Be honest, please (ranting ahead) - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 15 Old 09-07-2005, 02:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just tell me if I'm being a pissy b*tch.

I almost had my son 7 weeks early. I've been on bedrest now for a week. Throughout that time I've called and e-mailed updates to all of my family members. One of my sisters has been wonderful (as always) and we speak almost daily, as we did before all this drama. My grandparents did call one time, which is pretty good for them.

My other sister has not called or e-mailed at all. This same sister is the one who we took into our home when she was abandoned by her boyfriend at six months pregnant. I was in the labor and delivery room with her. As a matter of fact, during the entire pregnancy she has asked how I'm doing twice, I think. However, though she hasn't thought to ask if we're doing okay now, she did have time yesterday to e-mail me the link to her new website - apparantly she's begun selling jewelry and thought I'd make a good customer. Of course, though she doesn't care now, as my other sister says, watch me pop out a preemie baby and she'll be up my butt wanting to come down and see him. I have other family members also who haven't offered support in any way - not a word.

So, I'm to the point where these are the last people I want coming to visit me after the baby comes. They are also the last people I will be going to visit (we live about 2 hours apart). Nor do I feel any urge to phone them from the hospital and let them know when the baby is born. Am I being a selfish baby here? I don't expect for them to drive down and do my housework for me, particularly if we don't have a really close relationship already, but is it too much to expect a kind word of support?

Any advice on how to handle the situation when the baby comes? Obviously I can say that we're not accepting visitors, but my other sister will definately be visiting, and that will put her in the awkward position of having to lie or just plain be in the middle. Also, am I a jerk if I just e-mail these unsupportive relatives a few days after baby comes instead of calling?

Thanks for listening.

A happy woman
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#2 of 15 Old 09-07-2005, 02:57 PM
 
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Not in your group, but wanted to give you a hug and tell you I understand. People get so self-absorbed your sister probably doesn't even realize she's being less than sensitive. Do what feels right. Maybe write her an email telling her your feelings are hurt, or just don't call her when the babe is born and let her hear it from others.

take care of yourself.

-Angela
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#3 of 15 Old 09-07-2005, 02:57 PM
 
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No, I don't think your being a pissy bitch. I think that sucks. Lately I have been having internal battles on whether I'm being selfish to expect certain things or what. I don't think I am and I definitely don't think you are. Being on bedrest must be so frustrating! So, I don't have any advice on how to handle the situation (sorry), but I can definitely understand how you feel.

Happily married, Waldorf-inspired homeschooler to Kylan (8yo), Everest (6yo), and Bodhi (2yo)
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#4 of 15 Old 09-07-2005, 03:21 PM
 
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Some people are just oblivious to anything but their own problems. It sucks when family obviously couldn't care less about you but feels entitled to invade your space when you have a baby. My family was the same way. No visits/support for years before I had my son, then several visits in the first two months, and then nothing again since. Whatever...I probably won't even tell them when I'm expecting our next child.
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#5 of 15 Old 09-07-2005, 03:34 PM
 
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Oooh, good questions! I have a lot to say on this one, but I'll keep it short because the cubs need my attention now for practicing piano. You are NOT being selfish to pay attention to your own needs and draw your boundaries. Please listen to what YOU feel and need, and keep your postpartum space as much of a sanctuary as you feel you need to! I definitely think very poorly of relatives who don't care a bean about us and then want to invade our space after baby comes. What do they hope to gain by this?

My own mother is a horrid person, and I made the mistake of letting her invade our postpartum sanctuary after our third was born---she was supposed to be there to "help"--but gads, it was a real mistake. I swear, it added a whole extra month to the healing process (post-emergency-c/s). It royally sucked. Not only did she not help much, she is a also a selfish jerk who expects to be waited on and doesn't even clear her own dishes from the table. Anyway, don't let people like that in! It will exhaust you to try to "serve" these people, because selfish people always expect to be served and never help out. Stick to your boundaries, hon, and do what is right for your family. Don't worry about stepping on a few toes. "NO" is a totally appropriate answer sometimes.
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#6 of 15 Old 09-07-2005, 03:39 PM
 
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ooops, I wanted to add, just because your one sister is visiting, does not mean your door is open to everyone and anyone! Just say "I'm sorry, but one visitor at a time is all we can handle at the moment. We'll call or e-mail as soon as we feel up to having more people here."

