Tag Archives: parents

Out of the Closet: Unwanted Makeover

Your mom’s just trying to be helpful but she’s messing with your closet/your head. De-cluttering how to tell her to stop before it becomes your dirty laundry. — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — I come home and my moms “reorganized” my entire closet Now there’s one shoe downstairs and one upstairs. She turned my whole closet upside down like that! That was 3 weeks ago, and I’m still searching for my things every day. What can I do about this?  — Closet Case

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Dear Closet Case,

What a great question about setting appropriate boundaries. And whether you’re 13 and your mom is all up in your grill, or you’re 45 and living with a senior mom who requires your assistance — doesn’t matter. Same relationship dynamic thing, different time. Moms who need to do your thing their way, is…classic.

You know your BadWitch wants you to tell her like it is (but keep in mind that for you, her action was annoyingly intrusive, while to her, just helpful), but I understand that this may be both difficult for you to say, and for her to actually hear (whether because of big ego or legit cognitive reasons — if the latter (which your searching up and downstairs for stuff alerts me to), immediately get her under a geriatric physician’s care). Still, together you should set down some rules for happy co-existing in this house.

Whatever your age, calm the heck waaay down and then ask you mom why she felt she needed to help you get organized. Ask questions to hear past “it was messy”-type responses to what her perception is about your organizational skills, how you live. If any of it resonates with you, think then act to improve yourself. Thank her! If it doesn’t feel true for you, then try substituting her “you” statements with your proper name and repeat them out loud. If most or all of it still doesn’t feel true to you, then consider what is actually important to you a la values, and then calmly set enforceable boundaries. Remember, one huge lesson living with people we love can teach us is how to reasonably compromise.

Setting boundaries: Let your mother know clearly that you respect her, but that you and your territory must have her reciprocal respect, too. Just because it works for her, deosn’t mean it does (or has to!) work for everyone on the planet. Find the most effective way to say it so your mom can hear it. Find a way to enforce it (expectations > consequences). If you don’t, you can expect that she will repeat this closet makeover episode (in one form or another) and that will be on you, later. In the worst (and last case) scenario, put a lock on your door.

Lights on in that closet,

BadWitch

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Dear Closet Case,

OMG!!! And I mean that! I don’t know what’s more horrifying, the idea of your mother seeing every nook and cranny of your inner wardrobe or the idea of someone else reorganizing the items that should very specifically be categorized by the wearer. Shocking.

Well, first and foremost you must sit down with your mother to discuss this fiasco. In a loving (which means practice A LOT before the face-to-face), calm voice (A LOT) let her know in no uncertain terms that though you believe her “helpfulness” in regards to your closet was born from the most loving thoughts and ideas, in truth it felt like a disrespect for your privacy. You know that was not how it was intended (see why you have to practice?), but in fact reorganizing someone else’s closet without their prior notice and consent is best left to parents of small children not yet capable of organizing sweaters together, etc.

Let her know that you are still searching for some much need items. In truth, though you two are so similar, your organizational styles are very different….and, well, it makes life more difficulty when getting ready for (school/work/obligations).

Be clear before your bathroom cabinets are reorganized and those much needed daily products disappear! This is an important opportunity for you to set boundaries like an adult. Show her what you’re working with. But show it with love and respect. She birthed you. She deserves heaping helpings of both.

Also, your mom may be somewhat bored. Is she older and needing to get out to the local centers to play with people her own age while you are at work? Or maybe the stay at home mom is discovering a latent passion for interior design. Whatever the root cause remember compassion—not anger—will get you the respect you crave.

Good luck (sincerely),

GoodWitch

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Image: Touchstone Pictures

Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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First Time Job, Earner’s New Costs

We all had one: a first time job. What we all don’t have is the exact same views on money, responsibilities and how those things go together. Figuring out the “new allowance.” — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — My mother reads your blog so I’m hoping she’s reading this. I’m 16 and just got my first job, and she’s already making me pay for gas and my cell phone now! Does that seem right to you? I’m ok paying for my car insurance so I drive more responsibly, but she makes me pay to get to work and come home. That seems seems backwards to me. Shouldn’t she want me to want to go to work and make money to begin with? — First Time Worker

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Dear First Time Worker,

That you share your mother’s interests enough to know to come here and try to “sway” her is…ehem, your work skills showing. I do, however, appreciate your understanding about the cause-affect relationship of your paying for your car insurance. This shows you do understand how things work.

