Tag Archives: parents

Things They Share Are Cherishable

Today is my mom’s birthday and my stepdad is taking us to a baseball game this evening.  It will be a gorgeous night and I am looking forward to spending the evening with them. 

I will miss them both very much when I leave. We’ve been a close-knit bunch for a good part of my life. 

As a child growing up, my mom reared me as a single parent until I was in high school.  For the first part of my life, she was both mommy and daddy.  She taught me how to be an independent woman. Although a little later in my life, she has also shown me some cherishable things about married life. 

My stepdad entered my life when I was a teenager.  At that time, I wasn’t used to having a man around, but he soon became a fixture.  He married my mom and we became a family.  In hindsight I am thankful to have him and his extended family as part of our family.  But, I was a reluctant teen and slow to fully accept his presence in our lives.

Theirs would be the first marriage that I would live within.  Although my grandma is still alive, my grandpa died long before I was born.  So although I’d often hear my grandma speak about life when he was around, I would never experience my grandparents’ love or marriage in real time.

Once my mom got married I would witness for the first time what it meant to live inside of marriage.  It would be my first lesson in marital support and compromise.  It would be the first time I saw marital love. 

Through all of my teenage awkwardness and growth and maturity as a young woman, I now know that there are qualities about their relationship, in addition to love, that are rich and abundant and should be cherished. 

They have humor.

My mom has always had the gift of delivery and timing in humor.  Her sarcasm and dry humor are never dull and will always keep you on your toes.  She certainly keeps my stepdad on his toes.  Sometimes he is sharp enough to match wit and return fire.  Sometimes. 

They have support. 

Their support is mutual, complementary, and cherishable.

He contributes to maintaining my grandmother’s quality of life. He’ll bring fruit or get her trash or move her television.  He’ll also perform countless other tasks whenever requested by my mother.  His support for my grandmother is certainly support for my mother. 

She provides for his children and grandchildren as her own.  She’ll throw a party or babysit the grands or make personal gifts incorporating photos of our whole family.  She will also do countless other tasks whenever requested by my stepdad.  Her support for his family is certainly support for him.

He provides for me, her daughter.  He will secure a grill and chairs for a party at a moment’s notice.  He will provide extra tickets to a basketball or baseball game.  He will arrange complimentary rounds of golf for my husband and I.  He will also provide countless other things for me, at the request of my mom.  His support for me is certainly support for my mom.

She supports his business.  She will provide administrative assistance, such as typing a letter or sending an email or making a call.  She will also give her time to welcome participants in his charity golf tournament.  Her support for his organization is certainly support for him.

They are kind to each other.  He gives her flowers, sometimes just because.  She makes him coffee in the morning, to start his day.            

They have companionship.

While they each live very full individual lives, they always take the time to come together for family and for themselves.  They watch movies together, play golf together, and attend sporting events. Together.

Today, they will attend a Nationals game for my mom’s birthday and they have invited me to come along.  It will be a gorgeous night and I am looking forward to spending the evening with them. 

WEDDED BLISS WEDNESDAYS discusses marital and relationship issues.  Although this is likely to be biased toward my own experiences in marriage and with relationships, I hope that you will join the discussion, ask questions, and suggest topics that you are interested in discussing.  If you like what you see here, please use the orange icon at the top right to receive my content updates by email or RSS reader.  

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Filed under Family, marriage, Marriage and Relationships, relationships, Wedded Bliss Wednesdays

Its Not Too Early for Tough Love

Money Hand by Neuble

Money Hand by Neuble

 

Mary Pleshette Willis wrote an article over at More.com called Tapped Out: Supporting Adult Children.  She talked about parents who are still supporting their kids out of college or who fail to put the reigns on handing out money like an ATM when their kids face hard times.   Most of these parents were aware that they were doing too much.  But, when it came down to it, they were not willing to let their children fall into subpar living conditions and in many cases, anything less then the [sometimes high] standards they had become accustom to at home.

In Ms. Willis’ article, she is talking about grown children in their 20s and 30s.  But, what about beyond that age range?  If continued support goes well into adulthood and middle age, when does it become too late say no, set limitations, and begin enforcing those limitations?

Not having any children myself, I can only imagine how hard it would be for a parent to stop providing a safety net for a child and what a tough start it would be for a child to stop relying on parents when the groundwork for independence had never really been laid.  Sometimes this process is initiated by a guilt-ridden parent tormented by the hours spent working away from the child or some other event occurring during the kid’s early years.  Sometimes the parent’s reign is so heavy that the child never develops the will or the desire to take care of his – or herself.

Many readers may not consider this scenario applicable because you do not yet have children or because your children are still children.  But, for young parents, maybe now is the time to start practicing a bit of tough love.  Maybe now is the time to start teaching your children to be self-sufficient… to want to be self-reliant. 

I don’t know.  Again, I don’t yet have children.  But, it makes sense to me to start as early as possible.

What’s your take?  Have you thought about these things when it comes to your children?

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Filed under Family, Tough Life Thursdays