Me (40) DH (47) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12
Things are a little crazy, but I'm loving every minute of it My Blog
Ah, it's all right, y'all, but thanks for the sympathy. It's probably a good thing I only see my family once every 2 years! ;)
Could it have embarrassed her that she didn't have money to buy you new school clothes? I mean, I don't think she should have chewed you out over it, but I know my kids have said things in front of their friends that have made me cringe. They're very open and honest whereas I think some stuff should be personal. I never had to buy my kids yard sale clothes for school, but we've definitely been poor and in certain people or contexts I don't like them to talk about it. Definitely not worth chewing you out over though. I'm sorry.
I would think it was the embarrassment as well. I know my mom gets embarrassed by things I say about her that she used to do when I was a child. She knows that I am like that though so it doesn't really embarrass her as much anymore. I did tell her that within the next 6 months or so, I may write a memoir and that it may not look favorable upon her and she was okay with that, but we will see.
But my mom feels very guilty about a lot of things she did and didn't do for my older brother and I. She was a much better mother to my younger brothers and had more to give to them, both monetarily and emotionally since she had a good job and had cut down on her alcohol and marijuana habits by the time they were born.
I hope your mom doens't hold it against you though, just for joking. And really I do think that it wasn't that big of a deal since you did thank her for the clothes and didn't out right say "hey my mom FINALLY got me some new clothes" KWIM. But it may just be a sore subject for her.
We used to joke with my mom all the time about the way she dressed us. For example my older brother in corduroy bell bottoms and a butterfly collar on his shirt and a school picture of me wearing a puffy blouse with a huge bow at the neck that had pink elephants on it. And then looking at pictures of my cousins all dressed in the exact same outfits throughout our lives since my mom and aunts just passed around clothes for all those years. My mom never waivered that we were rockin the latest styles at the time. lol
One thing she could never explain was why she always dressed my huge baby brother in horizontal stripes. He was always like. "Ma, couldn't you have dressed me in something with a slimming effect?"
My brother. "T" and I were recently laughing about one day when we were at the farmer's market with my mom the summer before she died. She was loudly remembering how much T LOVED the wizard of oz movie and she said how he used to belt out the songs in the living room. "He loved anything Judy Garland!"
And my brother said to me under his breath, "And yet she never knew.." (he was gay)
Silly story but I love that we are at a place where we can remember my mom with more laughter and less tears.
You're all right about her being defensive. I suppose I grew up better than she did. She was one of 11 children and grew up in real poverty. I guess having yard sale clothes wasn't the worst thing in life but it sure didn't help my self esteem at the time. Any how, we do have our moments like this and she always just brushes it under the rug the next time we speak because she doesn't like to talk about the past much.
My parents weren't poor but they lived in an expensive area and were very frugal. I was 7.5 years younger than my sister and when I was a child I mostly wore her hand-me downs. A lot of those clothes just screamed "70's!" and they'd all gone completely out of fashion by the time I wore them. Plus, I was very small for my age and underweight, so by the time they fit me I was older then she was at the age she wore them, which certainly didn't help my being shy! Where we lived outside of NYC a lot of the other kids had parents who were lawyers or stock brokers, etc and spent a lot of money on their clothes. Ours usually came from Sears and my sister was embarrassed of them the first time around, but they were way worse when I wore them. I remember I had this really cool jacket with a huge lady bug patch on it! My mom also used to make matching dresses for my sister and me for holidays and I'd have to wear both versions of the dress as I grew into them. Looking back, I feel sorry for my sister, because they were pretty babyish for her as a 9 year old made to match an 18 month old, for example.
Me (40) DH (47) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12
Yes, Mandy. It was the same for me except my hand me downs were from my brother who is 5 years older than me. I can remember being in the 4th grade and someone pointing out that I was wearing boy shoes.
You really hold on to things like that, definitely.
Me (40) DH (47) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12
I was picked on big time in middle school for my off brand clothes and home sewn outfits. And by girls I thought were my friends. My mom was quick to let me know that people like that are not friends.
I thanked her later years for sticking to her guns on things like that. Even when we had more money she would not spend it on clothes. It taught me a valuable lesson about what truly matters.
