April 06, 2020, 03:46:01 am


"Welcome to WiseWomenUnite.com -- When adult children marry and leave home, life can sometimes get more complex instead of simpler.  Being a mother-in-law or daughter-in-law can be tough.  How do we extend love and support to our mothers-in-law, adult children, daughters-in-law, sons-in-law, and grandchildren without interfering?  What do we do when there are communication problems?  How can we ask for help when we need it without being a burden?  And how do our family members feel about these issues?  We invite you to join our free forum, read some posts... and when you're ready...share your challenges and wisdom."

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Messages - PatiencePlease

Grab Bag / Re: 91st Birthday
March 12, 2018, 05:22:30 pm
You have made my world a much better (and healthier) place. Please accept my birthday hugs too!! 

Thank you for generously sharing your experiences and wisdom.  You have been and continue to be an inspiration. xo
Hi Monroe!  I agree that texts should not define the relationships we share with our kids.  Texts present words in print - that's it.  Sometimes those words are misinterpreted because we are not listening to them.  There's no sharing of thoughts - no true expressions.  The relationship needs to be fleshed out with conversation.  However, I do have to admit that there are times when texts are convenient... sometimes I just dash off a quick text to let them know I'm thinking of them.
Here are my thoughts on this:

You can make the decision to feel hurt but you risk alienating yourself from your family member or friend.  Do you really want to do that because someone didn't meet your expectations?

My kids do call me, but they often text me.  And I'm okay with that.  I'm happy I hear from them.   

I have family members and friends who last year expressed condolences to me re: the loss of my parents via Facebook, email, or a text message and that was it.  Although I would NEVER choose to send condolences in any of those examples (because I do agree it is impersonal), I choose to be grateful they reached out to me.

There is a difference with my kids' generation.  (30ish)  An example from a few years ago:

After my daughter was dating her now husband for several months, she was coming to visit us for the weekend and he was coming to meet us for the first time.  Of course, my first concern was feeding him (lol) so I asked her if he liked pot roast.  She didn't know whether he did or not so she offered to call him and then call me back.   After 15 minutes she called me back and said "Wow, that was weird!"   She then explained it was the VERY FIRST TIME she spoke to him on the telephone!!  I asked her how could that be? Don't they communicate each day?  She responded:  "Yes.  We text." 

I am from the generation of phone calls and writing letters (remember those?)  I still dash off note cards in the mail to friends and family to let them know how good it was to see them, or just that I'm thinking about them, etc.   I recognize I'm in the minority these days by doing that and I don't care.  I'm going to keep doing it because I like to do it.   

I don't think many people understand what a difference it makes to truly put forth an effort when communicating with someone else.  We are a world shaped by social media now; we've lost that personal connection.
Grab Bag / Re: Hosting Large Holiday Meals
April 09, 2017, 06:10:09 pm
I agree with Luise -- it's a custom that is falling by the wayside. I loved hosting large holiday meals over the years.  It was usually my husband's family because all my family lived out of state.  My parents would come and stay with us now and then to share these times.

When we downsized I stopped doing it. I simply didn't have the space to accommodate all those people anymore.  My kids moved out of state.  No one else from the family stepped up to the plate to take over hosting the holidays.

So now my husband and I do our own thing.  We attend church and eat dinner at home.  Sometimes we will watch old family videos -- we find them entertaining and they remind us of how lucky we were to share all those family times together over the years (especially since so many of those who sat at our table are no longer with us).

It took me awhile to get used to this "new normal," of quiet holidays but it's really not so bad.  It's been five years since I stopped hosting and I do appreciate not knocking myself out with all the cooking and everything else that comes with being a holiday host.   It's all good.

Jdtm, you will figure out what works for you now.  The holiday canvas is blank.  Paint it any way you like.
Thank you Bamboo.  Words like yours help me heal.   :)
Thank you Pen for proposing that we "future gift" ourselves.  What a great idea!  Over the years I learned I can't take care of anyone else until  I take care of myself first. 

Peace to all. xo
Thank YOU for your continued support. xo
Grab Bag / Re: And then there's that one toxic sibling...
December 30, 2016, 05:27:36 pm
On a sad note, my dad passed away this fall.  No surprise.  I really do believe he died of a broken heart.  I'm happy he and my mom are back together again.

On a happy note, I'm proud to say that I faced toxic sister once again and I remained detached.  I waltzed through the few days going through my parents' belongings with toxic sister leading (and taking).  I was cool with it, because in all honesty, I remember telling both my mom and dad it wasn't about the stuff, it was about all the moments I was able to share with them.  No "thing" can ever replace those memories...  My other sister was okay with what toxic sister did too about taking stuff.  Both of us realized it really didn't matter.  Interestingly, toxic sister left behind old family photos and records.  And I will also go on record that I scanned all those documents and photos and gave copies to the family including toxic sister.  Because that's who I am.  :)

Going forward I know there will no longer be any communication with toxic sister.  Do I still feel sad that I have this situation with her?  Absolutely.   But I can't change her.  That reality "clicked" with me this year and that has made all the difference in how I deal with it. 