Now take those mad skillz to the next level, and have a meeting with your parents to figure out what items you should be paying for by discussing to understand each other’s priorities. They will include: cost-to-use, time and money, prioritizing values, and your safety. Maybe it is valuable to them to pay for all things school related. Maybe only you can afford that $350 bat to keep playing, etc… I’m going to keep this one very short because I believe just having this little pow wow will open your parents and your own eyes as to how the other actually sees the world…and mmoney and responsibilities.

Time spent together is time well spent,

BadWitch

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Dear First Time Worker,

Congratulations on your first job!

So now that we’re done with niceties, let me give you the down and dirty truth of life as an adult. Life costs money. Gas, car insurance, car payment, tolls—all cost money. The roof over your head costs whether in mortgage, rent or upkeep. Clothes, toiletries and toilet paper all cost and we’ve not even discussed lights, heat, water and garbage.

Your mother has been covering these costs. Now that you have a job she is asking for your help. She’s not even asking for you to cover living expenses, just the gas you need to go where you want to go and the cell phone you need to set up those play dates. In other words, she’s having you cover the cost of your play and travel to and from work. Really, not a lot in the grand scheme of the many hundreds of dollars needed to survive.

Of course, one hopes that these costs do not take the entirety of your weekly check. Now is the time to start the lifelong habit of saving some of your income for a rainy day (or Cabo Spring Break).

You have the opportunity now to create new lifelong habits that will serve you in the years to come. Yes, life comes with bills to pay—and we also have to pay our fair share—but it also comes with compounding interest. Read (or listen to) David Bach’s Automatic Millionaire. Don’t bemoan paying for the life you live. That’s life. Be grateful for the opportunity to have money coming in that helps your mother and helps you live the life you enjoy. These days, not everyone is as lucky.

New responsibility will often chafe, but it will not choke if approached with level head and grateful heart. Realize that your mom’s burden is heavier than you have bothered to note, but now you have the opportunity to help, where it is appropriate.

Blessings on a bright future,

GoodWitch

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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Money, Irresponsibility & Angry Siblings

When adult siblings view responsibility and money differently, someone can end up eating an angry, bitter sandwich.   — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — I know I’m a shit but I can’t take it anymore. My sister is a total loser and left everything for me to do with our aging, frail mother. I love her and wouldn’t not take care of her! All her life our parents helped that family charity case out, and now she’s nowhere to be found, but mom always asks me if she’s ok and needs money!!! I have to do every f**g thing by myself and I already know she’s going to get at least half of all of it when mom dies. Should I seek legal recourse? Mom would never go for it I can already tell you.   Under the Bus

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Dear Under the Bus,

Muffin, I hear ya. Make your own daily life easier (if only by the law), by as early on as the situation makes appropriate, taking control and getting Power of Attorney. It’s tough enough you have to do all the work, it’s untenable to feel or be obligated to get approvals and sign-offs from absent (or even unqualified) siblings. I’m afraid the broad strokes of your scenario are so common as to be stereotypical: the care of aging parents often falls on one sibling while the other(s) very often do absolutely nothing to help and disappear (if they ever scuttled into the light) back into the woodwork. I know. I know. This is life at its unfairest of all, Snow White. Addressing possible extenuating circumstances why a sibling may choose not to help an aging parent(s) can range from super clear and absolutely legit to totally false and lazy — so I will not insult you by pointing out any of those reasons. If I had The Answer to this problem (that will only increase in our aging population), I would have a truly golden inheritance (but I thank the Universe that not all siblings are absent burdens!). Instead, I will just offer you the support that sometimes responsible and fair-playing adults left out in the cold need: despite appearances, you are not alone. If you have one, lean on your belief system that says the just will be vindicated — whether with a heavenly reservation or frequent karmic reward points. I say, don’t focus on people’s shortcomings and their inability/unwillingness, rather work on your own weaknesses, expand your own abilities, willingness in life, and reward own damn self by simply recognizing your love for a parent(s) who likely gave you all they had to give, and possibly sacrificed silently for your betterment over their own immediate gratification, and — this is the trick and the trickiest of all, I find — be your own best parent in the darkest times. [And you know what, BadWitch thinks that aging parents are very probably getting the best choices made for them by the one child who is actually doing all the hands on work, than by a committee confederacy of reluctant dunces, anyway…]

Get out of under & drive your bus,

BadWitch

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Dear Under the Bus,

I wish your situation was an anomaly, but I’ve heard it too many times before. My heart and my prayers go out to you and your aging mother.  Personally, I recognize how lucky I am to have siblings that care as much and work as hard (if not harder) in some cases than I do in caring for my elderly parents. But every time I call a doctor or caregiver about my parents, I hear the shock that a child is following up to help her parents. What?! Apparently responsibility is a virtue some just do not know how to step up to.

