I fought with my mother on Father’s Day. I wouldn’t even really call it a fight as it was more about getting something off of my chest that has bothered me for the last 4.5 years. I’ve bitten my tongue for a long time, and I don’t know if it was the heat, the hormones or if I had just hit my breaking point, but I finally said, in short, what I had been feeling.
I called to see if she and my father were interested in coming over for steaks that evening. She started our conversation going on about how tired she was and how she had worked a half day and was planning a nap; she had sent my father to the store for something. I knew before I even asked that the answer would be no, but I asked and let her respond and then said that I guessed I should have known because the answer is always no. I could tell immediately that her defenses went up because she accused me of being pissed off (which I really wasn’t) and then began making excuses about how it was hard for them to both work full time, how she was planning on getting up at 3:30 to be at work by 5:30 the next morning, and just a lot of garb. I calmly told her that I wasn’t pissed, nor was I attacking her, but was plainly pointing out the obvious. In a fluster she told me that she would have my father call when he returned and she hung up the phone.
Maybe I should have kept my mouth shut, however, this has been weighing on me heavily as my mother has been pushing to have the kids come over and spend the night. I sidestepped the question several times, but then she mentioned it to Bud on the phone and now it is all that he can talk about.
Aside from not seeing any reason to give up custody of my children for the night, there are so many issues here. Since Bud’s birth, my parents have watched one or both of the children a total of 3 times. That is three times in 4.5 years. Granted we have a built in sitter in FIL, however, I don’t see what prevents them from asking if we’d like to drop the kids off on a Saturday or Sunday, just because. I don’t understand why they don’t invite us over for dinner, or why they constantly turn me down when I invite them to our place. I get that they work full time. I get that they live 30 minutes away. I get that they are tired. I get that my mother does not drive. I get that they like to spend some of their free time up at the casino. But I don’t get why seeing their grandchildren does not supersede all of this. From the time I was a child my mother talked about how she couldn’t wait for grandkids so that she could spoil them; she felt bad that my own grandparents were just not the spoiling type. But here we are, and that is so not the case.
Am I being irrational?
Part of me wonders if it is my fault for being very independent when it comes to raising my kids; independent in general even. I moved out when I was 19, started my adult life with Hub, and never looked back. We moved in to our house when I was 20. We paid for our own wedding when I was 23. And when I was pregnant at 24, I didn’t even tell my family until I was almost 4 months along. I did everything myself as far as the learning went. From the time Bud was in utero, I wanted to learn everything; go through everything myself (well, Hub and me). I didn’t ask for help, even from FIL, when he was an infant. The same trend continued as we merged very quickly in to a family of 4, and will likely be the same as it the number increases to 5.
But the rest of me feels like it’s not me at all; that it is them. They work, and their free time is their free time and they’re going to do what they want with it. If they want to spend their free time sleeping, or gambling, or doing whatever it is that they do, and they don’t have time for their grandkifds—except for when it suits them- so be it. Maybe it shouldn’t bother me like it does.
It continues to do so, though, so where do I go from here? Make more of an effort? I clearly can’t speak to my mother about it because she gets defensive. In fact, that is why I had to move my blog because she thought that everything I wrote had something to do with her (and also used it against me, but that is a different story for a different day) Do I resign myself to it being what it is, and let my kids see them less than once per month and stand my ground on this overnight BS?
As much as he drives me insane, I suppose I should be glad that FIL is there, taking such an interest in the kiddos, more than willing to spend every waking minute with them and is agreeable to do whatever they would like.
Who would have ever thought that the grandparent game would be so hard? Or that it would have such an affect on me?