PRESENTS!!!!

With the holiday season approaching, we are all bombarded with the expectation of gifts, lists and shopping. It’s GET, GET, GET! At work, I started to ask kids what they are wishing to get from Santa. And with the answers I am getting, Santa is loaded. They want Ipads, laptops, Iphones, UGG boots and thats just the beginning.

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I’m not shocked at what kids ask for because 90% of the time they get it and not just at Christmas. Parents and grandparents spend hundreds of dollars on Christmas presents. What kid needs a laptop? I didn’t get mine until I went to college and I had to use my grad party money to purchase it. I almost think that parents spoiled their kids to please themselves.

It’s BPES (BEST PARENT EVER SYNDROME). “I’m the better parent because look what I bought MY kids.” Bravo you are raising a spoiled little a$$holes who get everything they want and will never learn to support themselves. And guess what…if I had kids I would probably be the same way. (reason #437 why I’m not having them). I know both of my parents didn’t grow up with much, so naturally you want to do more your your own children.

I have a cure for BPES and how our future generations can be well rounded! I think for Christmas EVERYONE should take a different approach. Kids and adults should ask for a NEED, a WANT, an EXPEREIENCE and a GIVE. We all make lists, so this year make a revamped list.

NEED: We all have necessities that are purchased throughout the year just because. But what if you could tie that NEED in with a holiday gift. I am so shocked at the high end items kids own and yes I understand they need new winter boots, jeans etc. Well they expect these items because every other kid own it. They need to realize you don’t just get stuff. I know kids who own multiple UGG boots, high end jeans, have the latest phone and wear LuluLemon…Shoot me. I don’t have half that stuff and I’m an adult with money and a job.

I’m not saying they can’t get that stuff but then buy the ONE need for the holiday, not all. My mom used to put a pair of sunglasses and a swimsuit in our Easter baskets to prepare for summer.

WANT: This can be the fun spoiling item. They ask, they receive and then they trash it and forget about it a year later (if that). But we all want things and it makes us happy so once a year its fine. I’m guilty of getting myself what I want when I want it, the difference is I was raised to be independent and work for what I want.  You can also mix their need of new jeans with their want of whatever designer crap kids wear.

EXPERIENCE: Spring Break is 8-10 weeks after Christmas, why is that not a gift? My parents didn’t have the money to bring us on spring break or very many vacations at all,  yet half of the kids I know expect it. Most children are in some kind of sport, why isn’t that part of a gift? The experience doesn’t have to be expensive either, go to a water park hotel for the night, go iceskating, learn to ski, and even just take the time to play a board game or bake cookies. Life is so crazy that just taking time to be around each other is memorable.  The ideas are endless and will last forever in your kids memory.

I know a family whose parents are very well off and she gets worried that her kids are having high expectations since the grandparents bring them on a Disney Cruise every year. It’s their Christmas gift and yes its big, but at the same time wouldn’t you rather your kids spend time with their grandparents making lasting memories for both parties versus the kids just getting the cash later in life.

I’m stressing over what to get my niece and nephews for the holidays. They are just babies and clothes are short lived. I’m thinking of starting a savings account to be able to bring them to Disney World when they are older, making memories with Auntie La La and Uncle Poo Poo.

GIFT: I have definitely spoiled myself over the years and feel guilty about it when I know I have way more than I could ever ask for. Children need to learn at a young age how fortunate they are.  There are so may ways your child can give a gift of need to someone less fortunate. I found a website for my family this year where we are buying them a goat and chickens to provide a food source. I know plenty of churches that have giving trees and all these families ask for is cleaning supplies, coats and other necessities.

One of my girlfriends has her daughter donate the gifts she gets from either her friend or family birthday party. What an amazing idea? What kid needs 10 different presents from their friends and then even more from family? The memory that she has helped put smiles on sick kids faces will shape her to be an amazing woman.

It’s a weird society that we live in. Everyone wants the best, to be the best and we are all insecure. We buy things to make us happy but its very short lived. This holiday season try and focus on balance and teaching others around you to give, trust me the feeling lasts forever. One tip I love for myself as a reminder is EVERYTIME I walk past a Salvation Army Red Kettle, I put something in it. You are walking into a store to spend $$, I almost feel selfish when I don’t donate and honestly I judge people that don’t contribute or even say hello or happy holidays to the volunteer.

