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How do you respond to someone who's openly disdainful to your life choices?


I'm a stay-at-home mom to two sons, one with autism. Staying at home has certainly hurt us financially, but it was the right choice. I had been a kindergarten teacher and couldn't imagine being with kids all day long only to go pick up mine at daycare. My sisters-in-law are career women with good paying jobs. They're so rude to me about being a stay-at-home mom. I largely avoid them. But what's the best way to handle people like this? I'm very open-minded and tolerant of others so I can't understand their disdain for me. Why are people so threatened by those who make different choices?

 

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lanablackmoor says

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14 months ago
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Dennis L. Page (pagesvoice) says

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    Oh, I do love that response, Dennis. You're so right about being defined by our career paths. My sisters-in-law don't know what to do with me since I don't currently have a job. When I taught kindergarten, though, so many people talked down to me!


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Paula (fpherj48) says

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    Paula, you're the best. Can I carry you around in my pocket and have you give me affirming messages?! Thanks so much. It was a LONG weekend with the sister-in-law but now she's gone.


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Kylyssa Shay (Kylyssa) says

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    You've been through a lot, Kylyssa, and I appreciate you sharing it with me. The hardest part of having a son with autism is the disappointment I felt in my family for not being supportive. My son is doing so well now but that hurt still remains.


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Tamara Wilhite (tamarawilhite) says

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14 months ago
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    Paula (fpherj48) 14 months ago

    TW...This mother is not obligated to EXPLAIN a damned thing to anyone about her personal decisions. She needn't use the "doctor" excuse or explanation. Her life & choices are the business of No One else! She can ignore them!


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Ronnie wrenchBiscuit (wrenchBiscuit) says

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    Thanks, Ronnie. You really call it as you see it!

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Natalie Frank says

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14 months ago
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    RTalloni 14 months ago

    You get the courage award as well as the reward for speaking up about doing the right thing!


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Irfan (arksys) says

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    Thanks Irfan. Right now I'm just doubting my life choices so I need to get stronger to defend them. Deep down I know I've made the right decisions for me and my family, but it's hard when everyone around us has the material goodies and we don't.


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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    Thanks for your honest response, Glenis. I know that would have been true for me, too, if I had returned to work as a kindergarten teacher. I would have been exhausted, frazzled, and stressed-out.

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Deborah Demander says

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    You are so right, Deborah, about people being intolerant of differences. Having a son with autism has certainly shown me that! People would give me such judgmental looks when my son was little and would flap his arms (self-stimulation).

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Srikanth G K (writer_villa) says

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    Wow, thanks writer villa. How can I feel down with your inspiring message? You're right. I just need to feel happy with the choices I made and move forward. They're jerks and nothing will change that.

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mactavers says

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    Bravo, mactavers. I have no idea why some people are so threatened when people make choices different than theirs. But ignoring their opinions works for me!

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Kshitiz Gaur (Abhimanyu gaur) says

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    Thanks, Abhimanyu gaur, for this fresh perspective. This situation does make me think about family and what it means. Having a child with autism and getting no support from our families has also made me question.

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Sakina Nasir (SakinaNasir53) says

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    Thank you. That's good advice and I appreciate it.

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Handicapped Chef says

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    Thanks Handicapped Chef. Yes, having a son with autism, has made me even more protective of my family. When you're engulfed in a career like teaching, it's difficult to find a balance between work and home. It's a job that's always in your head.

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John D Wilson (claptona) says

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    Thanks, John. You have a great attitude. You're right about shutting doors. Sometimes you have to shut some so others can open. That's what I'm working on doing now!

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McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) says

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14 months ago
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RTalloni says

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    You're right, R Talloni. There's strength in numbers. My mother-in-law was a stay-at-home mom but is too afraid to mention any benefits of staying home because her two daughters are working moms. I'm definitely outnumbered, but my husband is SUPER.


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Shyron E Shenko says

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    Thanks so much, Shyron. I hope people understand, too, that our choices are sometimes limited. When my son was diagnosed with autism, he needed speech and occupational therapies three times a week. Then I needed to follow-through with that at home.


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Misty May says

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    Yes, that's true. You don't make a fortune as a teacher. You have to consider the cost of day care, gas for the commute, and wardrobe for work. Plus, most teachers spend a lot of their own money on supplies and teacher workshops.