Hi! OMG I cannot wait to go home. I'm tired of smelling like smoke and I miss my nice clean house. And my Cosmo who is at my parents house because I don't like her being around smoke and dust and she was sneezing too much. Plus it's too hard to stop every from feeding her. I don't care if it is just a little bit of food...if everyone is giving her a "little bit" it equals up to a lot and she's not a huge dog. And I need a shower but the shower here is gross so I'm waiting until tomorrow when I get home. Thank god we thought to shower when we were at my parents and dropped off Cosmo. I would have greatly preferred to stay there but trying to be a good supportive wife to DH and supportive to my MIL.
Everyone else is at the hospice right now but I stayed home with MIL's dog. It's too hard to have too many people over there at the same time and want to give grandpa, MIL and the time and space they need. Plus I was over a bit this morning when we brought the dog to see grandma (she asked for him). And I might go with them tonight.
It's weird but I always thought grandma didn't care for me (not sure that anyone would have been good enough for the miracle baby as she told me DH was the first time we met). I just kind of tolerated (was always very nice to her face though...I'm good at acting different from how I really feel) her for years knowing she was old and his grandma and helped raise him and he loved her. MIL said though that after a few years, and especially the past 5 or so, she always talked about how much she loved me and how nice and sweet I am. I guess after 13 years, pretty much anyone can see that DH and I are good for each other and have a happy relationship.
As for clothes...I have to say that as the oldest, I never had used clothes. My mom cared greatly about how we looked in public...didn't have to be name brands but we always had nice things and looked in style. I was the one who had matching stocks to outfits and matching hair ribbons/bows/clips. I always had my hair done in various brands and ponytails. and I was chubby by age 7....mom always said that being chubby or fat didn't mean that one had to look dumpy and frumpy. and my family was not rich by any means....my dad was an autoworker and spent a lot of time laid off during my childhood.
Now my grandma did get sister and matching dresses...usually made by her lady friends and we are five years apart. So I would have the older girl version and sister would have the baby/toddler version. But we liked dressing in matching clothes.
I am so lucky to have had such a pretty perfect childhood...I know DH is jealous of that. We can't wait to give a child what I had (he knows how my parents are and we are a LOT like them).
And I have to say that I cannot see putting my child in too many used clothes unless they don't look worn or used or it's something special like a Halloween costume....or something very sentimental like something our moms saved that we wore or the baptism gown that has been in my family for over 80 years and that we all wore. if we have a second kid, they might get some hand me downs but only if still in excellent condition, they look right on that child and they are still appropriate in style.
maybe that makes me a bit snobby....but well I get new clothes for myself most of the time and only rarely wear something used...like i have one of my sisters shirts that she lost too much weight for and it's a great shirt and looks right on me....but it's not that often that we do that.
It's been a LONG week.
Jennifer. I hope you get to go home soon. You're such a trooper for your dh. It shows how much you love him.
I didn't have many hand-me-down clothes but by the time I was 14 and babysitting for my own school clothes money I didn't mind buying my clothes at yard sales for myself. I could get more for my money and no one could tell. Like you said Jennifer, if they're in flawless condition, who cares? I think being a small female is beneficial when you're yard sale shopping...women tend to get tired of clothes really fast but don't get much opportunity to wear them out so they're still in great condition. At least that's been my own experience. My dad would give me $200 for school clothes but I'd supplement that with my own money. I've been fortunate with my kids and have always had at least $200 each for them. Usually 300 or more though...plus the $100 each for their mandated school supplies.
This year I get 3 paychecks in Sept. and one entire one will go solely for clothes, supplies, shoes, etc for the kids. Other years Rich uses his summer bonus for it, but that went toward fixing our house this year.
I also hope you get to go home soon Jennifer.
My mom also cared a lot about appearances and I think that is why I don't really care as much about fashion and such, because I knew that it was a sham to just look good. It didn't mean anything at all.
Mom did (and still does) buy me in fashion clothes, unfortunately they were and (still aren't) my style. I'm very classic and simple and my mom is girly and ruffley so I usually do not wear what she gave me and I stayed in jeans and t-shirts as a pre-teen and teenager. But we usually always had some off brand clothes. My grandma also bought us tons of clothes from "Pennies" (JC Penny's in case you didn't know) and Sears, which were her favorite clothes. She got us coats from Sears every year. I still have the one she got me at 18.
