Welcome to my family thanksgiving conversations…..😂😂😂
(All I was trying to do was show the changing LED lights) lol
Welcome to my family thanksgiving conversations…..😂😂😂
(All I was trying to do was show the changing LED lights) lol
My 16 year old son got a job over the summer at a local restaurant chain. He started collecting quite a bit of money in his tip outs at the end of each week. I told him that he should start letting his checks go into the bank and spend only his tip money. He reluctantly agreed; but soon realized the tip money was more than enough. He also decided that since he got a job he wanted to upgrade his phone which would cost $45 a month for the phone and insurance. I told him that as long as he was certain he could pay the $45 I didn’t care. (I pay for the service).
About 4 weeks ago I got onto his online banking account and realized there was WAY more debits than there should be since he has cash to spend. I totaled it up and he had spent about $400 in unauthorized (by me)debits. I spoke to him and we talked about how easy it is to whip out a card when you don’t have cash. Then I broke the news…I said to him, “$400 adds up fast over a few months when it’s $5 here and $5-$10 there huh? He was shocked that he spent so much that he was completely unaware of. I told him the right thing to do was to pay it back. He immediately started freaking out! “I don’t have $400!” My response was, “if this was a credit card you’d have to pay it back. And since you spent money on your card that wasn’t supposed to be used then you need to pay it back.” He protested that it was his money. I agreed, however the agreement was that he would only spend his cash. He was really upset with me but agreed he’d pay it back in installments. I told him the longer he took to pay it off the more interest it collects. He replied, “I have to pay interest on my own money!” I told him it was the responsible thing to do. I told him this was a great opportunity to learn how “debt” works. A high risk credit owner usually has an annual interest rate of around 22%. That’s about $88 a year in interest on $400. We sat down and I explained that if he divided $88 over 12 months that equals a monthly interest charge of about $7.35 per month. (I didn’t bother trying to explain that monthly interest rate amount decreases as the balance goes down). I’ll get into that another time.
I told my son stories upon stories of how I constantly over drafted my checking account in my 20’s. No one taught me how to be smart with money. I got my first credit card at 21. I had 3….all maxed out and I was in about $5,000 worth of debt until tax time rolled around and I paid it off and started over. (I was a single mom and I got a lot of money back). I never learned until I got married to a financially savvy guy at 28. He taught me everything I know about investments and, savings, and NOT using a credit card to get what you want. I explained to my son a “need vs a want.” It sank in and he totally started to see the picture I was painting! He went to the bank later that week and paid off all but $170 of the $400. He told me a few days ago That he’s been setting 70% of his tip money aside to pay back his “debt”. I was SHOCKED, he was PAYING ATTENTION!
Next week he plans to pay off the rest (including the interest). I told him…”At least your paying yourself back and not a credit card company right?” His response? “Thank God!!!”
I had him put his debit card in a safe place outside of his wallet so the temptation to pull it out was no longer there. In just 4 short weeks he’s been so amazing at saving money to pay his phone bill due on the 3rd of December and pay back the rest of his debt.
This has opened the door to us talking quite a bit about finances, what college expenses will possibly entail, future household bills etc, interest on cars, homes etc. we’ve talked about debt vs equity. I told him that if I didn’t teach him about wise spending and saving habits he’d have to learn the hard way like I did. Not to say it still can’t happen, but at least he can never come to me and say “why didn’t you tell me about this major part of life!”
It saddens me deep to my core that my husband and I feel the same way about the holidays. Neither one of us are close to our immediate families. He was close with his until his mom passed away about 1 1/2 years ago. She was the rock….the foundation. This’ll be our first year not attending Thanksgiving at all with his side. It feels weird. My family is coming over, but not my mom or sister. Both for different reasons. But I’m closer to my mom and sister than anyone else who’s coming. It makes me sad that the two people I love won’t be here. Luckily, my mom gets to come teach me and my kids to make pies on Thanksgiving day in the morning. I’m trying hard to have a relationship with my mom as we’ve never been overly close. I’d like to make some family memories with her and my kids. Life is short. You never know when it’s going to end. (I know your prob wondering where I’m going with this).
