I often talk about how different my husband and I are, but yet we are so similar. I think where I see the most difference is within our individual families. I feel that our family values are different as well. I have spoken about us being from different sides of the track and I have shared my own issues with absentee grandparents. When I think about it more and more it’s all about the difference in our families and values but somewhere along the lines as parents we are meeting and making it work for us. We are taking these differences and working through them together to benefit our lives, if that makes sense.
Let me explain. My husband’s parents live in The Dominican Republic and his mom travels often. But she never takes the time to travel when she knows my children are off from school to reconnect with them. It’s always at her own convenience. His father hasn’t seen my oldest since he was just months old and he has never met my youngest. He’s come to the United States but didn’t make much of an effort to come and see our boys. Now, this post isn’t to “dog” them out but it’s to place emphasis on the importance of family and values for me. These serve as perfect examples for the type of grandparents my husband and I don’t want to be when we enter that phase of our lives.
Even the phone calls are not consistent. My boys have had years of no phone calls on birthdays and holidays with not even a signed card, an empty card at that would be appreciated. Careless acts like this KILL ME! How could you NOT make time for your grandkids? A simple holiday like Valentine’s Day to remind children just how special they are…. no phone call. With my mom it’s a bit different. Although she doesn’t live too far, and she doesn’t make the best effort to be in the lives of my boys (her life is so busy… has a sarcasm font been developed yet?). She’ll call or text them to let them know they are being thought of and that does go a long way. I appreciate that effort even though it isn’t much in my book, it’s something.
I am tired of making excuses for our different families and different values. I use these not so good examples to only better myself and fuel the way that I want to be. Funny, hubby and I have our differences of opinion, as all people do but one thing we agree on is this. When we are blessed with grandchildren, we want to help their parents – our boys and their chosen partners in parenthood. We want to be different than our parents were. We discussed early this morning that all relationships need time to breathe and that’s what we want to provide for our children. We want to provide them with a security of knowing that their parents and their children’s grandparents are present in all aspects of their lives. We want our children to know that we are here for them in anything they need, anything! But we won’t be smothering them either… we’ll let them breathe.
Although my husband and I come from different families with different values, I truly believe he has learned what is right and what’s wrong by observing his own parents as examples. He’s realized how he doesn’t want to be and it has made us more united. Now we share what we want for the future. Our family values and differences haven’t driven us apart, in fact it has tightened our union to believe that some people just can’t be changed. That’s not the goal here, to change others. The goal is to enable others to see that through differences something great can come out of it all. Our children will know what it is to have supportive parents and parents who pay attention to the details of their lives. They will know that regardless of their age, we will remain by their sides and support them in all that they do. Neither of us really had that in our own experiences, but we are willing to give that to our children. So although we may come from different families and values, we know the example that was set for us is one that we will NOT live by. We will set a greater, more supportive example for the generations in our family to come.
Sound off: Do you find you have a supportive family? How do you hope to be a better support system for your children and their kids?