Monday, April 23, 2012

Honesty is One Policy

So here it is. There have been a few recent days when I felt so utterly shitty, so nauseous and constipated and exhausted and overworked by clients and toddlers and dogs, that I just broke down. Took shots at KB. Just cried. Cried to KB. I admitted to him that on those days, I wonder if we made a mistake, if we (I) can't handle being pregnant again and worse than that, can't handle raising two kids. I don't feel that way deep down, but the physical misery can be all-consuming and fuck with your head and your heart. I needed to hear that, despite his shared worry about how we will make this all work, it's going to be okay. And so he told me that. It's going to be okay. Sometimes you just need to hear it.

One of the things that I lamented in my tearful tirades was the fact that, despite having KB's family close by, we don't really get any help. Instead, it feels more like we get additional expectations piled on us, like it's OUR responsibility in whole to make sure THEY get what THEY need from US. Outside of KB's mom bringing us food for the first week or so after we brought Jackson home (which was much appreciated, lest you think I'm a completely ungrateful sow), there have been no offers to do anything truly useful. The only exception is her (thankfully, waning) requests to babysit (I just typed babyshit, FYI) which have always included her expectation that we take Jackson to her completely un-baby-proofed stair- and fireplace-filled house when SHE has availability. I would've loved it if she had ever volunteered to come over to our house and watch him long enough for me to take a shower or run to the store, or even come with me, but that was never mentioned because it didn't suit her needs. She complains about the drive to our suburban house being horrible but has no problem hitting the freeway to downtown Detroit (a real paradise, as you can imagine) to join her friends at the casino. And KB's over-80-year-old aunt who is hard of hearing and has increasingly creaky bones has expressed disappointment over not being allowed to babysit, but come on. KB's sister has offered but it's a hollow gesture only because her husband travels a lot, leaving her to single parent a very busy 8-year-old. She has no time to actually make good on the offer. None of them has offered to change a diaper. None of them has offered to stop by and play with Jackson so I could take a nap/take a shower/do laundry/etc. I know for my part I absolutely give off an I'll-do-it-myself vibe, but that's mainly because I just can't appreciate the "offers" of "help" that come with specific strings attached. In my mind, if you really want to help then do what is needed, not whatever you personally want at my expense.

So anyway, the thought of our family piling on even more expectation that we'll accommodate their schedules and their needs to cart around TWO kids is mindfucking me. In my search for a new car, I've tossed around the idea of whether we need 3rd-row seating because KB's elderly aunt expects us to drive her to every family event (though she's perfectly capable of driving herself to church and weekly lunch with her friends). It's super great because Jackson will normally catch an afternoon nap in the car when we're out running errands, but KB's aunt insists on chatting for the whole drive in her hard-of-hearing voice, so we get no nap and a cranky toddler afterwards every time. And we've already begun discussing how we will care for Jackson while I'm in the hospital after labor with baby #2, since it's hard to imagine anyone in KB's family accommodating OUR needs, especially on short notice. We may end up hiring a nanny to stay with Jackson if we're in the hospital over the weekend. And then we have to lie to KB's mom about stuff like that because, despite the nonsense of it, her feelings get hurt. Blargh.

We're probably going to engage in The Telling in the next several weeks, maybe on Mother's Day. I view it as something on a checklist. I'm in survival mode right now. Some days are better than others, but pregnancy is just not kind to me. It's a means to an end. And that fact that people who I wish could just offer genuine help seem to have their own agenda-in-a-bubble approach completely annoys me.

Maybe I should just chalk it all up to hormones.



Jen said...

Wow, I SO GET everything in your first paragraph. Between the sinus infection from hell, the nausea, not sleeping,changing jobs, and etc etc etc. I too thought we had made a mistake. Especially since it's twins. (!). I also have been hormonal like nothing I've ever experienced, and yes, even my dogs made me cry, because HOT DAMN, just WALK and stop tugging already. now that I'm 12+ weeks, the nausea is gone, but alas, nothing else really is. It IS getting better though. Hang in there!

ASP said...

