The Gallery – Frightful

The Gallery is the brainchild of Sticky Fingers.  Every Friday she gives a prompt, an idea, a notion and we have to go out and take a photograph using that prompt. Or just use a photo you already have.  I then have to  post it on my blog and write about it.

So this weeks prompt is ‘frightful’.  I’ve looked through a lot of the other entries and obviously as it’s halloween that has been the focus of a lot of people’s pictures.  As I wrote in an earlier post I’m a bit bah humbug about halloween so I have no such photos so I’ve just spent the last half an hour looking through past pictures on my computer trying to find something that would sum up frightful and I found one that I thought fits quite well.

Frightful – frightful parenting

Earlier this year some great friends of ours got married in South Africa.  My husband was an usher and therefore part of the wedding party which meant he sat up in the front pew.  That left me trying to keep the children entertained and quiet for about 45 minutes.  I’m a HUGE fan of weddings and the actual ceremony and even more so when I love the couple as much as I love this couple.  So I thought about it when we were packing for our holiday and I decided to invest in 2 pairs of headphones that I could plug into my iPad which would allow the children to watch tv (which always keeps them quiet) but obviously with no sound coming out.  It worked an absolute treat and they gave me 45 minutes of quiet while I watched a magical ceremony.

The reaction from others was a mixed bag. The majority thought it was a great idea and were going to follow suit in the future but a few looked in that way that told me they thought it was ‘frightful’ parenting 🙂

Thanks for listening and I look forward to next weeks gallery with a theme of Autumn.

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In-Laws or Out-Laws?

I think this is a very emotive subject for most relationships.  Very very real for any couple but I’m going to talk about it from a woman’s perspective.

Mother-In-Laws-Present out laws

When you start dating someone the last thing on your mind I suppose is “Will I get on with his family”, and even as you get more serious and therefore spend more time with his family, it’s only in short bursts so therefore all very amicable!

So at what point do you think we start thinking about the family that we’ll be “adopting”.  When do we think “can I live the rest of my life with them being part of my family”?

Since getting married 6 years ago and now being a parent I have spent many many many hours with  friends discussing their in-laws (or in some cases out-laws) and I have to say in more cases than not it’s a negative conversation.

Starting with marriage, the mother-in-law can get too involved with wedding plans and makes decisions that the bride doesn’t want.  Then onto children where there can always be a view on what to do and how to do it.

Then, another real issue, does the husband stick up for his wife in front of his parents or take what he feels is the easy ride and lets it go only to have it in the back from his wife when behind closed doors?

I will always remember the first time I met Mr P’s parents.  I was feeling absolutely awful, I had a really really bad cold but I had to go to theirs to stay for the weekend.  We arrived mid evening on the Friday night and had supper straight away.  I kept on having to excuse myself to leave the room to blow my nose or sneeze and found it really really difficult to make conversation.  Anyway, after supper I went upstairs on the pre tense of going to the loo but in fact I locked myself into the bathroom to phone my Mummy to have a cry about how awful I was feeling.  When I opened the door to go back downstairs my darling mother-in-law was standing there with her arms open and just gave me the most wonderful cuddle, she then took me to my bedroom and put me to bed.  She came back up with a hot toddy and kept on coming to check on me throughout the evening.  I will never forget this to this day.

I won’t say it’s always been absolutely perfect.  We had the discussions after we got engaged as to numbers and which family and friends they could invite.  I had to take a deep breath a few times and let my husband sort out the situation.  But none of these issues were major just a bit annoying at the time.

I would love to be able to sit here now and say that I’ve also had some difficulty with her since I’ve had kids but unfortunately I can’t as very sadly she died 3 weeks before my eldest was born having struggled with cancer for the previous 18 months.  She would have made the most phenomenal Granny and there’s not a day that goes by that I’m not sad about what she’s missing out on.

However, I am now left with an amazing father-in-law (he was always great but I think maybe a bit more amazing now).  If she was alive I’m not sure he would have stepped up to the mark with the Grandkids as much as he has.  But here is a man who never changed his own children’s nappies let alone looked after them on his own and who is now on his own with no help.  However he regularly has our two for the weekend to allow us to go to weddings etc.  He’s never ever tried to advise me on how to parent, he’s just been there to congratulate me on the job i’m doing with them and to be there to support me when I need help with the kids or a glass of wine to be poured etc.

So when I sit with my friends who are quite often talking about annoying things their in-laws have done I just have to sit back and offer sympathy but thank my lucky stars for being blessed with mine.

Are you lucky enough to have in-laws or do you have to put up with the out-laws?  And if out-laws do you find yourself fighting with your partner as they’re not sticking up for you like you would expect?