Archive for January, 2015

SURVIVING PARENTHOOD

January 30, 2015

After observing a bunch of parents lately, I’ve decided to write a few columns about survival in the land of the birth to teenage-hood.  My children are grown now.  I think some new parents could use a little boost.

I must begin by telling my audience that I raised my children in an era of  “it’s Mom’s job.”  When we first married my husband informed me that if “I” decided to have children, he would be happy to take over when they got to be around thirteen.  That’s why “I” decided we would wait a few years—seven to be exact.

First, let’s debunk a few old wives tales that are just that.  Holding a child never caused them to be spoiled.  I firmly believe that children are spoiled by giving them too much stuff and not enough love.  So if you have time—hold the child!

The second tale I want to debunk is that letting the child cry is good for them. That only works if you are totally deaf.  If you let the child cry, it tends to result in you getting annoyed and stressed out.  Yes, I know you have a million jobs to do, but a few minutes of extra loving will make your life so much easier.  There’ll be a time down line when you will want the child to spread their wings and be independent.  The first year of life is not that time.

I know it’s 8 o’clock and your favorite show is on, but take a few minutes to play with your child.  Talk to them.  Show them how the rattle on the bouncy seat works.  You’ll never regret it and there are always reruns. This goes for reading to a child, also.  Holding your child and reading them a simple story where you point out the pictures will reap huge rewards when they are ready to read.

Be sure and take time to enjoy your child.  They grow up so fast and that sweet face that’s smiling at you now will turn into a snarling teenager more quickly than you think.

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THE STRENGTH OF PIONEER WOMEN

January 16, 2015

A recent event in my own life has me thinking about pioneer women’s strength not just physically but emotionally. I’ve had to be strong in the face of a pretty daunting event and in their words not mine “bear up” under the circumstances. The women of the 1880’s through early 1900’s were a hearty lot. Most of them faced the strong winds or blizzards and kept on walking, literally and figuratively

I’d like to make mention of these strong souls of my acquaintance and give them a bow of respect. Many women homesteaded without the benefit of a male partner. Sometimes this phenomenon occurred in order to increase the number of acres needed for a family to survive, and some happened because these women just wanted it that way. These strong women built their own homestead shacks, hunted animals for survival, and weathered howling winter blizzards by themselves. Two women who homesteaded a few miles south of where I live worked the land and proved up on the homestead and took care of the duties of home, land, and children while their respective husbands worked hundreds of miles away in mountain mines to earn a living. I’m sure the men didn’t get home often either. .

Two spinster sisters who lived less than a mile from me spent their entire lives working at the farm/ranch after their father committed suicide when they were teenagers. Their mother had died years earlier. They were hard in the way that people become hard from years of working to survive, but they had a soft spot for a little girl who loved to hear their stories.

My own grandmother weathered the hardships of pioneer life and never entered a hospital when bringing thirteen children into the world. Two died but the remaining eleven lived to maturity and she never went to the hospital to birth any of them. In that era going to the hospital wasn’t the norm.

I stand in awe of these women. They had a tough inner core that compelled them to be strong and face adversity in the face of staggering problems. In the next few months, I hope I can do them proud.

TOO MUCH, TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE

January 9, 2015

Lately I’ve been dealing with a large corporation. I won’t sully their name all over, although I’m tempted to do exactly that. My frustration has grown to epic proportions and my blood pressure has followed exponentially. As soon as I calm down, I’m writing a letter.

I might mention that I’ve dealt with this corporation in the past, but because there were no changes in anything the transition was smooth.

So here is the story. First I should mention that I have no desire to fight crowds or pour over the merchandise laying all over the store floor, so I do my Christmas shopping on the Internet. The second contributing factor to this nightmare is that we lost our personal checkbook in late November. The second factor resulted in having to open a new checking account with all the accompanying hassle.

Armed with a new account, I ordered my last Christmas presents from this corporation after changing all of the information in their website. Repeatedly I was told my bank was refusing to pay for the items.

Early one Saturday armed with all the necessary information I braved the freezing weather to visit my friendly (and he is friendly) banker. Together we called the corporation’s customer service line and explained the problem. The representative assured us the problem would be solved later that day (of course, after the bank was closed.) Over the next two days, I was assured every six hours by email that my order had been rejected—now I feel like a REJECT. I finally gave up and ordered the items elsewhere.

I’m going to carefully consider whether I’ll ever order from this corporation again. This entity has too much red tape, too little customer service, and is too late to solve my problem now. What happened to making the customer your priority?