Getting Kids Into the Work Force

I think it’s important to teach kids to work for their money, from a young age they can have chores assigned to them and earn some change for their weekly “allowance”. While I am not one to pay kids to do their basic chores, I have on occasion rewarded my children for a week well done. There are so many reasons to instill a hard working mentality into your child; the biggest being we are suppose to raise our children to be responsible, independent adults. Adults who are responsible and independent must have a job in order to succeed in that way of life. Those who don’t get instilled with this work skill from a young age, and have everything given to them, handed over by a parent who can afford to do so, doesn’t teach them a single thing. I do not believe in give, give give nor take, take, take. I firmly believe the world revolves best when there is a bit of both give and take.

I am a balance sort of chick. I like balance in my world and I believe that’s the best possible way for all to thrive!

I have slacked in the ways of teaching responsibility with my two sons, to be honest, I think every parent gets busy with life and fun that we lean off track for a bit, but we can get back on track at any moment we realize we are off track. This is my plan; to get back on track with my kids to ensure all three learn to work for a living and each strengthen their individual skills to pursue careers that make sense for them. My ideal mission is to ensure my children are able to work in some field that they love, therefore they never feel as if they have to work a day in their life; when you do what you love, you are a happier person.

With that being said, I will not raise my kids to only take on jobs that they love, sometimes we have to pick up odd and end jobs to push forward to our end goal of a job we love.

I started working at the ripe old age of 13 years old; my first job was in the pit area of a local race track. I worked in the food stands, where we made the food and served those coming in from the pit area at the race track. I honestly thought that was a great job to start with, plus back then I worked with my best friend at the time. It’s always great to be able to work at a place with friends!

As my oldest is now the age that allows her to take this local babysitting course and be a babysitting, I am saving money to pay for this class so that she can start babysitting for extra cash. At this time, my daughter mostly makes extra cash from just the sales of our book we wrote together, but that isn’t anything to live on for sure!

I plan to work each child into the job field as soon as possible, even if that means as teenagers I hire them to work for me and my websites. Whatever I can do to get these kids to start working as soon as they are old enough, I will do, it’s important to me and I feel it’s part of my Mom Job to do so.

More Thoughts From Brandy Ellen about Human Kind

I believe we, as human beings, need to step back and think before we speak {or post online}. That’s not to say I am not guilty of speaking, or typing, before thinking. It happens. We are all human.

What bothers me is when I see someone consistently getting up on this high horse of entitlement. People who choose to do certain things or live certain ways and want to diss others who may not be able to live that way or have any choice but to do what they do. Think about others before you speak, of course people are going to have hurt feelings. I am not talking about “all is fair in life mentality”, but more discussing those who look down upon human mistakes or inability for certain people to do certain things.

I’ve been that Mom. The single Mom who had to eat bread and butter, ramen noodles or mac n cheese or pasta and sauce on a regular. Yes, my child had to eat that crap too. On a regular. It wasn’t fun for me and I would have days where I felt like I was failing my child. If you have never been that Mom, then shut your mouth about what other parents should or should not do. Who are you to “know” them and how they live!

I’ve been that Mom who makes decisions that are best under circumstances I was living in. I always make what I feel is the best decision for myself but mostly for my children’s future. My children are always on my mind when I think of what to do next in life. They come first. Always.

I dislike watching people consistently point fingers and judgement when they have not walked in other people’s shoes. The only life these people know is the one they have, the experiences in which they have had in their life and who they are today. No two people have walked the same exact path. So think please before you assume you know all and think please before you judge a book by it’s damn cover.

I have been poor all of my damn life, I have used every last penny I have to make sure there is a roof over my children’s heads, food of some sort on their table, a ride to school for them to have an education. I make sure to put every last penny I have towards my children’s needs first. Always have. Always will.

With that being said, I don’t have anyone to pick up my pieces should things not go as I had planned nor hoped. I don’t have a family member I can move in with if the situation calls for it. I don’t have a relative with money to lend when times get tough. I have me. I have my children. That’s all. Sure, I do have a wonderful support system of both friends and family, but that doesn’t mean they can help me out of things I get into. They can be there emotionally and for advice, but beyond that – I am living an adult life that means I am unable to go back into my parents home or not work in some shape or form to support my children.

There are many parents who have certain luxuries I don’t have. Who cares. They are happy with their life and that’s all that matters. We need to start embracing our differences and stop pointing fingers in the name of trying to push someone else down to make us feel better. Give me a break, you should be uplifting yourself through uplifting of others – that my friends is the ultimate way to live.

This is just my opinion, you may disagree and I respect you for having that freedom to disagree.

