I spent a lot of time as a teenager wondering if my mom was really happy. How could she be, I wondered, working a thankless job as a teacher, married to a man who worked incessantly, and dealing with two kids who were hell? She never stopped moving — she would wake up at 4AM to work out before her day began, and then go through her daily motions. How could anyone be happy with that?
Before, I didn’t get it. I didn’t think it was a big deal to ask if or when a couple was having kids. I didn’t realize the impact that merely being asked questions along these lines can have on someone dealing with personal decisions. I’ve actually apologized to a couple people for my past ignorance. But now I have a new problem: since these questions are off limits, I have no idea what to say!
I don’t expect my kids to like all of their family members the same, but I don’t want them having secret “don’t tell her I like you the most!” talks. Does anyone have a good diplomatic response when kids say one family member is their favorite?
My husband and I each have pretty abrasive families. We don’t fear for our child’s safety in anyone’s company, but each set of personalities present their own unique complications — our families don’t really know what it means to be “kid-friendly.” What kind of ground rules should we lay down for when our kids visits?