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Thread: My mom told me that going out to eat with my kids "mortifies" her :( Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
08-31-2011 05:37 PM
Adaline'sMama What an OLD thread, but it goes well on TAO right after the thread we just had about restaurants.
08-31-2011 06:27 AM
Imakcerka

Okay, amazingly everyone missed the point.  Your mother upset you, you needed support from us.  However some chose to practically do the same thing your mother did... WOW! 

 

She did not ask you how you felt she managed the situation with her son.  Why did anyone feel the need to comment on a small issue and not discuss what was really bothering her?  The attitude that you know best about kids in a restaraunt is unfair and theres another thread for that.

08-31-2011 06:14 AM
Imakcerka

Hmmm support is 50/50 here.  I feel I'm still learning from my mother.  Though she's a flake and kind of an oddball grandma.  Way too posh for me.  Anyway in situations where my kids were not doing well, Miss prim and proper would start goofing around, I mean she put straws up her nose for the love of Judas and had my DD's in hystarics minues after all their tears.  Then she colored with them and shared her drink slobbery straw and all.  Again my mom is kind of a sucky mom very all about herself.  However I'm somehow still learning from her. 

 

So I'm sorry your mom let you down.  She's your mother and in difficult situations, she should share the load.  Or so I've learned from my mother. 

08-30-2011 08:46 AM
Soul-O

/

08-30-2011 08:45 AM
Soul-O

/

08-14-2010 02:44 PM
TCMoulton
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
Anyone else finding it weird that there wasn't already food at the table at a Crackerbarrel? Especially when they were seating a group with two kids? Bet when the OP's ds started to squawk the waiter was like ": I didn't get biscuits to that table yet?" and ran with the crackers.
Every time we have eaten there biscuits or cornbread (YUM!) have been delivered to the table after we have placed our order.
08-14-2010 01:45 PM
lach
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
Anyone else finding it weird that there wasn't already food at the table at a Crackerbarrel? Especially when they were seating a group with two kids? Bet when the OP's ds started to squawk the waiter was like ": I didn't get biscuits to that table yet?" and ran with the crackers.
Every time I've eaten there, and at most restaurants, they bring your bread when they take your order or right after. So you've already bee sitting there with your menus for a while.
08-14-2010 12:41 PM
sapphire_chan Anyone else finding it weird that there wasn't already food at the table at a Crackerbarrel? Especially when they were seating a group with two kids? Bet when the OP's ds started to squawk the waiter was like ": I didn't get biscuits to that table yet?" and ran with the crackers.
08-13-2010 11:57 PM
DCMama01 ^^^As the oldest of 6, I stand by what I said. I was 6 when the next child was born and we've always gone out to eat. Even if I was older, my siblings were not.
08-13-2010 03:49 PM
EdnaMarie
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amila View Post
Well, gee thanks for the support. I *could* have taken him for a walk, but by the time it came to that he had already calmed down. Plus, he wouldn't have wanted to walk with me- he would have wanted to walk with Grammy, and she knew this. I don't think having a kid who acts out for a few minutes in Cracker Barrell is rude, but thanks.
Your mom's response was unacceptable. Nowadays we can't leave kids at home with just anybody without everyone thinking we're neglectful, but everyone knows they are just kids.

We are stuck between a rock and a hard place.

That said, I was also surprised you let him fuss in the restaurant... until I heard it was Cracker Barrel. Even if it means they cry more, we take our kids out. For some people, Cracker Barrel once a month might be their big treat.

I know, I know, that may include you. I have a 3.5 yo DD and a 1.5 yo DD, I know.

Your mom's comment was rude and unhelpful anyway. She should have offered to take your child for a walk. I know my mom does!

Quote:
I know that when I was growing up, I wouldn't dream of making a scene or my parents would have embarrassed me.
They wouldn't have taken a two-year-old to a restaurant, period. It just wasn't done until recently, and not with older kids, either, mainly because it was soooo much easier to leave kids at home. Two-year-olds don't get embarrassed. I know many families that spank and it doesn't prevent behavior like spilling stuff. So what you are remembering is yourself as a much older child, not yourself at two. Unless you were a discipline prodigy. I suppose that is possible. But in all likelihood this is comparing apples to oranges... and I don't say this because I don't agree with you in general, just because I think until we recognize that parents today are expected to do what NO OTHER GENERATION has done... we are going to hate ourselves.