Be Sure not to Confuse “This Doesn’t Work” with “Difficult” #dating #blendedfamily

So you met the person of your dreams. You spend a year or maybe less sulking up the love, affection and happiness that comes with most new relationships. Then it happens. Your kids and their kids have to meet at some point, they all get along great. The kids adore each other. The two adults adore each other. Parenting techniques were discussed beforehand and things were seeming to blend together well.

Then it happens.

Things don’t seem so easy anymore. The situation appears to be something that you didn’t realize it was.

Blended families are difficult. You are essentially combining two different families together under one roof. Two parents, who probably don’t parent the same exact way, and two sets of children who were parented differently. Something has to give and communication has to become stronger than ever before.

The key to any relationship, especially a blended family one, is communication as well as respect, trust and honesty.

I think when times get tough, people just walk away. Since so many talk about marriages failing because people give up too soon, often times couples will beat their relationship to death and in turn dislike each other for it. When a relationship hits difficult times you need to take into consideration a lot of variables; specifically what your long term goals are as a couple and individual.

I can’t stress enough the importance of knowing what your own personal goals are as a parent and human being. This will play a key role in whether or not the relationship troubles are simply difficult times or most certainly, without a doubt something that isn’t going to work in the long haul.

Stay true to yourself. Do not allow any relationship to make you lose who you are. There is always room for negotiation on some subjects and scenarios, but never should you have to negotiate to a point of being broken.

Be aware of the other person’s responses to parenthood trials and tribulations, as well as your own. Do they match up? Are you on a simlar page or are you two so far apart that a light has shined down saying “this isn’t going to work?”.

No one else can tell you what is right for you and your relationship, you are the only person living in those walls with this other adult and their child(ren). The decision comes down to you knowing yourself inside and out.

If you have weighed all variables and found they are not playing a factor in this feeling of difficult times and really truly feel that this person’s parenting style or lack there of are not a good fit for both you and your children’s future, then you need to leave.

Relationships are difficult, but not all relationships we get into were meant to be. Take each failed relationship as a new learning curve in life. Learn from the experiences and never be afraid to be a single parent for as long as it takes to be the parent your children need. Your kids well being is dependent upon your well being both emotionally and physically.

If you don’t take care of yourself and make big boy or big girl decisions that matter, then how will ever expect your children to lead a fully happy life both as children and adults? You are the example to those little ones and they can pick up when things are not working out for their parent.

As a recap – Difficult means communication and realistic negotiations can mend the situation for the long haul in love and life. This doesn’t work means no amount of communication and realistic negotiations can work to rectify things.

Listen. Speak. Discuss.

Make a decision.

Move on.

Learn from the experience.

Sometimes You Just Have to …. LET IT GO

So many parents live in this fear of losing their child or children. I get it. I have anxiety that I cope and fight with often. I used to fear the world as it pertained to my children. I then woke up. I realized that if I fear the world then they are going to fear the world. Now what parent wants that for their child? Not me.

I have had some awful things happen to me; how my virginity was lost or almost lost is still a blur to me, but it was a scenario that made me more aware about the fact that bad things happen to good people. I was also made aware, looking back, of how lost I was as a child and in turn wanted to parent my children in a way that never left them feeling that empty. So empty that you would be okay and accept the love of a man who was way older than you. That happened to me more often than I can recall, but I often found myself being hit on and sexualized by older men from about age 13 or maybe 12 and forward. Never was it my parents, nor any blood relative, but it was people who I did trust or thought I could trust. Let’s just keep it at that.

You see, I could live my life as a parent in fear that the same things that happened to me would happen to my own children, I don’t wish to live that way. I much prefer teaching my children to have high self esteem, to have better decision making skills and to be able to have skills in conflict resolution. I also prefer to teach my children skills on trusting their gut; that whole “good touch vs bad touch” concept they teach in schools, I discussed with my kids long before the schools addressed it. I let my kids know that if a touch makes alarms go off in their head or even a person’s character makes an alarm, sick gut feeling happen within their own self that they need to listen to that.

Instilling fear into my children wouldn’t allow them to experience the world as fully as I want them to. Sure there are bad people out there and in all honesty, some are those we entrust with our children. That was me, I was entrusted with someone or at least to be around this someone and well, sadly it worked out that shit happened. Had I been more self confident, felt more loved and whole I bet that wouldn’t have happened. Who knows though, hindsight is always 20/20.

I have raised, specifically my oldest at this point in time, that if she feels a touch hurts, is bad or is unacceptable then it may just be that. It doesn’t matter if it’s a caregiver or a family member, we do not have to ever put ourselves into a situation that we are not comfortable with. I also encourage my children to overcome their anxious feelings with new situations and to learn what is a gut feeling versus hormones or anxiety. These concepts are not easy to teach through words, you have to lead by example when it comes to the kids.

