I haven’t talked about my family in a while, because why ruin the happy mood?
My cousin has been so supportive and wonderful. She’s really stepped into the role of being Charlie’s aunt, as has the Captain. They both brought me food after she first came (the captain filled our freezer-no joke), and we’ve seen my cousin S several times for a lunch date or just a visit. She came over one morning when Chief had to go into work for a few hours and held the baby so I could eat breakfast (have I mentioned that Charlie hates being put down? We’re just now getting to where she’ll sit in a bouncy seat for a little while).
My aunts have been the same. Supportive without being pushy. They brought us lunch and sat and visited for a few hours when Charlie was about three weeks old. And we’ve seen them all of course at Tuesday family dinners. I’ve only missed one, and that was the one they had the day Charlie was born. I had a good excuse.
My dad has been supportive and loving while also giving us our space, something I’ve really needed.
I’m sure this shocks no one, but of course my sister has been pretty awful since the baby came. The first time she saw her was at Father’s day when she was just five days old. I was aggravated because my aunt was holding her and asked K if she wanted to hold her. Luckily K didn’t want to because she’s heartless anyway, but my aunt shouldn’t have just offered knowing what’s been going on. Then K said that she wondered if all babies “came out looking angry” and asked “where her horns were.”
I almost went crazy hormonal bitch momma on her right then, but I just completely ignored her because I KNOW that my daughter is gorgeous. I don’t need any validation on that. And of course her value isn’t in her beauty, but irregardless of that-she’s beautiful. I was so tense I couldn’t eat that day. I ate when we got home.
Since then she avoids any gathering that Charlie is in attendance, which means family dinner. Am I sad about this? No, not even a little bit. But in the words of the Captain, “she’s blowing this”, and she is-big time.
The In Between:
I feel bad throwing my mom into the in between, but that’s just where she is. She loves Charlie SO. MUCH. that she wants to be here all the time. And my mom will tell anyone who listens that my dad wasn’t very good when we were born and didn’t help out enough, and she needed her mom so much. I guess my mom expected me to be crying to her on the phone every day begging for her help, but here are some things about that:
1. Charlie is a pretty easy baby
2. My husband is a rockstar
3. The thing I needed the most help with was breastfeeding, which my mother didn’t do and wasn’t very supportive of me doing.
So…yeah. I’ve never withheld the baby from her. Anytime she’s wanted to come over I’ve let her. Anytime she’s invited us over, we’ve come. Even sometimes when it’s been inconvenient. Like the night before our newborn photos, when she didn’t come over until 7:30 pm despite acting like she’d be there at least an hour earlier, and then stayed until 10:00 pm when I had a ton to do, not to mention a 10 day old baby. And she sat there and held her THE ENTIRE TIME. I had some really bad separation anxiety with Charlie when she was first born. I needed to be physically in contact with her a lot. I don’t know if it’s normal or abnormal, but it’s just how I was and my mother KNEW that. So by the end of that particular visit I wasn’t terribly gracious or friendly. I was up using all of my Charlie sleeping time after they left getting my house ready for the photographer and looked really, really tired the next day.
Then we took Charlie to church on Sunday for the first time and I held her all the way through the service so she’d stay asleep and my mom basically pouted about it. We went out to lunch afterwards and she held her for nearly an hour.
And then last night we went out to dinner with Captain and her brother like we always do on Fridays. Chief accidentally hit the hazard light on the car on our way in and didn’t realize it, and when we got back out from dinner our battery was dead. I called mom and asked if they could come and give us a jump. After I got off the phone a nice lady stopped and said she had jumper cables, so I called mom right back to say never mind-we were taken care of. Then she sullenly said that she would like to see the baby SOMETIME this weekend. Well tonight is my dad’s birthday party and the first time his family will meet the baby, so I told her that Saturday was taken to which there was a long pause and she just said “Fine.” I then said “That doesn’t mean you can’t see her, I’m just saying that we already have Saturday plans.” She got off the phone and I texted her and said we’d probably be in church again on Sunday and we could eat again afterwards if they wanted. She texted back, thirty minutes later (even though I knew she had her phone on her) “Sounds nice.”
So yeah, she’s pissed.
I don’t really know what I’m supposed to be doing differently. Everyday I wake up and I focus on my baby. Making sure she’s eating, doing diaper counts, trying to get her to sit in her swing or her bouncy seat so I can have five minutes to eat or brush my teeth. I’m sorry that the last thing on my mind is making sure mom gets enough time with Charlie. All she has to do is call and set something up. Again, I’ve never denied her. But she seems resentful that I’m not constantly inviting her over to hold my child.
And I’m sure she gets mad that the Captain gets to see her every Friday because of burrito night, but burrito night has always been around. It’s not something I’m doing to hurt mom’s feelings or exclude her. And I see her on Tuesdays for family dinner, so that’s her standing engagement with us. She’s probably resentful that the rest of the family is there on Tuesdays too.
It’s beginning to feel like I have to ask permission to make plans so that they don’t interfere with my mother’s desires to see my child, and that aggravates me.
So while I love that she loves the baby and wants to see her, I don’t love the way I’m being treated as a result.