What it Means to Really Appreciate a Friend, Family Member or Love

analise-benevides-3ZkYs1cTV20-unsplashPhoto by Analise Benevides on Unsplash

Appreciate:( Transitive Verb) to grasp the nature, worth or significance of; to value or admire; to recognize with gratitude; to be fully aware of; to judge with heightened perception or understanding.

Do you feel as if your person or love really knows how significant you are? Do your family and friends recognize you with gratitude?

Are you valued and admired by the people you love, whether it’s your spouse, friend or brother?

As much as “to love” is an action verb, appreciation requires effort as well although the technical definition is rather intellectual.

It’s an act of kindness and love to really appreciate someone, because no one comes without flaws and bad days. No one comes with happiness and joy, 24/7. This means that to appreciate someone, you must truly embrace and “grasp” the nature of that person– the good, the bad and the moody.

When you don’t feel appreciated, it can be really difficult. Who doesn’t want to feel valued or recognized with gratitude?

Here are the differences between someone who appreciates you and someone who doesn’t:

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What It’s Really Like Being the Baby of the Family

As the last of four girls, I am an official expert on being the youngest. And, yes, there is an expertise to being the best youngest sibling. The oldest always gets the credit for being independent or hardworking. The middle child gets credit for, well, being ignored most of their lives — or, cleverly, being “great mediators” and “peacemakers.” But the youngest?

The youngest children are touted as pure rebels or brats. Which might be a tiny bit true but is also, completely unfair to badmouth our existence and forget all that we truly excel at.

Here’s the real deal on what it’s like to be the baby of the family — the good, bad and the ugly.

Everyone thinks we’re in diapers, even when we’re 40

People forget that you’re a grown adult with a mortgage or rent to pay when you’re the baby of the family.

Read More: What It’s Really Like Being the Baby of the Family

I Was Probably a “Surprise,”

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

Thanks to the Age of the Pinterest and DIY Mom, we average wives are in danger..

I check out numerous pages, blogs, and social media sites to see mommies and wives who cook everything from scratch. Every toy is hand-built. Nothing is made in China.

While I strive to avoid unhealthy food and junk ( I’m insane about avoiding processed stuff and juice –only for a treat), I am not a DIY mommy truly. I try to DIY and love/insist on keeping the television off and expanding on pretend play, but I am not a Pinterest Mommy. I am not  DIY mommy.

Some of the most mouth-watering foods and recipes are posted by the best mom cooks and chefs.

I’m starting to feel envious.

I would love one of these moms to be my wife.

All I need is for you to cook and never complain. Be sure to clean up after your cooking projects. Don’t leave any dirty dishes in the sink. When you’re done doing the cooking, might you make a bunch of toys and play objects for my kid to play with? Because you’re my Pinterest Wife, and that’s what wives do.

I will sit here and do what I do best. Educate, Enact a billion character voices. Teach my kid how to sing. Read to her. Teach her how to count in French and what the words cavort, cajole, and charm mean.

The Pinterest Wives of the World are making the regular wives and moms look bad. It’s like the PTA mother of the year on steroids:

The PTA mom brought cupcakes, stayed home, and never yelled.

The Pinterest DIY mom caters full events, makes all toys, keeps a clean house, never yells, never picks her nose when anyone is looking or flirts with younger men, and always darns her husband’s socks.

The Pinterest DIY mom can afford to stay home and buy everything organic, including organic band-aids. Hell, the DIY mom makes her own damn band-aids. Her husband goes to work daily with a homemade meal, and for every holiday event at work, he brings a full-spread, courtesy of DIY mom.

When I make dinner every night, I clap for myself.

When I have taught my daughter how to draw Charlie Brown, I cheer.

These moms and wives are making the regular folks like me, an endangered species. Pretty soon, no one is going to want to befriend us on the playground, and our husbands will leave us for more crafty types who make their own clothes, paint their nails with homemade nailpolish, and even furnish and decorate the house like a professional.

The average woman will be home in fear that she will be ridiculed for her store-bought polish, average home, and half-assed crock pot dishes.

Instead of being alone on the swings and divorced because I can’t make homemade pie crust, I’ve decided to enlist one of you DIY moms for my very own.

I promise to water you, but I will never feed you.

You can make your own damn food.

Signed,

A mom who likes to make brownies from the package, and flirt with the young guys at the pizza place, in no particular order.

The Joys of One: The Awesome Benefits of Being an Only Child

I know that many only children say how they wished for siblings or felt lonely growing up. I know people that say only children are brats and selfish. Too socially awkward. Too independent.

Screw that. Let’s talk about the awesome benefits of being an only kid. I myself, am raising an only. I happen to be the youngest of four girls, so these benefits are from my perspective, and not my kid’s, who is only two and too young to blog, but hell, she’s not too young to work. That kid needs to find some legitimate employment.

In any case, let me enlighten those that scorn the life of an only.

#1-Only Kids never get hand-me-downs.