I also wanted to add HUGS TO YOU for having to endure bedrest, and I wish you a blessed and timely birth of your new cub. Your baby must be impatient to meet such a wonderful mommy face to face, and tried to make a break for it early! Good luck with everything. hugs hugs hugs!
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#7 of 15 Old 09-07-2005, 05:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, you all have already made me feel much better already. I wasn't sure if I was even thinking straight with the pregnancy and then the stress of the preterm labor stuff. I can't tell you what your support means to me, and how grateful I feel to know that I'm not being totally childish! I'm going to keep giving it more thought before deciding for certain how to handle the situation, but I feel much more at peace right now.

A happy woman
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#8 of 15 Old 09-07-2005, 05:57 PM
 
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I just wanted to throw something your way I learned a long time ago. Dont set yourself up for failure. Do you think that even if you email your other sis and tell her how insenitive she is being that she will notice or care or be nice. IF she will go for it, if not let it go. Its the best for you. Clear your head and your space for your new baby and your other two. I know how much this hurts from ecperience, my best friend of many many yrs and I quit talking ( she is like family to me) because she couldnt and wouldnt be supportive during my pregnancy. JUst remember this is about YOU and YOUR family. Dont let anyone take that away from you. Good Luck
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#9 of 15 Old 09-07-2005, 06:17 PM
 
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I think you've gotten great advice, but I couldn't help wanting to share my view on this.
I have had many friends/family members get pg and have children. Not having gone through this myself, I haven't always known what to do - what is appropriate, what is not? It's kind of like planning a wedding. Until you experience it, it's hard to really understand the etiquette. So perhaps it would be nice to actually ask for support (specifics). Only you know if this is the right move. But you might be surprised what people will do if you ask them, rather than just expecting that they should know what you need. (even if they should!) They may have good intentions, but not know how to follow through (or forget ). Everyone has their own life stuff going on. (That being said, I know I'd feel badly if everyone ignored me. . . and especially upset re: the other sister)

On the "who can visit" limits, my advice is to set them ahead of time. Be clear as to what you want, and tell people. It's your choice - don't be badgered into letting anyone visit who wants to. I felt really badly after my SIL's birth when I found out after the fact that she hadn't really wanted me to be there. (I was invited by MIL who said SIL said it was ok). It worked out in the end, 'cause she said that she was really glad to have me there (I guess I helped a lot more than she expected), but I really felt badly knowing that I had made her uncomfortable. :

So my point is, you can't really count on someone else having the same feelings of "appropriateness" as you do (my family is totally different than in-laws!), and it's your responsibility to make those feelings clear to those around you. But do NOT feel guilty about doing it!!!

Hugs to you and much love to your dc. Hang in there, mamma!
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#10 of 15 Old 09-07-2005, 08:09 PM
 
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I don't think you are being bitchy at all. I'd be upset, too.
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#11 of 15 Old 09-07-2005, 10:21 PM
 
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...but I'll add my 2 cents! And I have to say I agree with a writer above who suggests to chose who to let into your space/life! I love that we actually get to choose, unlike women in some unfortunate circumstances!

1. Decide on your boundaries and communicate them
2. Take responsibility for your feelings and communicate them to the people who matter. For example, it sounds like there is love between you & your currently flaky sister so if you share with her via phone or email how you feel ("I'm really hurt that you haven't called, I'm really feeling abandoned by you and thought I'd hear from you more. I'm so frustrated in being on bedrest and not hearing from you that it makes me feel like not even talking to you anymore, and that's not how I want things between us... etc.") and ask for what you want ("It would mean a lot to me to for you to call me often and check in on me"), you a)might get through to her and get the response you'd like or b)confirm that she's in a self-centered state and accept that and let it go. Be honest!
3. When communicating in touchy situations, first TELL the other party that you'd like to discuss something with them, then ASK if they are up for hearing what you have to say (if not then ask when), SHARE that you feel this is a sensitive issue and that it's important that you get to say what you feel without being interrupted and that you'd like to listen to what they have to say as well.

It's absolutely reasonable that you're feeling as hurt and abandoned as you are right now, and it's reasonable that the sister you helped a great deal be as giving to you as you were to her. She probably is simply clueless or hasn't reached a certain stage of maturity to be as considerate as you are. It might be she'd respond favorable to a nudge from you, or it might be she's just that way.
Either way, I never had much success with people reading my mind (and see countless relationships where people strangely hope others will read their minds) but have had success with communicating clearly. The HARDEST part is to not let my anger speak when I'm upset...but the greatest rewards have come when I remained firm in my conviction that I, not my emotions, are in charge of my actions and choose my words carefully. I have to stop and ask myself what is more important: that I vent at the person I'm frustrated with, or that a favorable outcome is achieved.

