mapped out and made a list of rides we were going to on and we saved our allowances so we could buy a present for Vick’s birthday.

 I started crying and my mother tried to console me. She said maybe, if your neck starts feeling better she could drive you to meet up with Vicky and the girls later in the day. I said, sure mom that would be ok. When I finished my melt down I noticed that my mom had left the room and I became curious and went to find out what she was doing.

When I found her she had taken off her night-gown and had put on a funny dress, hat and fun music on her old RCA record player.  At first when I saw her I thought to myself, how dare her be so happy when I was so sad. Then after listening to a few of her happy songs I started to sing and dance along with her. The next thing I knew. I wasn’t sad any more. The pain in my neck was gone but it was still stiff.

I’m glade that my mother applied a positive attitude to my situation and it did make for a merry heart. Life isn’t always about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.

 

Call Her Sweetheart

Your loves name is more than a word. When you say his or her name aloud or in your head, it evokes everything, all your memories, all the time you’ve spent together, all the trips you’ve made, the children you’ve had, and the obstacles you’ve overcome. Some people only say their partner’s name when they’re angry, they want something, or they’re yelling or complaining.

The  name loses its valuable identity and becomes associated with negative feelings. So make sure you use your loves name with tenderness, caring and emotion as often as you can. Each time you say it that way, you’ll be filled with love. Dear… Honey…Snookums…Baby…Lover…Kid… Sweetheart… They show you care, especially when your love saves them just for you. But they’re not the same as saying someone’s name. Give what you say, meaning; speak and act with care when you call their name out.

Some parents call each other Mom and Dad, imitating their children. This may sound cute, but it removes your individuality and replaces it with a role. So it’s better to reserve those titles for your children’s use. Sweetheart it’s best to use an enduring name for each other.