I consider myself to be a thoughtful person.

I enjoy sending friends, relatives, and co-workers cards on special occasions. If someone I know is pregnant or just had a baby, I send a gift or a card, or I offer to stop by and help them out, or bring a dinner. If someone I love is sick, I send them a card or offer to help them around the house.  I enjoy celebrating the birthdays of the people I love. I go out of my way to make others happy, I do this because it makes me happy, not because I expect anything in return…or at least that is what I thought.

Lately, I have come to the realization that I do expect something from the people who I have been thoughtful, kind and gracious to, I expect them to treat my children well! By treating my children well, I expect some basic things; I have set the bar relatively low: acknowledgement that they were born, a occasional call, an offer to help out (bring a casserole, stop by so I can run some errands, babysit long enough so I can take a shower and shave my legs, do anything that involves spending time with my children), send a birthday card or birthday gift on their actual birthday, show and demonstrate fairness toward my children, and lastly, show them enough love and involvement to stay in tune with what is happening in their lives. I don’t expect people to attend every soccer game, every swim lesson, send an expensive gift at every holiday, or take them for week-long overnights. I expect basic things, and I do not think that is asking too much.

When people in my life fail to meet these basic expectations I struggle with how to address them. Should I be forthright and call out the people who are miserably failing? Should I let it slide and hope that things turn around before my daughters are old enough to realize that they are getting the shaft? Should I write these people out of my life it all together? Does it matter if the people failing are friends or family?

What have you done when your children have not been treated fairly, or when you have felt let-down by how people in your life treat your children?

As much as it bothers me that certain individuals in my life do not treat my children as well as they deserve to be treated, I refuse to let this impact my thoughtfulness. I choose to set a good example for my daughters in the hopes that one day they are able to brush off the thoughtlessness, rise above it, and be the most thoughtful individuals that they can be!

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