So IMO unless baby boomers, who raised us leaving us at home with a 10-y-o cousin or worse, are prepared to disarm all these laws about child care and neglect and re-calibrate their baby-rearing monitors, they can take all their "you nevers" and shove them where the sun don't shine.

I can't leave my kids in the car at the post office, and if one person tells me that I'm not managing them (even though I spend 100% of my time entertaining them and re-directing them) while there, but they manage to go insane while I sign the check, argh, I will go OFF on them, I swear.

It's so unfair, the double dose of expectations. I can only hope it will even out as our generation comes of age...
08-13-2010 02:34 PM
Dr.Worm OP, Grandma was being mean. If she wasn't going to help she could have at least shown you sympathy instead of making it worse for you. You have a right to be hurt.
08-13-2010 01:33 PM
Juvysen wait, did the drink spill? For some reason when I read "threw his drink" I assumed sippy cup... which I just wouldn't think of as a big deal, I guess, because DS was a big sippy cup thrower when he was angry. That is, you'd offer it, and he'd take it like he wanted it and then throw it... and if you grabbed it/caught it, he'd get mad and try and get it back from you so he could throw it more definitively. That said, he didn't do that in restaurants too often, but I could see it happening. I guess it'd be a different deal, to me, if it was a drink that made a huge mess all over the floor...
08-13-2010 12:10 PM
LROM Ooops, never mind, lots more posts that I hadn't read yet!
08-13-2010 09:31 AM
DCMama01
Quote:
Originally Posted by odenata View Post
OP - your mom was definitely rude and unhelpful. I'm really sorry about that.

However, I think the situation might have been handled better.



They won't learn if you don't teach them, either. A two year old who is screaming and throwing his drink on the floor needs to be removed from the situation. Not just for the peace of the other diners, but also so he can begin to learn what is and isn't acceptable behavior. Take him outside, help him calm down, bring him back in when food is ready.

Of course parents don't need to "hide their kids away," but they should teach/help their children behave appropriately. Also, as a PP noted, they should set them up for success. I have made the mistake of going out to eat with a tired, grumpy child and that is exactly what it was - a mistake. We all make them.
I completely agree! That was a teachable moment. I've taken DD at the wrong time (long overdue for a nap) and we've left the table to go for a walk outside until she was calm.

Grandma comes from a different generation though. I know that when I was growing up, I wouldn't dream of making a scene or my parents would have embarrassed me.
08-09-2010 09:08 PM
*bejeweled*
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pirogi View Post
What a terrible reaction by your mother! I am sorry.

Her choice of words makes it seem like YOU were the reason she was unhappy, when really it was because she isn't secure enough in herself to deflect judgment when a 2-yr-old acts like a 2-yr-old. It was very blaming language, and her reaction to your child right afterwards reinforces that she was acting out her insecurities on others. Not helpful and very disappointing.
My thoughts exactly! It sounds like your Mom cares too much about what others think. My Mom is like this. She often treats complete strangers and her friends better than she treats her own daughter. It sucks. But she is who she is.
08-09-2010 09:00 PM
*bejeweled*
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amila View Post
The real issue is with my mom, and me coming to terms with the way that she has changed, and her utter lack of understanding and support. She looks at me with an eyebrow raised for having 2 kids and one on the way, loves the "glory" of having grandchildren, but doesn't really care much about anything but her own life. And it is upsetting.
I totally understand how you feel. My Mom is the same way. Quick to judge and criticize. I wrote her a letter and told her how I felt. She has made a huge improvement and now knows that she better think before she speaks. So at least now, it's silence. Albeit a disapproving silence.

She is not at all the grandmother I expected her to be. And it hurts. However, she tries now in her own way. But really, her life is all about her. It truly baffles me. My DD is her only grandchild. But to each her own.
08-09-2010 08:44 PM
midstreammama This was an eye- opening post for me. I had no idea so many moms shared the same type of gma that I have with my own mother. She just doesn't seem interested. It makes me sad.
08-09-2010 05:30 PM
journeymom
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pirogi View Post
What a terrible reaction by your mother! I am sorry.