Here’s the deal; when my grandmother passes away we will (most likely) stop having Thansgiving my extended family. (Please don’t feel bad for me yet). I have HOPES AND DREAMS of what Thanksgiving will look like in the FUTURE! See, my kids will be adults in 2 and 3 years. Both off to college. My DREAM Thanksgivings would be as follows:
Both kids will arrive home from college; maybe with a friend who doesn’t have a family to go home to. They’ll unpack in their rooms and come tell me everything I don’t already know about their lives. (Because the multiple phone calls home a day won’t be enough). 😉
Upon arrival we will bake in preparation for Thanksgiving; hopefully with my mom, my sister, my sisters husband, and his mom. The husbands will sit back and watch football all day with a drink in their hand. My husband admiralty watching how happy his wife is to have the children home for a short time.
We will watch movies, visit, and reminance about old times…..This would be the most PERFECT and ideal Thanksgiving…..
I may or may not have cried while writing this…..hoping that someday we’ll look forward to the holidays again because our kids will bring back the significance. While someday bringing home their significant others for us to meet. (For some reason Thanksgiving seems like an opportune time to introduce a SO. (Prob all the sappy movies I watch). It’ll just blossom…..THAT is my hope and prayer..
My daughter (14): “Mom we HAVE to go Black Friday shopping this year! Last year I went with _____ and it was sooooo fun!
Me: “Sweetheart, I don’t need anything bad enough to stand in line for hours….”
Daughter: “But it’s FUN! AND……….(wait for it…) it’s on a FRIDAY!
Me: *baffled and laughing* “Seriously!!!??? It’s on a Friday!!! SHUT UP!!!” *dying laughing now*
Daughter: *laughing and embarrassed* *I can’t believe that just happened”
Me: “Yeah….me neither…..”😏
Depression is a debilitating illness. One that strikes everyone at some point in there lives. Clinical depression is where depression cycles continually affecting a persons life. Then there’s circumstantial depression. The depression that comes on merely by circumstances. I call it circumstantial depression. I don’t know if that’s a real term but I’m using it. And if it’s not a term and it becomes one….I’m OWNING that! I’m totally getting recognized for making up some amazing psychological term! Ok, back to my point, Lets face it, the holidays are hard for most people. The more the years go on the more pressure there is to buy your kids the latest this or that. Who can make their house sing? Who can build the best ANYTHING…..I feel like humanity is in this competition and I’m melting under the pressure.
Here’s my issue…..(please feel free to share yours when I’m done), The pressure of extended family….for some people this isn’t an issue at all. Some people LOVE and look forward to everyone coming over. As I talk to more people I’m realizing that I’m not alone. So many people feel the obligation to have the holidays with people they only see or talk to once or twice a year. Personally, I’m over it. I’m really close to just canceling Thanksgiving altogether this year. No one in my family gets along…they just “pretend” to like each other so we can bullshit our way through the one day that makes us feel like a family all the while knowing that most of us are silently judging each other. Sad huh? I used to LOVE the holidays. I remember when we’d have Christmas and Thanksgiving and it was fun. Then it stopped. People started fighting, drudging up shit from the past….I CAN’T HANDLE IT ANYMORE!
You know what I would do if it were up to me? I’d find my friends who don’t have plans for Thanksgiving and invite them over! This would be FUN! Like SOOOOO fun! (And drink wine, sing and dance to Taylor Swift….ok maybe Tay-Tay is taking it a bit far; well for some people. But this is my daydream do I can pretty much do whatever I want).
One of the most memorable Thanksgivings I ever had was just after my first husband passed away. I spent it with some friends who had some of our other friends over as well. It was a BLAST! No awkward conversation, no pretending that you like each other. It was by far the most genuine Thanksgiving I remember thus far. I asked my husband if we could do that this year and he looks at me like I was crazy. I don’t think it’s crazy. I think it’s about choosing who you want to spend your valuable time with. And for me….that my circumstantial depression. Please tell me I’m not alone.
Ps….I just started running. I’m hoping that helps.
