6 Things I Wish I’d Done Differently With My Former Mother-In-Law

I had a difficult relationship with my ex-husband’s mother. There were many things she did that hurt me, but looking back, there are things I could have done differently for my own sanity and for the sake of the relationship.

Today, she is usually very helpful to me and also, a great grandmother. Although we don’t live near each other, she is as supportive as she can be from afar. I know she truly loves my daughter. I feel (I hope) she appreciates how hard I try as a single mom to raise my daughter right, and sees that I attempt to keep a good relationship with her son. Does it always work out? No, it doesn’t, but I try my best.

People are shocked at the change in our relationship—for the better—since my divorce. I am sure it’s helped that I’m not her son’s wife anymore and that I’m the mother of her favorite grandchild (OK, technically that’s not proven). Whatever the reason for the change, I am grateful for it. We let the past stay in the past and have forged a good path for the future. I know, overall, we both want my daughter/her granddaughter to be happy.

Read More: 6 Things I Wish I’d Done Differently With My Former Mother-In-Law

Everything Looks Better In Hindsight,

Laura

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Saying Goodbye to The Parents We Knew As We Watch Them Age

When we were little, we couldn’t fathom our parents aging. We imagined them living forever, just as they were at that time. We couldn’t imagine them getting older or sick, retiring or even for some parents, remarrying. We envisioned them as timeless and in many ways, invincible.

But that isn’t life. As we age, so do our parents. No one is more powerful than time; it slips through our hands faster than we can consider the moment. And in many ways, watching our parents age is tough and heartbreaking. But in other ways, there are many things that are enjoyable about “growing up” with our parents.

When I became a mother, I could finally grasp what my mother had gone through with my three sisters and me. I could finally understand her working mom guilt. Her cranky moments and desires to float away behind a book without a kid to bug her from its captivating narrative. Her undying support of my love of the arts, whether I was in a play, a show, colorguard, band, dance or what have you. All the hours she spent driving to competitions hours away, listening to teenagers and music she probably despised … I can relate as I sit on a floor playing dolls with my daughter. As I drive her from soccer or to dance, watching her become a little being right in front of my eyes.

Read More: Saying Goodbye to The Parents We Knew As We Watch Them Age

Circle of Life,

Laura

8 Ways to Shut Down Questions About When Baby No. 2 Is Coming

Don’t you love how people are utterly offended and horrified by the fact that your kid is an only child? I mean, what could possibly be worse than not having a sibling?

Because having siblings is always easy. Your brother is never publicly intoxicated and your sister is completely normal, sane and never yanked your hair like she was pulling weeds, right? Siblings always get along, too! I mean everyone knows that!

Yeah, what sort of demon leaves his or her child to be a lone soul in the world without a sibling around to kick that kid’s ass?

Apparently, having an only child makes other parents consider us parents of only kids, slackers. It’s like we’re all competing in this major parenting Olympics and if you only have one kid, you’re cheating at life and therefore, getting by way too damn easy.

Read More: 8 Ways to Shut Down Questions About When Baby No. 2 Is Coming

None of Their Beeswax,

Laura

10 BIG Signs You’re The Golden Child Of Your Family

There’s the black sheep of the family — the rebel who goes against everyone else’s wishes or family ideology and culture — and then there’s the Golden Child.

The Golden Child can do no wrong and it’s known, whether explicitly or implicitly, that the Golden Child is the most loved of the family, period. This is the case even if the Golden Child is a complete and utter sh*t show. Here are ten signs you’re the Golden Child in your family.

  1. You are your parents’ priority at all times.

It doesn’t matter if your child has a talent show, Grandma just has to be at the Golden Child’s daughter or son’s soccer game, time and time again. Parents make the Golden Child the priority at all times. It doesn’t matter if you’re bleeding on the side of the road or in labor: the Golden Child needs them.

Read More: 10 BIG Signs You’re The Golden Child Of Your Family

You Are the Favorite,

Laura

The Suicide Trend

Over the holidays this years I watched as my news feed filled with “not-so great” news stories and updates of suicide upon suicide…upon suicide. Then someone I hadn’t seen in a while but who I think is a great person, attempted suicide unsuccessfully.

It floored me.

An astute friend of mine commented,”What’s with all the suicides?” and we noted that perhaps it was the holidays and our age. We are at the end of our thirties. Midlife crises are coming our way from now until age fifty.

Notably, a lot of these suicides were men.

This follows what research has shown time and time again: Current studies say men commit suicide 4 times more often than women, even though we tend to classify ourselves as depressed more often than our XY counterparts.

