Putting Family First

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My hand has been twitching all day…I’ve been dying to get to my computer and vent. After all, that’s what blogs are for, right? I’m warning anyone who is looking for a comedic vent…you’ve got the wrong bad mommy tonight.

Having children is not a God given right. I know MANY women who have suffered from infertility (myself included) and would give anything to have a child. People go through hell to have children and it galls couples suffering from infertility to no end to see children abused, neglected and mistreated. Those of us who are blessed enough to have children better damn well appreciate it.

I’m not religious, but I do thank God for my darlings every single day. Yes, my kids piss me off. Yes, they drive me absolutely insane. Yes, they make me considering running away on a daily basis. But there is not one single day that goes by that I don’t thank my lucky stars for them and would never consider my life complete without them. If you have kids, you need to stop and appreciate them every day because regardless of how crazy they make you, YOU ARE LUCKY.

Grandchildren are not a guarantee either. You could have six kids and never have a grandchild or not be lucky enough to live to see your grandchildren born.

Grandchildren are even better than your own kids. You get to spoil them with Happy Meal toys and have fun with them and fill them up with candy and soda and then send them home to torture their parents. If and when I am ever lucky enough to have grandchildren, I am pretty sure I will want to be in their lives as much as humanly possible.

After all, most grandparents aren’t in their grandchildren’s lives for too long, unfortunately. I want my grandkids to remember me and cherish their time with me. I want them to remember my presence in their everyday lives, not as the woman who sent them a card with $20 on their birthday or the woman their parents made them visit in the nursing home who smelled like canned green beans.

I have such fond memories of my grandparents; it seemed like they were always there. They didn’t miss too much of my childhood, but unfortunately they all passed away by the time I was 25. I would give anything to spend one more day with them.

Which is why I cannot for the life of me understand people who can chose to miss important milestones in their grandchildren’s life. Some grandparents live too far away to make it to every birthday and every school play. Mine didn’t and I remember that they were there. I especially remember my grandmothers’ faces in the audience of practically everything that my siblings and I did. I remember their smiles beaming over every birthday candle I blew out. I remember feeling like I could tell them anything, that they would always be there for me. I’m actually in tears writing this because I couldn’t imagine if they had not been the ever present fixture in my life that they were.

Maybe my memory is cloudy. Maybe they missed my eighth grade graduation or a soccer game when I was ten. But they were around often enough for me to think they were always there. They both raised their kids and even when their grown children were out of the house, they did not stop being parents and grandparents.

Did they have a life outside of ours? I’m sure. But we always seemed to come first. I’m sure my grandmother was annoyed when we bugged her to play scrabble with us during Scarecrow and Mrs. King. But she did it anyway because she knew her time with us was limited. That we would go home and tomorrow she could watch her show uninterrupted.

Some people with grown children are breathing a sigh of relief because their kids are finally out of the house. And they see it as “their” time, time to do for themselves. I know when my kids go off to college or get married and leave home, I will cheer, too. For about ten minutes until I realize I miss their voices and a night time snuggle and story. I may even miss the constant bickering every once in awhile.

But with grandchildren, you get that back. And even better, when they drive you to reach for the corkscrew and wine glass, you can send them back to their owners! And I can see wanting time to myself…hell, I want to lock myself in my room and bar the door at least twice a day.

But once you have kids, you need to put them first 95% of the time. It doesn’t matter if they are 3 or 33. I’m sorry, once you give birth they are your main priority. FOREVER. And that includes their children. Yes, it’s okay to be selfish and want a day to yourself or go on vacation. Absolutely.

But for the love of God don’t be selfish at the expense of those little faces. Don’t miss a single candle being blown out on a birthday cake because nothing in life is guaranteed and you don’t know if you’ll be there for the next candle.

2 thoughts on “Putting Family First

  1. I agree completely. I remember swimming in your grandmother’s pool with you in the summer. You always had such a good relationship with her. I miss my grandparents tremendously. It still hits me incredibly hard in those moments that I realize that I will never hear their voices again. And, I remember my grandmother saying–a few years before she passed–that she really would have liked to hold her great-grandchild and it’s heart-breaking that I never got to give that to her. Okay, now I’m crying.

  2. I did not have any grandparents (all died at least 20 years before I was born), but I was lucky to have 2 aunts that came to everything. They were my grandparents. I tried to be that aunt for my nieces too.

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