Cheers to a SAFE, HAPPY, BLESSED holiday season. Be thankful for the life you have!❤️

 

BIG SIS

Recently both of my younger sisters have had major events happen in their life and its just fun to reflect on your relationship with them. My sister Monica, just had her first baby 3 weeks ago and Vanessa just married the love of her life. I couldn’t be happier and more excited for them.

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As the oldest of 3 girls, you tend to take on a lot of responsibilities. You are in charge of being the leader, role model, rule breaker, protector, trend setter, ring leader and voice of reason. Your sisters are your best friends by choice and like most friendships you have your ups and downs, but you will always love and support each other.

Growing up with my sisters was a blast. I was 2 when Monica came into my life and the thumb-sucking chubby cheeked monkey wanted nothing to do with me. She was content by herself, so naturally I would pick on her just to get attention. She was so laid back and I needed to be in the spotlight, so it was the perfect balance. Then came along Vanessa. She was my human doll and did everything I told her to. Monica and I would pick of her but to Vanessa, that meant acceptance, so she just put up with it. She was a mini me! We have so many great memories and whenever we talk about it, we laugh so hard we cry. We weren’t always nice to each other. Between the 3 of us it was always 2 against 1 and just rotated. Now as adults, we always get along.

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I was and still am very protective of both of them. If anyone every tried to mess with them or talk about them, the claws came out. As a sister, you are allowed to make fun and tease your sisters but for anyone else, its off limits. Monica was always the shy, quiet sister, so it was harder to tell if something was bothering her. Yet, she is so strong and resilient that if something was on her mind, you never knew. Vanessa was a pocket size little sister and had her drama with boys, so insert crazy big sister. Vanessa had struggled with Chrones when she was younger and that was a hard on Monica and I. My parents had to focus on her health, which as kids, you feel left out. Now I see how crazy it was to think Vanessa was faking it. As a child your parents shield you from the seriousness of most things. Im glad they did and I am so happy she is in remission.

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The last few years have been crazy for all of us. We all got married with in 5 years, our parents got divorced, Monica had a miscarriage and then a new baby joined our lives! Through all of it, I felt that it was my responsibility to make sure they were ok through it all.

Monica and Vanessa’s wedding were both so fun. Watching your little sisters exchange vows with a guy you totally trust, takes a little weight off you. They were both so happy and the day was filled with smiles. These guys were in a way, taking them away from me but it was ok! My sisters have never looked more beautiful or happy. The annoying little girls that followed you around, stole your clothes and tattled on your for years are now a Mrs.294405_10150363160159839_657346955_n

Our parents divorce was hard, even though we were adults. Each of us went about the healing and dealing process in completely different ways. We each decided that no matter what our stance was, if we picked a side, or needed time to figure it out, we wouldn’t judge each other and be openminded. That day we found out was gut-wrenching and being the person that I am, I set aside my feelings to make sure my sisters didn’t feel lost, sad or alone. Since they were told separately I was able to squeeze them tight and try to take away the pain. I was a care-taker through it all. I didn’t want anyone to feel pain, so I spent all my time making sure both my parents and my sisters were ok. 4 yrs later, I am happy how I handled everything and focus on the relationships I have had with my parents. My mom is a caring, kind, fun, loving mother and my dad is a goofy, supportive, hardworking father and that is how my relationship will still be with them. Their marriage was not mine, therefore I found a way to keep the drama separate. I think this event in our lives, have shown us how to focus on ourselves and each other and that marriage is hard work for both parties. This could turn into a whole separate blog, so on to the exciting story.

3 weeks ago JELLO (nickname) entered our lives. This was such a blessing because Monica has always wanted to be a mom. when we ere little, we watched my mom breast feed Vanessa, so naturally Monica and I copied. I fed my doll and Monica breast fed her panda bear. Watching her with her baby is heart warming. I am so proud of her and excited to watch him grow. Jello has brought Monica and I closer. We never really had much in common, but now the love for this little pooping, drooling, sleeping human is what we have in common.