My suggestions? Write up a letter of expectations for your sibling. Outline not only the hours but expenses you have incurred in order to take care of your mother. (Yes, I would include gas and mileage, as well as phone costs.) Outline what you would like her help with. Be clear though, she’s not stepping up without some push back. Don’t give her critical jobs (paying caregivers, rent, etc.) But have her follow up with docs and caregivers and report back to you. Sadly, you will probably have to check up on her in some micromanaging way. Yes, even following up with the doctors after she does so you know she is giving you thorough, accurate reports.

This will frustrate you initially and piss you off to no end. But the truth is, you need to treat your sister like a tenured employee with no sense of responsibility. You want to fire her. You want to yell and kick her to the curb, but you can’t. She’s family, not an employee. But in the end if you can show her how to step up and help you, you may have the assistance you want in the end.

However, just in case she continues to be self-obsessed, irresponsible and unavailable, even after you have outlined what’s what, keep a thorough record of your expense and hours of work for your mother, as well as all the times you asked for assistance and her response. At some point very soon, you will have a document, which clearly shows her lack of care in black and white. Then consult an attorney to see if you have any recourse. If yes, time to talk turkey with your sister so she knows to step up or lose out.

The truth is you will never change how your mother babies your sister. A mother can go to the grave making excuses for the ones she loves rather than facing a hurtful truth. Is it really your job to make your mom fee any worse than she already does because her kid’s a flake?

You may have to suck it up. It sucks, but your mom needs care and you can only do so much to make someone else step up to assist you. In truth, my suggestions may still lead to more work, no help and no recourse, but as with all things in life, you gotta try the best you can to make things work out. Not trying will leave you empty, angry and bitter. And if in the end your sister does not step up and help, you just have to accept it because that is what is. The inheritance your mother intends to leave your sister is not because of the work she has or has not done. It is because your mom (for better or for worse) loves her child and wants to leave her part of what she’s accomplished in this life as a reminder of that love.

Your job is not to make your mom see your sister is a flake. Your job is not to try and ruin whatever imaginary, co-dependant relationship they have before your mom leaves this earth. Your job is to do your best to live the best life you can for you, which, yes, includes taking responsibility and caring for your mom. Bottom line: life is not always fair, but karma is. Know that in some way at some point in time the Universe will say “thank you,” for all you’ve done. But whatever you do, do it with an open heart of love and giving. Gifts steeped in resentment can leave a nasty after taste—for you and your mother. Know that you are doing what you do for the right reasons and everybody who needs to know that, really does. Including your mom, whether she’s able to express that to you or not. But you know. Find a way to make peace that you know what you do and you are proud of what you do. I am proud of you.

Mantra: I give because I want to and the giving feeds me as much as those I give of my time, energy and dedication. I cannot compare what I give to someone else, I can only express my best work every day and express my gratitude to myself for doing so. I am at peace leaving the ultimate judgment and tally to karma, knowing all is divinely perfect— even if I cannot see how or why right now.

Good luck,

GoodWitch

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Image: Jose Luis Merino

Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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Anti-social Kid, Worried Parent

Most parents always want what’s best for their kids. Most kids just want their parents to leave them alone…but not too far. Staying INvolved, while Keeping Out!     — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — …What’s (considered) anti-social? My daughter who is in junior high gets good grades, has friends, but is often home alone. She gets asked to activities but says she’s not a belonger. Should I insist she go to at least one social outing a month? …I get her every other week.Worrywart Parent

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Dear Worrywart Parent,

From your description, your daughter doesn’t sound anti-social but well-adjusted and independent. If you are strongly worried, get feedback from her teachers/counselor that this is also their perception. This is cute to me —she sounds like she’s a Solo Sammie in training. Again, you say her grades and psyche aren’t suffering and at her age, those are the biggest indicators of trouble or peace. Ongoing, keep an eye on her progress; teens’ moods and perceptions can be like the wind.

