We have recently undergone some pretty heavy teen drama and bad attitude around the Miller household. Which naturally has led to a lot of fighting, disrespect, and anger/sadness. This is not to say it has all been doom and gloom but more a white elephant of contention. My oldest Vanessa has been acting out a lot in the form of general sassiness and “not-caring” which is not new for teens. IT IS, however, different for her. I have witnessed her go from a loving and laughing kid to a miserable and hedgehog-like tween not wanting anything to do with anyone or anything.
What this has led to from my end is a range of wild emotions from rage to sadness. I want her to understand so much more than she can comprehend. I wish she would see how her actions/words affect the world and those around her. However, this is a lost cause given the narrow-mindedness we all go through as teens when we are discovering ourselves and our personalities.
I had this idea from my own upbringing about losing interest and care for a child. I am sure this is something that can only happen between step-parents or even adoptive parents. I expressed my concern with Megan regarding this growing lack of care which she pointed out is driving a further wedge between her and my other kids (Hayden and Kaitlyn). This could be for a few reasons, shortened temper, deep sighing, loss in affection and I am sure much more. However, this hit me particularly hard after we finished talking. Just like my tween I too had forgotten how far reaching my actions and words reach. Same can be said with my own emotion.
This new-found emotion that is coming from parenting is something I am not used to. I pride myself on being able to stay neutral in almost any scenario. However recently this has not been the case within my own family. I have tried to wrap my brain around how I grew up and how Megan grew up and what made us tick and act the way we did when we were her age. Then “WHAM” just like before Megan provided some great insight regarding her lack of a mother figure growing up and how she is torn with how to parent because she never had that. I had my own challenges as well but nothing to bitch about. This led to the epiphany that while our past experiences are not meaningless they don’t hold a ton of weight with my kid’s now-days. The way I handled stress back then is different from how Megan dealt with stress when she was a kid and the same is true for my kids today. The same can be said for our parenting scenarios I had a mother and an adoptive father, Megan had an adoptive father and lost her mother when she was young. While our kids have 4-5 parents (Me, Megan, Her Ex, and the Ex’s Parents) in their life pushing and pulling trying to help shape our kids in their own image and own way in order to be a good adult.
All of this realization has led me to understand that I as a parent need to live in the now. Trying to relive the past to understand how to shape the future is not always best. This is something I have to work on within myself to make sure I keep myself grounded for my family and our future. As I am sure any parent would express this is not always easy which is why I am putting it in writing so my thoughts can be conscious and coherent and without second guessing.
When it comes to my wife, I am very fortunate to say that I married my best friend. That is not to say it has been all fairy tale and not a hardship. There has been a lot of hardship to hit our family and our relationship. Things like dropping 2 incomes for one, bankruptcy, custody battle, and kids’ behavior have occurred to us during our almost 5 years of being married. I expect they will continue to pop up here and there as we progress through life. The reason I bring up the benefit of marrying my best friend is that fact that even through all of that we still love being around each other. Even during the hardest times, the only thing that helped us through was being with each other in one capacity or other. That is where I feel amazed to have had the opportunity to marry my best friend.
Another thing I noticed the other day was how we can talk about the most random things. I am sure this is very common in most relationships but I particularly noticed how bantered to one another feeding the conversation and reflected on where we started and where we ended. To be frank I have never had this with anyone else to this extent and I don’t want to achieve this with anyone else. That is what makes our relationship unique and fresh in my eyes. Below is a prime example of how we interact and it is small things like the conversation below that continue to reaffirm my choice to marry this amazing woman.
I have found that unless I put stuff on paper or on a blog I have a hard time remembering and even keeping myself accountable. Because I need some sort of physical reminder I am posting our family goals for the 2016 year. Basically things that we the Miller family want to accomplish or do this year.
I will continue to add to this list as we come up with more stuff. I will also update this page with the complete goals as we achieve them. Hopefully we can have something soon! In the mean time I have a question for anyone reading.
What do you do as a family that we could try? Let me know in the comments below and we may add it to the list!
A father to 3 amazing kids Hayden, Kaitlyn, and Vanessa . I am happily married to Megan Miller (@Megan_Bethann) and we live in Pleasant Grove Utah.
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