As a kid, the dress I wore in my 1,2, and probably 3rd grade class photos are all hand-me-downs. I used to open my sister’s closets and say, “That’ll be mine soon.” While that was all sweet and dandy especially if I loved an item, I hated getting the hand-me downs. I wanted my own stuff, probably a bit greedy of me, but whatever.

When you get an ice cream cone, you don’t want it pre-licked do you?

Me neither. Three cheers for having your own clothes!

#2- Investment.

As a kid, I had asked to join a township activity but my parents didn’t have the money at the time. My sisters hadn’t had  that misfortune to miss out on activities, but guess what, I came at the wrong time apparently.

An only child is the only kid reaping the dividends, and that’s not so bad, especially when it comes time to  go to college.

Remember when Brandon and Brenda from 90210 fought over who got to go to private college or state school?

Not an only. They get whatever is available, whether it’s awesome or crappy, but at least there’s no one else having it better than you did!

#3-Your Own Freaking Name

By the time I went to school, every teacher called me by one of my sister’s names. I used to think they should just have called me, “Kid #4” or “DenaDebbieLIsa,” which are my sisters’ names.

As an only, there will be no one else to mistake you for, and no one to compare you to. You’re the one, the only, the golden child. You get to be the funny, cute, and smart one. You don’t have to live your life under some superlative that compares you both directly and indirectly to your siblings.

Sweet!

#4 Time.

As your parent, I get to have time for you. I don’t have to divide it up with some other child. You get all my time. In my house, that small bit of attention was divided by four. I can’t see how having your parent’s attention and time is all that bad, unless of course your parents happen to be psychos, in which case, you’re screwed anyway.

#5 Annoyances be gone!

I love my siblings. Everyone talks about how much kids love their siblings. Guess what? A good amount also hate their siblings. A good amount of people were decent kids and then bam–their parents decided to have another kid, and you know what? That kid sucked. Not all siblings are great. Not everyone is close to his or her siblings.

Yes, as an only kid my child will never be someone’s aunt, but she also won’t have to deal with any crazy siblings either.

The moral of the story?

Only children are not prone to a life of misery because they don’t have some other sibling to play with and break their toys or possibly screw their boyfriends. Siblings are great and people should reproduce as they feel fit and feel they can care for their kids, but don’t knock onlies.

Onlies get time, attention, and independence. They learn to be self-reliant and have a good amount of resources to help them succeed in life.

Really, it’s not the end of the world. In fact, do your research those who admonish families with onlies: Only kids are often happier.

Daughter. A snapshot

Daughter.

You are not me. You are not your father.

You’re yourself, which is awesome, because I don’t think the world needs another me, and if you were like your dad, you’d both be too quiet to approach each other.

You’re 2 and want to do everything yourself, and fully believe in the power to evict other members off playground structures.

You believe in the power of attorney, except for you are always the attorney.

You like Tinkerbell, and request seeing your own doody in your diaper, unless it happens to be in the potty. Then you just want chocolate.

You are 25 lbs.

You are pale, wispy-blonde-haired, and green-eyed.

We lose your numerous dolls everywhere.

I have rescued more princesses and fairies, and other creatures in one month than any superhero could have done in his or her lifetime.

When you go to bed, you request songs, and sometimes when I sing them, like a person fiddling with a radio dial, you demand a different song.

You know the Beatles and Elvis. Elvis from Dad, Beatles from me.

A dangerous lady, you continued to jump out of your crib, so we threw you in a bed.

You wake me every morning. I hear your door creak, and then I hear mine squeak open.

“Mommy, it’s so nice of you to share your bed.”

Like I had a choice?

You sneak into the bed and lie down next to me.

You are big-bellied, skinny-legged and tiny-tushied out.

I’m supposed to run after you on the sidewalk, and you don’t want to hold my hand in the street.

That’s when I carry your stubborn ass after trying numerous times to get you to hold my hand.

You horde pretzels, and would forsake me for a smoothie.

“Yes officer, my mother just dealt drugs. Give me a smoothie. Thanks cop. Bye mom. Enjoy Jail.”

You want to do everything yourself, besides change your clothes.

“No, you want to do it, ” you tell me, stubbornly refusing the position until you realize I won’t give in.

I will never give in too much. If I do, you will have me working as your servant for the rest of your life, and I’m afraid dear, that I’m not a submissive, although you do have my heart daughter.

I just hope you always hold positive snapshots of me in your mind. Forgive me for when I am not at my shiny-happy-people mommying best.

Remember me as I remember you always each day.

Lovely and my own.

The Definition of Mother: a reality check.

Everyone has his or her own ideas about what it means to be a mother, or what it feels like to be a mother.

Some think it means being at home, making cookies, cleaning the house, and making blanket forts.

Others think it means teaching at home, working somewhere else, and doing laundry in between chasing a naughty toddler around.