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John Bullock (beagrie) says

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    Thanks, John. These women will always be a part of my life in some capacity, but I'm definitely minimizing contact. I've received so many thoughtful, supportive comments here, and I'm feeling stronger about my life choices.

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Tessa Schlesinger (TessSchlesinger) says

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    Thanks, Tessa. Writing for me is always cathartic so that's a great idea. I'll write them a letter that I may or may not send, but I know it will help me.

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Athlyn Green says

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    So true. Plus, there's the illusion out there that you can have it all -- high-powered career, perfect kids, a dreamy marriage, a beautiful home, time for hobbies, a lifestyle blog, 1000+ Facebook friends, and so on.

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Stephanie Weemhoff (StephanieWeemhoff) says

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    That's a very kind and generous approach, Stephanie.

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Threekeys says

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    Thanks ThreeKeys. I get what you're saying about the unforgiving nature of the working woman culture. i think at the center of this is the hurt I feel about our family never helping us/reaching out to us when our son got diagnosed with autism.


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Rachael Lefler (RachaelLefler) says

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    Thanks, Rachael. With all these empowering messages of support, I will never let them mess with my happiness again. I had a lot of hard times when my son was little and now I need to enjoy life.

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Eliza Lassie says

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    Thanks, Eliza. I know it was the right choice for me and my family. Having a child with autism puts a lot of extra stress on the family. There's a high divorce rate for couples who have a special needs child.

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Sulabha Dhavalikar (Sulabha) says

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    Thanks, Sulabha. I know I'm making the same mistake you did -- not carrying myself well. I need to show more confidence in the choices I've made. But, limiting my time with these people is the best option.

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Clayton Hartford (bn9900) says

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    Thanks, Clayton. As a stay-at-home dad, you probably took some crap, too, but never regret that special time with your kids. Everyone's supportive comments make me realize how fortunate I am to have that time with my boys.

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Janice Miller (Let-freedom-rigng) says

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    Yes and not all kids fit into the mold for day care. Like many children with autism, my son struggled with Sensory Processing Disorder. He was super sensitive to sound, touch, and light. Day care would have been a nightmare for him.

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Alessio Ganci says

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    Thanks, Alessio. Saying something to these two women -- even if it's about how they're making me feel -- is indeed useless and a waste of time. I always thought communication was the key but not always.

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Lori Chidori Phillips (Lori P.) says

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14 months ago
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    Lori Chidori Phillips (Lori P.) 14 months ago

    Oh, I forgot to answer your question! Your sisters-in-law resent you is because they want to defend their reason for working. They have put money first. Kids need time with parents more than money. Everything money can buy will be forgotten.


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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    Well said. A few people have brought up the jealousy angle and, I must say, I never considered that. Having a son with autism has often been challenging and heartbreaking. However, if someone just looks at the surface, they may think my life is easy.


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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    Thanks, Billie. I think a casual and cheery "to each his own" is the ideal response. I will try to keep that phrase handy. I'm like you with the Prius guy. It's easy to be left speechless when someone is that shockingly (and needlessly) rude.

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Ro (Irish Shrew) says

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14 months ago
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    Kylyssa Shay (Kylyssa) 14 months ago

    You're never too old to get tucked in by someone you love.


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Renata Kell says

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    You're right. I need to own it. Our choices make us who we are. Staying at home with my autistic son affects me every day, making me a better and more compassionate person.

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JL Reyes (littlebluefeather) says

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    Thanks, Jayley. Dealing with family is hard. Perhaps, our expectations are unrealistic. We want that unconditional love that's rare and, maybe, non-existent. I'll stay bright. Thanks!

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Ian Susman (IS1820) says

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    Thanks, Ian, for your thoughtful response. I do think communication broke down in the family -- in large part, because my husband and I were unable to articulate what we were experiencing with an autistic child.

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14 months ago
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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    Thank you. That makes my day!

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Mario Vitale (chevyvent) says

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14 months ago
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    Norine Williams 14 months ago

    GOD'S definition of LOVE is not man's!Tell TRUTH in WORD is LOVE! Ppl have taken Matt 5:44; Lk6:28 to mean "love" in natural! Disciplining kid is not LOVE to them, but is!Same w/CHRIST! Did JESUS LOVE (Matt23)?"Bless & pray"w/discipline=LOVE!


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Gina Van Epps (GinaVanEpps) says

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    Thanks, Gina, for those powerful words. I like your 3 "F's," and they're definitely not doing any of those!

