It Takes A Village

*Warning:  I started this post intending to write about our planned summer camping trip with my parents.  It instead turned into a parental rant.  Don’t bother reading if you’re not in the mood to deal with whiny, poor me, BS*

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My parents drive me batty.  I mean in an up-the-wall completely insane sort of way.  I have a complete love-hate relationship with them.

On one hand they’re awesome parents.  When I was pregnant, my dad and his friend completely framed and drywalled our basement for us, so we could move Bil’s office downstairs and make room for the new baby.  Then when we were spending all day, every day at the hospital with Vista when she was first born, my parents came over to the house and painted the entire basement for us.  I know, pretty sweet deal.  They also take Vista for a few hours every month or so, so Bil and I can get a break and are starting to talk about maybe trying to taking her overnight this summer.

Then on the other hand, some days I could write them off completely.  When I was pregnant with V and going through complication after complication (more than once we thought I was miscarrying there was so much blood.  I know, TMI, sorry), rather than stepping in and offering support, my parents basically disappeared.  After having it out with my mom about 6 months ago, I found out why.  She told me they didn’t want to get attached to the baby if we were only going to lose it.  WTF?!?  I mean, the time when I need support the most, all you can think about it your feelings?

It took them a long time to bond with Vista for this reason.  And still, even though they only live an hour away, she only sees them once or twice a month.  And that’s usually only because we make the effort to drive in and bring her over to see them.  This… this makes me very sad.

My parents have also had a veil of denial over them about all of Vista’s issues.  Despite my mom watching V have a seizure right in front of her she said “Well maybe it wasn’t a seizure.  Maybe she just didn’t want to play anymore”.  *insert banging of the head here*

They were convinced for the longest time that V had no delays, that we were expecting too much from her.  And even though we told them repeatedly that we were at our wits end and needed help and support, we got none.  When we had a screaming, colicky baby who would cry non-stop around the clock for weeks on end, no one showed up to say ‘Go take a walk for an hour and rest your ears’.  We were left to do this alone.

When my brother had his perfectly healthy baby a year later, they were all over that one.  They’re always babysitting my nephew, they’ve taken him overnight several times, they make an effort to go over and visit.  Yeah, I’m bitter.  But that’s a long brewing bitterness that’s a whole other story having to do with sibling rivalry, adoption, and my need to get a life and get over the pettiness.

Then the magical MRI results appeared.  To say my parents were shocked was an understatement (even though we had told them we knew there was something wrong with her brain since she was 6months old.  Yeah, we’ve known that long).  Now all of the sudden they’re offering to take her more often and making this big show of support.

And while part of me really appreciates it, part of me really really resents that it took a friggin’ brain scan to make my parents step up to the bat.  And part of me wants to tell them to shove off, because it’s too little, too late.  Except that we really do need the help.  But then again, we’ve done it for two years on our own, what’s another two, or four, or ten?

Sorry, I had originally sat down to write about our summer camping trip and I’m not quite sure why the post detoured into this parental rant.  Maybe I just need to put this out there so I can get this out there and try to get over some of the anger and resentment I have.  I really want them to be part of V’s life because when they are there, they’re awesome and V absolutely loves them.  But there’s a wall that’s long and tall between us and I’m just not sure how to start taking it down.

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10 Responses to It Takes A Village

  • I don’t have a good relationship with my parents at all. I’m so sorry that you didn’t have them to lean on when you needed them. I hate that they favor your brother’s child over V. If it makes you feel any better…My mother favors J over C because he was concieved when we were married. Old Troll.
    .-= ali (adil320)´s last blog ..Panic! at home =-.

    Jenn Reply:

    Really? That is just odd. I don’t understand blatantly favoring one grandchild over another especially within a family. It’s really too bad that old attitudes such as ‘children out of wedlock’ affect our kids.

  • trobin40 Terri says:

    Thats hard I was raised by my moms sister and husband neither have seen my 2 mom passed away but we were not close.Its hard thing to deal w/ be proud of yourselves and realize how strong you both are and what a great mom you are.Its ok to be angry cut yourself some slack.

    Jenn Reply:

    Thanks Terri. I suppose that’s part of my issue. I’ve been told so many times that I’m petty and that this is all in my mind, that I’m hesitant to be angry about it, even though my husband and friends back me up. Strange how much control my parents still exert.

  • ThatMommy says:

    That is hard to deal with. I went through something similar with my 3rd pregnancy (i have 6) and my mother very very rarely watches our kids, but she has my sisters kids all of the time. i seriously hope i never do that to my kids.

    Jenn Reply:

    Isn’t that the truth. I think being aware of it is such a big thing. I never want my daughter to feel second rate.

  • avasmommy says:

    You are mirroring a lot of the same issues we are having with my father in law right now. It would take a novel to tell it all, but I can say I totally understand where you are coming from. (HUGS)
    .-= avasmommy´s last blog ..Mothers =-.

    Jenn Reply:

    Thanks sweetie. I really appreciate your support. Hugs!

  • Veronica says:

    oooh I so understand where you’re coming from–my MIL and SIL have done this with GenevaClaire since birth–oh she’s fine, she’s just like her cousin, nothing wrong, blah, blah, blah. No help, from her or my parents (but my mom’s disabled) and it takes a detailed, blunt letter from a genetics doc at age 3 (this has been going on since she was a 25 weeker preemie)outlining all of her issues and now they suddenly believe it–WTH? Were we lying, being overly dramatic, making the crap up? I’ll never forget when GC coded on the operating room table for 3 minutes at 5 months–my SIL said Oh she’ll get over it, it’s no big deal–this said while we are standing in the waiting room of PICU. I nearly went to jail for assault but my hubby got me out of the room fast.

    Jenn Reply:

    Ugh! That is unbelievable! Who the hell says that to parents while their child is in the PICU??
    Why do our own parents assume we’re hypochondriacs or just hypervigilant where our own children are concerned? I truly believe doctors need to learn to listen to parents better because no one knows our children like we do.

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