Just wanted to share hoping this might help someone else. xo
Grab Bag / Re: Thank you!
December 30, 2016, 05:06:25 pm
Ditto all the above!!  You are all such amazingly wise women.  You all have been a gift to me.  I am SO grateful.  Just wish I could visit here more than I am able to. xo
Wise words Pooh.  Your definition of this relationship is spot on:  dictatorship.

Unfortunately, I confess, I've been worried about what will be down the road, when my dad passes away.  A wise friend advised me to stay detached when toxic sister begins to spew and simply state "let's get through with what needs to be done.  I don't want to talk about our relationship - just know I wish you well."  And leave it at that.  I pray I'm strong and calm enough to do that. 

Thank you all for sharing your thoughts. 
Thank you for your wise words Pooh.  You are so right!  Letting go is the best thing to do.

Sadly my mother in law died unexpectedly last week.  Out of the blue I get a sweet text message from toxic sister telling me she's keeping us in her thoughts and prayers and closed it with "Love" and her name.  I ignored it.  I'm done with this and I have to say it does feel good to let go.
Grab Bag / Re: Today Was My 89th Birthday
June 19, 2016, 04:36:06 am
You are a gift to be celebrated every day Luise. ??
Thank you so much for your kind words Luise & Bamboo2.  You've both given me nuggets of wisdom to carry with me. Xo
I love WWU and regret I have not popped in for months.  Sometimes I don't share my experiences.  I tend to be private.  But this time I am sharing because this experience has been a struggle...

My mom died peacefully a few months ago.  As sad as I am to lose her, I am so very grateful to have shared a huge dose of quality time with her, helping her, chatting with her and more importantly listening to her.  She was an amazing woman.  I was so blessed.

Enter now the toxic sister... the one who has been in and out of my life for decades.  After Mom died she and I both stayed with our dad the week before the funeral.  She was distant, and other times just nasty.  Dad noticed it and would ask me when she left the room, "Are you okay?"  and I would respond "I'm fine.  This time is about you and losing Mom."  (They had been married 68 years....)

At the private burial which was here where I live and where the family cemetery plot is, (out of state) toxic sister traveled to be here (I had invited her & her husband to stay with us - she declined).  My  toxic sister and our spouses were the only ones at the burial.  She did not speak to me at all during the service.   Can you imagine?  Here we are, two daughters grieving the loss of our mom, yet we can't share our grief or support each other.  I was angry with myself for letting her behavior overshadow the burial.  I wish I didn't let that anger overshadow memories of this day but  I can't go back and do it over. 

Over the last two months I have sent an email and a text about family issues to toxic sister. There was no response.  Okay.  So this is what it is. I decide at that point I'm not going to message her any more.  If she has a question or concern, let her reach out to me first.  I move on.  (survival technique)

Two weeks ago, while visiting my dad for a few days, I showed him a picture I took at the cemetery of Mom's name etched on the stone.  (Dad lives out of state - he doesn't travel anymore.)  Hours later when I returned home, he called me requesting I send this picture to my toxic sister because after mentioning the picture to her she tells him she had not received a copy.   

Hmmmm.....  why is she letting Dad ask for her?....  He's struggling with insurmountable grief....  Here we go again....   So I calmly told my father that going forward if she has a request/issue, just tell her to come directly to me.  There's no need for him to be involved.  He is dealing with enough.  He agreed. 

So I proceed to send her an email with the picture that she complained she didn't receive suggesting that going forward she just come to me with issues and leave Dad out of it - he has enough on his plate.  Within half an hour I got a snotty email with her correcting me:  "I did not COMPLAIN to Dad I merely stated I DID NOT receive the picture or your message."  I didn't respond.  I just didn't want to engage. 

Within hours I received a second response:  "There was no "complaint" made to Dad, when he mentioned it, I merely said I had not received a message from you, nor a picture, as of this time.  Thanks for thinking the best of me. I am so done with you. You Please do not contact my anymore, unless it has to do with Dad's health.  This is the end, my supposed younger Sister is gone.  Hope you are happy."     (I copied this just as she sent it.)

Before my mom died, she so desperately wanted her three daughters to get along - to plan a reunion one more time.  (We all live out of state from each other.)  But Mom knew it was not to be because of toxic sister. Mom came to terms with this realization.  It was always about walking on eggshells with toxic sister.  When she is in the room you can feel the tension. 

You learn how to deal with it or you choose to leave it behind.  I'm at the point where I know I will leave it behind.  And yes, it is sad.  I don't want to deal with it. It's embarrassing to admit this.  But honestly I have no choice.  Ironically, my other sister, whom I can battle with on many topics, is there for me.  We respect each other differences.  I wish I could have this relationship with toxic sister too but it's not to be.

Rant over.  Thanks for reading. xo
Your consistent love and support to your daughter speaks volumes.  You are an amazing mother who understands the value of detachment.  Wishing you well as your daughter continues her journey to mature.