Thursday, July 30, 2009

Parenting and helplessness

We feel helpless at times when we have children. It's just part of the packaged deal. We do what we can, but there are things that are out of our hands. I expected that when I had children.

What I did not expect, however, was to feel so helpless in regards to my PARENTS. They are the adults. They are the ones who look out for me. Now, suddenly, it's the other way around and that's terrifying.

My parents are elderly and they are far away. My mother, however worked full-time until she lost her job fairly recently. My father still works full-time. They have never been the frail types that come to mind when one pictures an older couple.

So it was a particular shock when my mother had surgery recently and she found herself in a number of very dangerous situations--all of which could have been avoided if someone was there to help. If I could have been with her, there was so much I could have done for her. They live much too far away, though, so that wasn't an option.

My mother is making ridiculous decisions which are costing them a lot of money. No, she doesn't suffer from dementia of any sort. So I didn't expect it and don't understand it. She's wasting money due to stupid decisions. Yes, among other things, my mother fell prey to that stupid Acai berry scam. I thought everyone knew to avoid it. My mother, however, did not, and was charged several hundred dollars. She recently got it in her head that she MUST do something RIGHT NOW in a manner which would obviously waste money. I tried giving her suggestions for another way to go about it and she agreed I was right, but refused to change her plans. What I thought would waste a few hundred dollars wound up actually costing her THREE THOUSAND. She does NOT have the money to pull this.

I should pause here to offer my gratitude to decent people. She tried to hire someone to do something (that doesn't need to be done and will cost about $10,000). One person gave her a ridiculous bid. The next, though, came out and actually told her that doing what she wanted would be a waste of money. That meant that this man did NOT get an easy job where he could have bilked her for quite a bit of money. Instead, he was honest and put her welfare before his own income. She actually listened to him and canceled those costly plans. Thank you, kind sir. You will never know how much we appreciate what you've done.

Most people, however, are not like that. And so, here I sit, far away, wringing my hands and yelling into the phone when trying to talk sense into my mother doesn't work.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Nice people ROCK!

Dh's little cousin (who is all grown up now, but was about 10 years old when I first met her) is going through a rough time. I've been pretty open with you all about the difficulties we've had this year. Well, dh's cousin is facing her own troubles and on top of that, she's pregnant and expecting a little boy in October.

I've tried asking for help for her a few times and Twitter and while I got lots of RT's (retweets), I didn't get any offers to help, until recently.

Grudgemom has put together a nation-wide baby shower for dh's cousin. You can read more about what she's going through at that link.

If you can help in any way, please do. If you can afford to, please buy something from the registry. For all my beloved Etsy sellers, if you make children's items and would like to send one their way, please do. If you're not on Etsy, but you make children's clothes/items, we would greatly appreciate your help. If you would like to donate hand-me-down clothing, please do (just remember they're in Florida, so they don't have much need for snow suits). If you'd like to do something other than the registry, please contact me (comment here or send an e-mail) and I'll help you out. I'm sending her some books, a box of nursing pads, the few newborn diapers we have (we never had many), and some boys' clothing, but unfortunately, TheBoy's newborn clothing is almost all for cold weather. Our financial situation is improving, but there's not too much we can spend, so I'm trying to pass along what I can.

A huge THANK YOU to Grudgemom and RG Natural Babies. And a big thank you to everyone who can help in any way.

Friday, July 03, 2009

All you need is love common sense.

Love is a great thing. Love is a useful thing. Love makes the world go round and all that crap.

Love, however, is not enough. In all matters, one must have common sense. I can't tell you how many couples (younger and older) I knew who opted to get married because they were in love. They overlooked lots of issues (large and small) because, "We're in love and that's all that matters." The vast majority of those people are no longer married today.

I see such a huge lack of common sense in the world today. People love fiercely. They love their spouse with all their heart. They smother their children with love. They love their diety of choice in a frightening manner. Yet they lack any common sense.

I admit that I, too, have wondered where the hell I left my common sense. I've had those moments. There's no denying that. My life, however, is not one big common sense vacuum. My religious beliefs, my political beliefs, my love is not a vacuum wherein no common sense can exist.

That, however, is not the case for many people and this scares the hell out of me.

"Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe. I dispute that. I say there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe." Frank Zappa