A family update

I haven’t talked about my family in a while, because why ruin the happy mood?

The Good:

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.

The Bad:

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.

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11 thoughts on “A family update

  1. Well, I’m happy for the good things. ❤ I'm sorry you have to deal with the bad and the inbetween. Since none of our family lives here, it's different for me. I hope your mom can find a way to communicate with you better. Hugs, hugs, and more hugs!

  2. Ok your sister’s behaviour is disgusting you mum is being freaking hard work. This time is not about her. What is wrong eith people????? I’m pleased you have some good stuff going on in there too. I think maybe you need to have that awkward convo with your mum. Clear the air and the expectations and see if you can’t set thing up going forward. *sigh* As if you need to be dealing with that shiz. You have a NEWBORN. People drive me so crazy sometimes.

  3. Argh–I hear you on the mom thing. My mom came out to help out after the baby came and seriously, her biggest contribution is baby holding. My husband and I are the ones cleaning all the bottles, emptying the dishwasher, vacuuming, basically doing all the household chores while she holds the baby. In a slightly different way than with your mother, but equally frustrating. We’ll get through it, right?

  4. Well I’m happy that you have your aunts and cousins looking out for your best interest. I have no words for your sister, I’ll just leave it at that. It sounds like maybe you need to just have it out with your mom and tell her how you’re feeling about the way she’s acting…which is like a 5 year old. She’s YOUR baby, and you need to do what’s best for yourself and your child. I’m sorry things are so stressful with your family…just focus on that beautiful sweet baby of yours, and let her brighten your day 🙂

  5. Glad to hear you have some supportive people – so important and helpful.

    My mouth literally dropped open when reading what your sister said. There are just no words for that kind of behavior. Sorry that you are having to deal with that, and also with your mom. Newborns are busy, and it sounds like you are doing awesome with focusing on Charlie and doing what is best for you, Chief, and Charlie.

  6. I don’t know the back story at all but sounds like you are being a CHAMP. Dealing with emotional turmoil is always hard, but postpartum it can be impoasible, so GO YOU. sounds like you’re trying to do best for you and baby, with some left over for family. Amazing.

  7. askjdnf;ajhg;urhgnakjdfgnvkdj!!!! That’s how I feel about THAT!!!

    UGH!! UGH with a side of UGH!!! I am so angry on your behalf. I can’t believe how horrible a human being your sister is being and I hate that your mother is being so high-maintenance. I know everyone (except your evil sister) wants to get in lots of baby time, but I don’t understand why people can’t wrap their minds around the fact that perhaps the couple would like to bond as a family with their own child, sans the entertainment of other, extended family members in the process. You are doing an amazing job navigating everyone’s emotions, but do make sure you are prioritizing your own over all others! This is YOUR baby, YOU pushed her out of YOUR body, and you can have ALL THE TIME if you so choose and everyone else can just get over it!!

  8. Hmmm. I say your Mom is acting mighty selfish. She should be stepping up to give you a hand whenever you need it, not pouting because you don’t. As for your sister, not really sure I expected anything else. We both know sisters are crazy!! 🙂

  9. My mother was a bit like this. We lived far away and when we visited she would get very resentful of anyone that we left the house to go visit, if she was not invited too. It got to the point that we’d have my parents to visit us or we’d meet somewhere else altogether and I didn’t come home for about 2 years. Tricky but maybe you can have a chat with your mother. Good luck. As for your sis, what a nightmare, you are a better person than me. HORNS? I would have freaked.

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