My blood family is small to begin with, and ever since my grandma died, my extended family hasn’t been close by any means. My grandma was literally the glue that held our family together. So I was hoping that when I found my husband, I would have found my second family.
But in reality, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. And, in an even more brutal reality, it makes me incredibly sad that I never found a second home within his family.
The first time I met my husband’s mom, she was in a more than huffy and puffy mood. Let’s just say, she didn’t leave me with the greatest first impression.
We wound up pregnant rather quickly after an early miscarriage, and we were congratulated with “Don’t you think it’s a little bit early?”
When my belly turned into a baby, my boundaries and wishes seemed to never be respected, but rather laughed at and passively mocked from behind. And things only got worse from there.
My first baby wound up in the NICU as a preemie, and I was obsessed with germs and germ-prevention (via doctor’s orders) once we got home. It was RSV and flu-season, so I never took him anywhere other than where he absolutely needed to be.
Unless you’ve seen your baby with purple hands, purple lips and a sinking chest, it might be hard to understand how easy it is to become completely freaked out about the spread of germs. But I was obsessed to the point that my hands were cracking and bleeding from over-washing. My son was my life, and I wasn’t willing to risk anything happening to him, especially if it was preventable.
So, if you were visiting our home during my child’s newborn days, you weren’t allowed to hold my baby unless you were stripped of your cigarette-smelling clothes and had damn-near bathed in a bottle of hand sanitizer. I just wanted what was best for my very first newborn. But apparently, my husband’s family harbored a resentful issue with that… whether my choices were made for the well-being of my child or not.
As I’ve had more kids, I’ve become more lax in my parenting. But I can’t say how I would be if I had another preemie like I did with my first. So when my husband’s family witnesses my changed parenting style from then to now, they scoff their nose to the sky and ridicule me for the way I was back then. Even though, in some ways, I am still that way now.
I always stand up for myself, because I know my choices were sound and are still to this day right. But when it comes to family get-togethers, I’m instantly outnumbered by blood relatives so I’m in the minority as an in-law and with respect to my views.
Though there are a few folks in his family I truly love, for the most part his family has never felt like my family.
And I don’t mean this as a personal insult against them, but none of them are helicopter parents as I would call myself. They believe in a very “whatever” style of parenting style. I say that because, one, I’ve experienced and seen it. Two, because my husband has told me that about his own childhood experiences. And three, because they’ve never lived out the helicopter-watch lifestyle when helping me look after my own kids.
My son fell into a pool at a family get together where more than 10 relatives were present. I had been too ill to attend, and I didn’t find out for three weeks later. THREE. WEEKS. LATER. Can you say, livid? Because I was BOILING hot when I found out.
My son, the used-to-be fish in the water, will not set a toe inside of a swimming pool ever since the incident. My husband’s family can say I’m being dramatic about it all they want, but he is traumatized from that day. And I’d like to say, rightfully so.
Since the incident, we’ve had seven months of water fear. Seven months of consoling and reassuring, “Mommy will not get water in your face,” before bath time.
I understand that accidents happen, but to not even tell me? How is that okay? I’m thankful for the relative who saw this incident through the window and jumped in the water to save him. But I’m absolutely infuriated that I was never told about the incident until someone brought it up in casual conversation weeks later.
To this day, I feel sick to my stomach thinking about my son falling in a pool without me there with him that day. And even more sick knowing that I didn’t do anything to console his fears that day, because I had no idea.
I have (and forever will have) a guard built up with his family when it comes to my children, because they chose their own fear of my rage over my child’s wellbeing that day.
I understand that it only takes a second for something terrible to happen. But when my friends leave their children with me for the day, I leave an incredibly detailed analysis of all the little bumps and boo-boo’s they might’ve encountered while playing that day. So to drop off my child, not knowing full and well that he was okay, and act like the day went fine-and-dandy, is something I don’t even have a word for. But the closest I can come to is that it is selfish.
Since then, I’ve tried to keep things civil. I try to maintain healthy relationships with his family, despite what has happened in the past. But when comments fly about the way I’m dressed, the state of my house or the fatigue on my face, it’s hard for the full-out, non-resting bitch face not to show.
Where I was raised, you don’t bad mouth your family. So there is nothing I wouldn’t say in my writing that I would not say directly to their face. But to them, they don’t tend to believe in that approach. In my husband’s family, I’ve heard more trash about other family members than any other type of civil discussion.
So I can only freaking imagine what’s being said about the “obsessed” and “helicopter mom” that is truly me. Sorry, not sorry.
Our town is small, and it doesn’t take long for bad-mouthing to get around. I’ve heard multiple versions of a story about me by multiple different people, and it sucks.
It sucks that I don’t have a second mom or a second family where I feel at home.
Maybe it’s the difference in upbringing or maybe they really just don’t like me. Either way, they are stuck with me. And one way or the other, it doesn’t always feel like my husband’s family is on my side.
The post My Husband’s Family Isn’t Supportive And It Really Hurts appeared first on Scary Mommy.