Her choice of words makes it seem like YOU were the reason she was unhappy, when really it was because she isn't secure enough in herself to deflect judgment when a 2-yr-old acts like a 2-yr-old. It was very blaming language, and her reaction to your child right afterwards reinforces that she was acting out her insecurities on others. Not helpful and very disappointing.
Exactly. Well put.
08-09-2010 05:12 PM
sapphire_chan
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amila View Post
Well, gee thanks for the support. I *could* have taken him for a walk, but by the time it came to that he had already calmed down. Plus, he wouldn't have wanted to walk with me- he would have wanted to walk with Grammy, and she knew this. I don't think having a kid who acts out for a few minutes in Cracker Barrell is rude, but thanks.
The acting out is fine, the drink throwing not so much. Even so, just tell the waitstaff, leave an extra tip, and move on with life. about your mom's reaction.

(Assuming that the throwing was down onto the floor and not at another table or something. )
08-07-2010 02:50 PM
EFmom I don't think your mom is much different than many people who are grandparents today. My mom passed away and my dad remarried a widowed woman with grown kids and grandchildren. Neither of them have any interest in my kids. A lot of folks who are grandparents are of the opinion that they worked hard, raised their own kids, and now prefer to spend their time in the company of adults, doing the things they want to do. In fact, there are studies that show that the key factor in a happy retirement is not grandchildren or family--it's having your own friends around.

It's a disappointment for me, too. I had a phenomenal grandma, and I wish my kids could experience the same kind of unconditional love that I got. But it isn't up to me, and I can't make my father be someone he isn't. For several years it just killed me, until I made my peace with it and stopped expecting things that weren't going to happen.

I hope I'll be a better grandparent. But I might not be. To be honest, I don't have much patience for little kids and their noise and mess. It's different when they are your own I think.
08-07-2010 01:36 PM
LittleBattleAxe To the OP's post, I think your mom was out of line. Even if she thought those things, it was not productive or helpful whatsoever to voice the thoughts. Perhaps her internal filter doesn't come on until later in the day? Anyway, I would have been very hurt if my mother said things like that to me.

Me, my personal preference, is not to eat out with young children -- it's just a headache for me and I could never enjoy myself (I'm talking about my own children here, say, before they were 3). I always ended up eating little bites here and there while distracting/entertaining my LOs and not really being able to enjoy whatever adult company was there. I do have many friends who dine out regularly with their LOs and it works for them, but for me, I just found it much less fun than eating on a relaxed schedule at home.

I also think it's harder to parent publically -- people ARE looking at you and making assumptions. Which is why I found your mom's comments especially unhelpful.
08-07-2010 01:17 PM
provocativa I see both sides. If the op is used to frequenting restaurants, then she should have been more proactive. A cranky child under age 4 should never have a beverage within reach. I waited tables in every kind of restaurant, too. . . . the thrown drink thing is dangerous. Napkins and crackers everywhere, just a bit annoying. I really didn't enjoy waiting on kids very much, mostly because many parents were poor tippers, and I had to do extra work fixing the cheerios all over the floor mess for less money. I always felt like parents should tip extra for the extra mess/work, or pick up some of the mess themselves (I do this since we can't afford to tip extra now). Regulars who I knew tipped adequately, or folks who you could tell by demeanor would tip adequately. . . . I found I could enjoy waiting on them and be proactive with bringing the kids stuff to occupy them, playing peek a boo or whatever my pre-mom brain could come up with. But this thread is not about waiting tables, duh.
My kids are terrible in restaurants and we are poor, so we just don't go to them. My just turned 4 y.o. is so loud that at age 2 it sounded like she was dying if she can't have the ketchup bottle. Actually, she did just make that 4 yo developmental leap to nice, so maybe we should try again. I don't at all believe children should be seen not heard but it is way more than that with my kids. They are just louder than other kids. Cracker Barrell is one of the best places for a kid to act up though- the staff should be used to it, and the patrons expecting some racket! Here, there are some Mexican restaurants that will seat all the families in one section and let them have a ball, standing in the booths and peering at the other patrons, etc. I remember it being so much fun to go there with dd1, who was normally loud. Usually what worked better for us was to not sit down at the table until the food was being served- we would read the menu in the lobby, and alternate walking her around until the food was served, and to have special restaurant toys for any time she had to be seated but wasn't eating.