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    Yes, if you're Chelsea Clinton or Ivanka Trump, going to your high-powered, high-earning jobs is a no-brainer. But, as a kindergarten teacher, I had to weigh the cost of day care, gas, wardrobe plus the tremendous commute time and stress from work.

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Daniel Latch says

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    Thanks, Daniel, for acknowledging the "heroic" effort it takes to care for a child with autism. I'm sure my sisters-in-law have looked at my son's behavior over the years and thought I was a bad parent.

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    Thanks, Shivvi, for your kind and supportive words. I really appreciate hearing from the child of a stay-at-home mom. I have made a peaceful life for my sons and I 'm proud of that.

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Udin Juhink (Udinjuhink) says

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    Yes. I agree. When you know someone disagrees with your choice, there's little point in discussing it with them (especially when they don't really care about you and your kids).

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Porshadoxus says

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    Thanks, Porshadoxus. That's good advice. The older I get the more important it is to surround myself with positive life-affirming people.

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Simona Rich (India-Nepal) says

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    Yes, people will always have their judgments. Even when you're doing the right thing, they'll criticize. I really do need to toughen up!

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    Yes, we moved from the Bay Area because an urban existence is so expensive -- private schools, commuting, home prices, parking, entertainment. We choose a simpler life, which suits us fine. We definitely have less stress. It's good.

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Elizabeth R (Cricrinel) says

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    Thanks, Elizabeth, for your kind comments. I appreciate you acknowledging the challenges of having a child with autism. I think that's what I find difficult about my sisters-in-law; they ignore or minimize the unique challenges we've faced.

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lavanya velu says

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    Thanks for the supportive words, Iavanya. I've received so much more support here than I've ever received from family and it feels great. I am getting stronger.

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Naser Ebaid says

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    Thanks, Naser Ebaid. My sons are doing so well, and I need to focus on that. They've always been my priority.

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    Yes, probably true, frumpleton. It's always easier to spot/solve someone else's problems than one's own. I'm sorry your brother was such a jerk to you. Some people are definitely missing the compassion chip.

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Lovey McLaughlin says

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14 months ago
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    Norine Williams 14 months ago

    JUDGE w/WORD! Titus 2:5 says women are to be "keepers @ home" so she has EVERY RIGHT to tell them what Titus says which they are NOT doing!


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shehermit says

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    I can relate to your sister. It's hard to find someone to watch an autistic child. Our family never offered to help. It can be very lonely and isolating.

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    Thanks, Codester. you're right. I need to be okay with the decisions I've made. My son with autism is doing great so all I need to do is look at him and be content. It's probably just a case "of the road not taken," wondering what might have been.

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Julie Nou says

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    Wow, good for you, Julie! I've had so many positive responses from my question -- if only our families were so supportive!

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14 months ago
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    Eliza Lassie 14 months ago

    actually, Helen Pippin, staying at home with your children is the best way they can be taught. since today's society is morally destructive. Money is not the most important thing.


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xanil joy says

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    I feel a kinship with your mom. It really does take so much out of you. My son had a flat affect when he was little and rarely smiled or laughed. That alone was so draining. Thanks for the support.

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Lilly (Lillysperspective) says

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    Thanks, Lilly. Parenting can be a thankless job but, you're right, I see my efforts shine through every day in my kids.

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    Blessings to you, too, Norine. Thanks for the uplifting message.

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    Thanks, Carson. Yes, following one's passion is always good advice.

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    Everyone is really making me think about this. It's like being in therapy. What hurts most is when they talk about their new cars, new appliances, fancy vacations. I need to deal with it because they have every right to talk about that stuff.


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Arima says

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    You're right. I've realized from everyone's responses that it's about me, not them. I need to change some things in my life so I feel stronger in my decisions.

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Joe Luko says

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    Thanks for the kind words, Joe Kuko. I am trying some new ways to make money and I'm feeling better about myself and my situation.

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    Thanks for the supportive comments, jtrader. I feel grateful to have had choices and don't regret staying home. My son with autism is doing great, and I know that it's because we simplified our lives and made him and his therapies a priority.

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Neelam Ramani says

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14 months ago
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    McKenna Meyers (letstalkabouteduc) 14 months ago

    Good for you, Neelam. You're right. The problem is within me, feeling insecure about my decisions.