Author Topic: I want to be a grandma like Mimi  (Read 3240 times)

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seasage

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I want to be a grandma like Mimi
« on: March 15, 2011, 07:31:10 AM »
This is the story:
http://blogs.hbr.org/bregman/2011/03/the-right-way-to-respond-to-fa.html

Possibly the only important thing I have learned in my life is that intellectual arguments, reasoning, etc. don't help when someone is hurting.  I loved this story because the grandmother, Mimi, understood the same. 

I want to be a grandmother -- and a mother -- and a MIL -- and a WW -- exactly like Mimi. 
« Last Edit: March 15, 2011, 08:53:48 PM by luise.volta »

seasage

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Re: I want to be a grandma like Mimi
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2011, 07:36:59 AM »
Oh oh oh oh oh!  I HATE those grammatical errors! 

Wish I could edit it out ..................... 

Offline Nana

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Re: I want to be a grandma like Mimi
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2011, 11:10:49 AM »
Seasage:

I loved the article.  It is so very true.  I hate it when I am having a problem and I am lectured about it.  Sometimes we need exactly what Mimi offered....a shouldier to lean on.  Empathy feels good.  In the Book, Women are from Venus, Men are from Mars it states that women sometimes need just to be heard, not solutions.  It is so common that we say to our friend...."See, I told you....or You should have.....or now you know that it doesnt work that way.  We sometimes do not know what others really need of us.

Thanks for sharing.

Love
Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove:
Shakespeare

Offline luise.volta

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Re: I want to be a grandma like Mimi
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2011, 11:38:24 AM »
What grammatical error?
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it's a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I'll try again tomorrow." -- Mary Ann Radmacher

holliberri

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Re: I want to be a grandma like Mimi
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2011, 01:38:37 PM »
DH and I have been coaching ourselves on this method (upon the advice of our adoption counselor).

Seasage, it is tough. It is so tough it makes me believe that it is what works.

We spend too much time trying to fix things, people and feelings that we don't give people time to work through them.

justus

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Re: I want to be a grandma like Mimi
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2011, 05:35:10 PM »
The lesson here is a good one, but it rang false with me. My kids were in sports and in lots of other activities, swimming among them. With such a dedicated swimmer, it is implausible that someone wasn't at the meet with this 9 year old. The someone who has to get up and make sure she makes the 6:00am practices wouldn't miss a meet for anything. With such a dedicated athlete, especially one who excels most especially at swimming over academics, if her parents couldn't be there at least one of her GPs would have been there at the meet to support her. If her parents had guests, those guests probably would have been there for at least one race, too. Most likely, her parents would have been there as timers or would have been providing snacks for the team, working in the concession stand, or providing supervision for the younger swimmers. I spent many a Saturday in a chlorine thick environment cheering my swimmers on or driving for hours and then sitting in a gym waiting for my swimmer's turn on the block.

So, yeah, valuable concept to learn and emulate, but it was a totally contrived story.

This reminded me of an incident that happened about 14 years ago. My friend was visiting me and my children at my P's house. The kids were all under the age of 10 at the time. The door to the shed feel on my friend's DS's head. He began to cry. I was astounded that instead of comforting him, my friend and her H started to criticize him. DF said he was such a baby because he cried over everything. When I was able to pick my jaw off the ground, I told her I would cry, too, if a shed door fell on my head. A strange thing happened, all of a sudden they had permission to have empathy for their DS. They comforted him and were a lot nicer to him after that and a lot less judgmental. I didn't ask, but I wondered who had criticized their DS in such a way. That person must have been someone whose opinion they feared or maybe it was someone whose approval they wanted desperately. It made me sad they would throw their DS under the bus for this person and sad, too, that my opinion would have such an impact. Obviously, they didn't have a lot of trust in their own judgment.

holliberri

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Re: I want to be a grandma like Mimi
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2011, 09:46:12 AM »
It might seem contrived to you, but not to me.

My mother didn't often come to my activities, whether I excelled or not. My GPs didn't come either. It is quite common to drop your kid off, and the swim meet in question might have only been one instance that they missed. It wasn't that she didn't want to go, but she really thought I needed my own thing, without her involvement.

I could quite easily have seen this conversation taking place after one of my softball games, or after my piano competition. There are many different ways to support your children. Just b/c they weren't at this meet, doesn't meant they aren't there other times, and even if they aren't, it doesn't mean the child can't excel anyhow.

I have a niece that is an avid swimmer and her parents don't make it to everything, and I don't think I'd ever see them timing or working a concession stand.





Offline FAFE

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Re: I want to be a grandma like Mimi
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2011, 11:51:59 AM »
I'm with the "parent's cannot go to everthing, every single time."  At one time I had three children as well as a husband who were all playing softball/baseball.  Plus, there was boy scouts, girl scouts, dancing, soccer, band, church activites, etc.  We made it to most of it, but there were some times that we had to drop off or enlist another parent to pick up or bring home.  Shoot, the coaches used to pick up all the players for baseball practice, cause they all lived in the same neighborhood. DH and I both had full time jobs also.  Kids are like everyone else, they adapt.  I think Mimi is a shero.  When we go to IL to see our son and DIL and grandson, we try to go to as many of his activities as we can.  It might just be his karate lesson or party at school. 

Offline Nana

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Re: I want to be a grandma like Mimi
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2011, 01:54:30 PM »
Of my three children, two of them excel in school sports.  My son and youngest daughter were the MVP  Basquetball players through High School.   We use to go to all their games.  They loved it.  We enjoyed seeing them as well.  The daughter that wasnt good at sports managed to make it to a volleyball team, but was always in the bench.  They brought her in when the game was already decided.  Still, she wanted us to be there lol, seeing her sitting in the bench...could not believe it, it was funny.  This daughter was an A student but liked to read more than play sports.  She is now a doctor.   