I do think what your mom said was abusive. It is fine to be mortified, and share that with you in some way, but to call a toddler nasty is way beyond me. Going anywhere with my kids WAS mortifying (before we quit eating wheat they were so hyper), and my sis and I would just grimace at each other. It is really hard to think about distancing yourself from your mother. I think about it all the time with mine when she is poisonous, but then I can't do it, and I wonder if maybe my feelings about distancing from her are wrapped up in my fear of my kids wanting to reject me similarly later? I guess you didn't ask if you should distance yourself, but. . . maybe consider it. Calling the situation mortifying was overdramatic, but calling a little 'nasty' is unacceptable.
08-04-2010 05:19 PM
Pirogi What a terrible reaction by your mother! I am sorry.

Her choice of words makes it seem like YOU were the reason she was unhappy, when really it was because she isn't secure enough in herself to deflect judgment when a 2-yr-old acts like a 2-yr-old. It was very blaming language, and her reaction to your child right afterwards reinforces that she was acting out her insecurities on others. Not helpful and very disappointing.
08-04-2010 04:08 PM
choli
Quote:
Originally Posted by tallulahma View Post
oh man. 2 is THE age for screaming in a restaurant.
It sure is. By the time DD1 outgrew it, DD2 started with it...we pretty much gave up eating out for 3 years, it wasn't worth it.
08-04-2010 03:48 PM
Soul-O

OP, thank you for filling us in on more details of the restaurant trip. I'm sorry that my response was harsh. It sounds like you did the best you could under the circumstances, and that your mom's disapproving attitude and comments probably made everyone tense (which didn't help!).

I was thinking more about this situation and the underlying family dynamic behind it. After reading the other responses here, it occured to me that many of us were raised by mothers of the post WWII baby boom generation, who were actively encouraged to reject the family lifestyles espoused by their parents. Therefore, mothering was not necessarily considered to be a satisfying endeavor, and women were often juggling the demands of workplace, marriage, and children in an atmosphere that was not always supportive of parenting. I think many of our moms just never allowed themselves to be immersed in mothering, and thus, when the grandchildren come along, they are either uninterested/intimidated/reminded of their own shortcomings.

08-04-2010 01:34 PM
RiverTam OP, I've been thinking about your situation, and I pretty much have the same conclusion that Mom2Happy has.

Your mom probably doesn't want to be the kind of grandma that you want her to be. That's really disappointing. I'm sorry.

My mom was a youngish Grandma, and just really wasn't interested in being around little kids or helping raise little kids or even putting up with little kids. I don't think she knew that she didn't have any tolerance for little kids, until after my first son was born. She was really enthused about being a grandma and doing grandma things until DS1 arrived, and then she decided that she didn't like it. She really resented me asking her to babysit or help with the kids because she didn't want to do it. (Then when I stopped asking, she hated and resented it because I didn't trust her anymore. Which I didn't, but that's a whole other topic.)

It's really tough to have no support from your mother when you're raising kids. It sucks. None of the grandparents in my family had much interest in being grandparents (except for my dad, who is now dead).

You can do it, though. Friends can be a support system when family isn't available, and we have found other adult role models for the kids through our dojo and our Montessori school.

It makes me feel really alienated from the grandparents, though. I understood that my mom really didn't like being a mom. I understood that my in-laws really didn't like being parents. It's pretty hard for me to accept that they didn't want close relationships with my kids, though, because my kids are really wonderful little people.