I live my life free spirited, confident and happy. I live this way because I know I am giving my children a good role model to look up to. Note: I never said perfect role model. I prefer to be a real life human role model that leads her life for complete happiness within. I can only hope and pray these lessons are taught to my children through my example.

I think parenting is difficult, it isn’t easy to let go, knowing that there are so many harmful people in this world, believe me, I am aware of just how harmful people can be. I went through a lot that no family member knows about, because I didn’t have anyone to turn to back then, but as an adult, I have forgiven and moved on to better myself. Harmful people can hurt others but they cannot break them forever.  I just hope my children grow up to realize that bad things may happen to them, but if they keep their heart free of bitterness and open to faith and love then they can overcome any bad that happens to them, so as long as they want to move forward.

Are Some People Simply Meant to be Alone?

This is a question I have pondered for quite a many years. Why? Well because no matter how many times I end up in a long term committed relationship, within a year something is always missing for me. I start to feel weighted, I start feeling alone. I look at my life and see that I am doing as much as I would be doing if I were living alone, but now I have to deal with another adult being in the house. That presence of another person just drives me bonkers – this goes for room mates, visitors and a partner. I just don’t like being around the same adult every single day. I enjoy having my space, my freedom to just sit in my house without anyone being around.

Are Some People Meant to be Alone?Take my kid free weekends. If I have been with someone for about a year, I start to wish they had somewhere else to be. I want them out of the home so that I can spend two solid days in complete utter silence. No other person’s energy, words or presence to agitate me. I enjoy my alone time, but see I enjoy my alone time much deeper than just needing more time to me. Get a hobby, some will say. Get out of the house, go have fun. You deserve me time, some will say. I do that. It doesn’t help anything. I slowly start to feel suffocated by the existence of another adult in my world.

The funny thing is? I never feel that way about my children. Although I do know I need that break I get every other weekend from my handful son’s, I never feel suffocated or as if they are too much to have around all of the time. I also feel that same way with my oldest, and only daughter, she is a joy to be around all of the time and even on her rough days, I don’t wish she wasn’t around. The presence of my children simply calms me, soothes me, makes me feel happy. There has yet to be another adult in this world that I can handle sharing my life with beyond one year. That’s just a fact.

Going into relationships or even upon meeting someone at first; I am honest in that I say I am a free spirit, I like change. I am that type of person who usually has a different new-to-me vehicle every year if possible. I also have moved a lot since losing my first home, prior to that home ownership, I moved at least once a year for various reasons. I remember when I signed the papers to my home and moved in, I started to question why did I even buy a home? I was a single Mom of one back then and knew I didn’t do well with being in the same place for too long. It’s just who I am and maybe has to to do with me needing more alone time to learn why I am that way. I enjoy analyzing myself and learning why I do the things I do. I then work on making it better, but I can’t make it better when I am feeling constantly drained of all happy energy.

I think the ultimate point I am trying to make here is that sometimes, some people are simply meant to be alone. I don’t mean forever. I am sure that each of us may have a special person out there, but I honestly enjoy being alone. I don’t mind it one bit. It gets lonely, sure. But what I am realizing, as I gain more female friendships, is that being alone isn’t all that rough. I would rather live alone than live with someone. I just don’t like sharing my world for long term.

Being in the same house with another adult is just too much for me. It brings on this feeling as if I am having the life choked out of me. The other odd fact I have found is that when I am a single Mom, living alone with three kids, I am better with finances than when I reside with another adult who has another income coming into the home. Go figure that one out? I haven’t figured it out.

I think time is necessary for me to truly come to a determination of what’s going on. I have spoken to a counselor and well he is pretty much in agreeance that due to me having a special needs child, it is going to be vitally important I have a partner {if I have one} that can fit into that. My middle child is going to require a lot of my attention and energy for the rest of my life. I need to be fully aware that I HAVE TO BE AT THE BEST OF ME in order to raise all three children, but specifically my special needs child. That is okay with me. I love my three children to the center of the Earth and back, I will always be their rock and love them unconditionally. Sadly, I just can’t ever feel that way for long term about another adult. I love people and I care for them but I am simply better off doing things alone. The rhythm gets messed up with another adult in the house, it really does and then I get off balanced which them makes the kids act amuck and then my life just spirals downward.

I refuse to do this. I need to rise above. I need to stop worrying about others and realize what is ultimately best for ME. For what is best for ME will be best for my KIDS and while change is always difficult, if it’s a positive change and I remind myself I JUST DO BETTER LIVING ALONE, then things will look up eventually. I don’t feel like I am broken, but maybe I do still have some things to work on with myself, and need time alone, living alone to work through them. I am okay with that, every day is about building on yourself …. and I can’t let my fear of hurting someone’s feelings keep me from being the best I can be and doing what I need to do to keep the best of me.