The BIGGEST message I want to give you is that I'm sending you a GREAT BIG HUG and support for your situation! Bedrest has got to be a great challenge, and you deserve to be treated like a princess while you grow your baby! I hope you resolve your conflicts and get to relax in the final weeks of baby-growing, that your birthing is a beautiful experience and that you're surrounded by loving family and friends.
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#12 of 15 Old 09-08-2005, 12:49 PM
 
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*hugs* don't put yourself out hun, if they really care about you, they won't make an issue of it. I'm just coming to terms with this myself. Maybe alot of it has to do with having baby #3? I've noticed this time around that noone really even mentions my pregnancy, except to ask a vague "how are you feeling" which i answer with an obligatory "oh, fine" i just don't want to get into how i REALLY feel, lol.

The hubby and kids and i are taking a road trip to the renaissance festival this weekend (6-hour drive), which happens to be within an hour of all my family. We're only visiting one grandma, who i adore, and who really cares about us The rest can bite me. They usually don't visit me at all when they're in town, and when they do, they just drop in without calling first. My mom's dad and step-mom did this once, and i just told them "this isn't a good time for us" and didn't let them in, lol. I don't feel bad about it at all any more. She just likes to poke around my house, so she can tell everyone how much better her daughter's is. I don't play those kinds of games lady, lol.

Anyway, that's my view on it at least :P
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#13 of 15 Old 09-08-2005, 01:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by operamommy
Just tell me if I'm being a pissy b*tch.

... My grandparents did call one time, which is pretty good for them.

My other sister has not called or e-mailed at all. ... I have other family members also who haven't offered support in any way - not a word.
...Also, am I a jerk if I just e-mail these unsupportive relatives a few days after baby comes instead of calling?

Thanks for listening.


I don't think you are. Good grief, you are very pregnant and on bedrest!. As pp posted, you should be treated by your family as a princess at this time.
Been reading After the Baby's Birth, and it's amazing how these "third world" cultures are so civilized in the way they care for post partum mommys.
If your sister has not called or emailed, then I would think it would be reasonable to just send her a birth announcement, when you do the batch mailing, if you send out birth announcements. Same with the other relatives.
If they get offended..."oh, we had not heard from you the whole pregnancy, and knew we would be so busy and needing help, but did not want to inconvenience you."

My bachelor brothers and I, who live on opposite coasts, and hardly ever talk except at get togethers and happy birthday phone calls.. even they have called right away and regularly since finding out. Sounds like you have every right to feel the way you do! : It's a good thing you have your other sister!
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#14 of 15 Old 09-10-2005, 06:34 PM
 
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I have some similarly selfish relatives. What works for me is ignoring them unless they contact me, and then being civil enough to maintain decent relations with them, while not going out of my way to be nice to them. When my baby comes they'll be allowed to come visit, but not right away, and I won't go out of my way to initiate contact with them or to do anything for them while they're here.

Some people, you just can't expect very much of.

I don't think you're being a bitch, but I do think you might be making this harder on yourself than it needs to be.

Mommy to eyesroll.gif (age 7) and mischievous.gif (age 3)

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#15 of 15 Old 09-11-2005, 08:10 AM
 
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just to argue the other side of the coin for a sec...

yes your sister is being insensitive and thoughtless... but it might not be on purpose. I had a similar issue with my younger sister when I thought she wasn't being very supportive. She finally told me that since she looked up to me and I always seemed able to take care of myself (everything always worked out for me), that she felt that I didn't need her support. Kind of a twisted taking for granted, kind of situation. Especially since you were strong enough to take care of her, she might not see you needing her help. In her head, what can she possibly offer you?

It might not hurt to email her and gently remind her what is going on and be honest about your feelings and how you would really appreciate her concern and support. It would mean a lot.. yada, yada...

However, that being said does not mean that you have to invite her to visit. I would call her or at least have someone call her (your other sister, perhaps?) I think it would be petty not to notify her.

There's my two cents...


PS- this applies only to your sister... I believe those bonds are worth maintaining even through the tears. However the rest of your stinky relatives can wait for the mail!!

ALSO- good luck. Everyone's jealous that of bedrest until you have to do it!!
Just remember- no more
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