My mom had horrible memories of being a girl with cat eyed glasses and homemade lime green polyester outfits that my grandma made her wear LOL. So she would make sure that we always had in fashion clothes and new clothes for school every year even if she got behind on other bills and rent or utilities. I didn't think clothes were such a big deal, but she did. The only thing I didn't like was that she used to dress my brother and I alike. We are 11 months apart and I used to get asked constantly were we twins and how our names must have been mixed up by the doctor. His name is Adrian, which can be a girl's name and was more commonly known as a girls name in our town like Erin (Aaron) was more of a boy's name. Her dressing us alike didn't help my arguments that our names were not mixed up and we not twins. It really used to bother me when they asked were we identical twins .
Now that my girls are older I feel like I can really empathize with 'our' parents when they get defensive or hurt about things we say-even if we're just doing it to be funny. I know I feel the same for my older girls as I do about Conner. The only difference really is the context and depth of our conversations. He's fixated on dinosaurs and not much else, whereas his older sisters have all kinds of interests and worries. But my love/worry for them is the same as it is for him.
I look back and I see where I did everything I could to give them the best that I could. I wasn't perfect, and especially for Bobbie and Jessica I was extremely broke. The worst was the $24 I spent at the dollar store for Christmas for them one year. They were 1 and 2 and don't remember it, but I do. It was all I could do to come up with that money too. It still hurts to think about.
But anyway, every once in a while they'll say something as a joke or intended to mock me as teenagers do and it hurts. Even if I wasn't perfect and sometimes had a bad day, the majority of the time I gave them everything I could and then they remember the 'bad' stuff. I don't remember the bad as much as they do-and of course their perspective is very different than mine was.
I remember giving my dad a lot of crap as a teen/early 20's and later even kidded him about stuff but I'll never do it again. Not after experiencing the frustration of feeling like I put forth the best effort I could but it wasn't 'good enough' for my girls.
I have to say, if I told them that they'd be really upset. Bobbie would likely cry. They've never thrown anything up in my face and will acknowledge that they know me & their dad did the best we could...but sometimes even when they're just being funny it simply strikes a nerve. I hope they never post about our poverty on facebook. It's one thing if they talk about that with their close friends, but I dunno...facebook is too 'public' for me and a place were I hope they keep that stuff to themselves.
Usually I have a pretty good sense of humor, but with that topic either I'm oversensitive or perhaps when there are 3 of them 'going at it' I feel ganged up on. I never thought about it too much before this topic came up here, but I do acknowledge kinda having those feelings inside and I couldn't help but think...how would I feel if they posted those on Facebook? It would definitely be worse for me if it were there than if it was a kidding-around-in-the-kitchen session at home and just us.
Last edited by missychrissy; 07-30-2011 at 09:35 PM.
That's fair enough, Chrissy, but with my mom being an alcoholic for as long as I can remember growing up, I know she didn't always put us first or do what's best for us. We raised ourselves for the most part, so for her to re-write history and tell people she did the best she could is all a lie. In your case, I can see you are
*that should have ended* you are a great mom and did the best you could. (Cash is pushing buttons now!)
I suppose I'll have to keep my sarcasm in check; I was doing so well lately but it just comes out of my mouth so naturally. I always do tend to alienate people with my humor!
We have enough money to go around most of the time but I try to impress upon Josh that if there are other options that are free or less expensive we should go for them. Like if we just went out for lunch, we should eat dinner at home and finish those leftovers. Or if I just bought him something at Target he can't get something else at the next store.
Sorry I got cut off there, DH was trying to talk to me. I don't know if what I said was relevant anyway since I just kind of skimmed the posts since I left.
Maine is pretty...but boring. I mean you have to drive half an hour from my aunt's house just to get to anything. So Josh is pretty bored and we are too, sadly. We're not the type of people who want to go look at pretty landscapes and go to the beach for 4 days, I guess.
My aunt went to church and we're on our own until about noon when my cousin's going to meet us for lunch and show us her new house. We found a minigolf place online we might try to go to.
That example is funny but there are others where I feel like a total idiot whenever the kids bring it up and I wish they'd just forget it.
I think your sense of humor is just fine. If she's over-sensitive about those things there isn't going to be anything you can do about it. Maybe she should go to counseling and learn to forgive herself and let it go. What's done is done, you know? I would hope my mom doesn't feel guilt about what she did because of the same reason. What's done is done.
