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Destroying a Person

Children. Children are vulnerable people. They are easily destroyed by our words and our actions. Often children are not treated with respect and expected to behave in a manner beyond their years. They are punished, yelled at, and torn down. If, as an adult, people were treated the way children are, they would most likely remove the person tearing them down from their lives. Children often don’t have that choice.

Instead of talking to children on their level, we talk down to them. Make them feel like less of a person. If they make a simple mistake, like spilling their glass of milk, we make it out to be the end of the world. But why? Why do we spend so much time making our kids feel like they are not good enough when we should be making them feel they can do anything? Instead of praising them and letting them know that we are proud of them any chance we get, we are making sure they know every mistake they make and every flaw they have.

When you talk to your kids, do you ever think of how your words are impacting them? A simple “Oh you’re okay.” when they feel hurt can just add to the pain. Dismissing the child’s feelings as if they don’t have any. You certainly wouldn’t do that to an adult. Most people don’t mean it that way, but that’s what it says. A better way to say it is “It will be okay, I’m right here.” Validating the child’s feelings and comforting them to help them past this moment in time.

Don’t get angry with them because they are upset for, what seems to you to be, no reason. Adults get upset all the time. Sometimes they don’t even know why, but they aren’t told to “get over it”, “better stop that crying or I’ll give you something to cry about”, Oh’ you’re fine. Quit being a baby.” Those words hurt. Those words sound like the words of bullies. Why are parents being their child’s first bully?

I guess I just don’t understand how a parent can tear down their child so much. And I don’t understand how they can’t see that they are doing it. When your child comes up to you all excited about something, take a moment to listen to them. Be excited with them. Don’t justify it. Just be excited.

You go to the kitchen to find them trying to make you breakfast in bed. The kitchen is a mess with milk spilled on the floor and eggs shells and yolks everywhere. Don’t get mad. Remember, it’s the thought that counts. Join them in cooking and cleaning up. And request that next time, you would love it more if they came to you for help so you can cook together. Very simple and it doesn’t dismiss they had good intentions, they outcome just wasn’t what they had planned anymore than you. But coming in yelling and screaming is just going to make them think doing nice things like that always ends badly.

And this doesn’t stop with the kids. These kids grow up. They become adults. And as adult, many of them can’t shake the idea that they aren’t good enough. They are still trying to please their parents whom, often times, are still tearing them down. But instead of removing this negative person from their life, they feel they can’t. It’s their parent. They have to make them proud. They have to keep trying.

And they surround themselves with negative people. They feel that what these people say about them is true because it’s how their parents make them feel. And their parents do it out of love so this must be what love feels like. It’s a never ending cycle of negativity. Slowly tearing us apart. Making us feel worthless.

My MIL is one of these people. My fiancee is dealing with cancer and deals with things in his own way, alone. Instead of accepting that and being happy that he is keeping her up to date and that the news is good, she makes sure he knows that what he is doing his killing her. He is fighting a cancer diagnosis and mom is guilt tripping him. Something she does everytime he makes a decision she doesn’t like. How do you think this impacts his life? I can tell you. It takes me days, weeks, sometimes months to build him back up. To make him feel worthy again. That’s just not right.

It is possible to move away from this. Many people do. But many others continue to feel trapped. They have no idea how to get away. Every decision they make is wrong in the eyes of their parents. The people who, for so long, were the only people that mattered in their lives. They have literally spent their whole lives trying to please these people just to come out on the bottom, EVERY time.

Words matter. The way you say something. The way you word a sentence. The tone of your voice. Your body language. It is all saying something. But is it saying what you want it to? Or is it telling people they will never be enough for you? That no accomplishment in their life will ever help them win your love? Make you proud of them? Next time you speak to a child, think about your words carefully. It can make a difference.

Image(Photo found on pinterest)


Taking a different approach…


Family.. We have many disagreements. The biggest I have learned would come with the arrival of my son. My amazing, handsome, smart little boy. Because of him, I have chosen to take a different path. I have decided that I would not be like my parents or the ones before. Not because they were bad, I love my parents. I just don’t think they had the best idea of parenting. Not one that fits myself and my growing family.

Because of this, I often hear that my child will be a spoiled brat. How can a child learn respect if you don not spank him? How can he learn independence if you do not leave him to cry alone sometimes? I am judged by all those around me as I come from a small town in the middle of no where. New approaches are not always accepted with open minds, as there aren’t many open minds here to accept it.

