I haven't posted about this before, because I was really hoping that I would start to feel better about it. As time has passed, however, I find myself still upset about something that happened when I told my mother that we were expecting a boy.
Let me back up a minute.
My mom has been saying since the day the pee sticks turned positive that "it had better be a girl."
I did not have strong feelings one way or the other about the gender of our baby was, but I also knew that we would happily take whatever we were given. And when she would say things about how desperately she wanted a granddaughter, or how much cuter girl clothes are than boy clothes, or how much easier it was to raise us girls than my brother. . . well, a tiny part of me ached inside. I wanted to her to be excited about this baby, no matter what the gender.
As the date for the anatomy scan approached, my mother continued to make comments. Even the night before when we spoke on the phone, I was a bundle of nerves and worried about the health of the baby, and she was still talking about all the cute girl clothes that she would have to return if it was a boy (yes, that's right, she had already purchased girl clothes).
When we found out that it was a boy, and more importantly, that it was a healthy boy, one of my first thoughts was, "My mom is going to be disappointed."
I even said something of that effect to my husband, who said, "She wouldn't say anything now that she knows it's a boy."
I wasn't so sure. My mom is nothing if not opinionated and she delights in making her thoughts known - good or bad, usually the latter. She has always been this way and never seems to have a lot of positive things to say about the decisions that I make or the way that I live my life. And without bragging, I think I do okay. My husband and I are both gainfully employed, in fact, I have been very successful in my career. We own a home, we pay our bills on time, we even have some money in the bank. We don't have a lot of luxuries, but we have way more than what we need. We are honest citizens, we volunteer our time, we have lots of friends that we love and whom love us in return.
So, getting back to the story of Baby Boy. I called her that morning, after leaving the scan, and the first words out of her mouth were, "What is it?"
I replied, "It's a boy."
And her response? "That was the wrong answer."
And she meant it.
Of course, I continued on about how healthy the baby was, that he was measuring ahead, that we were pleased to know that we were having a son.
She didn't seem that excited and after a few minutes, I hung up, feeling as if I had let her down. Meanwhile, my husband was making calls to his family, who all had the more appropriate responses. My mother-in-law cried tears of happiness, my sister-in-law asked what we were going to name him. My husband's grin got wider as he made each call.
Now, to be fair, the rest of the reactions that I received as I made my own calls that morning were nothing short of perfection. But my mother has always had a huge impact on the way that I view things. I am a pleaser by nature and feel that I have disappointed her. So, I felt vaguely unsettled for the rest of the day, despite my joy at having a healthy baby. That feeling continues, even as I try to fight it.
I tried talking to her about how much she had hurt my feelings just the other day. She said that she couldn't hide the fact that she is (not was) disappointed and that once the baby is here, she will "get over it," but until then, she is going to remain disappointed.
I know it's just one person. And I know that one person shouldn't have this ability to cast a shadow on my happiness. But she does. And she has.