Monday, May 14, 2012

Monday Vent - Shaking My Head

I have always been a hard working person who doesn't like to let people down. I take on more than I should and I deliver on promises. I put a certain amount of pressure on myself to keep a certain standard.

And some days, I'm left shaking my head wondering why.

My kids are good. They listen. They work hard. They don't expect hand outs. They save their money for things they want. They are well adjusted and well liked.

And some days, I'm left shaking my head wondering why.

Grandparents on both sides have taken it upon themselves to comment how great my boys are. They acknowledge that my husband and I are good parents. They say how wonderful of a job we've done.

And some day, I'm left shaking my head wondering why.

I'm wondering WHY their cousins, on BOTH sides, are treated SO much differently than my kids are. Family that goes out of their way to say "everyone is being treated equally" are SO obviously NOT.

I have gotten used to being in that position. I'm the one who gets overlooked so that my "poor brother" can be helped. My husband grew up with a sick brother and a little sister and was overlooked as well.

We don't like it. We would also never ask for a handout like our siblings are just presented with. Every time I hear "poor them" I want to scream "what about us?" We are in the SAME boat! You MUST KNOW that! Is it because we are not whining and crying about it? Is it because we wipe up the crap and move on?

And some days, I'm left shaking my head wondering why.

Today is one of those days.

My kids have come to accept that their cousins on my husband's side are lavished with gifts. Multiple game systems, toys, etc. seem to rain upon them. Christmas leaves my boys saying "Did you see how much STUFF they got?" It was overwhelming for the cousins to get through all of the unwrapping.

I have come to accept, but choose to keep it to myself that my kids' cousins on my side are treated a bit differently by my parents. Swim lessons are paid for, art lessons are paid for, and there are little shopping trips for the kids without mine. I tell myself "it is no big deal" and then quietly wish they would offer to pay for swim lessons so we could afford to have my kids to take them too.

And now today, the straw that started this post. My father, while having good intentions in his effort to make my nephew's life a little better, has overlooked my boys, AGAIN.

True, my brother is an idiot. True, my brother doesn't treat his kids the way we think he should. True, my nephew doesn't have many friends. True, that I have done all I can to make my nephew's life a bit better too.

Bottom line is this. I won't be able to hide the preferential treatment from my boys this time. Up until now, they thought that at least MY parents treated them equally.

I DON'T WANT my boys to feel all of the feelings I'm feeling! Hurt, angry, jealous, petty, disappointed, less important, confused and then back to the beginning of the list.

I know that someone will say "Well, life isn't fair and this is helping them grow into strong individuals." To that I say "Screw you!"

And now, are you left shaking your head wondering why?

Because, when I want to get completely cynical about this, I see it this way:

"If I'm an idiot that does stupid things, doesn't have my shit together, can't seem to get my kids dressed and out of the house, get overwhelmed by every little thing, cry and complain about how the world is treating me so terribly, act pathetically, don't listen, am not motivated, sponge off of parents as an adult, and don't raise my children well... THEN both me and my children will benefit. People will expect little or nothing from me. I will never be able to let anyone down. I will never have to worry about anyone else but myself. People will just hand me things without me having to work for it and I will learn to expect things to be that way always. I will be liberated from responsibility and clueless to the world of hard work and perseverance."

Would I want to trade places with either side of the family? No. But, at times, it sure doesn't feel good being here either.

Tonight, I will hug my boys a couple of extra times. Try to be the "bigger person" and explain to them what is going on. I know they will be able to handle it, I just don't want them to have to.

Perhaps we will shake our heads together.



  1. Ugh, I wish that all grandparents were fair. I suppose I was the equivalent of your boys when I was growing up. One set of grandparents never seemed to give a sh*t about me, but the other cousins all got awesome gifts, trips, etc. It really sucks. Take comfort that your boys will know that you love them and hopefully one day they'll come to realize, like I have, that it is the grandparents' problem that has nothing to do with them. Sending hugs your way - this stuff is tough!

  2. Kristin - It kills me, because the Grandparents all think they are being fair. I just can see how. It's obvious to me, and my kids, that things are skewed. Even more stupid is that my father complained about his father not being fair, and now he can't see himself doing it too.