We have chosen not to spank because spanking is no different than hitting. How can I tell my child it is wrong to hit someone and turn around and hit him? That makes no sense to me. It didn’t make sense to me growing up, and it still doesn’t. I can’t punish my child if he spanks another child for doing something he has been taught is wrong. He’s just trying to teach that child what he has been taught.

It also doesn’t make sense to me that I could go to prison if I hit my dog to discipline him, but it’s more than okay to hit my small, fragile, vulnerable child to discipline him. It’s not okay to spank an adult for punishment. Or to do so to an inmate or a terrorist but it’s acceptable to do so to a child? If someone smacked my bottom, I could press charges. It could be considered sexual harassment or assault. So why am I allowed to do this to my child? Is he not a human being too? Does he not deserve the same protection and the same respect as I?

My dad really hates that we don’t spank. He doesn’t have much patience when it comes to kids. He spanked my brother for the first time when he was 6 months old. Is that okay? My brother was in his crib crying at night. He was 6 months old. A baby does not know how to manipulate. They cry because they need something. Even if that something is just the comfort and familiar presence of their parent.

I often hear that “if more people spanked, there would be less violence in the world.” First off, how does using violence end violence? Secondly, that statement is ridiculous. Go to a prison and ask those inmates if they were spanked as a child. Go ahead. I bet over half of them were. Third, you only think there is more violence because of the vast media coverage we now have. So you have the ability to hear more stories from all over the place vs just what’s happening in your quiet little community. The holocaust happened in an era in which spanking was the norm and it didn’t stop Hitler.

More spanking will not stop crimes. Active parents will have a better chance of that. Parents who talk to their kids. Who know what their kids are doing, what they like, how they feel, and who they associate with. Even if you spank your child, it will not have much of an impact if you spank them and just go about your day.

Another thing I’m often ridiculed about is attending to my child’s every cry. He is two. He is very independent. When he cries, it is because he needs something. Maybe he’s hungry, thirsty, or he just needs a hug. Hey, I have been there. I have been so upset to the point I was crying and I didn’t even know why I was crying. If my fiancee just left me to cry by myself instead of comforting me and telling me I was going to be okay, I would feel abandoned. I wouldn’t want just anybody but it would hurt to know that the people I trust to be there for me, just left me to be confused and hurt alone. The next time I probably wouldn’t reach out to them at all. I would just hold it in until I blew up.

A child will be no different. They don’t fully know how to express their emotions. We must teach them. And part of teaching them is showing them that it’s okay to feel. That they have a right to feel. And that you care about how they feel. That you want to help them feel better and to do that, they have to continue to let you know how they feel. As they get older, they will be able to more adequately express their feelings in a way that you can understand. It won’t be so traumatic. But they will still have their moments. There will still be times when they feel they need to break down. Just hug them and say, “it’s going to be alright. I’m here.”

No, my child does not get everything he wants. I don’t give him toys at the store so that he will stop crying. I don’t go back on my words. When I say no, I stick to it. If it causes him to throw a tantrum or cry, I just pick him up and talk to him. He’s only two. He doesn’t understand. But I still explain why he isn’t allowed to do or have whatever it is I’ve said no too. He quickly calms down, and we move on.

Now, I’m not saying that these choices are wrong or right. This is just what is right for me and my family. And I am so glad to have made this decision. I love having a peaceful house. It’s even helped communication between my fiancee and I. And there is no yelling in our home. It can get crazy hectic, but for the most part, it’s pretty calm. For a two year old, my son is extremely well mannered. I’m excited to see the trials and tribulations I will have when the next one arrives. I am already prepared for the worst. I know that we got extremely lucky with our son.

Monster In Law

I decided to start blogging mainly because of my Mother in Law. There are so many things I don’t say that I just need to get off my chest but I can’t do that on Facebook or talking to anyone as it may get back to her and I will have even more issues than I already do. Although this is my first post, it will also be very long so I understand if nobody reads it. I’ll start from the beginning…

I started dating my fiancee a week before I found out I was pregnant. That took place in January of 2011. I had decided the previous August that he was the only guy I wanted and stopped seeing anybody else. It took him a lot longer to decide that I was what he wanted. So now we are “officially” dating and I’m already pregnant. So our first meetings with the parents was to inform them of my pregnancy. I was 20 going on 21 as was he. So it’s not like either of us lived with our parents or were still in highschool. It was just an unplanned pregnancy.

