Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ask Lola.

{Kortland's class party was yesterday. So much fun! He was a "scary pirate captain" and I wanted to eat him. I'm the room mother for his class this year, so that means party planning!!! Yay! So I dressed up too. It was all very fun. I love Halloween! As usual, the pics have nothing to do with the post. Enjoy!}

What would you do in this situation? My kindergartner has a best friend who comes with a mom who uses me as her only source of adult interaction. Just because I'm a stay at home mom doesn't mean I have nothing better to do than talk for an hour after school...

What would I do in this situation? I would be her friend.

While I totally understand where you're coming from (I'm SUPER stingy about my personal time, and hate when things keep me from being able to clean my house, get dinner started, and...okay, who am I kidding, NAP...) I also think that it's important to be open to new friendships and yes, even lengthy and inconvenient chats at the playground or school lobby from time to time. (Notice that I said "from time to time." More on this in moment.)


1. Because if she's lonely enough for you to be her "only source for adult interaction"... it probably means she needs a friend. Some people just have a really hard time making new friends. People like me, (you know, who are perfectly comfortable talking to strangers, 90-year-olds, dogs, mean people, nice people, and well, inanimate objects...) sometimes have a hard time understanding how it could possibly be so difficult, but the fact is... it is. Social isolation can be a really hard thing for moms. We have a lot going on all of the time, and often no one to talk it out with to help us process life's happenings in a healthy way. So, I would be her friend.

2. People who "need" friends, or don't have many (or any) friends, often make THE BEST friends. They have plenty of spare time to help out if you ever find yourself in a tragic, sticky, or simply busy situation. They are often good listeners. They won't take you for granted. They'll be on time...the list goes on.

As for the 1 hour chats after kindergarten gets out (that would drive me nuts... I'm not gonna lie). I would talk for 5-10 minutes and then honestly say "I have _______ that I need to get done at home, but we should do __________ (lunch? a playdate with the little besties? a girl's night out?) sometime!" Say it firmly, but graciously, and make your exit.

Yeah, visiting with someone for waaaay too long while my kindergartner runs around in circles, hungry and bored, and the laundry sits in my washer not getting dry, and my beloved afternoon nap floats off into the stratosphere, never to be seen or heard from again in this lifetime... is sort of my "seventh circle of hell" kind of scenario. But by scheduling an appropriate time and place to chat and give support, or advice, and what not, you'll be able to set boundaries, and reclaim your busy day time.

Oh, and I'm not saying be her pity-friend. I realize that, based on the way I have written this response, it may come across that way, but that is not what I mean at all. I don't have any fake friendships, and I definitely don't recommend that anyone go out and form one. (What would be the point, honestly?) I am suggesting that you make a sincere effort to befriend and get to know this person, giving them the benefit of the doubt, and really putting some wholehearted effort into seeing the best in them. You may be surprised by what you find.

But definitely set boundaries that will allow you to keep your life in order. I wouldn't "confront" her by saying "I really can't visit with you after school every day, so please stop talking to me for so long." Even though it's the truth, a confrontation never gets anyone anywhere. It makes the other person feel embarrassed, slighted, and resentful. NOT good results. A simple (and totally honest) excuse is the way to go every time.


How do you tell a beloved family member you will not give them money even though they're hungry, cuz they just can't get their life in order and you want them to figure it out?

Or should I?

If they are hungry (even if it's a stupid, lazy, "their own dang fault for being hungry" kind of hungry) I would feed them. Without a doubt.

Would I give them money? Ha! Not on their life! Nope. No way.

Those are 2 totally different things.

I would go to Walmart, get supplies for some seriously awesome PB&J sandwiches and LOTS of Top Ramen in every flavor imaginable (see, aren't you so thoughtful?) and tell them "Love you, good luck!"

Your instincts to "not help" are good. We have enough enablers out there (*cough* OBAMA! * sneeze* sniff... hm? What? Oh, nothing. I think I'm coming down with something.) making it nearly impossible for people to learn important life lessons and "make their own way," so I applaud you for not wanting to be one of them. At the same time, should we let people go hungry?, not so much. You don't want to have to live with the guilty of that day in and day out.

But I mean it on the Top Ramen and PB&J. Non of this fresh deli meat & steaks business. No delicious snack foods, great produce, gourmet frozen pizzas, or (heaven forbid) Nutella and Nilla wafers for them! Oh no. They get the basics baby. They get the basics, and a hug, some encouragement to get their hiney into gear, and I also think they should get a phone call the next time you need to clean out your garage, or move some heavy stuff around... I'm just sayin'...

{My STINKIN' cute nephew and a flapper-y me at the Halloween parade.}

Have you been watching "Sister Wives?" I heard that the state might prosecute them now. Do you think they should get into trouble for living the way they do?

I think that we should use our resources, first and foremost, to prosecute polygamists who are abusing and exploiting the children in their care. You know, the ones "marrying" 60 year old men to 14 year old girls, kicking young boys out of their colonies to fend for themselves, water-boarding babies, filing for HUGE amounts of government aid under the false pretenses of being single mothers... you know, those ones. There are a ton of them out there, and we aren't making much progress in stopping them, so why would we waste time and resources going after a family that is doing none of those things?

And, if we're going to go after a guy who is NOT abusing his children, NOT having his "spiritual wives" file for and benefit from welfare benefits of the state (a.k.a defrauding the state), and is NOT even actually (in the eyes of the law) legally married to anyone other than the first wife, then don't we also have to go after ANY guy who is married, but unfaithful? Isn't that the same situation this guy is in? It's not like he has legally married his additional wives under different aliases (which is totally illegal). In the eyes of the law, this guy has one wife and three concubines... if you want to get technical about it. So how is he different from some guy who has one wife and a bunch of women that he cheats with?
You know, other than the fact that he respects, has children with, and supports ALL of the women with whom he has a relationship, rather than lying to his wife and only minimally supporting his secret harem of women... I guess I don't see any difference at all.

And just for the record, I think polygamy is gross and horrible. It is NOT a healthy mental/emotional situation for women. Period. To be put into a position where they have to compete for love and attention while also putting up with the mood swings of 2 or 3 other women is just icky in my opinion. And as for dealing with PILES and PILES of other people's kids 24 hours a day? Somebody shoot me first, thanks.

But the fact is, our limited resources should be used first and foremost to protect children in immediate danger of being raped by gross old men, and NOT bugging a reasonably healthy family that simply lives differently than we do.

{Kort's DARLING teacher from last year. Oh how we love her. And I am so sad - I was so busy with the party games and snacks... I didn't get a picture with Kort and his teacher this year! Bo to that. }


Life with Kaishon said...

Brilliant advice. You are a genius. And such a cute costume
: ) I can't believe he is getting so big!

Barbaloot said...

You are an excellent advice giver. And it's a good thing you have a whole blog, and not a stingy space-squished column cuz you gotta make sure you get the whole answer in there!

Also, the flapper-y you is darling:)