Many won’t understand, honestly most never do. But I believe that’s because most people I know don’t live life to ensure they are meeting their deepest inner happiness OR they were blessed to have met their perfect soul mate and couldn’t imagine life without them. I haven’t been there yet. I thought it was so, but again, after a year, it never sticks. And that says I need to work on me again, but first I need to place myself in a positive parenting position to ensure all of my hard work as a parent is going to continue to pay off. I have to be honest though, this time around, I am witnessing that a comfort zone has been approached and so I am seeing the person I am with in a whole new light, while I’ve tried to explain it to him, he doesn’t fully see where I am coming from. I do feel it’s not a 100% my issue, I think that I am me from day one and sometimes the people I meet end up being a far off version of who they portrayed themselves to be and since we moved in together at about six months of dating, this happened quicker than later.

I think most people need to follow that two year rule, 1 year to get to know each other and a 2nd year to figure out if that real version of the person works for your world. I don’t ever take enough time to remember that rule …. but I can’t live in sadness, anger and fear because I don’t want to hurt anyone, don’t want to be judged. I don’t mean judged by outsiders, either, I mean by family members. I have yet to live an adult life they seem to support EVER, except for a couple super close family members. I have to let go that I am not the person they want me to be and if they truly love me then being here, supporting me and my kids would be in the best interest of things. I can’t change others and others can’t change me – let’s learn to love and accept people for their honesty and commitment to being 100% whole inside and happy, whether you “approve” or not.

 

“Image courtesy of moggara12 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.

Let’s Get Real – Relationships are Hard Work #fiance #relationships

I was watching this documentary the other weekend called America Reframed After Happily Ever After and it opened my mind to some areas that I should be working on, while I was aware of the areas the show just helped my fiance and I sort of nod our head in an agreement with this show in more ways than one.

Relationships Are Hard WorkMy fiance and I have always had pretty decent communication skills, let’s face it when you meet someone who has three kids and you have two almost teenagers, well it’s going to require a lot of preparation to see if the blended family scenario will work. While you can never crease out all wrinkles in a blended family, you can at least go into it resting assured your combined children are not going to kill each other. The biggest factor to us starting our world as a couple or not, was whether our children would combine together well, meaning that they actually “liked” each other. And they did/do.

That was our first step in relationship, okay well technically our first step was meeting over coffee and conversation to see if we even would hit it off as two adults together. And we did/do.

Heading into the second part of our year together, meaning we have survived two winters and one full year together, this is now marking one year and about four months time … we are noticing the need to have a greater level of communication and honestly can be found discussing a variety of topics til the wee hours of the morning. The topics that we usually get stuck on are;

  • Staying positive and confident we will get back on top of finances after our first Winter season in newly purchased home.
  • How we are going to work with and handle various tidbits of details with his two teenager children and his ex wife.
  • What we can do for each other to be kinder and show more gratitude for our relationship.
  • Calling our own selves out on our mistakes, faults and areas we feel we should work on as a couple as well as an individual.

Do not get me wrong, we spend a lot of hours discussing our positive areas living together with my three children and his two occasionally visiting us. We have found that for the first time in forever, we are two people who simply balance each other. I have to give my fiance props for hanging in there through our second Winter season together; Winter is a very difficult season for me and this years was even harder than the last in regards to mood stability. We hung in there though and now as the sunshine comes out from the sky, the birds chirp in the air and we see that Spring has finally come, things are getting kinder and more relaxed around here.

One thing that my fiance and I knew going into our relationship is that nothing is going to be easy, nothing is going to go by the book and with five combined children, nothing is ever going to shock us. There are times where we just shake our head, because we had a feeling certain things may happen. It’s like we have been so comfortable in our skin in our relationship that nothing surprises us anymore. We work as a team no matter what comes about, but that is not to say that he does things that drive me bonkers and vice versa.

A good friend of mine once told me that we all have things that irk us, but things that irk us a bit are not always deal breakers. Each of us has a subconscious list of deal breakers; things in a partner that just won’t work with us. I have to be honest, there isn’t any of those things with my fiance. We both were talking last night about how we never talk badly about each other, there have been times this Winter where I vented but the end result was me dealing with my own issues raising an autistic child, juggling three kids schedules and trying to work during the slow season. Basically, anytime that I felt I wanted to walk out that door on my fiance, the man I committed to marry within the next year, really didn’t come down to him as an individual, it came down to the fact that I am not so easy nor selfless all of the time in a relationship scenario.

I have been so completely used to being alone or living as if I was alone that it’s extremely difficult for me to step back and realize that not only is it a wonderful skill to be a selfless parent, but it’s a wonderful addition to any relationship when you can be just as selfless to your loving partner! There’s still a ways for us to go but at the end of the day, we are happy to be together, we want our future with each other in it, side by side and what sells me the most is how my children look up to him as Agent Waffle, aka Dad # 2.