Tonight my son, Taylor, was telling me about one of the new friends he’s made at school. My son is a freshman and has never really hung out with a group of “guys” until just recently. Anyway, he was telling me how humbly this young man and his father live due to his father not making a lot of money. This young man had to grow up fast because his mother abandoned him and his father. They are Hispanic, and it sounds like the father works a crazy amount of hours 6 days a week to provide for his son. Taylor was telling me that they had some deep conversations a few nights ago. One of them caught my ear. He said his friend LOVES to cook, and would make a whole chicken and cornbread every night if he could.
I found this to be an EXCELLENT opportunity to teach my son about human conectivity….seeing a need and helping if possible. I got on Facebook, placed a wanted ad for a free or small fee rotisserie for this young man and his father. In about 10 minutes we got a response from a lady that had one she was willing to donate. Taylor was FLOORED that I cared enough to help his friend. But I know what it’s like to be that kid. I grew up very poor with a single mom who worked whatever hours she could get. It was hard.
I am NOT writing this post to get kudos for doing a good deed. I am writing it because I am hoping to inspire other parents to teach their children about kindness. We are living in a world that’s so “all about me” anymore and it’s sad. We should be helping one another where we can. I use EVERY SINGLE OPPORTUNITY I can get to teach my kids a lesson in something. Every conversation can lead to a moment of opportunity to TEACH.
This conversation turned into me telling Taylor how many times I used to overdraft my checking account when I was a young adult because no one ever taught me what a budget was. This turned into giving him examples of several ways banks work.
I feel fortunate that I am so incredibly close with my children. When I talk, they listen. It’s important to build this foundation of trust from an early age.
I am also learning how to give them a LOT more freedom than I ever thought I would be giving them at their ages. They have earned these privileges. But that’s exactly what they are PRIVILEGES; because as fast as they earn them, if they mess up, they can be taken away. Lack of consistency in your discipline will cause your child to question whether you will stick to what you say. Let your YES be YES and your NO mean NO….PERIOD. DO NOT GIVE IN! Let them cry, throw fits, whatever, but do not give in because the second you do, they just learned that they can manipulate you to get what they want if their persistent long enough.
Every single moment is a learning opportunity; it’s your job to spot them and work the conversation into that opportunity without making it sound like a lecture. I’m a total softie when it comes to my kids when they are doing well, but I am a total hard-ass when they are screwing up. It’s a fine balance. It’s not easy and sometimes I stop to question if I am doing it right. But I know that I am doing the best I know how. My goal is to teach my kids all the lessons that I didn’t learn as growing up. Isn’t that the point? To break the cycle of dysfunction and help our children achieve their lives dreams?
So commit….if you are a mom or a dad it is your DUTY to commit to your child everyday. I know I am not perfect but I do give a lot of good advice I’m told. If you have a parenting question that you would like to ask please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your question might be something someone else if wondering as well. We are a community, let’s help one another! If I don’t know the answer to your question, I will simply tell you. I won’t make you THINK I know what I’m talking about. I will write more on this later but I am really tired and gonna head to bed.
Simply put? Because I’m not good at it and I hate to fail….
OK, just so you know, I approach most hard-to-deal-with subjects with humor, because it makes me feel better about my short-comings as a human being, because quite frankly I SUCK at this human thing quite a bit…especially the wife part….
Let see…Me as a wife in a nutshell… I am controlling, stubborn, mean, always right, egotistical, self-centered, impulsive, narcissistic, and sometimes down-right cruel.
My husband? Completely the opposite of me….kind, loving, thoughtful, others-centered, patient, good-natured, WONDERFUL overall husband!
How we’re still together? It can ONLY be GOD! It is the ONLY explanation I have….
I won’t lie, I pride myself on the inside about being good at many things that I do. I feel I am good at raising well-balanced children, maintaining a decent small business, and being a good friend. The one thing I SUCK the most at? Being a wife. It’s the one area that I contradict myself the most on. I expect things out of marriage that I am not necessarily always willing to give in return. I am not good with compromise, and I’m not good with forgiveness. Now…don’t get me wrong, I expect all of these from my husband, BUT I am not always great about returning the grace. It’s a terrible quality to have, I am NOT bragging clearly. Being a mother did not come naturally to me either. It took me YEARS to figure it out. I won’t say I have mastered it, but I think I am pretty good. But being a wife? Not so much….