Just a suggestion, you may be more concerned about your scheduled time with her than her own social time spent. Check yourself for any possible competition (including with your ex-), insecurities and legitimate concerns as a parent, and just work not to project them onto your daughter. Check in regularly and work with her other parent so you two are on the same page about your child as much and often as possible. Let your daughter know that you are absolutely fine (but only if this is true) with who and how she is by taking an active interest and asking appropriate (to situation as well as for privacy) questions and making sure you continue to know (and probably vetting is a good idea at this age most especially) her friends. Don’t just assume they’re all like her; participate from the periphery of her social circle.

For pete’s sake, insisting a middle school teen do anything is a sure-fire recipe for non-compliance (rebel or not; jeesh, how long’s it been, Worrywart?). Make a few activity suggestions now and then based on observing her actual interests and inclinations, but if she opts out, leave her be.

Knock first,

BadWitch

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Dear Worrywart Parent,

It sounds like you need to learn more about how your daughter is feeling about her classmates and the people who are inviting her to activities. If she does not feel like she can be herself in order to belong to the group, she may be opting out as an act of self-expression/self-preservation. It could also be that she has some negative feelings associated with these folks and so chooses to remain alone rather than join in.

My friend’s daughter has similar “alone” tendencies. This weekend, even in the middle of a picnic full of kids, she walked up to me to say she didn’t wan to play with any of the kids there. After a couple of questions, “Do you not like the games they’re playing?” “Are you not getting along with someone?” “Did you think someone was being mean to someone else or to you?” “What do you want to do ideally if you could do anything in the world?”

It came out that she was a little tired, not in the mood to be nice and preferred hanging with adults. She is an only child, so she is no stranger to the company of adults. For her adults pay attention to you and expect to take on the responsibilities of erecting boundaries, keeping you safe and making sure everyone plays nice. In short, she just wanted some time off from being a “big girl.”

Find out what makes your daughter happy. Is she into painting, roller derby, bag pipes? I mean, find the activity that makes her want to join in and then find the group that is doing it. Tailor the group around her interests. If you find the group that is interested in the things she likes and doing the things she likes, she’ll probably become more of a “belonger.”

Have faith Mommy. And take some time to meditate (a.k.a. daydream) of your daughter happy with friends. See them playing and talking. Look at her with the magical eyes of all you see she is capable of being. The more you can see her that way, the more you shift the energy and the room for her to be more social.

Have faith,

GoodWitch

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. No materials may be used without expressed written permission.

Talk. Safe Sex. Awkward…!

As everyone knows, men looove to share their feelings and talk…sometimes too much. What do they mostly want to talk about? Why, safe sex of course! Another ‘Safety Dance’ we can thank the ’80s for.   — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — It’s not always easy to bring up the safe sex subject when I’m with a guy…  — Safe and Sorry

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Dear Safe and Sorry,

Sex and feeling sexy is all in the head – literally. Women already know that the brain is the organ where sex starts and the rest is mechanics. Bringing most guys up to speed about the importance of the brain in sex has been a historic challenge for us gals (I’m not discounting safe sex for boys who like boys, but as this question was posed, feels uniquely female to me), but keeping their big head engaged long enough to talk safe sex is a very small window, indeed.

Add to your arsenal!, cultivate another sexual habit: find the place where your safe sex talk makes the most sense for you personally, somewhere between the reuniting greeting, “Hey!” and the thin line after the hot macking session that makes this conversation necessary. Make that point in time Pavlovian for yourself. When X happens, you talk that talk. Period. Without fail (no pun intended but, hey!, a happy side effect on average). Work on your content and personal style and — stick with this until it’s a pattern/habit that you just pull out of your dating tool box like anything else that works for you.

Parents talking to kids about safe sex is another great first step to all this. For already active daters, this was a fabulous article I saw a while back and still absolutely love for its well-roundedness than some on the same topic that I’ve seen in mags for girls. Some of those focus far more on pleasing him (reeeally??) than taking care of you first — the best aphrodisiac that not only can be made playful and hot, it will keep you ultimately “sustainable.”

Safety first,

BadWitch

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Dear Safe and Sorry,

Not easy, but as you value your life—literally—this conversation is a must-have.