I didn’t expect anyone to be excited for us, nor did we ask for their excitement. I remember meeting his other and she seemed genuinely sweet. Odd, but sincere. She made the comment that she was going o be the child’s favorite grandma(which annoyed me because my mom is much older and it shouldn’t be a competition). She also mentioned about how she wanted to go to an ultrasound. I don’t know how others view ultrasounds, but I see them as very personal, intimate, bonding moments for father, mother and baby. We decided that one ultrasound would be okay though and also invited my mother to tag along. And this, is where it all began….

I called her up and asked her to let me know what her scheduled looked like and when would be the best time to schedule the appointment. I was also working full time in a factory but I ignored my schedule to work with hers, something that could have cost me a good job. After I let her know when the appointment was, I got a call from my fiancee informing that his mother was not happy with me. She told him I purposely scheduled the appointment at a time in which it would be hard for her to make it because I didn’t like her and didn’t want her there. All of which was not true. I was not very happy beings we were doing her a huge favor anyway and then she finds a reason, a false reason, to be ungrateful. 

So we go to the ultrasound. It’s the first ultrasound so I get to be in an even more vulnerable state because they can’t just throw goo on my stomach and see it from the outside. So I am in this room with no pants on and being ‘violated'(for lack of better words) and I let her be there for my moment. Something I didn’t have to do. After the ultrasound she made a comment about how she couldn’t wait to go to the next one. I didn’t want to fight so I decided to just let her go.

So once again, I called her to get her schedule to make the appointment, and once again, she called my fiancee to complain about it. I was getting tired of it but I decided that it would get better once the baby was born.

Our third ultrasound was going to be done by a specialist. Cleft lips and pallets run in my family so I wanted to be prepared. My mom also blames herself for those things occurring so I would need to find out the best way to approach telling her should it be an issue. We didn’t want my mom there or my MIL. We figured if something was determined to be wrong, that it wouldn’t be fair for us to have to comfort our emotional mothers when we are the ones who should be getting reassurance. We tried to explain that to my MIL but she just freaked out so we caved…

At the appointment, the nurse came out to get us. She started to make menial small talk asking who was with me. My MIL, whom is also a nurse, was behind me making rude, snide remarks, “That’s none of her damn business!”. I was extremely embarrassed by her behavior. 

Towards the end of the appointment, our doctor was trying to tell us about some test or something but my MIL kept interrupting him to tell stories and make fun of my fiancee. Eventually the doctor left without giving us the information he was trying to because she wouldn’t stop talking and he had other appointments. I was later informed that we should have been given my son’s Down Syndrome diagnosis at that appointment instead of being blindsided by the diagnosis after his birth. I doesn’t change how we feel about him, we just would have been more prepared and knowledgeable on the subject.

After that ultrasound we gave up on having anymore. We just didn’t want to deal with my MIL. That would have been in June of 2011 and my son was born in Sept. We didn’t talk with my MIL much now that we weren’t having ultrasounds so everything was pretty mellow and relaxed. But that wouldn’t last. We were getting ready for my baby shower! Which was hosted by my sisters and took place at my mother’s house. My mom frequently hosts get togethers so she already had tons of food and plates for the party. My MIL made all the invitations and got our cake, but when she was told we had plenty of plates and she didn’t need to bring any, she started crying about it.

During the party, I overheard her making snide remarks about some of our guests and also talking bad about her 11 year old step daughter who chose to go to the fair with her mother instead of attend the baby shower. I personally don’t know an 11 year old that wouldn’t choose the fair over a baby shower. She told us that she gave her husband an ultimatum, he had to pick between his wife or his daughter as to who attended the next demo derby. Demo derby’s is a huge thing with the step family. HUGE. My MIL isn’t even into them but she knew that would hurt her step daughter the most for not doing what she had wanted her to. She also wanted to take her phone away but that wasn’t in her jurisdiction.

So we finally made it through that mess and once again, there was little to no communication between us and my MIL. She never asked how we were or checked if there was anything we needed. And I was most certainly not going to go out of my way to talk to her when everything I said got turned into something else. 

A few weeks before our son was born, my MIL and I had a bit of an argument. She was a young single mom and my fiancee is her only child. She didn’t have any other kids and he didn’t get a step dad or step siblings until he was 13. There were many things he wasn’t bale to give him everything he wanted so she decided our son would have everything she couldn’t get her son when her was growing up, even though we explained that we weren’t okay with it.

