Saturday, July 9, 2011

It takes a village!

I am of the firm belief that raising children takes a village. I think children need to be surrounded by love. Mine, I think, are lucky. My husband and I are very much in love still. We are a solid unified unit. Some question that. I have had people tell me there is no possible way we can be that happy. We fight, sure. We have moments where we tick the other off or we hurt the other with a stupid word. I think his habit of sticking candy wrappers in a cup is psychotic. He hates that I don't rinse the tub after I use it or put a towel on the floor over the mat to step on. We deal. We have had some pretty bad moments where leaving crossed both our minds. I have always been sick so all that FMS entails but without the diagnosis made me not easy to deal with especially when I was a young moody mother and he has some demons of his own though almost 5 years of sobriety has helped a lot. We always had a few rules. Never go to bed mad. This resulted in some sleepless nights early in our marriage. Divorce is not an option. EVER. I took a couple trips to see family to give us both some room when things were really bad. All of that means that my kids have parents who love each other passionately and fight for each other and for them. It means we are a great unit.

That is beautiful and more than a lot of kids these days can boast but I think kids need more. Luckily mine have that. Right now my husband's oldest brother Bubba (yes we call him that!) lives with us along with his 16-yr-old daughter and 12-yr-old son. This has been a blessing to both sets of kids. It is really great for my niece and nephew to see a good marriage and to spend time with younger kids. My niece is amazing with our little one and our 9-year-old adores her as well. She hides behind a goth/emo facade but is actually a pretty mature and tender girl. Seeing a woman with morals making good choices is good for her. My nephew is diabetic. Being the back up to my BIL means that my nephew is better maintained and taken care of.

I take my responsibilities as an aunt very seriously. I think that it is good for them to know that they have some one to talk to. In October we will be at 22 nieces and nephews and I hope that all of them know that they have us to talk to if they need it.

We also nurture our children's relationships with their grandparents. I think we could probably do better with that but my anti-social tendencies can be a hamper there.

Another reason I think it is so important to nurture the wider relationships is because if SHTF the kids are the ones most at risk. They need to know who they can count on, where they are. They need a network of people to depend on.


  1. Your kids and your niece and nephew are lucky to have the two of you.

    I wish all parents fought as hard to stay happy together and to stay for their kids.

  2. Thanks Violet. I wish more parents fought harder. Divorce went from a last resort to an easy out and kids and even those in the relationship deserve better. Makes me sad.

  3. No marriage is without it's ups and downs. I will have been married 29 years come Dec 3. My wife and I have a good relationship, though it has changed some over the years as we got older. Two people can't live together without some friction. My daughter was a "goth" for a couple of years. We just went along and she outgrew it. Now she has a perfectly normal life. I think everybody has to find their own way, and for me to have tried to dissuade her through edicts would only have pushed her away. You seem to be ok with the goth aspect so it may not be an issue for you. We wrestled with it.

  4. As her Aunt all I can do is love and help her to feel beautiful no matter what. If I were her Mom the only things I would have fought over are her piercing/gaged ears. It happened on her mom's watch so the damadge was done once her dad got her but her ears will take surgery to fix and her piercings won't close either. That will be something she regrets one day but all I can do is love her and help her when she needs it and talk to my girls about self expression. Bug is old enough to discuss is so I have told her how piercing can be a permanent mistake but if she wants to color her hair and change her clothes we can do that. I want her to explore herself and her expression openly but not with consequences she will regret long term.

  5. That is a village I can live with (and in)... :-) People change, lives change, but good constants can give direction that lasts a lifetime!

  6. Agreed. Kids need direction and to see that problems can be worked out between people. Kids are being shown that quitting is an easy way to deal with issues. It will affect them throughout their entire life. I've always believed that kids need discipline and structure. They will fight you (of course), but they will hate you later if you try to be their friend and provide no structure early in their lives.

  7. Our oldest has seen some hard struggles worked through. Our youngest has had it easier. Both though have boundaries and chores and rules. Of course with Monkey chores are often helping me or someone bigger. They also know they can ask any question and get a truthful answer. They can discuss any topic and we will always listen. That is worth more than gold.

  8. Without using Madam Clinton's famous usage of 'it takes a village' I do so agree. You seem strong, intelligent and, at least to me, you are on the right path. Children need family, period. Divorce destroys a child's world. This is the very reason I take such strong interest in the lives of my grandchildren; they need love but more than anything, time and interest in their daily lives. It will pay off. God bless.

  9. Thanks Stephen! My BIL has had to have a complete open and honest policy after his ex told some lies to the kids which means that as he has filed for their mother to pay child support he has allowed them to read the papers exchanged with her lawyers. While I think children don't need to know everything I see his reasoning but this case is just killing them. Their mother spouts nothing but harmful lies to try to get out of child support and these kids are so full of anger right now. It saddens me to no end. The divorce has devastated the family and it has been years now.

    I miss the days when it was all about lifting each other up. I ache for these kids and can only hope that my husband and I help them to see that not all marriages are bad and not all Mom's are hurtful.


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