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Sisters. See-stars! I hope they both know that I am so proud of them, so happy for them, and cant wait to see what else awaits our futures! Love you both!

Odd Girl Out

I’m at my sister’s baby shower watching her open gifts, but being ambushed by little kids opening them for her. I texted my husband “I’m broken. I don’t find any of this baby stuff cute and the kids are opening her gifts for her. I’m so annoyed” He was kind enough to respond saying “you’re not broken, you just don’t like that stuff”

I’m writing this not to offend anyone or be insensitive but to just share my feelings on this very touchy subject…babies.

As a young girl, I loved playing house and being a mommy or playing teacher. Up until I was 21, my goal was to have 4 kids and stay at home with them. I wanted 2 boys, Joshua and Lucas and 2 girls Madison and Kayla. As I grew older, built my career and found my passions, wanting to have a family went away.
Before Ryan and I got engaged I told him I was 85% sure I didn’t want kids. And we were both open to adopting as well. This was a conversation that needed to be had. I felt horrible because Ryan was open to the idea and he loved me so much that he was willing to sacrifice being a father to be with me. How horrible was I not to return that selflessness?  I couldn’t put making him a father in front of my own choice not to be a mother, but that didn’t mean I loved him less. He is my world. I once sat next to a woman tell another woman, who was single and unsure about having kids,(they both knew I was married) say “you will want kids when you meet the right man” OH SNAP!!! I wanted to punch that judgmental b$*ch in the face. How dare you say that? But then I calmed myself down realizing that her statement was her own insecurity.

In my mid 20’s everyone was always telling me;

“you’re young, you’ll change your mind”

“It will change your life, you have to”

“Don’t you want to leave a piece of you when you leave this world”

Then as I got closer to 30;

“You would be such a great mom”

“You have no idea what you will be missing”

“Who will take care of you when you are older”

“Who will you celebrate the holidays with”

“It’s different when they are your own children”

Gah! Leave me alone. Now to address some of these statements, just because I was young doesn’t mean I’m going to change my mind. It’s actually the opposite, I’m more sure of my decision that ever.

I know a child would change my life and I would be a great mom, but I’m already a great cat mom and LOVE  my life the way it is, I don’t want to change it. It’s also true that I don’t know what I am missing, but you have children and have no idea what experiences you are missing that I have the opportunity to enjoy. You can’t compare the two. They are so different and are customized to our own lifestyles. Everyone has their own ideal life and I am living mine.

I’m not going to lie, I have questioned my decision only because I want certain experiences you can have with kids, like the first time you take them to Disney, all of the funny things they say and matching mommy daughter bikinis but you can’t chose what parts you want. When it comes to a baby, it’s all or nothing.

I am leaving a lot behind when I leave this life and honestly the world can be such a cruel and ugly place that sometimes I’m glad I’m not introducing something so innocent. As far as holidays and getting older, well family isn’t defined biologically, so I could be with family friends or just Ryan and I somewhere tropical. As of now I have 3 nieces and nephews who can suck up to me until the day I die to get Auntie Angie’s $$$$, your kids just think they are entitled to it.

I know I have my reasons for not wanting them and I respect your reasons to have them. I have many friends that are struggling to have a family and it hurts my heart. I feel like a b*$ch saying I don’t want them but if I could I would give them all my fertile energy. Life isn’t fair when the couple that would be amazing parents aren’t given the chance to shine!

I’m now in a not so fun position in my life. My friends that already have children, don’t think to include me in their activities. Do I want to be invited all the time, no, but it’s nice to be invited. My friends that are starting their families don’t realize that our friendships are going to change. I am so happy for all of my friends and family that are stepping into the next phase. I know they will and respect that but honestly it sucks being the odd girl out. I’m not trying to be selfish, but when you are the girl that isn’t following social norms, you feel rejected.

I’m not saying that I don’t like kids, I can tolerate the well parented offspring, but there are quite a few little a$$holes being raised and those children will get the death stare from me all day.

I think as women we need to support each other’s decisions about children. Some chose to work, some chose to have 3-4 kids and some of chose not to have them at all. We are all making the RIGHT choice for our own lives.