My disagreeing with her led to a big fight between my MIL and my fiancee. He simply tried to explain that we didn’t want our child to have all these things that he didn’t need. She started yelling at him telling him he couldn’t tell her how to be a grandma when he has never been one. She then told us not to speak to her and just let her know if she was a grandma to a boy or girl. And then made a bunch of statuses on Facebook about it. Of course it was all metaphors but we knew what she was talking about.

We didn’t speak to her again until I went into labor. She had asked to be in the room when I gave birth and I had agreed to let her. Of course that was before all the drama happened. At this point I told my fiancee not to even tell her I was in labor until after the baby was born. After all, that was her latest request. He didn’t listen… 

She was in the room while I was in labor. By the end of the whole ordeal, I was naked which made her uncomfortable so she hid in the corner where she couldn’t see anything. She was the only one with a camera but I have no pictures of holding my baby for the first time because she was uncomfortable with me being naked.

My son was having issues breathing so he was taken to the NICU immediately. There they discovered he had Down Syndrome and came to our room to inform us of the diagnosis. They also scheduled xrays to look at his heart as kids with Down Syndrome often have heart problems. We wouldn’t get the results until the following week. 

Our son had to stay in the NICU all day everyday. We had no issue with people coming to visit and never tried to keep anyone from seeing him. However, we were later informed that my MIL was coming in the NICU at 3am to 5am. It wouldn’t bother me if it wasn’t for the fact that we had no knowledge of her doing so. She wouldn’t come by while we were awake. She snuck in while we were sleeping. Her hiding this from us tells me that she felt she was doing something that wasn’t okay with us but decide to lie to us and do it anyway. Even though she felt it would be against our wishes. We confronted her about it and she just said that she didn’t think we would let her see him. Again, she was doing something she felt was wrong in our eyes and never bothered to see if it was okay. I wanted to tell the nurses not to allow her in anymore but I didn’t want to hurt my fiancee so I left it alone.

The next week the xrays came back and it was discovered that our son had a perforated bowel(a hole in his intestine). He had to be life flighted to a childrens hospital two hours away. As we waited for the helicopter to come, I decided to explain to my mom and MIL that we didn’t want anyone to go with us to the hospital. That we wanted to go by ourselves because we wouldn’t be arriving until late that evening so nobody other than my fiancee and I would be allowed in. He was also going to be prepped for surgery and we had no idea how long we would have to wait ourselves to see him. We told them that we just couldn’t handle having to comfort them and keep them calm because they’re both overly emotional people and it would be unfair to us to have to do that.

Of course my MIL was not happy and through a fit about it. But we didn’t cave this time and we just told her we would call her when he was out of surgery and let her know when she could come visit.

We weren’t allowed to go to the helicopter pad to see our son off or to ride with him but one of the nurses offered to take photos of him being loaded up for us. We wouldn’t get out of the children’s hospital for a month in a half. We returned to the original hospital to get the breast milk I had stored there and the pictures the nurse took for us only to be informed that my MIL had already taken them. Without asking and without telling us she had them. Pictures that she had no right to take. She was then of course irate with me for being mad at her for doing so because she felt entitled.

Things calmed down for awhile but that wouldn’t last long. The photographer that took our maternity pictures finally got them all edited and posted. I informed our families that we would make them copies of the pictures should they want some but they would get no more than four. Something my fiancee and I agreed on. But immediately upon receiving this information my MIL called my fiancee to yell at him for “my” decision. She informed him that she was not just anybody and should get as many of our personal intimate photos as she wanted.

When we didn’t back down, she messaged the photographer to purchase them from her. Of course the photographer was a close personal friend so that back fired. At this point I was tired of all the lying and going behind my back that I finally blew up on her. She immediately called my fiancee to tell him he needed to “get me under control” and for him to tell me I couldn’t talk to her the way that I did(I told her that if she didn’t stop acting like a child I would treat her like one and that I don’t trust children to watch babies without adult supervision. Yes, it was mean but nothing else seemed to work…)

She no longer spoke to us and we only saw her at family gatherings. But of course my fiancee, who barely had a relationship with the woman before I cam along, didn’t want things to stay this way so he tried to get her to talk it out. She agreed to talk to us ONLY IF her mother was present. Her mom had to drive over an hour in a blizzard so that we could talk. The whole thing was awkward and of course we were told that we were wrong and that we should compromise. Basically we should live life the way his mother felt we should…

I’m still not understanding why in the world I should compromise on my stance? I talk everything over with my fiancee and we agree on everything. We are the parents and we are the ones who get to decide what’s best for our child and our family right? Being grandma doesn’t entitle you to that privilege does it?

