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MinivanMom last won the day on October 18 2013

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About MinivanMom

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  1. It is standard in some jurisdictions to write a clause into custodial agreements that the other parent has the first right to babysit the kids. My parents had a clause like that, and my bio father tried to use it to prevent us from visiting friends or spending the night at friends' houses; he insisted that anytime we weren't with our mom, we were required to be with him. That isn't the intention of those clauses, but just throwing that out there as a possibility. Holiday custodial arrangements can be particularly contentious. My parents called the police on each other a lot and in hindsi
  2. Get a hotel room. I can't imagine what your mother is thinking, but sometimes people don't think clearly when they are grieving. Get a hotel room, give aunt some space when she needs it, and definitely go to the funeral on your own while your husband watches the kids. I might also reassure your aunt that you are very happy that she's staying with your parents and has support. I just wouldn't want her to feel guilty about displacing you and your family.
  3. I've seen the situation play out this way, especially with couples who take on very traditional roles within their marriage. One of my husband's coworkers was going out-to-lunch with friends, attending his weekly Bible study, and generally doing whatever while his wife sat by the side of his dying mother. And this guy adored his mother. Nobody could understand it. But he just viewed caregiving as women's work, so he thought it was his wife's job. At the office Christmas party after his mother passed away, I was sitting with him at dinner. And he started telling me that he didn't know how
  4. No experience from the parent side, but my husband experienced this situation from the student side. He was a 4.0 student and valedictorian with very, very involved parents who were always present and made sure that he never wobbled. He went to a good university out-of-state and really struggled the first two semesters. Just to be clear, he wasn't partying or blowing off classes (dh doesn't drink). He was just struggling with time management and seeking out academic help, etc. And he was afraid to tell his parents anything, because he had seen them flip their lid over his older sister str
  5. I also think a good divorce attorney would be able to refer her to a good tax attorney. She likely needs professional help to deal with any potential issues involving taxes and penalties. What a terrible situation.
  6. Get a good lawyer. Secure the kids' passports immediately. He's done a terrible thing, but at the end of the day, it's only money. Thank goodness he didn't try to take the kids as well.
  7. Some kids get better and some don't. I have one kid who had good skills in practice, but struggled with the quick action of games. It all came together by age 10. I'm glad we let him continue to choose team sports even when it was painful to watch those early games from the sidelines. He's a teen now and continues to play. He isn't the star or mvp, but he's a decent player and loves the game. I have another kid who struggled in practice, struggled in games, and had no interest in practicing or even playing around with a ball on his own. I would cringe from the sidelines. Yet every se
  8. To the original subject, I experienced serious burnout around the time I had my 5th child. I had 5 children aged 8 and younger, no extended family, and was in the middle of handling a messy estate in another state. Every waking hour was taken up with child care, homeschooling, and estate work. Mostly I would get the kids to bed by 7 pm, work on the estate until 1 or 2 in the morning, and then get up at 6 am with the newborn to start it all again. It wasn't about losing myself. I simply had more than any person could reasonably manage. My husband stepped in beautifully and that made a huge
  9. I feel stressed seeing the long lists of things you all are doing "for yourselves". (Yes, I put that in scare quotes!) I don't want to get a gym membership or join a bunch of clubs or go on girlfriend vacations. I don't want a part-time job or more volunteer work or extended time away from my kids. Omigosh, am I supposed to be doing all those other things too?! I don't want more responsibility and more commitments sucking up my hours. I want more downtime! I will settle for alone time with a book after lunch everyday, working out a few evenings a week while dh handles bedtime, and a
  10. Ours is Dec 22- Jan 2 (12 days). They also get 5 days for Thanksgiving, 10 days for spring break, and lots of non-Christian holidays. But we also have lots of random days off and half-days as well (usually at the end of each quarter and when interim report cards are issued). I always think that if we didn't take off random days (often in the middle of the week!), then we could have a longer Christmas holiday. I would love to have 2 or even 3 full weeks every year.
  11. I agree that these situations have a massive impact on all the kids still living at home - including teens. Those teens still need their parents. And nobody - nobody - should be expected to put their own family and minor children on hold indefinitely, because the older generation demands that their needs be front and center for years or decades. Its not the rosy picture people paint of caring for grandma for a few months while you learn to serve others and set a good example for your own children. Serious long-term care can be tough, traumatizing stuff for kids - including teens. But don'
  12. My husband recently read Educated for a book club he's in, and he raved about it. He's been trying to get me to read it, but I haven't found time. Anyway, our discussions about the book led me to start digging around on the BYU admissions page out of curiosity. It turns out that BYU does not accept homeschool diplomas. I know that's something we usually rail about here on the homeschool boards, but I wonder if that was helpful to the young lady in the book. A neglected unschooled or nonschooled teen is going to have trouble producing a homeschool diploma. Their best bet is a university th
  13. I applied to only two colleges: my local state univ and an out-of-state private school. They were both safeties based on my stats and awarded merit aid without requiring fafsa info (which my mother refused to provide). I also took my ASVAB and spent some time talking with my army recruiter, because I needed a back-up plan and community college is a difficult alternative if you are a homeless teen. In hindsight, I'm kind of amazed that it didn't occur to me to talk to my hs counselor or to anyone at my relatively helpful church. I didn't know that hs counselors were supposed to be helping with
  14. The best Christmas gift my dh ever gave me was telling his family that we were dropping out of the gift exchange (after years and years of drama). The second best gift was choosing a profession where he can't take time off over the holidays. I love my husband. I only do the things that bring me joy! That means staying home, listening to Christmas music, and baking cookies. No shopping or travel or drama. Every year is quiet and peaceful.
  15. This is a good way of summing it up. But I've always liked the ending. Outwardly, she appears to be making similar choices to her mother. She moves to a rural, isolated place as an outsider. She marries a local. She discovers that every community has their faults and challenges. But she is treating people differently. She is consciously making a choice to build healthier relationships. And she's taken that childhood pain and channeled it into a life helping others. In that sense, it's really a beautiful ending.
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