Tag Archives: multigenerational family

Denise Richards discusses her career and motherhood

This morning, I was hosing my five-year-old off in the shower – you know that technique, right? Put liquid bath soap on your kid – then stand him/her in the shower – and use the movable shower to hose said kid off.

Anyway – I was in the process of doing that, yelling for my 13-year-old to get up and moving because we had to get the the orthodontists, and I was checking in on Robin Roberts’ interview with Denise Richards.

This was all before I had any coffee or my green smoothie.

I loved what Denise had to say about:

  • positively co-parenting with Charlie Sheen,
  • focusing on the needs of her children,
  • wanting a big family,
  • and balancing her role as a mom and working single parent – with the help of her live-in dad.

Yes, Denise Richards knows and understands the importance of asking for help and getting it. She has opted to have a multigenerational household.

Denise talked about her father being an amazing support for her and her daughters when she has to travel for work. She mentioned her father being a great grandfather to his granddaughters and making their family work.

Denise alluded to the challenges that come with being a single mother, and she also made it clear that she is living her life and parenting in a way that worked for her.

Brava, Denise!

As I have mentioned before, multigenerational living is not for everyone. But for those of us who seek it out and opt in, we are basking in the joys of creating our own balanced life.

What support or help do you seek out to balance your life as a parent?

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Confessions: When my husband and I have over lapping work travel, I feel…

Disjointed:  No hubby to tag team with…

Sad:  Gaps between spending time as a couple – and spending time as a family.

Anxious:  Shit! Am I forgetting to make allowances for something?

Busy: Juggle juggle. Hustle hustle.

The need to overcompensate: Kids will be without both parents at the same time– are they being scarred? (Erm…isn’t this why you chose a multigenerational household?)

Tyrannical:  Making sure everything is intact before I go – whatever that means. Lists lists lists! (Oh stop it already!)

Stressed:  Just so many details – mostly self-imposed. (Stop making rules for the sake of making rules!)

Tired: I sleep horribly when hubby is away….still, after 13+ years. (But I sleep great in a hotel by myself.)

Brought back to sanity:  I have my mother-in-law who  is a conscientious listener when there is overlapping work travel.

Grateful: That I have help and support. I can shake off the madness and focus on what I need…and the multigenerational family continues to function properly…based on what WE decide we need.

Silly: We’ve got this system down to a science…and have been working out the kinds since 2007. Why go there?

Understood:  Before Hubby and  I go and when we return from work travel – the kids are just fine. They look at us casually as if to say, “Oh, you’re back from work? Great! Grab a Wii remote! And…Grandma handled things without a hitch.”

FortunateHelping others avoid this unnecessary “here we go again” thought process.

As we were…

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Valentine’s Day – 2012

Yes, we have a crafty love fest going on in our multigenerational nest.

Without even saying it, we all decided to make our own love trinkets for each other. My 4-year-old was the only one requiring assistance, and everyone else pretty much worked on their lovely gifts alone.

This morning we stashed each family member’s gift in various areas of the house. This seemed to set the tone for a serene, easy-moving, and happy morning routine.

Love is in the air for us – and we hope you enjoy the quotes and songs we’ve selected to share with you.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

“Like music on the waters is thy sweet voice to me.” -Lord Byron

“All Love is sweet. Given or returned. Common as light is love, And its familiar voice wearies not ever.” -Percy Bysshe Shelley

“In real love you want the other person’s good. In romantic love you want the other person.” -Margaret Anderson

“In dreams and in love there are no impossibilities” -Janos Arnay

“We are all born for love. It is the principle of existence, and its only end. -Benjamin Disraeli

“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” -Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“Paradise is always where love dwells.” -Jean Paul Richter

“Love distills desire upon the eyes, love brings bewitching grace into the heart.” -Euripides

“At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet.” -Plato

“The most powerful symptom of love is a tenderness which becomes at times almost insupportable.” -Victor Hugo

“Listening is an attitude of the heart, a genuine desire to be with another which both attracts and heals.” -J. Isham

“To love is to receive a glimpse of heaven.” -Karen Sunde

“Since love grows within you, so beauty grows. For love is the beauty of the soul.” -St. Aurelius Augustine

“One word frees us of all the weight and pain in life. That word is love.” -Sophocles

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Leaping into age 40

We’re celebrating another birthday in our multigenerational nest, and it’s my big 4-0!

I’ve had friends tell me that I’m approaching 40 so positively – but really, why wouldn’t I?

I mean, I feel good. My family is thriving. We are all healthy and having fun. And hey, another birthday means another year to do great things and blog about it – plus the extra day, during leap year, to do – well, whatever!

Following in the footsteps of hubby and my mother-in-law in celebrating birthdays, I have crafted my 40 and fabulous list to commemorate this birth milestone.

1.  Moon dance whenever you want – but especially on the night of a full moon.

2.  Embrace your stretch marks.

3.  Indulge in Girls’ Night Out. When you come home, you’ll get lucky.

4.  Buy really good beer for your mother-in-law.

5.  Have a fun “sit-down” with your mother-in-law, after you have purchased good beer for her. You’ll learn a whole bunch.