With the not-interested grandparents in our family, we work around the edges and let it go. If they don't want to do something, we don't do it. If they do want to do something, we try to make it happen, for the kids' sake.
08-04-2010 09:36 AM
sapphos Wow, I'm also shocked about some of the replies to the OP - it amazes me how without being in the situation so many assumptions can be made. This is supposed to be a safe place to post for support.

anyway, to the OP - I'm sorry you are having such a tough time with your mom. I have no idea how my own mom would have been with me since she passed away long ago. But I do want to say (((big hugs mama))) I hope you manage to make some strides to better communication with your mom.

And, as far as eating out in the restaurant - we've been eating out since dd was in her sling. Granted we personally would not go to a five star restaurant, but we have eaten at all levels of restaurants and most times it has been fine for us and other diners. I think that in the U.S. there is a perceived feeling that we are "entitled" to a perfectly quiet meal out. But kids aside, I can think of plenty of times when I have been disturbed by many other things than kids and that is just part of eating out because we all have the right to be there. this just makes me think of what I once read about a family that went out to eat in NYC (they were from there) and the child started to fuss and some guy had the audacity to tell them to shut their "crotch rocket" up.

We lived in Argentina for awhile and when you went to a restaurant there kids were completely involved and doted over. Kids ran around with each other (in nice restaurants), waitstaff talked to them, other families talked to them. It was way more family friendly and people didn't think you had to stay home just because you had kids. They even had special lines for families with young children at the airport, banks, grocery stores, government buildings, etc. Young people got up and gave up their seats for older people or families. People would allow you to move ahead of a line if you were obviously stuggling with a child. Anyway, off the subject but just an interesting comparison to our "seen but not heard" culture.

to the OP, I hope you have the chance to work things out with your mom soon for all of you.
08-02-2010 11:00 AM
mumkimum OP, my mom has had a tendency to - when my 3 y/o is upset and I'm trying to deal with her and sometimes come off as sounding harsh with my voice of trying to physically get her somewhere else to calm down - on barging in and going on about how I'm out of control as a parent and dealing with the situation all wrong and what I'm doing is on the verge of abusive and she can't handle being around it - so then I end up feeling totally judged, unsupported, and have to deal with a cranky/stubborn/upset kid also.
This is more out of her own issues than what I'm doing, and she hasn't/doesn't get where I'm coming from or really understand how my dd needs to get through her feelings (she's pretty intense and so many ways of handling her being out of control make everything worse). It sucks to feel unsupported like that . I would be crushed to have my mom say something like that after such a difficult situation with your kid that morning.

Dh's mom has this 'I'm going to do all this stuff with you dd!' attitude, and we see her every 3 months or so (mainly out of our attempts to plan things with her - she lives about 20 minutes away in a neighboring town). It's taken almost 4 years, but myself and dh have finally gotten over the fact that the kind of gp she talks about being (and that we kinda expected her to be) is just never going to happen. We plan a lot of fun stuff with just us and the kids instead, and don't try to make as much of an effort to do stuff with her anymore. We make more of an effort to plan gatherings with my family who's farther away, or with extended family of dh's here cause it doesn't end up being so hurtful when we have to make all kinds of changes/concessions to include her in things that don't fit our schedule or we end up being cancelled on. No real advice on how to get to that - it just took time for us and a lot of talking together and feeling disappointed.

Anyway, what I'd probably do is distance myself for awhile - not plan breakfasts or whatever until I felt better about the situation. If you can handle the change - maybe ask her to pick up some bakery pastries and coffee to bring to your place for future 'breakfasts' and turn it into a personal joke (like write 'mortification bkfast with mom' on your calendar - if that kinda thing helps you ). Visits like that would probably be shorter and involve less bs from your mom to have to deal with for the time being.
08-02-2010 10:13 AM
KempsMama
Quote:
Originally Posted by StrongBeliever View Post
Wow... I am really surprised to find so many outdated and oppressive comments along the lines of 'children being seen and not heard'. Yucko. This is the stuff many of us grew up with, and a reason why I hope many of us are trying to improve upon the way we were parented.

I understand the everyone would like children to behave nicely when going out. It's a great thing to work toward. But get real... Little kids are little kids. And a two year old? A BABY? Come on! Do any of the snarky, self righteous posters on here remember anything from their own childhoods? I sure do... I can remember plenty of occasions where I felt hurt or frightened because my parents or someone else felt compelled to 'make me behave myself'. How many times have any of you, as adults, tried to express your needs or feelings and been made to feel crappy for doing so? Or did your parents just do a really great job "teaching" you not to do that?

