Today's BLOGtober Fest Challenge is to promote a post from the past. I have several that I would like to choose, but two stick out in my mind the most. I can't choose between the two, and in some ways they're rather related. So, I'm going to promote both of them.
The first is "Pieces of Advice for My Daughter: Part One." I wrote it in honor of her half birthday, and I plan to hopefully have Part Two for her first birthday. There are some truths and bits of advice that stand the test of time, wether it's 2012, 2022, or 2032. I think that these things are important.
The second is a post I wrote after a particularly difficult visit from my mother. We don't have a great relationship. I don't see us ever having a good one. There is a deep-rooted dysfunction that despite my trying, I have come to realize will never be corrected. In fact, there have been many times when I have all but cut off contact with her completely, except for the fact that she is indeed my mother. So, I took my frustrations from that visit, the past thirty-two years entirely, and some anecdotes my friends have shared over the years, and tried to come up with a somewhat humorous but truthful set of rules for visiting with an adult child. I hope to remember these rules when Firecracker is an adult, and I pray that I never violate any of them. I don't want to be the type of mother mine was and still is. When Fireracker someday has a child of her own, I don't want her to have to tell me not to go stay with her, because I make her more nervous and uncomfortable. So, here is "8 Simple Rules For Dating Your Adult Daughter (Or Son)," or as BlogHer renamed it before featuring it, "8 Simple Rules For Moms Visiting Their Adult Children."
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Saturday, July 21, 2012
It has been another crazy week at La Casa de Ningún Crujido. B was out of town from early Monday morning until just about bedtime Wednesday night. So of course that means several different things went on while he was gone.
* We waited on a plumber to come on Tuesday, then again on Wednesday, and he finally came on Thursday. I didn't quite know what to do with myself yesterday when I didn't have to wait on the plumber. I developed a nasty sinus headache though, and napped while Firecracker napped.
* We went to see Drum Corp International with a friend and her daughter Tuesday night. Firecracker decided after one performance to have a rare, complete meltdown. We went home, she cried all the way home, even while I played "The Hot Dog Song" for her. She was still cranky until her bath, then thankfully she was fine.
* As I dressed her in her jammies, the electricity went out, and she only had two arms and no legs in her jammies yet. I was happy that I had already diapered her. She took the whole thing with stride, and I put her to bed. She slept through Dory barking non stop, got hot, I brought her downstairs, and she stayed in the pack 'n play until the power came back.
* Among other things going on Tuesday, I got an email from the BlogHer Network, stating that a recent blog I had cross posted both here and there was going to be one of the featured blogs of that day. It was my "8 Simple Rules for Visiting Your Adult Daughter (Or Son)." It was edited some, title included, but four days later, it has been well read, and I've had a lot more positive feedback than negative. I've even had at least one request to write one for moms visiting sons and fathers visiting daughters. Unfortunately I don't have experience with fathers visiting adult daughters, because my Dad passed away when I was ten. Fortunately, I have an awesome MIL who doesn't need such a list of rules.
* Yesterday we awoke to the news of the Aurora, CO movie theater shootings. My thoughts and prayers of course go out to the victims and their families. I'm waiting until we find out more about the shooter's plans and what went on in his apartment and his head to say much. Though this person didn't suffer a sudden breakdown. This was wel planned-out and sadistic. I hope and pray that this person doesn't get off on a technicality.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Yesterday, I had the experience of hosting my mother for the day while she visited with Firecracker. Without giving away too many personal facts, I'll just say that the best part of the visit is that I now have a new blog post subject. So, here is a list of 8 Simple Rules for Visiting Your Adult Daughter (Or Son). This isn't a cry for sympathy, but just a simple "How To," I hope to remember when Firecracker is grown. I tried to make it a little funny, but it's probably too serious.
