After reading my year end blog the other day, I got an e-mail from a very nice man who said he and his wife would love to see some of the places we have visited, but that their fulltiming is limited to summers in the Midwest and Florida in the wintertime because their adult kids demand they stay close to their old hometown in Indiana and not travel that far.
Excuse me? They demand it? I love my kids, but if they ever tried to demand I do something all they’d see of me would be my taillights disappearing in a cloud of dust until there was a major attitude adjustment. What can you say to somebody who sends you an e-mail like that? I know from prior communications that he and his wife are in their late 50s and are in good health, but that their kids have put them on a major guilt trip for choosing to live their dream instead of staying home and playing babysitter. I replied, “I’m sorry your kids raised you that way.”
Folks, we’ve taken a lot of fun trips in our fifteen years on the road, poking around in every corner of America, from New England to the Florida Keys to the Olympic Peninsula. But the one trip we refuse to ever take is a guilt trip!
We have rushed across the country to be there for family members when there has been a crisis and we’d happily do it again any time we’re needed. But we refuse to give up the lifestyle we love to meet someone else’s demands.
The trip we took yesterday was quick and easy, just 116 miles from Santa Fe RV Park in Apache Junction to Voyager RV Resort in Tucson. There was little traffic because everybody was home watching football games or parades, I guess, which made it nice.
I have to call the VA hospital this morning to see if they have any idea yet when my procedure is. Originally they said today, but that’s the last I heard and nobody has contacted me. I’ve called several times, but over the holidays nobody knew anything. It is what it is, right?
If you’d like to start the new year with a couple of good free reads, two of my author pals have them for you. Check out Molly Snow’s paranormal romance BeSwitched. One reviewer said of it, “ Cute, funny, light romance, witches and black cats, it kept me wanting to know what would happen next, and it was totally innovative. Great read for cat lovers. And for wall flowers always on the outside looking in on the cool kids, you’ve GOTTA read this!” Another good freebie is Ana Martin, a romance set during the Mexican revolution, by J.L. Jarvis. It’s free on Amazon, iTunes and Kobo. And be sure to check out The Music Box by Heather Meyer. If you’re a Nicholas Sparks fan, trust me on this, you’ll love this magnificently crafted story.
And don’t forget to enter this week’s Free Drawing for an audiobook version of Explanations and Advice for the Tech Illiterate by Randall Morris. This is a great guide to the commonly misunderstood elements of computers and home theater and explains things in a basic, understandable way without sounding too "techy." Topics include: basic computer types, basic home theater (video), basic home theater (audio), audio / video cables, computer viruses, e-mail security, understanding encryption & passwords, backing up your hard drive, and computer speed/startup items. All you have to do is click on the Free Drawing link and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one).
Thought For The Day – Stop focusing on what happened and start focusing on what you can do to move forward.
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Met a couple in their 50’s that were “required” to go to the kids house for Thanksgiving.
Their response? They left a note on both of their adult kids front door, that said:
“Gone camping. Have a great Thanksgiving.”
Gotta love it.
We are in the process of selling our house. Our daughter is not overly excited about our decision and occasionally makes a lighthearted comment about it but she knows we going drive off in our mtorhome soon. But she also knows we will be back for the holidays most years. The irony of the whole thing is that like most 30 something adults with kids, they are so busy they only have time for us around the major holidays. So in the end they will not know we are gone most of the time.
Amazing how “Kids” you raised can want YOU to raise their kids too! ( or at least sit for them anytime they want you too)……oh …..grow a “couple” and tell them
” I’ll see when I get back.”
I know you addressed this same issue with another couple recently. Well, time flies, so maybe not quite as recently as I’m thinking :), but I know I responded and so did several others, and after that I believe that couple changed their minds and decided to hit the road when and where they wanted.
Have these people read that column and the ensuing replies? Maybe it would help them rethink their position….that is, if they truly do want to travel. I know some people aren’t really that anxious to travel ,and so “the kids” is a convenient excuse to stay nearby.
Makes you kind of wonder who ran the household when those “kids” were growing up. Very sad the guilt trips some children want to lay on the parents…and the parents who accept that guilt as normal.
I cannot understand some folks who still bow to their kids demands, the parents gave up a lot when their kid needed raising, they were not put on earth to also raise their grand-kids so they could do their thing and have free babysitter. before any one jumps me for my last comment,yes many grandparents are raising grand kids out of necessity. I am talking about the ones who are selfish and do not want their parents too enjoy their golden years doing what they want.
Great comments about “guilt trips” Nick. As a blended family we have had to make adjustments when on the road as full-timers. This Christmas season after working at Amazon Fulfilment Center for three months, my wife left early to be with her kids for three weeks. I continued working to a few days before Christmas to complete the season. Then, drove a few hours to spend four days with my daughter’s family. We both had a great Christmas, each in our way. A little unusual, but it worked for us. Usually, we spend the holidays together with family but we have five different sets of kids and eleven grandkids, so it’s hard to cover everybody at the same time.
One key point I have found is that the grandkids are so busy with their extracurricular activities and school work, there’s hardly time left over a meaningful visit from the grandparents. The adult kids are stressed out by work and the complex demands of being a parent these days. One size doesn’t fit all as a full-timer. But…it’s fun nonetheless and a great part of life.
In our case it’s my 72 year old mother who serves up big doses of guilt. Yes she is getting older. Yes she won’t be around forever. But she’s in excellent health, smokes like a chimny and goes to the casino 2 or 3 times a week, which we have no interest in. So when we do visit we can’t stand to be in the house between the smell of cigaretes and cats and we have been dragged to the casino to watch her feed money into the slots.
We took your advice and told the kids last year no more spending all summer being babysitters while they played. Going to the lake to jet ski, going to concerts and the movies, and running around all day. All 3 were mad at us but two have come around. Our middle daughter sent us a nasty e-mail saying she had no parents any more if we were going to be that selfish. Tears the wife apart but not me. Her loss, not ours.
WOW…well, sounds like from the comments, a lot of folks at least are wanted..but yea, not so nice to only be wanted for WHAT WE CAN DO. Hubby and I were discussing this year’s plans today…and while I am happy to go help out in a big way, I am not wiling to put aside EVERY LAST THING in our lives either. Generally however, our kids are not even wanting a lot of contact with us…for the most part. Unless a crisis…I would prefer more contact without all the drama. Oh well, nothing perfect in this life. As I told hubby however, we are only given just a few short years to live and I am not willing to loose all of our time doing some of our own pursuits either, just because he is now retired. I want some kind of balance too.
Our kids never questioned us, just wished us well. They both live in different states so it’s not easy to spend time with everyone together. They know we are only a plane ride away. When my beautiful granddaughter was born at home at 28 weeks in 2012, I hopped on a plane in Texas and flew to Virginia. They didn’t ask, but I did it because I wanted the parents to be able to spent time in the NICU with their little girl together and I was more than happy to watch my grandson for a week. Until I got there, my SIL had not seen his little girl once the EMT’s took her away. Now, a year and a half later, she is a totally normal, happy 1 1/2 year old who has since “caught up” with her age. My kids grew up RVing and love it that we can travel and can be with them for special events.