Then, as a woman who is almost divorced, (I heard news we have 1 more paper to hand in and then we get our uncontested divorce date and it’s bam, done!)  I wondered how often divorce plays a factor in suicide, and everything I have read has said that divorce increases suicide rates for parents (especially men, and children).

As we reach the end of our thirties, many of my friends, associates and acquaintances, are hitting many different milestones of life that can cause happiness or depression:

  • Births of children & family growth (or lack thereof)
  • Stable marriages or divorces
  • Buying & renovating homes (or losing them)
  • Career growths and raises (or starting new careers or losing a job

So what was it that was causing this string of suicides exactly, and is there any real answer?

Continue reading

7 Subtle (And Not-So-Subtle) Signs Your Dad HATES Your Husband

If your dad’s guilty of any of these behaviors, it’s evident that he’s not a huge fan of your hubby.

He’s the man of your dreams yet someone doesn’t agree that he’s all that dreamy: your dad! It’s not fun when your dad doesn’t approve of your main squeeze and sometimes it’s more difficult because daddy dearest won’t admit outright that he doesn’t like him.

And somehow, you and your partner know the guy hates your husband‘s guts. If you aren’t sure if your dad is on “Team Husband,” read this list to decide for sure if poppa hates your man.

Read More: 7 Subtle (And Not-So-Subtle) Signs Your Dad HATES Your Husband

Laura

Why Your “Broken Home” Isn’t Broken — It’s Just Different

I came from a “married family” so when I knew it was time for my ex-husband and I to divorce, I was devastated. I grew up in a time in which there was a lot of “hush-hush” and shocking quality to divorce because very few parents were splitting. So when it came time for me to be a single divorced parent, I felt a lot of shame—I’m not going to lie. I felt like a failure even though it had taken two of us to tango, and I had begged for marriage counseling and we went on three different occasions. The “broken home” family image really shook me: was my daughter now to be pitied by others or frowned on as just another “kid from a divorced family?”

No and no!

It took me some time but now I can say with full honesty that I love the time I have as just the two of us. We aren’t a broken family—we are a different family. She has time with her dad and time with me and the time she has with just she and I is fabulous. And while from time to time I wish I had a nice partner to spend time with and someone to enjoy romance with, I never feel as if we AREN’T a family! That’s ludicrous. Here’s why your family isn’t broken, it’s just different, after divorce or after perhaps being stranded by your child’s father—whichever your personal case:

Read More: Why Your “Broken Home” Isn’t Broken — It’s Just Different

Unified,

Laura

 

What it’s Like to Own the Jewish Name Without the Education

Lifshitz is a decidedly, very Jewish last name.

Growing up in a mostly Catholic town, people assumed my “Jewishness” without really questioning me about my background unless it was to ask some token Jewish question.

“What’s the story of Passover?”

Or

“What do those Dreidel symbols mean actually?”

Most of the times, I mumbled a general answer partially because as kids, they weren’t too invested in my answer and partially because sometimes, I didn’t know the answer to their Jewquiries.

And it was awkward.

How could I own this Jewish name and identity, yet not understand enough of what this association means? As a child and teenager, I brushed these things aside but as an adult it bothered me.

Read More: What it’s Like to Own the Jewish Name Without the Education

A Mutt,

Laura

Is it Time to Leave Your Job?

For some moms, going to work is an easy choice because they love their jobs, but for other moms working is simply a choice dictated by financial need. Sometimes though, a job may end up not being worth that paycheck. Here are a few situations in which you may want to give your two weeks’ notice whether permanently or temporarily.

Work Stress

Do you come home with constant agita, migraines, nausea, or other health issues? Are you having trouble sleeping? Is work stress and problems spilling into your home life? Is it impossible to just leave work at work? If you answered yes, it sounds like your job has become a pressure cooker. Add bonus points if you’ve lost or gained a considerable amount of weight.

Is this stress affecting not just you but also your family members? If you find yourself snapping at your kids, distracted while playing with them, forgetting family events, or struggling to keep up at home and work, your work stress may be affecting more than you alone.

Read More: Is it Time to Leave Your Job?

Work- Life Balance Isn’t Easy,

Laura

4 Ways Grandparents Unintentionally Sabotage Parents

Grandparents are a true blessing but sometimes, whether they mean to or not, they can cause a little trouble for us mommies (and dads too). That’s the gift of being a grandparent: you can make mistakes and no one holds you accountable for the most part, plus you get to hand the kids back. Here are a few ways that our most loved and sometimes most contentious grandparents can sabotage the hard work of parents everywhere, and how to handle the grandparent debacle!

Read More: 4 Ways Grandparents Unintentionally Sabotage Parents

Doughnuts Before Dinner? No Thanks!

Laura