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Saturday, April 12, 2008


Can you honestly say you like your in-laws? I can, but they are definitely frustrating sometimes. My husband and I grew up in very different ways. I grew up in a small town where nothing ever happened. I was very sheltered from the world in general. Kathie always portrayed the family as wealthy, however, I don't know if this was really just a front (they could have been in major debt for all I know). I went to Catholic school all my life and was pretty much just a status symbol to Kathie, as were my 2 brothers. Everything was a show for her. So we all had to be dressed to the nine, extremely clean, and well behaved 24/7. I wasn't allowed to get dirty or go into certain rooms in the house. As I watch my own kids grow from babies to independent kids, I am realizing that the way I grew up was very strange. How could any mother not let their kids play in the dirt? Or smash cake all over their face at their first birthday? But I digress...My husband grew up in a rough city without tons of money. He had to fight kids in order to play in his neighborhood. He went to city schools and the stories he tells me just astound me. I get sick and think I could never send my kids to a school like that (I don't care what I had to do to get the money to move out of a school district like that). So, like I said, very different childhoods.

So I can understand the way my in-laws are and I try very hard to be open to their opinions, beliefs, and actions. After all, life would be very boring if everyone was the same, right? But sometimes they make it very difficult. They live about 25 minutes away from us and about 10 minutes away from my husband's sister. His sister, as a bit of background, is pretty much a train wreck at this point. She has twin 3-year-old girls to her ex-husband (this would be ex-husband #2). The reason he's an ex is because she was seeing some other guy behind his back. So after they divorced, she got pregnant by this other guy (who, by the way, has a wife a child and his wife is pregnant). I'm convinced she tried to get pregnant, but I really have no proof...doesn't really matter anyway. So she thinks this new guy is going to leave his wife and marry her. But he didn't. No, instead, he started beating her up (in front of the children, no less). She stayed with him for a while, but finally left him. He's currently trying to get 50% custody of their child and doesn't pay child support. So now she's a single mother of 3 kids and makes probably $12/hour. She always complains about how she can't afford anything. However, she always gets a large tax return ($8000 last year) and ALWAYS does something stupid with it. Last year, she bought herself a diamond ring ($2000) and bought a pool that she is now trying to sell because of all of the work that is involved. This year she took her new boyfriend to Vegas. Hello? I'm thinking maybe you should buy food or pay your gas bill or something smart at least!

So I guess my in-laws feel sorry for her or something because they are ALWAYS saying how hard she has it and how tough it is for her. Um, excuse me? Did she not bring these things on herself? OK, she definitely didn't deserve to get hit, but everything else she pretty much could have predicted if she had just used her brain! My in-laws run over to her house every time she calls. Literally. Every time. They have given her tons of money and groceries. They babysit for her constantly. She only has them every other weekend, but she still seems to drop them off at my in-laws when she does have them. I just don't get it. They only come to see us about once a month (because it's just so far...yea, 25 minutes is crazy!) and they normally stay 2 hours max. They were here today and literally stayed for 2 hours. They made up some excuse as to why they had to leave, but we saw right through it. Doug's sister had called about 30 minutes before they "had to leave". We knew what was going on.

It saddens me. Not for me or even Doug, but for our kids. They don't understand why they hardly ever see their grandparents; they just know they don't see them that often. But they could see them so much more if the in-laws would just fix their priorities a little. If that were my daughter screwing up her life like that, I would cut her off, both financially and in the way of babysitting. If she were forced to go to the stinking grocery store by herself with her kids, she would do it. But she won't, and hasn't...ever. She has never gone ANYWHERE with those kids by herself. She calls my mother-in-law or my father-in-law. The one time they actually said no because they were out to dinner with friends, she had the audacity to be mad at them. What? They do have their own lives! But she has become so dependent on them (and they have been enabling her) that she literally thinks she's entitled. But they keep giving in to it. And none of them will listen to reason. It baffles me.