Omg, I’m turning into my mother!

At some point in your life, words will fly out of your mouth and you will come to the conclusion that you’re turning into your mother.  Even if you love your mother dearly, this isn’t something that you’re looking forward to.

The good news is, you’ve recognized what is happening so you can start to shape it before it shapes you.  Take a good, long look at your mother and how she has influenced your life both for the good and the bad (you may not be perfect, mom, but we love you).  Decide what you would like to keep and what you would like to pass you by. Start cultivating the good parts and correcting the bad – this will require actual work on your part!

Everyone is defined by their experiences but we are not held hostage by them.  You have the power to determine your future.

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Baby, it’s a trap

Do not ever attempt to “trap” a man by having his baby.  In the history of bad ideas, this ranks in the top 10.  A baby will not cement a relationship and in this day and age, it won’t even convince him to do the right thing.

If the relationship is already unstable (or perhaps simply not headed where you want it to go), a child is not going to improve the situation.  Children can be a blessing but they aren’t a substitute for a healthy relationship.

Babymommas are a dime a dozen.  If the relationship is not on solid footing, having a baby does not make a guy think about marriage, it makes him think of escape.  The social stigma of fathering a child out-of-wedlock simply does not exist in most western cultures.

Here’s where the real trap comes in – you trapped yourself.  If he doesn’t want the child, you’re going to be the one raising it, supporting it, nurturing it, disciplining it, and if you’re lucky, he’ll pick the child up once or twice a month to play with it for a few hours, feed it junk, and hand it back when it is no longer fun.  Unless you really want to be a single mom, don’t go down this road.

Now, accidents do happen and there are good men out there who will care for their child without being in a relationship with their mother.  However you should never bet on the fact that baby = security.

Meeting his family

Yikes!  This is always a situation to fill one with trepidation.  Meeting your partner’s family doesn’t need to be a stressful event if you remember a few key things:

  • Have your partner fill you in on his family dynamics.  Is his sister a gossip?  Is his mother insulted if you don’t eat everything on your plate?  Does his brother know the intimate details of your relationship?  You’ll want to know about potential minefields before you step into it.
  • As much as you can to suit the occasion, dress modestly and keep your hair/makeup natural.  You want to impress your potential in-laws with more than just your rockin’ bod or eccentric personal style.
  • Be polite.  Err on the side of formality until they invite you to be familiar.  Greet everyone, remember their names and use them when you say your goodbyes.
  • Brush up on your small talk.  It’s better to talk about current events than to draw a blank.  Do not divulge salacious details about yourself, no matter how amusing.  If possible, as your partner for details on the individual likes of his family members (brother: fishing, sister: fashion magazines, mom: quilting) so you can prepare something relevant to say.
  • Be prepared to answer (or deftly sidestep) questions on your career, plans for marriage/children, or even your past.  Be as honest as you can be without alienating anyone.
  • Let your partner lead the interaction (deciding time to arrive/leave, introductions, etc.) but be independent enough to start a conversation without him.
  • Evaluate his family as much as they are evaluating you.  While you technically are marrying the man, his family comes as a package deal.