My kids go to a great school. We love it. The teachers are fantastic and there is a real sense of community. One of the only issues we deal with is competition with the ‘Joneses’ to keep up. My child came home from school today asking where we are going for Spring Break this year. First of all, it’s October! Secondly, the fact that there is an expectation that we are going anywhere is frustrating. I work! How do we explain that we aren’t trying to keep up?!
Not Made of Money
Oh boy. It’s starting. Take heart, and a glass of rosé, to help ease these growing pains (and ease the ridiculous heat of the Texas “fall,” or at least, for me anyway). I’m here to help, and I’ll join you.
I have experienced this very issue with my children. Not too long ago, my stepson decided he’d rather go to a high school football game than celebrate his dad’s birthday. This came immediately after asking us (very forcefully, in fact) where we are taking them on a summer vacation. Come again? I wanted to chunk him outside to rake leaves and then upstairs to clean his room and do homework immediately. But, I stopped myself. Sigh, big sip. You see, this is all a big cycle. A big cycle that I really believe has affected all of our behavior through the years.
I distinctly remember asking my parents where we were going skiing for spring break. This was because all of the other kids in my class were talking about it like it was the basic and normal thing to do on the holiday. The incredulous looks on their faces is something that haunted my dreams at night. I think my dad spit out his iced tea. They calmly explained that we are not made of money, either (hah!). And that just because the slew of my classmates were going, this family was staying put. I was so pissed off and felt embarrassed that we would have to- as I perceived- do without.
Here’s the lesson, true story: not one of the families that I thought was going away actually went. We simply set ourselves up because of the pressure we put on so-called succeeding. Success can mean so, so many things. And everyone I know deals with money issues at one point or another. Or simpler yet, we don’t have to do sh*t just because the freakin’ Friedkins are! I mean, honestly!
Drink that rosé, girl, and explain to your daughter that her requests are not an entitlement. This has probably got to be the best lesson to learn at an early age. I know it’s tough, but setting the expectations is the key.
I hope that helps you, and believe me, I am not writing from Cannes or Capri or any place like that. The local Starbucks is about as exotic as it gets for me these days. Now that they serve wine, that is.
The Beat Babe takes a shot on TOXIC FRIENDS:
Why is it that we tolerate toxic friends- those who make us feel bad, anxious and/or depressed- one more second than we need to? Life is toooooooo short or that nonsense! I never am sure how one gets to a sad and bitter place in her life, but if you care about this friend, address the issues straight ahead and without regret. She might have dug herself into the no friend hole with everyone in her life and you are the sole hanger-on that hasn’t gotten the memo. Have you talked to her? Does she know she’s an asshole?
It’s not a simple fix, but you also shouldn’t feel your life and relationship with this person is a requirement to graduate from life. You need people in your life that are positive, fun and sarcastic and talk about people when it’s appropriate (or not at all). Maybe dig deeper and find the source of the bitter pill. Talk to her, tell her the truth, and tell her you love her, but you aren’t interested in the old model of your friendship anymore. It’s risky to look like the bad guy, but it’s ok. Others will get it if she talks about you. And if she listens, then great. Stick to your words, too. And if she leaves, then maybe she’s done you the favor.