Oh-and Erin I've often thought about writing a memoir about my own childhood. I swear it would make an excellent Lifetime movie. But I do worry about how my mom would feel if she ever read it (and she would, if she knew about it) so I don't. I'm to the place now where I don't want to cause her any more hurt than she's already experienced. Maybe it's different for me with her because she has a mental illness and couldn't help what she did.
When are you heading home Kate? I bet in the fall Maine is phenomenal.
Last edited by missychrissy; 07-31-2011 at 09:43 AM.
I can imagine the things that my kids will say to embarrass me when they are older. Those comments would probably be one of the few things that will strike a nerve with me. I always think they won't have anything for their arsenal (being that I am perfect and all ) but Ky already mentions things that I didn't think were all that important and really they kind of upset me and he was only like 5 or 6. Once he told me that he didn't want me to wear my hair a certain way because it embarrassed him even though he admitted that no one had teased him about my hair.
On my memoir I would more than likely change names and such and not use my real name as an author in order to protect my mom and family if I decide to try to get it published. But really I have never really tried to embarrass my mom about anything or even mention anything that I feel could potentially hurt her feelings to her or in public, even when she has outright lied about something involving the 2 of us or when I was upset and could just vent in anger. I really love my mom and feel that she did do her best and I actually think, over the whole scheme of things, that she did an okay job as a parent. She is very guilt stricken about how horrible she feels she was to me and my older brother in particular and feels a heavier burden in regards to his lying and alcohol and drug use. She also feels that the reason why I left home immediately after high school was God's way of punishing her for not doing right by me and letting me be abused by her ex-husband, which she says she begs forgiveness for every day when she prays. I actually feel very sorry for my mom as I am one to leave the past in the past and also believe in people getting over tragedies and poor parenting once they become adults. Everyone has some sort of demon or past situation in their life that may even have caused them some sort of mental trauma, but I feel it is up to the individual to realize that they may need some help in getting over trauma and doing work that needs to be done to move on with their lives eventually. I tell my brother this all the time, that he is 34 years old and it is time to stop blaming others for what is wrong in his life and take some measure to improve his situation.
lmao about being a perfect mom...in a way, that's kinda what I expected to be as well. I mean, on one level I knew it wasn't possible but I was definitely in for a rude awakening when my own kids started talking about stuff I should have (or could have) done differently. I guess that's just part of life though.
And ita with you about not letting your childhood dictate how you are as an adult. Crap happens but there comes a point when you just separate yourself from all that and work toward being the kind of person you want to be. I could use all sorts of excuses to suck as a person, wife, parent but I don't. At 35 if I fail now, it's because of me.
I'm exhausted. I just cleared out our master bedroom so we can build our bed. We had our mattress on the floor and boxes and boxes stacked all around the perimeter. Rich & Tim went to get Conner's trampoline and wooden swing set. When they get back we have to build our bed and move everything away from the basement walls as the neighbor's church is supposed to come over tomorrow afternoon to start doing the drylock on it. I feel like we're never going to 'get there' as far as unpacking. And I'm terribly embarrassed about our bathroom and hope no one needs to use it. It's bad enough we have to use it as it is.
We're going home tomorrow. I bet Maine is nice in the fall, but since we get pretty foliage in Massachusetts too, it's not something I'd make the trip for.
My aunt had things to do today so we found a minigolf place and a winery (DH doesn't partake in wine but I sampled a few, and bought a bunch) and then we met my cousin to see her new house and for lunch and ice cream and the food stand had a cute playground Josh played at. Soon we're having dinner with my aunt and one of her closest old friends.
Poor DH is just going nuts here. He has to be close to things like stores and technology and it's just wilderness out here. When I was a teenager I could have gone for this lifestyle but I too got sucked into technology and shopping, LOL
My issue with living 30 minutes away from shops, even small ones, is if you run out of toilet paper someone has to drive 15 miles to get it. It drove me crazy! Ideally, I always thought I'd love to live far out in the country, on a dirt road even. Realistically, it wasn't as awesome as I imagined. I do like to visit though.
I guess that's what makes Ithaca so great-it's a small city but they have a lot of culture, shopping, arts, and then they have camping, hiking trails, gorges, Cornell Plantations...everything anyone could want.
I'm still here! It seems like every time I log on I spend my time getting rid of spammers and then I don't have time left to post anything.