Some thinks it means doing what you can to pay the bills, while lovingly squeezing up minutes of her child’s time.

Whatever the location, the definition and job description embodies guilt.

Guilt you’re not making money at home. Guilt you’re not at home, and you’re making money.

Some mother alone, others with a partner, and others alone, yet with a partner…and some mother with another mother…and some Mother with an extended family.

Mothering can be amazing, awful, anxiety-producing, awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping, boring, loving, irritating, tiring, and impatient.

We think it will be one way and we will behave in a particular manner up until the time a baby is in our arms, and then we realize that all our armchair parenting was a load of crap. That we know nothing, and that we still know nothing.

That we love our child/children, yet he or she perplexes us to the same degree. That we want them to be like us, yet we also hope they won’t be.

We have idealized images in our mind, and then when we fall short, we are victim to our own guilt.

Society has ideas about how we should be of how we are supposed to be and what we are supposed to do, and when we aren’t that way, we feel helpless, worthless, and unsure.

When we are how we think we should be, we feel amazing, unstoppable, and a bit too proud. We sometimes forget when we see another mother screwing up, how we did too…just the other day–hour–or minute.

We champion other mothers, yet we inspect them and hold them, deciding if they mother the way we do–if it’s good enough, forgetting that we fall short all the time.

We long to mother, and then fear we are no good.

We become a mother, and then long for the days sometimes when we were just ourselves. Just our name, and not “someone else’s mommy.”

All those Facebook memes about how we are all so happy to give up sleeping in and wearing ponytails, seem like a load of shit to us silently, because we certainly are sick of wearing our hair in a ponytail sometimes, and we want to sleep in. We love our children, but we miss our non-mothering self at times.

We try to remember what that was like, yet we can’t fully. We have photos, flashbacks, and videos to remind us…certainly we can envision that non-child person, yet we can never be her again fully. We have to be a different version of ourselves. Better. Smarter. More Patient.

We enter into new sexual territory. Some of us could care less about sex, others long for it…and miss the days when we didn’t fit as neatly into the box labeled Madonna or whore. Some of us wish it would go away at times, and others don’t want to be the soccer mom that young men say, “Yes maam,” to on a daily basis.

Some of us are still heavy from pregnancy, others are fit, and yet our bodies whether sightly or unsightly to ourselves, are somewhat different. It has done something it never did before.

We have done something we have never done before.

Every day is a learning process. Parenting is learning on the job. Prepare to fail, and plan to succeed.

A Few Signs that You may have a Toddler

There are a few signs that a woman may indeed, own a toddler.

If you enter her home and you see large splotches of food on her table, chairs, and floor, she may indeed, have a toddler in the home.

If she then goes to stick her head in an over, she absolutely has a toddler in the home.

If she starts to talk to you in a slow manner, telling you that something you are doing may or may not be a “good choice,” she definitely owns a toddler.

If she looks like a mental patient or disheveled like she’s had a one-night stand and is now attempting the infamous “walk of shame,” she has a toddler within arm’s reach.

Toddlers are adorable, fun, spirited, and amazing little energies.

They’re also moody, bi-polar, and sometimes, a bit aggressive.

My daughter changes her mind about food items within seconds.

“I want it.”

“I don’t want it.”

“I want it.”

If this is what grownup females happen to be like,  I feel bad for men. How can choosing between pancakes or cereal be that difficult? I would answer the question except for I myself, may have a tough time deciding.

Toddlers think everything is “mine.”

Really, I want to remind my kid that nothing is hers until mommy or daddy buys it…so technically it’s “mine,” although I’m not so sure I would look very cute carrying a burp cloth around with pictures of trucks embroidered all over.

A sign that a woman may be the mother of a toddler is the numerous stickers stuck all over her furniture. If you go to use her toilet paper, you may see Dora or Cinderella staring at you from the toilet paper holder. If you sit up to pull up your pants, you may have just sat on Dora’s face…

Let’s not even go there.

If a woman is covering her ears and hiding in a corner, she may indeed have a toddler.

Toddlers can be affectionate and sweet, yet they can also be pushy, bossy, and demanding.

Apparently, the type of cup my daughter drinks her milk or water in is very important. I get requests like I am a line cook. This isn’t the damn diner kid, drink your milk in whatever cup is clean…apparently that’s all I need to be mother of the year.

There’s an utter joy in parenting a toddler. It’s never dull, and the highs are intense, and the lows, challenging. Maybe I enjoy this because I have some sick codependent desire to deal with mentally fragile people, or maybe I just cannot help loving the kid who throws every piece of food onto the floor right as I am telling her not to…only for her to tell me, “I’m sorry I threw the food on the floor mommy.”

Maybe I am just a masochist or a sucker for kids with big pot bellies, skinny legs, and dirty hands.

I love my indecisive, food-throwing, no-shouting, restaurant-running around, child.

She’s my maniac, and I claim her.

Hopefully she will take good care of me when I’m older and the people in coats take me away…