I'm sorry your mother let you down when you needed her, OP. My mom(also my step-dad) do a really crappy job of understanding that little kids need to be little kids and not everything goes as planned. My mom had seven kids. She uses that totally ineffective and unbelievable cop out... "I had seven kids and I'm tired of the whole mess." No excuse to not remember what small children are like.

I'd like to thank all the mamas who have posted supportive and understanding comments. I've clapped my hands a few times. We all play a part in creating the future, especially in the way we raise our children. Do we want to create a world of polished, push button mannequins that know how to run and hide when their programming fails? Or do we want a world of fearless, compassionate people that know when and how to stand their ground, and when and how to help others? When my son and daughter are adults, and eating out someplace and see some grouchy kid throw their cup on the floor, I hope they'll be the kind of people who run over and pick up the cup and offer the kid a piece of bread out of their own basket.
Thank you for your post...I got to flustered to make sense anymore.
08-02-2010 10:02 AM
mom2happy
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amila View Post
Wow. I can't believe the direction this thread took! Thank you for all of the supportive comments. And the not so supportive ones, well I don't know what to say about all of them. For the record, I DID feed my son between the hours of 5 am and 10 am, thank you very much. The child eats a LOT. And even though he was snacking on blueberries and cereal all morning does not mean he wasn't excited for the eggs and bacon he knew was coming.

And he was NOT strapped in to his highchair, left to cry, his needs un-met. He struggled to get strapped in, I tried letting him sit in it unstrapped, when that didn't work, I tried letting him sit in a "big boy" chair, and when he was still upset, he sat on my lap, with crackers, until the food came, and was fine at that point! I didn't get up and remove him from the situation immediately because 1. it wasn't going on long enough for me to feel that necessary, and 2. I wanted to look at the menu and figure out what to get so we could order ASAP. I really don't think there was anything about what happened that left my parenting skills up for question. Perhaps I wasn't specific enough in my OP.

We go out to eat a LOT; we all enjoy it. I am with my kids 24/7, so them coming with me and DH is just how it goes. Some days they are perfect angels, some days they aren't. I don't take them to restaurants where I feel they have to "be seen and not heard" If for some reason we are at a nicer restaurant for a birthday or something, well then I am a little more pro-active in not disturbing others. And yes, of course I LOVE going out to eat withoug them, but in our situation, DH and I don't get that chance very often.

The real issue is with my mom, and me coming to terms with the way that she has changed, and her utter lack of understanding and support. She looks at me with an eyebrow raised for having 2 kids and one on the way, loves the "glory" of having grandchildren, but doesn't really care much about anything but her own life. And it is upsetting.
Yeah this isnt really about 2 yr old behavior. Its about you and your mom.
My sister and I have a similar situation with our mother.
I fortunately am the one who finally came to accept who she is and stop letting myself get disappointed and hurt that she doesnt act like the ideal mother. My sister can never get over it. Her expectations are to high and she just always hopes for more.
My mother has a boyfried for 10 yrs and her social life w/ friends and her boyfried ALWAYS is her priority. She doesnt come to see my kids unless its because she has nothing else more interesting to do.
I know she loves them and is a wonderful grandmother when she with them, but I also know I cant count on her the way it would be nice too.
There isnt really any point to talk about it because she is who she is.

Another person posted about your mom being able to tell you straight out what she thinks (like that she's mortified or what ever)
If it was done in the right situation I agree, but she should have helped you or took part in what was going on instead of just sitting there judging you.
If she tried everything to help and your toddler was still carrying on and it was an out of control situation, she would have had every right to say "Dont you think its time to leave? or I dont think this is a good time of day to go out w/ the babies". Or even given you advice.
I dont think she was justified to say she was mortified.

It isnt going to get resolved or stop till you have a talk w/ her.
Your kids are still little now and if she doesnt know how insulting her comments are. It will just get worse as they get bigger and make you more upset.
Do you think she would stop saying such things if she really knew how unkind they were?
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