Still catching up on the subjects I've missed!
So reading all your stories, I guess I'm pretty fortunate on the family issue - my parents and my MIL are all pretty normal and good people - I mean no one is perfect (not even moi!
) so we do disagree from time to time. (FIL passed away in 2003, and now he was amazing - the sweetest man EVER, and anyone who knew him said that! Totally miss him, wish I'd gotten to be his daughter-in-law for longer than I did!)
My mom has always been great - she and I are very close, she's always been there for me. My dad and I had some issues when I was a teenager, but things got much better with a little distance when I was in college, and now our relationship is really pretty good - and I have to say, I have some issues with him as a father, but he is a really great grandfather! Seeing him in a different light, with my kids, has really helped me forgive him for a lot of things from the past that I had some resentment about. Despite our differences, my folks have always been there for me, no matter what.
Our main difficulty now is that my parents (mostly my dad) are not particularly religious or even ethical, and pretty materialistic in some ways, so they think we're a little weird
We also started doing the "three gifts like Jesus got" thing this year, in an effort to cut down on the commercialization and secularization of the holiday, and so we also asked them to scale down their gifts this year - that Butterscotch pony was more than enough for the girls - and they said we were ruining their fun. My dad's attitude is, you should take all you can get, regardless. For example, my father ordered several new super-high-end Dell laptops for his business, and somehow they shipped him an extra one which he hadn't paid for, and he offered it to us and then got all insulted that we wouldn't take it. I mean, I was DYING to take it!! But it's wrong - it's the equivalent of stealing. (And DH and I really, REALLY wanted that computer!! We even went as far as asking our priest about it, if there was any way to justify keeping it. Big surprise, the answer was no!
) So I told him if he called Dell and asked them and they said go ahead and keep it (it had no paperwork or documentation with it so they might), then I'd be so grateful to have it. But he wouldn't call them - he sold it on eBay instead. My father's first reaction upon hearing about our flood was, "Hey - anything you've been wanting to replace, go put it in the water and then tell the insurance adjuster it was damaged in the flood and you'll get a new one! I have a guy who can give you a phony receipt for your old TV saying it cost like $2000 or whatever and then you can replace it with a big plasma one!" I was like, um, that's called insurance fraud...?! Which is illegal, not to mention a sin! So again he gets all offended and is like, "Well if you guys are too good and holier-than-thou for us, then don't bother calling me for sympathy..." But you have to understand, my dad had a REALLY rough life growing up, so I try to cut him some slack. He was dirt poor as a kid and suffered a lot but then worked hard and made it big all by his own sweat and tears, as they say, so I guess that's why he's the way he is.
Anyway, sorry for the therapy-session-length discourse on my dad, but whatever
He's also bailed me out of some scrapes, and always done his best for me, so I'm grateful to him.
Certainly the way we parent is quite different from the way my folks and my MIL did, so that occasionally causes some raised eyebrows. Like, MIL thinks cosleeping is nuts, and I am very passionate about it. Dad was a yeller & spanker. And my mom was just telling Teresa the other day about my first trip to Disney World when I was her age -and she happened to mention that they'd left my brother, 6 months at the time, home with my grandmother for the week! I never knew that! They thought he was too young to enjoy the trip, so it would be better to leave him in familiar surroundings and get to focus just on me. I was like, Andrew is 6 months old and I could not imagine leaving him for more than an hour or so, let alone a WEEK! (Obviously she was not bfing - she did not even try to breastfeed either of us - she said "the idea never appealed to me" - thanks Mom!) But she was and is a really great mom (and grandma) in so many other ways. And she's very deferential to me with my kids - she always asks me how I want things done when she watches them, what they're allowed to eat, etc.