Saturday, October 18, 2008

Because I'm their Mom
This visit from the in-laws has gone from annoying to horrible. It's utterly astounding how little concern they have for the health & well-being of our kids. And they call themselves good grandparents? Really!? I beg to differ.

After our surprise virus ambush on Wednesday night, Bill called his mom yesterday to tell her how irresponsible & dangerous that was to do to us. I had been thinking about it on Thursday, about how if Carter had gotten sick he would have had to go to the ER & all of the invasive diagnostic procedures they would have done if he developed a fever over 100 (remember Cousin B's was 104 & he's 2 years old). It just blew my mind that family could be so inconsiderate & reckless with Carter's health. Bill said that Grandma L gave little response & certainly didn't apologize for putting Carter's health at risk.

So, the grandparent's came over last night to visit for a little bit. I didn't even want them to come over because they've been staying in The Sick House & are probably carrying the virus, but Bill & I compromised with not letting them hold Carter. We're not even going to talk about how Logan is probably sick from being around them (he's had a boogery nose since the virus visit) & how he's most likely going to get Carter sick.

The grandparents come in & make their way towards me & Carter. I gave them the look of death & they kept their distance - about 10 feet - for the entire night. They went about conversation like nothing was wrong. Just like they normally do. I can laugh at them & their denial when it's over something ridiculous, like how they tried to be sneaky & take back a 3 year old mattress, but it's not so funny when they ignore the fact that they made a poor decision that could have had some serious consequences for our family. I was fed up with it when they started making plans for all of us to go to a pumpkin patch this morning. "I hope Cousin B isn't still sick", I piped up.

They hammed & hawed like his virus was no big deal. They said he only had a cough at night now. I made it a point to let them know how serious it is if Carter were to get that sick. It's one thing for a 2 year old to just "get a virus", it's another thing if a 4 week old newborn catches it. They just nodded their head agreeing, mostly trying to pacify me. They quickly left after that without saying much of a good-bye. Actually, I think they said good-bye while running out of the door.

After they left Bill & I had a discussion about it. I was upset that I seemed to be the only one concerned about Carter getting sick. Bill replied with, "It's OK, everything will be alright, but..." like saying the words is going to somehow prevent anyone from catching a bug. I felt alone in my stance. "Everything was fine until you brought up Cousin B being sick", he said. Then he went on about my tone. As if my tone is going to be nice after someone blatantly ignores the fact that they could have really made my baby sick. We went to bed & I tossed & turned for hours. That's when it hit me - it's starting to happen. Insomnia.

I was angry that everything was fine before this visit & now I couldn't sleep because I was stressed out. I hate the way they make me out to be the crazy, over-protective party pooper out to spoil everyone's fun plans, when I'm only looking out for the best interest of my kids. I'm trying to be a good Mom & make sure they are safe & healthy. You know, not let my brand new baby hang out around someone coughing uncontrollably with a dangerously high fever. I don't understand why I'm the only one in the family who feels this way. Yes, I'm the Mom, but shouldn't the rest of the family be just slightly thoughtful of the situation? Do they think that ignoring Cousin B's cough will make it not real & therefore won't make anyone else sick? What kind of planet are they living on?!

This morning Bill had a moment of clarity & realized that we can't take the risk & I can't be the only one putting my foot down, otherwise we would be headed down an all too familiar road. He called Aunt Ju-Ju to see how Cousin B was feeling. Apparently, they took him back to the Doctor this morning because of his cough. I almost lost it! This was after the grandparents tried to ignore my very valid concerns & outright lied to us saying that Cousin B was getting better & only coughing at night!! Bill & I decided that we weren't doing anything with them if Cousin B was there until he didn't show any symptoms (coughing, fever, nasal congestion) for 24 hours. We absolutely were not going to the pumpkin patch with them at all.

The grandparents ended up coming over tonight for about an hour. Of course, the same thing happens, pretend like nothing is wrong. This way of dealing with things (or not dealing with things) causes me to feel an intense amount of anxiety. Carter & I hung out on the couch while Bill, Logan & the grandparents played a few hands of poker.

During the game, they were talking about a tournament that Bill played in this afternoon & Grandma L corrected herself in the conversation, "Oh, Mommy was confused". I whipped my head around right after Logan referred to her as Mommy. "That's not Mommy, that's Grandma", I quickly corrected her. An uneasy silence filled the room. They continued with their game & moments later she did it again, but this time using Mom rather than Mommy. I didn't say anything because I was already about to jump out of my skin. Not too much later they left, taking a glance at Carter, knowing full well that I wasn't handing him over. They said good-bye to everyone talking about how they will be back for Christmas (God help me).