Listen, it’s not easy to take control of your sexuality, to express what feels good and what really isn’t working for you. But all these conversations, like the Safe Sex Talk are essentials for a truly freeing, personally affirming sexual experience. Remember, if you are not comfortable, the sex just won’t be very good for you. And if it’s not god for you, it’s not going to be great for him either.

Remember Brigit Jones having that conversation with herself about whether a date required stomach reducing Spanx or “genuinely tiny knickers”? In that same timeframe before your date, power yourself up. The ore you can stand in your power, the more sexy you will be to everyone you have contact with—especially your date. Try the following Power Up exercise and get connected to your sexiest you!

Power Up Exercise

Imagine a yellow/gold ball of light that accumulates in your hand. This is the energy of your free will. Light, sunny and full of its own energy. Rub this energy over your belly—from pubic bone up. As you rub this energy in imagine it sinking into your skin, energizing and updating you sense of free will. Repeat to yourself: “It is my right to decide what I do with my body. It is my body and mine alone. I stand up for myself.” Take your time and repeat this as many times as necessary. Really feel yourself gaining energy and ownership over yourself.

Now imagine a beautiful blue ball of energy in your hands. Rub this all over your throat, chin, mouth and ears. This is the energy of communication. Allow this energy to sink into your skin. Feel the lines of communication with yourself and with others opening and clearing. Repeat to yourself: “ I have the right to speak up for what I need and want. I speak for myself. I speak up for myself.” Take your time and repeat this as many times as necessary. Really feel yourself gaining energy and ownership over your communications.

Now, take a ball of orange energy into your hands. This is the energy of creativity and sexuality. Rub this energy over the lower region of your stomach. See yourself as a sexy, confident person. Imagine the sexy confident celebrities that inspire you. Allow yourself to see those qualities that you admire—sassy speech, devil may care attitude, self-assuredness—float into you through this orange energy. Feel yourself standing straighter, feeling more sexy and more in control of yourself.

Repeat any of these as needed.

Now, all powered up, feeling sexy and confident, get dressed. Look in the mirror and practice your safe sex speech. Maybe it’s just a sentence, “I am really attracted to you, but you should know I only practice safe sex.” Whatever your version of this sentiment, practice it. Own it. Reapply your Power Up energy as needed, so when you say it you feel in your power and ready to express yourself. Then go have fun.

Just remember, people want to date people who are individuals with their own thoughts and ideas. Express those thoughts and ideas. The more you are truly who you are, the sexier you are.

Good luck,

GoodWitch

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. No materials may be used without expressed written permission.

Working Parents Guilt. Dancing With the Stars and Beyond

No dancing around it. Our society is still conflicted about the role of the “good mother.”    — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — Ok my circle of friends includes men and women and we can’t agree on the Kate Gosselin on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ thing. Should any primary caregiver spend so much time away from their kids?   — Dances With Guilt

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Dear Dances With Guilt,

Whatchoo talkin’ ‘bout, Willis? Kate was working to support her kids via this show, not simply raising her celebrity or party time. Given that, I am not one who subscribes to the notion that what qualifies primary caregivers is only lots of face time with growing, developing kids. Quality counts. Also among primary caregivers’ responsibilities to children, is ensuring their kids’ circle of trustworthy, accountable adult guides/-ance is as wide as (relatively) possible. I don’t believe mommy (or daddy) at home is the only way to raise healthy, happy kids — now or even during Donna Reed daze.

Parenting is individual, but from the viewpoint of a former child whose mother loved working outside of the home, and then alternated having to stay home for a couple years with previously having a nanny, it’s not about the number of hours spent with kids, but consistency and structure of foundation of the family vision/mission— the kind of consistency I’m talking about, from a kids’ point of view, extends to when the parents are home or out of the house. This builds a true Northstar that kids can understand and rely on. Personally, when I think of “mommy at home” my first image is of mine crying out of frustration (no judgments!, she also baked cookies and played with us quite un-conflicted). The consistency and love in our home and family let me know undoubtedly that I was loved and wanted, but also that my mother was frustrated by her bubble with low to no daily adult stimulation. I Got how happy her work fulfillment made her, and how much easier and happier we were as a family unit when those things were in place. I was 6, the same age the Gosselin sextuplets are, I wasn’t confused (and doubt my brother was, either); kids are smart. Yep. Love, and happiness- and esteem-building are the consistency I’m talking about.