Ugh….I have been married (this time) for 5 1/2 years (I don’t count the first one since he passed away, and I wasn’t married to the kids dad). Now and I can tell you that it’s been pretty miserable for my husband. It hasn’t ALL been bad, and I absolutely do not take full responsibility for where things have gone wrong. I wish I put my foot down FASTER in some areas, would’ve been more assertive in other areas, BUT the one thing I WASN’T, was NICE and LOVING. I feel like I was generally nice at first (like in the beginning), but when the results weren’t what I thought they should be; I was a venomous snake. See, I believe that I am right about things like 90% of the time, and truly I do believe this. I have had a lot of life experience and I think I am very smart, and intuitive most of the time. I had a marriage counselor once tell me, “You can be 100% right and be dead WRONG at the same time.” I was very confused by this statement. What she meant was, you can be right about something but completely wrong in your delivery, making the other person not even wanting to hear you out. How true is that? I will agree with her that it is true, but I am hot-headed with a short temper. Ask anyone who’s ever dated me.
I am working on this and I have a VERY patient husband. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like everyday of his life has been a living hell, CLOSE…(lol) but not everyday. I have done some things to make it better, and I will share these with you.
1. Kids, I learned early on that our kids are our kids SEPARATELY, meaning “You parent yours and I’ll parent mine.” We have very different parenting styles and I prefer mine. Clearly my kids have to do what they’re told by him, and be respectful to him, but for the most part I do the “parenting” portion with my children…I prefer it this way. It’s not the way I WANTED it when we got married but it is unfortunately the way it ended up. Step-families are very complicated and just because you think you have it all figured out BEFORE you get married, well I hate to say it my friends, but I bet you are sorely disappointed if you, yourself, are in a step-family situation. If you CAN parent together in this situation, my hats are off to you!
2. Money, You make yours and I will make mine. If it were up to me, we’d have separate accounts and just split all the bills evenly, but it’s working OK how it is jointly, we just don’t see eye to eye on how to handle our finances. I say that if this is the case, and you make a fairly equal amount of money or can split the bills evenly so that its overall fair, and everyone is happy…DO IT! Finances are NOT worth fighting about especially when it can be solved with separate checking accounts. I am completely for this. My husband is not, which is fine, we shall continue to see how this works out….
3. Sex, I have a TERRIBLE sex drive. There are 5 MILLION different reasons why this is and I will only list a couple…I think a lot of this is attributed to the fact that my estrogen was sky-high at 654 (it should be at 124, and is currently at 234). According to my doctor this is what has made me want to KILL anyone and everyone in my path (my whole life) about 2 weeks out of the month. She actually asked me how I wasn’t locked up in a loony bin with these numbers. (I asked her if she could admit me to the loony bin just so I could “go on vacation” for a few days. She got a good chuckle out of that. I also had like NO progesterone. Sky high estrogen – no progesterone = a VERY BITCHY woman! My doctor has me on progesterone, an estrogen blocker, and just before Thanksgiving I recently asked for an anti-depressant because the hormone control was not working solely as a problem solver like I thought it would. I LOVE my anti-depressant! I would eat that stuff like it was damn candy! If you’re wondering, so you can get yourself some happiness, and will-power to live, I am on Wellbutrin (300mg) BEST SHIT EVER!!! No weight gain side effects, and I think my sex drive has slightly improved.
I really am trying a harder to be a better wife but sometimes its just HARD! I don’t want to compromise and most of the time, lately, I just want to be alone, which isn’t fair to my husband obviously. It’s not like I don’t like him or love him, I totally do, but sometimes being married interferes with what I want to do, decisions I want to make without consulting another human being etc. I KNOW this is selfish so you don’t have to tell me. I am a MAJOR work in process and quite frankly I don’t know how he does it most weeks. Personally I don’t want to put up with me most days, so I really think God sent an angel because ONLY an angel could put up with me 99% of the time. Clearly I am very difficult….but hey, like I said, I am a work in progress…
So Husband, IF you read this, please know that I love you, I am completely aware of my shortcomings, and I am working on trying to be better…but I think it is going to take my whole life to really get it right….So for all the things I may do in the future that are shitty, I would like to take the time NOW to apologize…just to save time. lol