Wednesday, December 7, 2011

ARRRGGGHHH!! I'm freaking SURROUNDED by N's!!

The N IL's strike again. 

After having DS about 5 1/2 years ago, dh and I had decided that we were done having children. We didn't expect to want anymore at any point and we were content with that decision. Until recently.

Due to a recent - ahem - "incident", the possibility that I might be pregnant came to pass. Suddenly, dh and I began thinking, "What if?" and realized that maybe we weren't done having kids quite yet. The past week or so, we've done a lot of talking and thinking and have started to think that we may want to try for one more.

The "cons" for lack of a better word are:

1) Because dh's employer was kind enough to cut health coverage for me and ds a few years back, I no longer have maternity coverage. This would mean that we'd have to get Medicaid temporarily to cover my prenatal visits and care as well as to help us pay for the birth.

2) I am currently 35 (not that that is ancient by any means) but it does mean that I'm quickly approaching the end of my "window of opportunity" as I understand it. Yes, some women have babies later in life but I've always heard that the window begins to start closing at 35.

3) DS is currently 5 1/2. IF we were pregnant right now, that would mean that there would be a 6 year age difference between DS and the new baby which does cause us some concern.

4) There are a few more minor issues that worry me, like what if I have to have another c-section and am unable to provide the usual daily care for DS temporarily while I heal? Who will help us out? Dh can't take time off work, nor can he take DS to school every day for however long and then go back to pick him up after school. And since the bus system is horrible here - major bullying problems, etc. - him riding the bus isn't an option. It would help if I had any sort of family support here that I could count on but, obviously, I do not, so that is an issue.

Despite all the "cons" and our worries, dh and I have been feeling rather excited about the possibility and, in my excitement, I mentioned a few of my thoughts to MIL when she was here the other day. As crazy as MIL was when she found out we were expecting last time - and as obsessed and she has been with DS and my new nephew - I fully expected MIL would be over the moon with excitement at the prospect of having yet another addition to the family. Turns out, that was not the case at all.

MIL has this way of, instead of coming out and saying how she feels, wording things about how other people would probably feel or what she's heard from other people which is her way of saying that she doesn't agree with what you're saying. So MIL says that other people have always said you don't want more than 3 years difference in age between the two kids, blah blah, otherwise they might not get along, blah blah and that she just happened to agree with that line of thought. By the time she was through - and though it was in actuality probably only a few minutes that passed of her talking, it felt like much longer - I felt like an irresponsible idiot who was stupid for even considering having another baby given my advanced age, etc. I was very hurt and completely crushed. Whatever excitement I had before I talked to her was completely gone.

After a day of feeling down and doubting my decision to have another baby, I emailed my aunt N who - bless her - basically told me to screw my IL's and anyone else who didn't have anything supportive or kind to say! She said that 6 years difference didn't mean SQUAT provided that the arrival of a new baby didn't mean the exclusion of DS. So long as we included him in the process, DS would be just fine with the new baby. As for the financial aspects of the issue, aunt N said that there was no shame in having to go on assistance temporarily and that, after all, we'd been paying into it all these years hadn't we? So why not reap some of the benefits? It wasn't like we were taking advantage or exploiting the system like some people do. Rather, we were using it as it was intended to be used - for people with genuine need.

After speaking with my aunt N, I felt much better for a couple days. Then yesterday, I couldn't stand it anymore and broke down and bought a pregnancy test. It turned out it was negative but, while I was disappointed, I realized that didn't mean we couldn't still try so I was still excited to a point. Until yesterday evening.

I was soaking in the tub, relaxing, and dh came into the bathroom for a second and we started talking. At one point he mentioned that he wants to talk to his dad (FIL) about this whole issue. I said, "What for? Like his permission?" Dh said no, that he was looking for advice from his dad. I was like, "Advice about what?" and he said he just wanted to run things by his dad. I said something else and we went back and forth for a few minutes and then dhdh walked out of the room for some reason.

A bit later, we were in the living room - dh was watching tv while I worked on a sign I'm painting for a client - and we again began discussing the issue of dh talking with his dad about this topic. I finally said, "I still don't understand what it is you're looking for from your dad. Are you wanting his financial advice?" and dh responded, "No. I'm not 'looking for' anything." and then added, "I just want to ask him, am I being irresponsible financially by having this baby given our current finances and state of the economy, blah blah?" Despite all dh said, it certainly still sounds to me as if he is looking for something from his parents, specifically his father, be it validation, "permission" or whatever.

