My mom gets "weird" when I have a baby... or get married... or buy a house... or really, anytime there is a Big, New Thing in my life, she gets weird. By weird, I mean she tries her best to make it as difficult as possible for me and is less than supportive. I could go on and on with concrete examples of this, but if you are really interested, you can read this post, which does a good job illustrating what I mean. Or this one is probably the best example of a time in which her antics were really hurtful. If you don't want to click back, let me just say, I know I can be as hormonal as the next gal, but my mom really likes to push my buttons and chooses just the right time to do it.
I am a 31 year old woman, a mother myself, and this still sets me off balance. When Will was born, she had a nervous breakdown and so I have been trying to prepare myself for it to happen again. Even though she has been a fantastic grandmother for the past year, I have been waiting for the other shoe to drop. I specifically did not include my parents in any of our plans for watching Will or anything that had to be done and felt as if I had prepared myself much better this time around. Unfortunately, I have once again gotten burned.
Back in late May, my mom sent an e-mail, saying that she and my dad wanted to come for a week before Emma was born and help me with Will. I was all for it and asked them to just let me know when they were coming. Next thing I knew, they were heading for a couple of weeks to California instead of coming here.
Okaaaay. I was disappointed, but I got it. Head to a swimming pool and 80+ degree weather to lounge around and do nothing or come sit in 60 degree rain and help your very pregnant daughter manager her toddler? Yeah, I think we all know what we'd choose.
The next plan was for them to come up the day M goes back to work, when I am two weeks post-surgery. Now, they have decided to keep a puppy from the litter one of their other dogs just had. So, they are up to four dogs. That's two large dogs, one geriatric poodle who has lost bladder control, and a 10 week old puppy. Oh, plus our two, of course.
When Will and I went to visit them last, they asked us not to bring our dogs because. . . wait for it. . . it would be unsettling for their dogs with newborn puppies in the house. Now, I am a dog person. I love my furbabies. But it's perfectly okay for them to bring four dogs to our house when we have a newborn human?!?!
My parents will not consider leaving the dogs at home, however, so I am forced to choose between them not seeing their granddaughter and feeling like a total b!tch or letting the circus come to town. I have worked really hard to get this house in order, and even if it wasn't for that. . . we simply do not have the room for seven animals. I'm sorry, we just don't. Our three are overwhelming enough.
So, now, my parents are saying they will come for just one night, when M is still home from work, stay at our house or a nearby hotel, and just bring the puppy. They'll leave my brother home to watch the other dogs. This is a good compromise, except I was kind of counting on their assistance when M goes back to work. I know that at two weeks out, I will be pretty well on the road to recovery, but still. . . two under two, recovering from a c-section, and no family right in the area? It's gonna be rough.
To be honest, there is every possibility that their plans will change yet again, so I need to not get riled about it. But the combination of pregnancy hormones, plus the very real fact that this behavior is just irritating, has me riled. To be honest, I am not sure what my mom wants from me. Does she want me to beg for her to come? That's not my style. I will pull up my big girl boots and do things myself (even if I shouldn't) rather than feel as if I am asking too much of them. They raised me to be independent, but there is still a part of me that kind of wanted my parents.
You'd think I'd learn.
Edited: Thank you for your support and suggestions. My wonderful friends have put together a calendar to help with meals and some playdates for Will and we are trying to get to know some teenaged girls down the street who could come and watch Will for a few hours two or three times a week. We can't afford much more than that.
My parents are uncomfortable leaving my brother alone for more than a night or two and I can't say that I blame them. He is only 17 and a very immature 17 at that (not trying to be mean, it's just a fact). He has never been alone for a night before and we live 3 hours from them, so leaving him longer is probably not a great idea. My sister does live in their town, but she can also be unreliable and they are not close.
And my mom doesn't drive (!) so they can't really switch off, although my dad has made mention of coming on his own. But that's when my mom started talking about hurting herself last time, when he was going to come solo. I couldn't live with myself if something happened while he was away. To be clear, she hasn't made any of those threats this time, but then again, there was little warning last time that she would have such a reaction to me having a baby.