Things once again slowed down and remained calm for awhile. But eventually my fiancee got a new job. A better job. But it meant we would be moving and that we wouldn’t be living in the same town as my MIL(I loved that part of it). She was not happy. She wasn’t happy for her son who was going to be making better money and providing for his family because she is selfish. She even told him that she couldn’t care less if he moved as long as he didn’t take our son with him. What the heck kind of mom would say that to their child? My mom even bought us a house in town so we wouldn’t move away from her but she was still happy for us and proud of my fiancee. 

My fiancee moved in July and we followed later in December when we finally found a place that allowed dogs. During the time that we were separated, I allowed our son to stay with my MIL every Monday evening. In October however, she didn’t get him on her regular Monday because we were visiting my fiancee for his birthday. She texted my fiancee to tell him that she missed our son. At this point she was seeing him every week and my fiancee was only seeing him maybe one weekend a month if he was lucky and she is mad about one day? When his own dad doesn’t get to see him?

She never asked my fiancee how the new job was going. Never asked him how he was or checked up on him to make sure he was doing okay. Never cared to see if us being separated was taking it’s toll on him. She didn’t care to talk to him unless or son was with him. I find it rather disgusting that she cares so little about her own child… 

In November my fiancee proposed to me. When we told her all we got was, “oh, that’s cool…”. She clearly was not excited to hear that I was going to be her daughter in law. We made the big announcement at Thanksgiving. The rest of the family was ecstatic for us. They wanted us to get married the following January. She pretended she didn’t already know we were engaged but she didn’t show any excitement regardless.

Prior to announcing the engagement, we had let our MIL have our son overnight the night before the family thanksgiving gathering. We were informed that they would arrive there at 9am. We arrived there at 11am and they were no where to be found. We had not received any notification that they were going to be late or anything of that nature. When I was upset I was informed that I was overreacting and that I needed to get over myself. I was more than irate with the family…

The finally arrived a quarter to one. When she walked in I tried to get my son and she pulled him away from me and walked right past me. His face was covered in chocolate. He wouldn’t eat lunch so we asked when he ate last and she told us he ate breakfast at 7am. So he had chocolate on his face from 7am breakfast?

So that was not a good experience for us. And I later found out that she was lying about the last time he ate. Why would you lie about something so menial? My soon to be sister in law had come over to bring me boxes to help with the move. We got to talking and I was informed that for almost two years, the step kids were afraid to meet/talk to me because my MIL told them I was a mean horrible person. So they avoided me as much as possible. I was trying really hard to be accepted and she made it impossible. It wasn’t until they were forced to talk to me that they realized she wasn’t honest with her description. I now talk to my sister in laws fairly regularly. 

She also informed me that when we were told that our son ate last at 7am, he really ate last around noon because my MIL didn’t feed him breakfast and he ate donuts the whole hour drive to the family gathering. So we were trying extremely hard to get him to eat because we thought he hadn’t had anything to eat in awhile and he was full on donuts. IT would have saved us so much grief if she was just honest with us.

Now we are all back under the same roof and she has requested that she gets our son on the weekends. As many as we will allow. But we decided that we aren’t going to let her have him on any weekends unless we have something planned. But we aren’t going to make plans so that she can have him. We let her know that we wanted to be treated as a family unit and that we didn’t like that the only thing she cares about is our son. “When can I see him? Can I talk to him on the phone? Can he stay the night here this weekend?” She only wants our son and doesn’t care to include us in any plans which separates us as a family. Something we decided was no longer going to be accepted. When you get one, you get all. 

We told her that we would love to be invited over as a family for family gatherings and outings but we were no longer going to condone her obsession with our son. She even says that she is experience withdrawals from him if she hasn’t seen him in a few hours. Of course she wasn’t happy with this decision and basically kicked us out of her house. We haven’t heard from her since. Luckily my fiancee has decided that we have done all we can to have a relationship with her but she continues to push away so we are done with it. Being grandma does not entitle her to anything. If she refuses to have a relationship with us, the parents of her grandchild, then she has chosen not to have a relationship with him.