My feeling on the whole matter is, again, this is something that should be OUR decision and OURS alone. I know as surely as I know my own name, that MIL mentioned what I said to her a few days ago to FIL already and I can guarantee you that FIL will have much the same opinion as MIL did. My guess is that they both assume that, given our financial status, we will eventually look to them to foot the bill for the new baby but that is NOT the case. I don't need shit from my IL's, especially money-wise. And given their past behavior of holding things over our head and/or things coming with several strings attached, I'd rather live in a box and go on welfare permanently than to ask them for a single cent anyhow but, I digress.

At any rate, as I was saying before I got off on a bit of a tangent, I just know that FIL is going to say things he has no right saying to his son, about how HELL YEAH we'd be behaving irresponsibly by having another baby and about how that window of opportunity has "passed" for me/us and how he doesn't think it's a good idea. And I also know that, despite what dh may say about making up his own mind and his parents' opinions not having any effect on his decision, FIL negative speech WILL have an effect on dh's thoughts. Dh is already worried about how he'd provide for another person being that he is the sole provider. And, though he won't admit it, I know his pride also comes into play when he thinks about going on assistance even if only temporarily. Dh commented recently that, if we still had our old insurance with maternity coverage, he'd be 100% for it and ready to begin trying today. I think he very much wants another child but is scared about how he'll be able to provide for all of us. As a religious and resourceful woman, I know and trust it will all work out but dh is very logical minded - he's a man, after all - and isn't willing to trust on "it'll work out". Which I can understand in a way.

I'm just so sick of my IL's and the way they treat us like total idiots who are incapable of finding our way out of a paper bag. Dh and I have never been the type who do things impulsively. We think things through, especially when it's a big decision like whether or not to have another child. Despite our proving our capability to function and thrive on our own however, my IL's continue to treat us like stupid children, FIL especially. Furthermore, they know NOTHING of boundaries. There is no line that they view as being "uncrossable" because THEY are the parents and WE are the children and, as such, they have every right to steer us in the right direction or whatever. If dh and I were considering buying some uber-expensive luxury item, then I could see where FIL might have a right to say, " you think that's wise given your current financial status?" But this is a BABY we're talking about. A baby that I will carry in MY womb for 9+ months and suffer through pregnancy and delivery with. A baby that WE will have the responsibility of protecting, nurturing, feeding and caring for, NOT MY IL'S!!! And, as such, I think they ought to BUTT THE FUCK OUT and keep their yaps shut if they don't have anything positive and/or supportive to say!

Honestly, sometimes they just piss me off so much! It's times like these when I wish we could just sell this house and move far, far away and start a whole new life free of stupid N family members. I get so sick of dealing with their rudeness and inappropriateness. Dh, being a (pretty much) "normie" just doesn't see it the way I do. He doesn't think his parents are perfect by any means and admits they have their faults. He just severely downplays those faults as being more of a mere nuisance than an actual problem. I, however, see more and more similarities between his P's and my NM as the time goes on.

One things for sure, I am done being all nicey nice with my IL's and trying to play happy family with them. From now on, I'll be civil, polite and respectful when I'm forced to be around them but I'll be damned if I'll extend myself beyond that. I'm through going above and beyond just to be crapped on and stabbed in the back and manipulated. To hell with them!



  1. Ummm...why aren't you pissed off at your dh...he invited their sounds like you're mad at the wrong person...the FIL sounds like he gave his opinion (which was asked for) and your dh was doing what your MIL was doing by sharing what SOMEONE ELSE was thinking and agreeing with them (as to avoid personal responsibility for his own thoughts/words/actions)...

    This sounds messed up to me...but, that the focus is on your IL's being the only "wrong" people here...and you dh could have kept his conversation with his parents to himself and just told you that they were full of shit and he shouldn't have gone to them for permission, but instead he used it as an opportunity to manipulate you...

    Have you brought this up over at the DoNM board yet? I wonder if any of the other ladies will mention your dh's part in all of this...

  2. @ Katie - Just wanted to clarify that my dh hasn't said anything to his dad yet. I was just saying that I know how my FIL will react/what he will say if dh follows through and mentions the situation to him. That being said, I AM also upset with my dh and wish he'd stop going to his parents - mostly his dad - all the time for "advice". It invites them into our business and they are bad enough with overstepping the boundaries WITHOUT an invitation. Both parties - dh and his P's - are at fault here. I'm planning to speak with dh tonight and try to talk him out of saying anything to FIL but I doubt it will do much good.

