I’m 39 weeks today. And where do I begin…?
I feel strange. I ‘zone out’ a lot. I am easily upset. I obsess over things that upset me. Only 4 things bring me comfort: my husband, my house, my dog, and my cat (the cat annoys me though). I want to quit facebook because it just agitates me, but then I couldn’t keep up with my long-distance friends. Can you tell I’m irritable? I’m anxious. I’m tired. I can’t separate my thoughts from my emotions. And I’m bored–I have way too much time to ‘brood’.
People (like my MIL and SIL) are crossing boundaries that *I didn’t even know I had*. My own sister is antagonizing me. We’re estranged from both would-be grandfathers. I miss my dear-departed beloved Mother… I’m bewildered and overwhelmed by the family dynamics (which I had previously been handling well in therapy) and I just want everybody to f*ck off.
Which brings us to….
*Weird Family Issue #1*
I haven’t spoken to my father in a solid year, and he has not acknowledged my pregnancy or his granddaughter. I wrote him to say that I can’t have a relationship with him anymore, *but* that he can send things and even see my baby. He has done nothing. And then the other day he befriended my SIL on facebook–he’s such a weirdo I’m sure he sees nothing wrong with befriending my SIL, even though they’ve never met and he is estranged from me. So Mr. MLACS noticed this and asked her to ‘unfriend’ my father, which she did. However, *why* did she accept his request in the first place? That was weird of her, because she knows I’m in therapy dealing with my issues with him. And she is estranged from her father. Common sense would say “Hey, befriending MLACS’s estranged father is creepy and inappropriate”. I didn’t make a stink though. We asked her what was up with that, she apologized and unfriended him, and I thanked her for understanding & said no hard feelings.
But it got me thinking…if my father is not going to acknowledge his grandchild, then why should he get to stalk me through my MIL (he is still “friends with my MIL) and my (bio) sister’s fb posts? He shouldn’t.
And what’s more, how much of a presence am I comfortable allowing my child on the internet? Am I ok posting a pic publicly to the blog? Or do I want to password protect those posts? I decided I don’t want to share her full name on facebook–just announce with her first name and after that refer to her by first initial only. And I will only post occasional pictures. And I am thinking I’ll make a password protected wordpress blog to share with family/close friends and make it so no one can download pics, because our kid’s pics are our property unless someone asks permission. I want to protect MY child’s privacy and I don’t want people–not even family–watching her every move. Because WHY? I grew up in the 80’s and 90’s, before the internet–I want my kid to have her privacy and *furthermore* I don’t like people (even family) feeling *entitled* to be involved (even via internet and photos) in every intimate moment my family shares. NO. So this issue with my father/facebook started a discussion with Mr. MLACS where we decided our boundaries.
Also, I don’t want people (even family) *fishing* for updates before/during/after labor, so I composed an email and added that stipulation/boundary. I think it should be common sense to be patient and wait for news–when someone else is going through something (giving birth, surgery, divorce, job interview, etc.) I’ll let people know I’m thinking of them but I won’t expect a response until it is convenient for them. I’m not pushy or nosy like that.
So here’s the email we composed and sent to my sister, MIL, BIL, and SIL:
“Hello Friends and Family!
As we prepare to meet baby girl, we have a few things to share with you. As new parents we’ve had to consider how much we are comfortable sharing about baby girl on the internet. The truth is, we aren’t truly comfortable sharing (i.e. facebook) and we want to be cautious. We will not be sharing her middle name–she will be announced as *baby girl* and after the initial birth announcement we won’t use her name much, if at all. We will not allow *anyone* to post online pictures of baby girl without our expressed consent. We also do not want information posted about baby girl without our consent–any pictures or information that is ok to be shared, should be shared by her parents.
Also, pertaining to labor, birth, and postpartum. We feel this is a private experience and will not be giving frequent updates or “play-by-plays”. Please do not press us for updates and photos–we are happy to share but in our own time. We appreciate you understanding that a new family needs time and space to bond and figure things out. We appreciate your support of the important decisions we must make for our child–this is only the beginning!
MLACS & MR. MLACS”
And yes, maybe it does sound a little “business” and not personal, but I’m *telling* these people, not asking them. It’s not up for debate.
And we were surprised when SIL called and *bitched out* Mr. MLACS, saying he should have called not texted. That she wants to be able to post pictures of *her niece* and talk about her on facebook. She acused Mr. MLACS of trying to “isolate himself from the family”. And furthermore–she said we’re only doing/saying this because “MLACS has daddy issues!”. Mr. MLACS was calm and tried to explain, but she kept huffing and puffing and finally he hung up the phone.
This bitch could not be *more* out of line. Like, WHOA. First, she is a chronic over-sharer on social media. I actually ‘unfollowed’ her because she is ridiculous. I didn’t want to see the ‘highlight reel’ of her life. Every sunrise. Every starbucks coffee. Every dinner with her boyfriend. Every time her dog is curled up on the couch. Sometimes a dozen posts a day, including *everywhere she goes*. Plus, she only does this sh*t because she’s hoping her (almost) ex-husband and his idiot friends will see how *awesome* she is. And when she was miserable and seeking revenge on her ex, I saw all her ugly, bitter, “poor me, screw him” posts. And her “I don’t need a man cuz I’m fierce” posts. Like, is she capable of having a thought/emotion/experience without putting on social media? She’s 31 years old.
