Tag: Parenthood

You Never Really Know What Someone Else Is Going Through

There is this mean-looking guy who works at my local grocery store. He works in the produce department and mainly works the evening shift which is usually when I go grocery shopping. He’s probably in this late 40’s and has a lot of tattoos all over his arms. He’s a little shorter than me & not a very big man so he doesn’t look menacing or anything like that. At first glance he appears to be very “scruffy looking” and just not the type of person you’d want stacking the same fruit that you’ll eventually be putting in your mouth. He never looks up and when I look at him he doesn’t crack a smile, let alone speak. He is definitely not the poster boy for customer service.

I’ve asked him for assistance once or twice before – mainly to find out when the new fruit would be unloaded or to figure out which fruit is currently in season – and he was pretty curt with me every time. I’ve never done anything to him & felt like the way he spoke to me was rude enough to bring it to his manager’s attention.

Last week I was in the grocery store picking out my usual assortment of fruits for my smoothies when there he was – the rude produce guy. When I looked at him to see if he was going to snub me for no reason, I was surprised to hear him greet me. Over a mound of oranges, he actually spoke to me. I couldn’t believe it! Was he talking to someone else around me? Nope he sure wasn’t, he was talking to me! After I said hello back I told him how taken aback I was by his greeting to which he explained that he hadn’t been himself in a while and was just now starting to feel better.

At this point in the conversation, I’m intrigued and want to know exactly what he’s talking about. It turns out that his mother recently passed and he was grieving her greatly. He went on to say that he just couldn’t seem to get past it and was doing the best he could just to show up at work every day and to keep himself together. He said he wasn’t a mean person by nature but he had no reason to smile since his mother died. Then he flashed me the biggest smile I’ve ever seen in a grocery store!

Boy, did I feel bad! Here I thought that he was a disgruntled fruit-man who hated his job, hated his life and could go “postal” at any moment. Clearly I was wrong. He was just a man that missed his mother. His rough exterior was a mere facade for the pain he was feeling on the inside. You can’t fault anyone for that.

The moral of this story is that you can never judge a book by its cover. You never know who is going through something so be nice to as many people as you can!

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Your Spoiled Brats Are Your Fault

No one likes a spoiled brat. As an adult you learn right away that other people are not tolerant of spoiled behavior. You can quickly lose friends or even the respect of other people. You learn that life does not revolve around you and no one will stick around very long if you continue to think that it does.

But when a child is spoiled that’s a little different since the parents are responsible for their children’s bad behavior. We’ve all seen toddlers who throw temper tantrums in the grocery store, infants who throw food in a restaurant or the adolescent that talks back when he/she doesn’t get their way. Whether your child is a baby or a teen, there is nothing cute about a child who is disrespectful. Puberty is just no excuse!

Why do parents tolerate this behavior? It’s one thing if you allow your child to act spoiled in the privacy of your own home (notice I said “act” spoiled not “be” spoiled – there is a difference) but to have other people witness spoiled behavior should be more embarrassing for the parent than it is for the child. Why let other adults see how ungrateful your child is? Why set a poor example for other children that may not be as privileged as your own? Now parents who have witnessed your child’s bad behavior have to explain to their children why it’s not okay to be unappreciative of what they receive. Remember parents, you can’t get exasperated with or be mad at your child since you are the one who spoiled them in the first place.

I know I was spoiled as a child but my parents made sure I never acted like I was spoiled brat. Giving a child things that they want (not need) spoils them but when a child expresses gratitude, that is the opposite of spoiled.

How Can You Spend Quality Time With Your Children When You Have So Many Of Them?

I was talking to a friend who was telling me about one of her girlfriends who had married a man that had about 6 children (I say about 6 children because I couldn’t remember the exactly number). They had one child together before getting married but between their one child together and all of his own children their house was always full. I asked my friend why on earth her friend would marry someone who had 6 children already and her explanation was fairly simple: Although it sounded like a lot of stepchildren (and it is), it never really posed a problem because most of them were grown or lived somewhere else.

Apparently, her friend married someone in his late 40’s (she’s in her early thirties) that started having children in his teenage years. Four of his six children were over the age of 18 and already out of the house (and off of child support). Although he does have a lot of children he was only financially responsible for two of them. I mean most American households have only 2 children, so the question arose – how can you take care of your children when you have so many?

Let me state up front that I think money is only a single factor in taking care of children. Sure, it allows you to hire a nanny or provide material things for your children but having money doesn’t buy you more quality time with your children when you have a lot of them.

Take for example Jim & Michelle Duggar who have 19 children. Although they are reportedly living debt free and have the financial means to care for all of their children, there just aren’t enough hours in the day for 2 parents to be devoted to 19 different children. Even with their “buddy system” of an older child caring for a younger child, the mother & father should be responsible for raising all of their children.

Another example would be Ms. Nadya Suleman who has 14 children, with no husband and no real job. Aside from being broke, she has to hire multiple nannies just to keep all of her children in line. And to that I say, “Your Honor, I rest my case”.

Children need more than the love of their parents and they need more than their parents money. Children need quality time with their parents.

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Balancing Motherhood & Your Career – Is Working Part Time The Best Move To Make In This Economy?

A woman I know recently decided to go from working full time to part time so that she could stay home & spend more time with her family. Not wanting to completely be a stay-at-home mom, she decided that the only way to sustain her career would be to keep one foot in the working world and one foot at home. I’m sure her husband is glad to have her around the house more & her children will benefit from increased attention, but where does that leave her career?

Currently, the unemployment rate is hovering right around 8%. Depending on what part of the country you live in that percentage may be significantly higher. After working long & hard to build a solid career and then starting a family, you are now willing to possibly through that away? It’s one thing to start working part-time after not working at all, because of a company mandate, or if you have special circumstances (disability, spouse is deployed to another country, etc.). But to purposely cut back your working hours and your household income right when you might need it the most? Some of the women who do this are the same women who complain about not moving up in their careers. Of course, returning to full time employment is always an option but they should be glad to even have a job, given that so many people (with families) are still looking for work.

Family should always come first, but is it worth sacrificing your career as a woman? Especially in such an unstable economy? People are being laid off left & right and pink slips are becoming more popular than pay slips, so why risk providing less for your family, or at the very least why risk not being able to provide at all?

It’s so ironic to me that decades & decades after women fighting to work outside the home and earn equal pay (although we’re still not quite there), we now have women who are fighting to stay at home and NOT work at all. I can’t say that I agree with this woman’s decision. I think that she should continue to work full time and raise her family at the same time.

I’m not saying it will be easy but if she doesn’t really want her job someone else will.

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