Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Bottom Line

Ohio Nurse and Jen both asked if I am worried about how excited my mom is about Emma's impending arrival and her feelings for Will.

Yes and no.

Yes, I am obviously concerned that Will might sense some sort of preference for a girl from my mom in the future. I really don't think it will affect him too much right now, but down the line, it could be an issue.

The reason that I am not that worried about it, however, is that my mom knows better than to ever make Will feel like anything less than. I am not saying she can't comment on his behavior, my parenting, etc. I fully expect that from her. I am saying that, when he was 8 weeks old and she told me she didn't love him or feel any sort of attachment to him, I was d-o-n-e.

I told her she had burned her third strike when it came to my son. I meant it then and I mean it now. I would walk away from a relationship with my mom if it became toxic for either of my children without a second of hesitation. You might think, yeah, right. But I know my mom. I know that if she thinks she can play games, she will. And I am not playing a game when it comes to the well-being of my kids. I love my mom and I would not do this lightly, but do it, I would.

Would I absolutely hate it if my own daughter ever said or did anything like that to me in the future. You're darn right I would, I wince just thinking about it. And I vow right now to make sure that Emma never has any reason to disassociate from me. I am not saying I will be perfect, I know I will make many mistakes as a parent, but there are lines that you do not cross. My mom crossed some serious lines when I was pregnant with Will and also when he was a newborn. She knows it and she knows better than to cross them again. Since I laid down the law, she has been a better grandmother and she treats Will very well now. Do I hate that I had to get "tough"? Absolutely, but it was one of my first "real mom" moves myself (protecting my son) and it had to be done. I don't regret it.

Wow, I sound really serious and kind of mean in this post. Please don't think I am heartless or that it would easy for me to not have a relationship with my mom, because it would be very hard. And I would let her know why I was walking away and if she seriously made efforts (like therapy), then I would be happy to resume a relationship.

But I made Will a promise when I saw his sweet baby self at his 13 week ultrasound, and I made the same vow to Emma at the 11 week one. I will do everything that I have to do to protect my children, even if it's not easy. I will do my very best to deserve to be their mother, no matter what.


Sunny said...

I don't think you sound mean at all. It still blows my mind that your mom is so anti-boy (as a counselor I'm wondering what is behind this, psychologically) :) and I don't blame you one bit if you have to set those boundaries with her to protect him.

Being a mom means that your children become your top concern, and ANYONE (even Dad in some sad cases) who threatens our children's healthy development like that needs to be blocked out until the behavior is fixed.

Ohio Nurse said...

I didn't think you sounded anything but reasonable in your post. It's part of being a good mother to protect your children. My own mother is not involved in any way in my life or my childrens' lives. She doesn't know what is and is not appropriate and so we made that choice to cut ties long before having children and have never regretted it.

Perhaps the sweetest thing about having a little girl is seeing yourself in her. My daughter imitates me when she plays baby dolls saying the exact same things I say to her. It's so sweet that she thinks I'm good enough to imitate. I have a son too, but he has gone from a mama's boy to a daddy's boy as his interests change.

Beth said...

I agree - I don't think you sound mean at all. There's a Mama Bear in all of us that needs to come out when the times are appropriate.

Good for you for setting clear boundaries for yourself and your mom. Just because they're family doesn't entitle them to treat you (or your family) poorly. Unfortunately, I'm sure many of us can relate to having stresses and struggles with our families just the same. You're not alone!

HereWeGoAJen said...

I agree, you don't sound mean at all. You sound determined and determination is called for in this situation. I am proud of your strength.

Laura said...

Doesn't sound mean to me either. Protecting your kids is the most important thing.

Jen said...

You sound anything but mean. You sound like a mom who wants the best for her children!

Mazzy said...

You have to put your kids first, always. Coming from someone who has a complicated relationship with my own mother and a disaster relationship with my mother-in-law, I know this all too well. Your attitude is spot on.