Changing family traditions

Week in review

This has been an exciting week in our household but I’m also facing what is for me, a big change in family traditions.

My son, who is sixteen tomorrow has a part-time job! He is so excited and so motivated. When I asked him how much he was getting paid and if he was getting paid while he was training, he didn’t know. He was just so happy to have gotten a job and I’m not concerned about him being taken advantage of. He’s working at our local family-owned supermarket which is one of the cornerstones of our small community. I stop in there if I’ve run out of an item or need an item for dinner and I invariably see someone I know. Over the years, I’ve seen many teenagers work there, often until they graduate high school and move away to college. That tells me the owner treats his employees well and I also like that he’s willing to take on teens. For many, it’s their first working experience.

The bad news about the job is one of his shifts: Sunday,  4 p.m. to 9 p.m. I did kind of groan when he told me and he offered to see if he could get it changed. I said no because I think as the newcomer he has to show he’s available and willing and yes, as the newcomer he’ll get he last choice of shifts. But I’ve been wrestling with it.

Changing Family TraditionChanging Family Traditions

Since my daughter is away at college, it means Sunday evenings on my own, no more Sunday evening dinners. I’ve been cooking Sunday evening dinners for over 19 years. It’s one of our family traditions. I like to cook something on Sundays that I wouldn’t have time to cook during the week. We eat in the dining room and set the table. We converse. I try to instill some knowledge of etiquette and manners.

Now quite suddenly and unexpectedly, our regular, Sunday evening dinners are a thing of the past. As I was struggling with this, I remembered my post when my daughter left for college – that change in families is constant. I remembered my guests Judy Osborne and Molly talk about rearranging and changing. I needed a different perspective. No more Sunday evening dinners is not a loss, it’s a change. We’re a family, change is what we do.

If we can’t do Sunday dinners, let’s make a new family tradition. Let’s pick another mealtime as our weekly anchor. What could be better than Sunday breakfast? My son loves the idea. So I’m looking for suggestions for great breakfasts. What do you like to make for breakfast as a treat for your family? What makes your kids squeal with delight when they get up and find out what’s for breakfast?

Around the web

From Post-Divorce Chronicles, – Divorce Script: Have you written yours yet? – this is a powerful post and if you don’t have your script yet, I encourage you to think of it and to share it here. Even if your divorce is final, this is still relevant, because the same principle can be applied to your on-going relationship with your ex. This reminded me of Lorraine who said she wanted to be a woman of class and dignity and of Kay whose mantra was “I am not a victim.” For me, one og my guiding principles was that I had to feel our divorce agreement was “fair and equitable.”

From Straight Spouse Connection –  The Art of Letting Go – this is a tremendous website for straight people who find their spouse is gay but I often find the articles here helpful for any end of marriage situation and this is one of them. How often have you heard the phrase, “You have to let it go?” I think we all know what it means but how do you let something go?

This week

This week I’ll be posting my latest update in the Fit4Love series, another financial post from my regular contributor Suzanne Cramer and a post on using a private investigator – something that hasn’t really come up in my interviews. Should be a good week.



Photo Credit: The Facey Family

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  • April

    Congrats on his job! And you know what struck me? That he considered asking for a change to keep the Sunday dinners going. Clearly, it means as much to him as it does to you. But maybe Saturdays would work instead? Sort of like having to settle for Xmas Eve for co-parenting families, I’m guessing.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you for noticing that April. I love it. Sometimes I am fighting a losing battle and it isn’t until something like this that I realize these traditions I’ve tried to create do actually mean something to the kids.

      I think I’m going to have to be flexible – my son said his schedule might vary from week-to- week and yes, when he’s at his dad’s he won’t be here on Sunday morning. I think that’s why I enjoyed Sunday dinner so much – the kids would come back fro their dad’s for dinner so it was just such a good way of reconnecting….

  • Emma

    Good for your son! And breakfast sounds just as good to me! I used to go to a favorite cafe that made really creative french toast and pancakes. Yum, I am hungry just thinking about it. The pumpkin bread french toast was killer, as were the blueberry granola pancakes. And I’m a sucker for really good skillet-fried potatoes.

  • Michele Bailey

    Changing a long held routine can be such a huge loss.  For me it was when my grandmother died and all of the holidays we spent there as a kid were no more.  Even if I couldn’t be there, I knew everyone else was there and found comfort in that.  Its important to establish traditions, but I have to be very conscious of it as I am not the strongest in that area!

    I think most teens would be like your son and not know if they were getting paid during training..or at all!  They are too bashful to ask!  At least mine are!

    • Anonymous

      I agree that most teens don’t know want to ask what they’re getting paid. My daughter would never suggest a rate for babysitting, she would just accept whatever the parents wanted to pay here. I thought it was refreshing that he was so motivated about working that it dodn’t bother him.