- Don't Nag - A good visit rarely starts out when a parent walks through the door, already complaining about how little they see you and soliciting more visits on a more frequent schedule. When that is one of the only two topics you can seem to really discuss for more than five minutes the entire visit, your daughter usually, quite truthfully, will want to spend even less time with you. When the other topic is a constant, one-sided discussion of a family matter that your daughter has put to rest for her own health and sanity, but you just can't seem let it go, you shouldn't expect favorable results. You're 95% likely to not change her mind.
- Don't Keep Score - There is little more irritating to a daughter than when a parent attempts to keep score on how much time her family spends with her in-laws, other relatives, friends, and basically anyone who isn't you. That type of behavior is likely to result in stunted conversations with information withheld, because your daughter won't wish to tell you with whom she has been spending time. If you don't want her to like other people more than you, don't make a competition out of how much time she spends, where, and with whom. She's going to gravitate more toward the people who just enjoy her company and vice versa.
- Don't Rearrange, Redecorate, Replace, or Reclean - Sure, you may think the sofa would look better at the other end of the room, that picture should be replaced with the one you brought, or (and this actually happened to a friend once) you use a better laundry detergent. That doesn't mean that your daughter will agree. She and (if married or cohabitating) her significant other have probably spent a great deal of time and discussion on furniture arrangements, decorations, and most likely like their laundry detergent and fabric softener. If your daughter has missed a spot in cleaning, don't pick up a paper towel and do it right. That's just insulting.
- Don't Constantly Give Unwanted Advice or Criticize- Face it. You've done your job as a parent. Your child is grown up. She has a home of her own, possibly children of her own. She has put down roots. If she needs and wants advice from you, she'll ask for it. If no one's limbs are hanging by a thread, everyone seems well fed, clothed, cleaned, and disease free, she probably neither wants nor needs to be told not to stick her fingers in a fan. You covered that thirty years ago, and she'll cover it with her own kids. Also, your daughter's house may be a mess when you're there. She may not iron her family's clothes the way you would, or wear her hair the way you would prefer. If your daughter and her family are fine with the way things are, and they aren't hoarders or nasty, it's really not your place to say otherwise anymore.
- Don't Look For Problems Where They Don't Exist Or Try To Invent Them - It's never easy realizing that your children no longer need you in the same capacity that they did for all of their growing up years. Back then, you were their hero and often saved the day whenever there was a problem. Fast forward to today. Your daughter doesn't need you in that capacity most days of her life. Please don't go looking and poking around for problems in order to save her day and be needed. Especially don't invent problems. Sit down and just relax. Be happy that your daughter is stable enough to take care of herself.
- Be An Adult - You're no longer the big kahuna in your daughter's life. She doesn't always do everything your way. That also means that possibly you have to endure things not being done the way you like it when you're invited to spend time with her. Don't spend the entire visit sulking, because things are different than how you want them. You spent years teaching her to not act like a spoiled brat, don't start acting that way yourself now that she's grown.
- Don't Use Guilt As a Weapon To Get Your Way - Guilt, if you watch television, is supposed to be a mother's weapon to get children to do what she wants. In reality it is a weak, lame, and hurtful attempt at getting your way. You may get what you want for a while, but you're also planting the seeds for resentment and eventually a skin so thick that empathy of any sort for you disappears.
- Be Gracious and Remember - Your daughter has a life of her own and probably a job of some sort. She has a home and family all her own. She has friends and schedules to keep up with. I'm not suggesting you bow down with graciousness if she deems to spend time with you, but I am suggesting that you make yourself aware that she's taking time out of her life to spend with you. Daughters don't always have time to drop everything and spend a day shopping or just running around for a day. Most have about fifteen things they could be doing while they're spending time with you, and if they don't do them they don't get done. Whereas you may have more free time than you know what to do with now, your daughter is probably in the busiest, most hectic phase of her life. Time is precious and don't make her regret spending some of it with you. You were her parent for the years she needed a parent. Now is the time finally to try to just be her friend.