I have lived WAY out in the country (like, more than a two-mile walk to the nearest road) and in the heart of big metro areas. Both places have their pluses and minuses, although I have to say in these days of having to be the grown up and carry 20 bags of groceries into the house by myself, I prefer to have my car close to the front door. Plus I associate my time in the country with not having fully functional plumbing, like not having an indoor toilet or not having dependable running water or a shower.
Still, dh and I talk wistfully about living somewhere with land. We both have really good memories of spending hours outdoors as children exploring creekbeds and watching grasshoppers and playing in mud and watching shooting stars and trying to catch fireflies. The book Boys Adrift talks about the value of (boys in particular, as the focus of that book) spending time outdoors. Unfortutely, dh's job pretty much restricts him to a few large metro areas, but luckily this area has so many large regional parks and we do spend a lot of time exploring the outdoors. We just can't let the kids out all day the way we spent our days.
This weekend dh and I traded kids. I watched the baby yesterday and he took the twins out, and today I took the twins on an all-day expedition to Angel Island while he watched the baby. We had a drive, two ferry rides, and an open-air shuttle-bus tour around the island. It was nice, but unexpectedly colder than I thought. I was cold all day and promptly came home and changed into flannel pajamas. I had jackets for the kids.
I had to talk to him about an upcoming weekend in Tahoe that we have planned, because I thought our current situation may impact it, and he said he refuses to believe or act as if we are any different than before.
Hi! I'm HOME. Drive home was much better than drive down there...down there the rain was just some of the most awful rain we have driven in. On the way home, traffic was heavy because it's a weekend and well we need to drive past WI Dells....which is a major tourist area in the summer. The freeway should be 3 lanes each way there...at least between Madison and the Dells but it's only 2 each way.
But at least I'm HOME. And in my robe freshly showered and no longer smelling like smoke. and I have already gotten 2 loads of laundry finished. We packed a lot of stuff not knowing what was going on and of course everything smells so even stuff we didn't wear is getting washed. God I wish we could get MIL to stop the smoking. I'm going to have to talk to her about it because the older DH gets and not that he's not around it anymore, it REALLY bothers his allergies. Smoke and cats do him under...and cats we can pretty easily avoid. Before when he lived at home, he needed to be on allergy meds and got sick a lot. Now he gets sick hardly ever (expect that to change though once we have a little kid bringing home colds from school!)...and doesn't take allergy meds.
And it really sucks knowing that most likely in 15 years, maybe 20 years, it's going to be MIL lying in hospice struggling for air and wasting away. Makes me grateful that my uncle went quickly with a heart attack.
OMG, HUGE spider on the ceiling. WHY did I look up???? And my ceilings are 9 ft tall so I cannot reach them with the stool.
Glad you're home Jennifer. Are you returning to work tomorrow already? I know after a long trip it can be tiresome to go right to work the next day.
I think some day Rich & I will buy property out in the country somewhere, but it will only be for hunting/vacation. I won't want to live any more than the 1.5 miles outside of a village like I am now. We have just under an acre and only have one neighbor directly to our left and someone diagonal across the road from us. We can see a couple other houses if we stand in our front yard and look up and down the road, but we're pretty spaced out. Nice for us. And the guy behind us has over 40 acres and we're allowed to hike/camp there, and the people behind him are farmers and also own woods/fields that we can utilize (as long as we don't destroy his field). It really is nice here.
Lydia, is the trip supposed to be just the two of you?
I'm supposed to go to a conference and we were going to bring the twins and leave the baby at home with grandma. He was going to watch the twins while I was at the conference one day, and spend the other day sight-seeing.
I don't know. Maybe I should just chalk this up to the big rough spot that people go through when babies are young and we just aren't getting any sleep. I have been going to bed at 11 pm and getting up at 3 am several times a week, or very rarely going to bed at 5 am and getting up at 6 am. It's really taking a toll, even though I'm pretty good at existing while sleep-deprived. Maybe if we can just muddle on and be polite in a few years things will be better.
ETA: This morning, for example, I have been up since 2:30 AM after going to sleep at 10:30 PM. I tried and tried to go back to sleep, but after trying for 30 minutes to get the baby to stop crying (we took turns), by the time he did fall asleep I was wide awake and only had an hour left until my alarm was due to go off.
Last edited by 3andMe; 08-01-2011 at 04:30 AM.