Did you ever watch their 5-season reality show (Jon & Kate Plus 8)? That mama ain’t no angel! But I’d love to get your take after your group debates what impact the actions of their “too-famous-to-get-a-job” dad who left them to have his mid-life crisis, then banned the show (the family’s primary income) from being produced without him, might have on their childhood development.

No guilt needed,

BadWitch

UPDATE: Cosmic unintended timing notes – Congratulations Nicole Scherzinger DWTS winner. R.I.P. Gary Coleman.

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Dear Dances with Guilt,

What?! So we have kids and then we’re suppose to hang up our dancing shoes forever? I think that’s how we end up with Texas Cheerleading Moms who live through their kids to a super-unhealthy degree.

As I heard it, she had a dance studio built in her basement, practiced there and then traveled to tape the show. So, is she not suppose to work on her career because she;s needed at home wiping noses? Isn’t that why God created babysitters? After all, how is she suppose to support said kids if she ends up as a reality TV footnote? “*Was married to a putz. Had 8 kids and a short run reality TV show on TLC.”

As a mother, you do not push out a kid, sign the birth certificate and turn in your juju so you can be a capri-wearing-cropped-bobbed-hairdo-having-lunch-box-stuffing mother and nothing else.  Kate Gosselin spoke up, said she wanted to be on Dancing with the Stars She got her chance and worked hard to make the most of her dream. Now people want to judge her for reaching her dream while having the nerve to have kids? Really, if folks spent more time worrying about doing what is necessary to achieve their own dreams, there’d be a lot less hate and envy in the world.

I, too, am a single mom reaching for her dreams. I work full time and have extra curricular activities that do not include my children. However, I am in constant touch with my kids’ teachers, a member of the PTA, a cupcake baker, play date host and easy-listening my door and my arms are always open kind of mom. I believe showing my children the example of a hard-working, loving mom who knows how to multi-task and go after her dreams is one of the most potent gifts I can give my two girls.

Kate may not be the best dancer, but juggling rehearsals, performance and parenthood, I give her a 10!

More Mojo for All,

GoodWitch

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Image: ABC, Adam Larkey

Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. No materials may be used without expressed written permission.

Straight Son, Gay Friend Crush

Your kid’s straight but his gay friend is crushin’ on him. Defining moments in real friendships.  — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — Our 15 year old son has a very close buddy who recently came out as gay. My son is fine with this, but says his friend has told him he is developing a crush on him. How can my son tell his good friend he’s not gay and not hurt his feelings?   — Happy Not Gay

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Dear Happy Not Gay,

Good job. How great is your son? He seems to be a sensitive and real friend. This gives me hope that their friendship is built on the same kind of openness and acceptance he exhibits. From there — it’s all about the snails and oysters — encourage your son young Antoninus to be (no pun intended) straight up truthful with his friend. “Crassus, I love you as a buddy but it’s never gonna happen Like That because on that field, we’re not playing on the same team.” Let the conversation flow naturally (which going by my brother’s convos with his crew when we were teens, should be all worked out in about six mumbles and two grunted Uh huhs). No worries from me. Sounds like your son has his friend’s interests at heart and knows how to empathize not sympathize. Labels are for clothes not relationships. Back him up, ‘rents.

True friendship ascends,

BadWitch

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Dear Happy Not Gay,

So, your son…your son’s friend…so why are you writing us? Sounds like this is an honest conversation between your son and his friend. Are you jumping in the middle because you’re uncomfortable? Mom, Dad, you’ll just have to let this one run its course, but if you need some help on wisdom-filled parental advice…

There is a difference between romantic feelings and platonic friendships, no matter the closeness of the friendship. You know if you are attracted to someone romantically or not. And just as your son may befriend a girl he does not want to be romantically linked to, so he can have male friends he is not interested in romantically.

The key to having the friendship endure past all these revelations is honesty. He must let his friend know with no uncertain terms that their bro-mance will never be a romance, however, he values the friendship, is undeterred by the friends change in orientation and looks forward to moving forward, as friends.

There may be a need for some time and space before things can get back to balanced, but your son must realize that with this revelation, things will never be exactly the same. It is always a bit awkward when one friend admits feelings for another, and another admits to a lack of feelings. It is possible to get back to communing as friends, but wounded feelings must heal. As a parent, all you can do is be there for good advice and loving, unwavering support. From there, your son is going to have to step out into the world and make or break his relationships all on his own.

Might as well let him start now.

Good luck,

GoodWitch

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