All this to say, that maybe sometimes we couldnt make it to a game, but we tried our best to be there.  Probably there are children for whom having their parents attend is important and probably not for others. 

Love
Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove:
Shakespeare

Offline Pen

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Re: I want to be a grandma like Mimi
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2011, 08:45:13 PM »
We were at every game and practice for a few different sports. My kids insisted upon it. It was a bit of a struggle, and there were times I was wishing I could be elsewhere, but now that it's all over I miss it. DH says those days were some of the highlights of parenthood. Apparently he's forgotten the bitter cold, wind, rain, sleet, dust, heat, and port-a-potties. I'd do it again, though.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Offline Nana

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Re: I want to be a grandma like Mimi
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2011, 09:36:54 PM »
Those were the hightlights of our lives then also.  Yes, would do it all over again.

Love
Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove:
Shakespeare

Offline Pooh

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Re: I want to be a grandma like Mimi
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2011, 10:18:08 AM »
I played sports my entire life and my Mother and Father were rarely there.  They both worked full time, were older parents  and were taking care of elderly, sick parents.  They would try to make one game a season for each sport.  I was very resentful that I didn't have them there when all the other kids had theirs in attendance.  It wasn't until I was an older teenager, that I understood how hard it was for them.  It took me maturing and losing the resentment after realizing how much of their time they took, just getting me to and from practices and games.

My two boys, played two or more sports a year.  I am with Pen and Nana.  I have hundreds of nights in 15 degree weather, 95 degree weather, snow, rain....lol.  I missed very few things and couldn't wait until they were over....now, I would do it again in a minute.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

LaurieS

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Re: I want to be a grandma like Mimi
« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2011, 01:07:42 PM »
It might seem contrived to you, but not to me.

My mother didn't often come to my activities, whether I excelled or not. My GPs didn't come either. It is quite common to drop your kid off, and the swim meet in question might have only been one instance that they missed. It wasn't that she didn't want to go, but she really thought I needed my own thing, without her involvement.

I could quite easily have seen this conversation taking place after one of my softball games, or after my piano competition. There are many different ways to support your children. Just b/c they weren't at this meet, doesn't meant they aren't there other times, and even if they aren't, it doesn't mean the child can't excel anyhow.

I have a niece that is an avid swimmer and her parents don't make it to everything, and I don't think I'd ever see them timing or working a concession stand.

I fully understand what you are saying Holli... children excel in sports and life in many different ways.  Being a good parent is knowing when your child needs for you to back off or out of the picture momentarily.  This is actually what I took this original post to be about, knowing when to give input and knowing when to sit silently and allow one to work through problems and knowing that your presence is there for support alone.. no lectures.. no we'll tackle this together.  The main idea of the story was not whether or not a parent was in attendance but how important it is at times to be able to show empathy  and compassion and how often that is all that someone needs while working through hurt and despair.

There are parents (a whole lot of them) who never learn when to take that step back...In college my son attended a wonderful ranked if not prestigious school :).. I was AMAZED by how many parents were at the university every single weekend.... for every single event.  The football games, the band step-off, the  pep rally... if the band played these parents were there.  The school identifies themselves with this band, so did the student body so it wasn't like parents were needed to pick up a social gap in their lives.  It was important for our ds to know that we were there when he needed us.. sometimes when he wanted us... but he needed to have many many memories that did not include mom, dad, brother and sister.

Many of these same parents continued to be totally embedded in their children's lives after college as well.  When I hear that parents have invited themselves to go on honeymoons etc I can't help to note that our generation did at times have an unnatural attachment to our children, their achievements and their failures.  As parents we've taken it upon ourselves to be the fixers when they don't achieve their goals... we encourage them to overtly celebrate their victories.  I feel at times that our children get lost if they are in the midstream of life

While I have expectations of being a part of my children's lives as long as I live ... I think it's clear that they do not always need for us to help them analyze their lives and to take that step back.  To give our kids  a chance to work through a problem will probably make for a more sound adult... learning when to give advice and words of encouragement is something that I personally need to work on..

holliberri

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Re: I want to be a grandma like Mimi
« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2011, 01:18:30 PM »
I'm glad you did; I didn't want my point to get lost in my story, and I don't think I worded it correctly. My mom was a good mom and she did attend a lot of my events, but I was in too many activities for her to attend everything, even the stuff I was super duper good at. I felt like I kind of trashed her, and that wasn't meant to be the case. When I joined scouts, she backed off totally, and in that respect, she gave me some comfort with being a little more independent.

I just felt that story is probably the reality for a lot of parents/kids out there. Just b/c it isn't true to one doesn't make it untrue to another. It's a really good story that I hope to keep with me for a long time to come. I need it. I spout off at the mouth too quickly for my own (and others') good. And, I don't see a lack of support when I see parents trying to help their daughter through the pain of a disqual, even if they weren't there to see it.

Plus, I do remember a fight my dad and mom got into with an ump once (thankfully, brother's ump, not mine). That was a little mortifying (but funny now!). Sometimes, it's perfectly okay to sit one out.

Offline lancaster lady

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Re: I want to be a grandma like Mimi
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2011, 03:59:20 PM »
I'm afraid I got banned from my son's football matches , for screaming from the sidelines .
Support of course ... :)
I remember travelling miles to take one son to a rugby match , he never got to play !
Daughters gymnastics , ballet , girl guides . horse riding at dawn ..!
Hope they enjoy taking me shopping when I'm too old to drive .... :)