Friday, September 26, 2008

Fantastic website for the New Year

Project Forgiveness - for people to send in videos or posts about forgiveness.

(Thanks to Orthonomics for the link)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Bad Advice

There's a comment in Orthonomics's post today talking about how people give really bad financial advice to young couples, and write off any common-sense questions with answers like "everybody has credit card debt."

We went through this so many times when we were first married, and I truly feel that choosing to stay part of the frum world at that time and listen to that advice is the cause of 90% of the issues we are dealing with 7 years later. Then yesterday, we got a re-run (only this time we know better).

My father-in-law has been ill for quite some time and just had surgery. I get exactly enough vacation days to cover yomtov (actually, I am short a day and my boss and I work around it). My husband is the full-time parent at home plus works from home. We don't have relatives or anyone else here who can watch the kids long-term. And, we are in major debt and have no spending money. So, we have not flown out to see either set of parents since we moved here.

Last night a rabbi from my father-in-law's community (who we have no relationship with) called and yelled at my husband about not coming to see his father. He did not offer to pay for a ticket or come up with any other realistic solutions of how this could be arranged, he just said that my husband "had to". Then they had the following conversation:

DH: I don't have the money to pay for a ticket.
Rabbi: Don't you have anyone you could borrow from?
DH: We're already $60,000 in debt. I'm not borrowing more money.
Rabbi: Well I'm $150,000 in debt!

So in other words, because he makes poor financial decisions, everyone else should too. (Oddly enough, this is almost an exact statement from another rabbi who gave us the horrible advice 7 years ago. He went on and on about how much credit card debt he had, when we had come for advice on how to deal with our own debt problem - which was primarily caused by listening to his illogical advice in the first place.)

We are fortunate that my DH has come a long way in being able to see through poor advice and call it for what it is. I have to imagine the person meant well, somehow, but this was compeletly unacceptable.

(My sister-in-law didn't stand up for herself, and a few months ago she was "informed" by a different rabbi in the same community that he had bought her a ticket to visit the parents for a week. She has 7 children, and had to leave the teenagers in charge of the family. She also works, but this was not taken into consideration by the person who arranged it.)

Monday, September 08, 2008

Random list (a few days late)

My parents just left after spending the summer here, so I haven't been online this week. So here's the random list for last week, 3 embarrassing parenting moments. In reverse order, starting with the one this weekend:

1. We were at a school get-together this weekend, and since I am still having difficulty meeting people after 3 years, I hoped to talk to some of the parents. I was sitting at the table and a woman I recognized, who is very snobby, sat down with her kid A., who is in my son's class. Just then my son comes up and says, "Oh no!" in a really exasperated voice. I asked him to whisper to me what was wrong. Instead, he says in a normal voice "I was hoping to get a day without A. bothering me! She's so annoying!" Luckily this woman is probably so snobby that she wasn't fully paying attention to me or my kid, but she definitely heard him.

2. At a family fun day event last year, they set up one of those giant inflatable climbing things, where the kid has to go over things, under things, and then climb up and slide down. I do my best not to be like my mom with these kinds of things - she would never let us do anything with even the remotest bit of challenge or climbing involved. But my son is also not extremely athletic, so when I saw other parents going in with their kids, I decided to go with him in case he got stuck. We got to the part where you climb up, and I just couldn't do it! My son went ahead, the other kids behind us went ahead, and I just could not get up the wall. To make it worse, at some point I realized that my skirt was caught and if anyone was behind the slide they got a view. (And it could have been people from our school.) I finally had to yell for someone to let me out the emergency exit.

3. When my son was little, we used to do silly rhymes like baby-waby, mommy-wommy, etc. We went in for his preschool conference, and the teacher told us that he had given some odd answers when she asked him to name words that rhyme. He had said "dog-wog" and "cat-wat."