So today, Pranksters, I have a fill-in for Your Aunt Becky. May I introduce my friend Stacia from Failure To Nap. You can call her Aunt Statia because OBVIOUSLY.
Also? My friend Kate could use a hand bringing her daughters Bethany and Laura home. If you don’t know her, you should. She’s a good friend of mine, has been for a long time, and has supported me for ages, through thick and thin. I love her dearly and she’s working to adopt two children with Down’s Syndrome from the Ukraine. She’s good people. CLEARLY.
Without further tongue wagging from Your Aunt Becky, I give you Aunt Statia!
My five year old may get a male teacher next year. I have nothing against this guy. He seems lovely… but I have a bad abuse history which has left me very very wary of men when it comes to kids. Also, one of my own teachers was convicted of abusing children (boys) and recently another teacher from my area has been charged with over 40 offenses. I haven’t got any good reason to request my son be moved but I hate that I have to give a man the benefit of the doubt. I also don’t want to get a reputation as the nutcase mum.
Do I say anything? I have gently asked other mums whose children have been in his class and have had variable results as to how he is.
First of all, I’m really sorry that you had to go through such a trauma. No one should ever have to go through the hell that is abuse. Ever. I think it’s one of the meanest things anyone could ever do to another human being.
And let me ask you, have you sought therapy for your pain? I say this because therapy has saved my life. I’ve been in therapy for various reasons over the years, but after having two kids close in age, I was suffering badly and it took a lot for me to ask for help and if it weren’t for having someone that I could confide my deepest darkest secrets to, knowing they were bound by HIPAA laws, I might have been a lot worse off. So please, first and foremost, it’s OK to take care of yourself.
Secondly, I know it’s really really hard to trust people with your children. Especially in the age of media and technology being so in your face about predators and Bad Things. Not to nullify your fears, but it’s a lot less common than you think. But I hear you. It’s one of my biggest fears too. I lay awake at night worrying about stuff like this, and this is what people don’t tell you when you have kids. That you worry a lot about people hurting your babies. Here’s what I would do:
1. Ask yourself. Do you have a bad feeling about this guy? And if so, is it because of your past history, or does he truly give you a creepy vibe?
2. Ask some of his past students (if you have friend’s whose kids have had him in the past), if they’ve liked him. Asking parents can be helpful, but also tricky, as it’s easy to get mixed results, given that not everyone is going to jive in personality. Kids might be a better gauge of how the teacher really is.
3. Find out more about him. How long has he been a teacher? Does he have a family? Don’t be afraid to ask him questions about him, if it makes you feel at ease.
4. Just be your mama bear self. There should be no reason for him to be alone with your child or any student. And teach your child the basic rules of body awareness and that it’s never ok for anyone to touch them for any reason. And that if anyone should hurt them or touch them inappropriately, to tell you immediately, and never be afraid.
I wish you all the best.
Dear Aunt Becky Stacia,
PLEASE HELP!!!!!!! My ignorant in-laws are constantly ruining the Christmas season for me! I want to appreciate the season, but all I find is that it brings me stress, anger and exhaustion.
We have three wonderful, beautiful children (11, 9, 2). They have one SPOILED, 8 year old husky that is their “child”. The problem – if the children go near something the dog likes, or touch him/brush against him in the wrong way, he GROWLS AT THEM!
Because of this, we RARELY see them. But every Christmas my husband wants to do the obligatory visit (they rarely come our way, and we only live 1 1/2 hours apart).
Despite my best efforts, the dog growled at the baby when he was walking by us on the way to the backyard. I scooped her right up, but then had to listen to them tell me how he would NEVER EVER actually bite. That when he growls he doesn’t mean anything by it, he can just be “vocal”. OH MY GOD THOSE IGNORANT FOOLS.
The holiday visiting has turned me into a big scrooge.I have to be the one to demand that the dog is always kept in another room, and I am still on high alert the WHOLE time (as the dog does need to be let out to use the restroom, etc…)!!!! My husband doesn’t say much, preferring me to look like the bitch so he can keep some semblance of a relationship with his father (and step mother).
My hubby is very upset by this, but he does not want to completely cut his father out of his life. He feels that by limiting our visits to once per year, and allowing me to be the dog police is the best we can do.
Oh Aunt Becky, how do I survive stomaching these ignorant, foolish idiots?
Oh sister, I FEEL your pain. I think next to money problems, this is the second biggest source of tension in a marriage. And I know of few people that actually get along with their in-laws. I myself have had my fair share of in-law troubles. My husband has a tendency to be very diplomatic.
When I was pregnant with my son, my mother-in-law gave me a whole heap of trouble and my husband didn’t want to rock the boat. It took me finally being outright in his face in terms of what I expected from him as a husband. This is such a tricky issue, because men generally don’t want to rock the boat when it comes to their parents, and that gives the in-laws free reign to walk all over you, and that is just not OK in my book.
If your husband really wants to keep the peace and help keep you happy in the process (because my thought is, if Mama ain’t happy, ain’t no one happy, and I realize that’s just bad grammar, but sometimes life just calls for bad grammar), he would at least have them come visit you.
I realize that in-laws also tend to be stubborn, but let him know that you’re truly afraid of the dog hurting the children and rather than have to stress yourself out over the thought of a possible accident, it might be best to at least have them over your house at least until the kids are old enough to understand that they have to leave the dog alone.
If all else fails, you can always feign illness and stay home with the kids, and then as a treat, you can all have ice cream for dinner. Because you deserve it.
3) How do you get revenge on the snarky, obnoxious, superior critic of your success as a mother when it’s you?
How do make the bitch SHUT UP!
Ok, here’s the deal. Sometimes, it’s OK to be smug as mother. Sometimes, you have to toot your own horn from time to time. Because let’s face it, being a mother is a thankless job and sometimes the only appreciation is going to come from you.
However, there is a time and a place for it. When you’ve successfully bribed your child with broccoli and they ate the whole plate? Pat yourself on the back.
You can be smug. And if you want to share that with your friends, you can say something like “Oh my god, I can’t believe it, but I totally got my child to eat BROCCOLI, oh glorious day, maybe I should play the lottery!” Make it seem as if you’re so proud of yourself because stuff like this NEVER happens.
You may think that you’re a better mother than everyone else. You may think you’re super mom, but you know what? We’re all trying to do the best job we can, so being smug around other parents is just not cool. No one likes a one upping, judgey mom.
Because you know what? At some point, your kids are going to do things that will pull that perfectly clean sparkling rug out from underneath you and make you question every single thing you ever did as a parent.
Case in point? My son was an angel baby. Never questioned a thing I said, never got into trouble (I could leave oily rags and a lighter out and he wouldn’t even so much as glance at them, seriously). Now? He’s a HELLION.
Just remember. What goes around, comes around, and at some point, it’s going to come back to you.