They left & all I wanted to do was cry from feeling the anxiety & stress wash over me. I usually can chill out, kick back & drink a beer to relax after their visits, but my anxiety was well passed a beer. We're talking about xanax kind of anxiety, which I haven't felt in a very long time. I took a deep breath & Bill & I talked for a little bit. We briefly talked about the "Mommy" comment that she made, where he didn't think anything was wrong with it. I didn't go into it, but he's a 30 year old married father of 2 boys - when was the last time he or his mom referred to her as "Mommy". It was a dig at me in my own home.

But, the good news is that it's all over with. Hours later, I'm feeling better & I have plans to workout with massage friend tomorrow to get some endorphins pumping (rather than xanax, which I've never had). I get a three month break before we have to see them again. And more importantly, there is peace in our home after they are gone & Bill & I aren't at eachother's throats. This is major improvement & even though this week was hell, I won't have to worry about another round of postpartum depression.


Erin said...

I'm so glad they're gone and you don't have to deal with them anymore! Kristin NEVER feel bad, not ONE bit, if you offend or piss them off in ANY way for doing what's best for your family. I know I mentioned how Hailey ended up in the hospital at 2 months old...well it was right after that 4th of July...we were at my sister and brother in law's house and I knew she wasn't acting right. I knew something was wrong. The inlaws kept making me out to seem crazy and ridiculous and they even took her outside in the 105 degree heat (she was HORRIBLY sensitive to heat too!) and were passing her around from one sweaty/dirty person to the next. Finally I'd had it and I ran outside, grabbed my baby, got in the car and informed Dan he could come with me or stay but I was taking my daughter home. They thought I was being just INSANE. Then a day or 2 know my foggy memory...she was in the hospital with an IV in her arm that was strapped to a tiny board, all kinds of medicines being pumped into her, diapers nothing but horrible medicine-induced diarea that gave her horrible rashes on her little butt. Holding my newborn baby down while they drew vial after vial of blood etc. was the WORST experience of my life. From that moment on I decided, I didn't care WHO I pissed off, I know what is best for my kid and I would do whatever I felt was right when it came to her. You know what's best for your boys. You did the right thing. If they can't see that and see what a great mother you are, and get over it...sorry but to heck with them then! I know it's hard but try not to let them get you worked up anymore. They're not worth that stress. Just remind yourself that YOU are the mom and YOU know what's right. No question.

Smurfett said...

I so second Erin. At the end of the day, they dont' have to care because it's not their babies and they're not the ones caring for them.

I had something similar happen to me (though definitely not as horrible as your experience) and I realized that I just had to put my foot down. If my kid gets really sick, I have to be the one to care for them so I get ultimate say.

But it gets my blood pressure up just reading about your relatives!

Debbie said...

I agree with you 100% on the illness thing. No way should Cousin B have exposed your children to what he has. Shame on them for taking so long to get him to a doctor.
I do have to say that my granddaughter sometimes calls me Mommy by mistake. I (early on) referred to myself as Mommy with her and laughed at my error. It's a slip of the tongue, it really is. My MIL used to refer to my kids as "it." That used to bug me so much but I kept my mouth shut. It was really ignorance. Try and think of your in-laws as ignorant buffoons. It might even bring a smile to your face.

Kristin said...


I would be more inclined to think it was a mistake if it only happened once, but after I corrected her, she did it again not more than 5 minutes later. This was a stupid head game she was trying to play.

But, ignorant buffoons they are, indeed.

Ashley said...

Wowee. Kristin? Who is more important? Boys or inlaws? ALWAYS choose those boys over them (I know you do) and screw the niceties. From knowing you for awhile, all they do is make you miserable, which you should not be with a newborn and a darling toddler. When Pais was a newborn I was soooooooooo paranoid. You have to be. Even with my inlaws (Ex) whom I love like my own parents, I was protective and anal. Exhubby though I was crazy, but us moms know this instinctually. The kids always always always come first. I know you know this, but sometimes in the situation it's hard because we know we should be 'nice,' but screw that. Especially with your in-laws! Hell, maybe if you're mean enough they'll stop coming around!!!! Off my soapbox, I just hate seeing you so unhappy! I look back to Paisley at that age and I was miserable (for other reasons), and being miserable will not be something you want to remember when you think back to Carter's babyhood.