  3. After the difficult birth of our first son, dh and I decided that he would be an only child. We also changed our minds when ds was nearly 6 years old and conceived our second family addition shortly thereafter.

    We involved ds in all of the excitement about the new pregnancy. He was the first one we told, he helped us choose a name for his soon-to-be sibling, ds helped dh build a cradle for the new little one and, because he was very excited about a sibling and very much wanting to be involved, we allowed him to be in the room when his baby brother was born.

    DS watched the birth (does not remember anything gross from it, only happiness) and his voice cheering me on was the only thing I heard as I pushed his baby brother out into the world. DS1 was given the privilege of announcing the baby's name to our friends and family and he also cut his brothers umbilical cord. His close involvement in the birth of his brother solidified an extremely close sibling bond even though there is a 6.5 year age difference between the two of them.

    Now my kids are almost 18 years old and 11 years old respectively and they are, quite literally, the very best of friends. It is like no sibling relationship I have ever observed. They love each other dearly and we have honestly NEVER had to deal with arguments or fights or rivalry BECAUSE of the age difference. Now, knowing what I know, I believe a 6 year difference between first and second children is, quite possibly, the very best age difference of all. Don't let anyone tell you any different, especially someone who has no personal experience to back it up.

    Dh and I have no regrets, not a one. Our two boys are wonderful, unique, funny, amazing, generous, lovely human beings. Worth every second and cherished every single moment.

    Economy? Well, we thought we had that covered. Life throws curveballs and if you waited for a perfect time there would never be one. One month after our second was born, my husband contracted a rare lung disease and has never been able to work since. He not only lost his livelihood but all hope of a return to physical health literally overnight at the very young age of 30. We have raised our children while creatively surviving on doctor ordered government disability. There is poverty, 50 feet of crap, and then what we get paid each month.

    We have nothing materially and it turns out that our children do not care about that at all. We have love in abundance and that is all that truly matters to kids. We've chosen to spend our time at home schooling our children ourselves and they bring us too much joy to measure every single day. They are amazing members of society and both of them volunteer many hours in the community helping others. In fact, our oldest has chosen volunteer service as his career and has been at it for 3 years already.

    Again, no regrets, not a single one ever. We love our lives and this time we get to share with our sons is particularly sweet. I cannot even make my mind imagine how empty our lives would have been if we had listened to the naysayers who chastised us for our pregnancies (NM, NF, NMIL, NSIS) and called us irresponsible.

    Just my two cents.


  4. Well I am a mother of 6 and wouldn't tell anyone how many kids to have. So many variables and you never know. You could be doing well and then lose your job. We had a good job with one pregnancy and moved in the middle. I like what you said about making choices. You are choosing. Side note: My sister and I are 5 years a part and she is my dearest friend. Life can be unpredictable. Take care.
    Sending cyber hugs,

  5. I have 3 children. The first two (daughters) are 6 years apart. They are the best of friends. The love you will feel for any future children will help you surmount any and all obstacles. I had my third c-section at age 35 with a 9 year old and a three year old. Yes, it was a little harder at age 35 than at 25, but I never gave it a thought . You do what you have to and, it's cliche, but love does conquer all. Pity the poor narcissists who won't ever experience real, unconditional love. Their advice is worth nothing.

  6. My brother is 6 years older than me. He's Almost 22 and I'm 16. When he was younger he absolutely adored having a baby sister and wanted to do everything for me and yelp me out all the time (I've always been really independent so once I got about 7 or 8 it got real annoying) then when he got about 15 we started fighting because I was the 'annoying little sister that followed him and his friends around' (and it was known by then that it was okay to be mean to me because I was the scapegoat). Now me and my brother are very close. Once he got away from our NM he learned that the way our family acted was wrong (although he doesn't know about Narcissism) and he yells at my mother for being mean to me. He has a daughter now that just turned 1 that he would do anything for and when him and his wife had her he realized how messed up our family relationships had been when we were growing up.

    Although you have a NM so you won't gave a Completely 'normal' family, your intermediate family will be normal. I think if me and my bro managed to pull through with all the craziness that was our family, I think it would be fine fir you to have another child even though they will be 6 years apart