As per her accusation that her brother is “isolating himself”–WTF? We told her *first* when he was hospitalized. I give her updates. We’ve been to visit her several times on our own dime (including her wedding) and she has never *once* visited us. Didn’t come to our wedding. Didn’t come to the baby shower (not surprised as she is pissed that her marriage failed after one year and she was robbed of the opportunity to have the first grandchild. I *wish* she had a kid because MIL is up in our business now instead of hers). Mr. MLACS has even offered to buy her airline tickets. But she *always* “has to work”. And then I see her taking vacations, buying new couches, and even trading in her new car for a *newer* car–because she posts EVERYTHING on f*ing *FAKEbook* (and instagram and pinterest…). I want to call her on her sh*t.
There’s more drama with her. But I’ll shelve that and just say how two-faced, hypocritical, mean and backstabbing her “MLACS has daddy issues” comment was. She *only* knows I’m in therapy because I shared that with her. And if *anybody* needs therapy for daddy issues, it’s SIL. But given that my Mother is dead and my father is awful to me, and my husband just almost died and I’m about to have a *very hard won* baby…how dare she???
How dare she treat her brother this way? And me? How dare she think that *We should base our parenting decisions on her social media habits*? So she can look like “aunt of the year” even though she has no plans of meeting our kid until *we* visit *her*.
Here’s where things get even more complicated. I like the name Grace. My Mom liked the name. And SIL’s middle name is Grace, after MIL’s mother. And even though I honor my Mother’s memory in so many ways, I didn’t intend to use her name, Janet, as a middle name. It just didn’t sound as good as Grace. So I had decided Grace would be baby girl’s middle name–in no small part to make SIL feel special, because my sister will be Godmother.
My first alarm was when MIL came to visit for the baby shower and brought gifts from her BFF, addressed to baby “Gracie”, because that was MIL’s mother’s name. I’m like, “That’s NOT her name, or even her nickname”. And MIL made a snotty comment “Well *at least* it’s a name you can find”, insinuating my baby’s name wasn’t good enough because you won’t find it on a keychain in a truck stop. Uh, no. What she *should* have said is something along the lines of “You’re right and we will only call her by her first name, don’t worry.” I never even met Mr. MLACS’s maternal grandma, so she was hardly my motivation. And yeah, Mr. MLACS’s Mom and her BFF meant no harm, but it’s still not ok. Also, MIL never once mentioned MY Mom while she was here. She dropped an avalanche of presents and settled smugly into her desired roll of “grandmother of the year”. That chapped my ass. Like, oh your Mom’s not here, MORE FOR ME! She was very kind and respectful about my Mother’s absence when it came to our wedding. So it’s weird that she has not mentioned her since I became pregnant.
I miss MY Mom. She is the most selfless woman I’ve ever known. She was not prideful and never tried to find a reason to make herself seem superior to other people (ahem, MIL and SIL). My Mother DESERVES to be part of my baby’s name–she loved on children in her home daycare for 27 years and never once put me or my sister second to anybody. So I’d like to thank my SIL for her temper tantrum, her offensive remarks, and for not bothering to apologize. I’d like to thank MIL’s friend for offending me by marginalizing the name *I chose* and putting my MIL on a pedestal (which MIL felt entitled to). I’d like to think that God was showing me:
1. I can’t trust my bratty SIL any more than I can trust my bratty biological sister. So what was I thinking honoring her in my baby’s name? I shouldn’t have tried to please Mr. MLACS’s family, because it obviously validated their feelings of superiority.
2. My Mother, Janet, should be honored. Who cares if Janet doesn’t sound as good as Grace? I’m embarrassed that my vanity clouded my judgement.
I will never again make a decision for my daughter based on appearances. Lesson learned.
So yeah…39 weeks pregnant and I’m wound like a 10-year-clock, full of emotion, a lot of it negative. I just want some peace. I just want to look forward to having my baby, instead of apprehensive. We are not talking to SIL until/unless she apologizes. I need to inform MIL that MY mother’s name will be honored as part of our daughter’s name (hopefully SIL will have a girl and name her Grace). I want my MIL to ‘unfriend’ my father because even though *she says* she doesn’t tell him anything about us, I think it’s weird and insensitive for her to put me in this position. But she has no friends and she spends a lot of time playing “words with friends” with my father, so I feel bad asking her to cut contact with him, even though I have officially and permanently cut him out of my life (there will be no reconciliation, this *was* his second chance, as I have cut him off before). I told my sister (who lives in our town) that she is not to come to the hospital until we call and invite her after baby is born (she has hardly spoken to me and is certainly no help, so whyyyyyy would I want her around when I’m in labor and then trying to bond with my baby??)
If you have bothered to read all this, what do you think? Go ahead, be honest.