Feeling: hurt but not beaten
What a week of being sick. The whole family was down. Coughing, sneezing, sniffing, suffering…
It made my very first Mother’s Day yesterday to be somewhat.. DULLED. In the sense that I haven’t been able to taste any yummy foods at all for the last week 😦
WOE IS ME.
But honestly, besides that, my very first Mother’s Day was going pretty well. We had a non-eventful church service, and a nice sushi lunch with my mummy. Then we met up with another first time mum – my hub’s cousin who was visiting from HK and exchanged some battle stories from our respective baby’s births to the present not-so-much-sleepless-anymore nights.
My bub is lucky to have babies in the family who are of relatively close age. Right now, there are in total 4 small and young cousins born in the last year or two so he’ll be blessed with relatives of the same age range that he can play and mingle with! He’s the only boy right now though, so hopefully somebody will do something about that soon!
But right up until the point that we were having a joint celebratory dinner at my hubs’ parents’ place everything really was going pretty peachy…
No doubt the food was good and the company okay, I mean when you know there are burger patties and steak fillets coming up, things can’t really go that wrong can it?
For starters , I get that certain people haven’t seen their grandchild in a long time. but it really is NOT right for them to swoop in and be all “You’re at my house now, and my grandson is here, so I GET TO CARRY HIM.”
The exact words were. ” COME. GIVE ME CARRY.”
And we’ve barely had time to sit and get ourselves relaxed yet.
I don’t know how anal about this I am. I mean after all, the grandparents love the little bub a whole ton too and then some, but there’s still a certain level of courtesy with taking over the care of the baby right? Perhaps letting me offer, or maybe coming to visit us so that they can see him instead of waiting for us to come over so they can play with him.
But nevermind. The baby needs to spend some time with his grandparents so I keep my mouth shut and try to be okay with my baby being taken away from me. After all he’s still smiley and chirpy and he loves being the centre of attention and being entertained.
At least up to the point where without notice, the baby gets swept out of the room to be paraded around without my permission being asked. If I’m not looking at what’s happening, I probably wouldn’t even have been told that the baby was being taken away.
Like Hello? Please tell me where you are taking my son and what you are going to do to him.
I know that this sounds a little paranoid and a
little very ranty, but I really can’t help but think that I’m not of any consequence in this equation where the grandchild is concerned when it comes to his grandparents.
I know that they’ll take care of him and watch after his well-being and all that, but am I not still the parent? The one who bore him in my belly for 9 months?
Shouldn’t I get some sort of acknowledgement?
All this aside, this is not the reason for my ranting today. The real reason for my ranting is because as innocent as baby-talk may sound like since they don’t quite understand what you’re saying, it is NOT okay to say “Your mother is terrible.” for any reason and at any point of time.
As parents, the hubs and I have a few rules laid down such as no engulfing fists or phalanges in the orifice called your mouth, and no watching TV for example. There are reasons (which are way too complicated and long-winded to explain here) that we have chosen to impose such rules on our child so when someone uprights says that our rules are rubbish and insinuates that the parents are “terrible” for having put down said rules, that is an absolute show-stopper in my book.
So show-stopping that I stomped off to find my husband to emphasize how show-stopping it was.
To which said grandparent was still repeatedly telling my son that it WAS terrible that he shouldn’t be allowed to put his hands in his mouth, and how “pooor thing” he was because he couldn’t do what he wanted.
I demanded to have my son back.
And to which I received a very hasty and hurried “Oh, but I’m JUST KIDDING.”
Can I also say that there was a random Aunty sitting around (who has no kids of her own, mind) who happily chirped in EVERY TIME “Your mother is so terrible” was said to say loudly and cheerfully that “I AGREE!”
Can someone please kill me now. I wanted to die for the disappointment in myself and the shame for hearing someone say that about me when I know for a fact that what they were saying was and is bullshit.
Now at this point, I might be construed as vindictive and petty for having blasted this entire scenario out on to a public platform, but to that I say that this is cleansing for me. But I say to you this : that there is a need for me to lay down the events just as it happened so that I can diagnose and dissect where my values are at and to garner support and or draw flak for my actions.
I had to literally force myself to walk away to calm myself down before I exploded at them.
I did just that. Straight to the toilet to have a good cry because sure as hell, I am not a terrible mother and my baby is not worser off for not being able to chew his hands. It just ain’t true. .
It is downright confidence-shaking and doubt-inducing to hear something like that even when you know it isn’t true. I don’t wish it upon anybody to hear someone saying something like that about you to your child. Especially when you’re a first time mum and you have no yard stick of measurement and you know you’re trying your best.
As much as in jest someone thinks their words are, the truth of the matter is that the words are said and I hear it. And more important than that – the little one hears. And he will pick up your sentiment. I don’t want him growing up thinking that his grandparent is right.
And I certainly don’t think that said grandparent would appreciate me telling her grandson what a horrible person she is for doing this and that either right. I’m sure that there are things that she regrets and feels upset about doing when she was raising my husband up. It sure doesn’t help for someone to be sticking all your fears and misgivings in your face.
Sticks and stones and all that you know….
I hope that I can teach my son the value of what his words will be unto others and to learn how to hold his tongue if he has nothing nice to say. Starting with myself, because I am a better person than that and I won’t stoop to her level to belittle her like she has belittled me.
I hope I can remember all of this when in the future I myself become a mother-in-law to my son’s future wife and a grandparent to his kids. (Look at me planning my son’s life :X)
I can only hope that I will remember my experiences and do my gosh-darned best not to repeat what happened to me and torture the girl who my son decides to marry. No girl or woman should be made to suffer with something that undermines her confidence as a caretaker and mother of a child.
There are a lot of articles around right now about backseat parenting and while I’m not going to go into the debate, I’m going to write about what I personally feel about it, whoever it is that thinks they are telling me how to raise my child.
Advice is okay, but that’s simply what it is. I am more than happy to listen to what you have to say, as long as you:
- say it to my face what you think
- have a logical explanation or some equally weighted viewpoints on the pros and cons of what you’re in disagreement about
- don’t expect me to follow what you said just because you said it
I don’t feel hatred or disdain for said grandparent, and I still believe that it’s important for a person to know the joy of his or her grandparents. But while it won’t stop me from bringing my bub to see his grandparents, if the behaviour continues the visits are going to definitely get a lot shorter and less frequent.
I’m just going to keep looking forward to the week ahead where I will do all I can to show my son that I’m not a terrible mother. Every day I am learning how to react to him and answer to his cues and understand what he’s trying to tell me; trying to nurture and help him grow up to be a decent and able human being and I am dedicated doing so for nobody else’s reasons except my own love for him.
While I will make mistakes, I will not let someone else’s words make me feel like I’m not doing anything other than my best.
And that should be what all mothers feel isn’t it?
Hopefully all the blood is washed under the bridge with that finally off my chest.
So here’s wishing everyone else a belated Mother’s Day to all the mummies. Even if you aren’t one, you sure must have had one. To whom without their best efforts, we would not all be where we are right now.
From one Mother to Another,