6.  Be an active listener. The benefits are too great to explain – so trust me.

7.  Leap into the next phase of your life. It’s fun, scary, and exhilarating – all at the same time.

8.  Have car concerts, where you seat dance and sing as loudly as you can, daily.

9.  Start a blog even if you don’t know how.

10.  Buy some red boots and wear them WHENEVER you want.

11.  Hire a cleaning service for your home – use Groupon or Living Social if you have to.

12.  Take a telecourse that is “outside” your box.

13.  Visit the hot springs.

14.  Get a proper bra fitting. You will be thrilled!

15.  Get dropped off at the mall – buy some coffee – and doctor it up with Bailey’s or Kahlua!  (Yes, that’s what big purses are for.)

16.  Go on a multigenerational vacation – and rent a house/apartment.

17.  When a random person asks, “So what do you do?” Tell them you live with your mother-in-law and see what happens.

18.  Teach someone you love, who is 50-years-old (or older), how to internet date.

19.  Watch the Twilight Saga movies – and relive your first love moments.

20.  Ditch your kid (leaving them with grandparent/s) and go on a “during the day” date with your spouse/partner.

21.  Ditch your kid (leaving them with grandparent/s) and go on a mini-vacation.

22.  Get caught doing PDA, with your spouse/partner, by your in-law/s.

23.  Be the daughter-in-law who will ask any kind of question of your in-laws. (Yes, I need supervision.)

24.  Eat cookies in bed – on your partner/spouse’s side of the bed. (Yes, I said this before – and it’s so fun to do!)

25.  Be honest about dying your hair. It’s not that big of a deal.

26.  Don’t compare and despair with the lives of your in-law siblings. (I haven’t done this – so that’s all I can say.)

27.  Find a fun cookbook and work your way through all the recipes. Yes, those math skills that have been dormant will be put to use.

28.  Take professional family photos – every other year.

29.  Moms should be happy, and not feel guilty, to ask for help. (I mean sh*t, the POTUS has a whole entourage.)

30.  Put yourself in time-out when you need to.

31.  Let go of childhood pain. It’s no longer serving you (not that it ever did.)

32.  Take a day off – at least once a month. Go do whatever you want – and ditch the guilt.

33.  DVR trash TV and then watch it while you fold your laundry. Yes, this helps you check laundry off your chore list.

34.  Do not watch the local/national news in the morning. It’ll skunk your groove.

35.  Shift happens.

36.  Speak your truth –no matter what.

37.  Surround yourself with people who fuel you – not deplete you.

38.  Stay open.

39.  Get enough sleep – and screw your “to do“ list. It’ll get done eventually – IF it’s important or critical.

40.  Be 40 and fabulous!

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Learning from my mother-in-law

My mother-in-law has been reading a lot of poetry lately. She has been sharing her old favorites and new favorites with us.  It’s fun to watch her read her favorite parts and observe the various emotions she displays as she read the poems.

Here’s a recent re-discovery.

Wordle: DorothyParker

The Little Old Lady in Lavender Silk

by Dorothy Parker

I was seventy-seven, come August,

I shall shortly be losing my bloom;

I’ve experienced zephyr and raw gust

and (symbolical) flood and simoom.

 

When you come to this time of abatement,

To this passing from Summer to Fall,

It is manners to issue a statement

As to what you got out of it all.

 

So I’ll say, though reflection unnerves me

And pronouncements I dodge as I can,

That I think (if my memory serves me)

There was nothing more fun than a man!

 

In my youth, when the crescent was too wan

To embarrass with beams from above,

By the aid of some local Don Juan

I fell into the habit of love.

 

And I learned how to kiss and be merry-
an

Education left better unsung.

My neglect of the waters Pierian

Was a scandal, when Grandma was young.

 

Though the shabby unbalanced the splendid,

And the bitter outmeasured the sweet,

I should certainly do as I then did,

Were I given the chance to repeat.

 

For contrition is hollow and wraithful,

And regret is no part of my plan,

And I think (if my memory’s faithful)

There was nothing more fun than a man.

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Learning from Dorothy Howell Rodham

I was saddened to hear about the passing of Dorothy Howell Rodham. I was humbled and moved by Chelsea Clinton’s loving words of being a member of a multigenerational family and learning from her parents and grandmother.

Chelsea pointed out the importance of having her grandmother Dorothy, as the family matriarch, model healthy living and productivity. I could hear, in Chelsea’s voice, the fondness, respect, and adoration she held for grandmother.

I was a bit teary eyed listening, because Chelsea’s words made me think back to this past Sunday when my daughter was being interviewed about her experiences living in a multigenerational home.

During the interview, my daughter’s tone was energetic, warm, and lighthearted. She giggled when she recalled certain interactions with my mother-in-law…like the time my daughter sought advice on how not to fight over the Wii with her little brother. My daughter assumed my mother-in-law had a Wii or some other game system as a child. My mother-in-law didn’t miss a beat. She skipped over that generational divide and talked to my daughter about patience, understanding, and being a role model for her brother.

My daughter, during the interview, expressed the love and support she feels from my mother-in-law. She pointed out that my mother-in-law’s presence in our multigenerational home feels natural and uplifting. She said, “I wish other kids had this much one-on-one time with grandparents. They would see why history is important and they would learn to appreciate diverse perspectives.

In listening Chelsea’s words during her interview, I hope my own children, after growing up in a multigenerational home, will:

  • commit to making healthy choices for a healthy and balanced life
  • understand the importance of intergenerational connections
  • recognize the gift of time with older generations
  • potentially invite me to share a home with them…on down the road
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