I hear you loud and clear on the family stuff and lack of help. Granted, the nearest relative we have is an hour away, it's still frustrating not having anyone (family in particular) ever offer to help with anything. Our friends are great and offer, but I don't like inconveniencing others with babysitting, although lately, I'm ready to take some of them up on their offers. It's just frustrating because I, like you, am always going out of my way to help/make things convenient for others/offer help and actually follow through with those offers, so I expect others to do the same for us...yeah, right. I learned a lot about a lot of people when we brought O home. Friends and family you thought would be there, not so much, and others that come through at the 11th hour, surprise you. I don't know, people just suck sometimes. I know that some of the friends we went out of our way to help when their 1st kids were born are now on their 2nd, I can bet my lily white ass, I won't be running to their side the 2nd time around given all the NON help they gave us with O. If anything, I'll be standing in their front yard doing the "suck it" sign to them when they look out their window all bedraggled from trying to care for 2 little ones. Suuuuuuuck it!

We have friends that their parents seem to be here every other weekend helping out with the kid(s). Must be freaking nice, huh? I'm not sure (I mean, I'm 100% sure) I couldn't live that close to my MIL, but it'd be nice every once in awhile to be able to have her come over and help out while I'm GONE running errands or something.

You and KB will be a-okay and get it all figured out. I'm sure it's overwhelming at times but you'll make it through, gf. Hang tight.

Rachael said...

If the only reason you're considering 3rd row seating is to accomodate his aunt who is capable but unwilling to driver herself when you go places, then you should consider going with something that is just right for your family of four-thus encouraging her to use her own vehicle! Sometimes car rides are the only way to get cranky toddlers to fall asleep, if you can avoid interrupting that you should!

If you were to tell your MIL that you are thinking of hiring a nanny for Jackson while you're in the hospital and she offered to watch him would she actually come through on it, or would you end up stuck in the end? He'll be over two by the time the new little is born so he should be pretty safe at her house (hopefully) if she would actually commit to it. Then you would save on the $ for the nanny, she wouldn't have her feelers hurt and you would both feel like she was making some sort of effort to help you. It doesn't sound like its a possibility, but if it were it would be great.

Mina said...

I so hear you. I am planted in the middle of the farking teuton land with absolutely no one to help, NO ONE. The only one who could physically come over and help would be my MIL, and after we all stop rolling on the floor at this great joke, I remind the public that she is so incompetent she can't properly hold George in her arms - she almost dropped him because she has two fucking left feet instead of arms. Anyways. Thanks for letting me vent on your misery.

I am with Rchel on the car thing - don't accomodate anyone else but you and your family. Sod the rest! What ever do they do to help YOU? If you're thinking about a third or shlepping around Jackson's buddies in a sort of carpooling system to the daycare, than yes, by all means. Otherwise let me repeat myself: sod the rest!

And I think the doubts are normal, it would be strange to think that you can do it all without thinking anything through and failing miserably. The doubts (which I share, for myself, not as far as you are concerned) help you think ahead, and plan, and have multiple solutions to various issues and matters that will undoubtly arise. A little fear makes you tackle things better. At least I hope it is so...

And in the end, almost two years have passed since we had our first babes, and I for one have no idea when. Maybe the next two years will be even more of a blur and I will awake in 2014 realising that hey, I am living on sleep deprivation for four years and counting (God, please, this is a bad joke, don't listen to me, pleaaaaaase). But somehow, we will make it. Like Geoffrey Rush kept saying in Shakespeare in Love : I don't know how, it's a mistery! We have a mistery ahead, my friend. :-)

bunny said...

Hey, I have all the help I need plus an easy as pie pregnancy, and I'm scared. How will I do it? I find myself so easily frustrated these days, and I think it's just being tired and hormonal, but when I imagine being FUCKING DEPRESSED with a toddler...

I guess it must be doable, or our species would have died out. But I am super down with your idea of hiring some help. Your in-laws suck ass. I mean sorry, but they do.

hope4joy said...

Family and friends can offer all they want but it is often my own hangups that lead me to decline. I wish that you had an easier pregnanacy this time around. You deserve a break after all. I am confident that you and the hubby will figure it all out and in no time you will look back and think "why was I worried."