Before I get into the details, here’s a little background. I come from a seriously…and I mean seriously dysfunctional family (though I know we’re all a little dysfunctional -ha!). My parents divorced when I was 3 and spent my entire life putting me in the middle of their spats and thereby depriving me of many things because of their stubbornness and anger for each other.
My father is also bipolar, which can be quite a challenge to deal with. My mom remarried when I was 10 and got divorced again a couple of years ago. She’s since moved to within 20 minutes of me (and works a mile from our house), but I still never see her.
Most of my extended family lives quite a distance away and we’re just not the close-knit type.
My hubby’s family, on the other hand, is a very large, mostly local, very close knit Italian family. They have taken me in as one of their own and I’m eternally grateful to them for showing me what a family is all about.
A couple of months back when I first found out I was pregnant, my mom (without being asked) offered up the news that she will not be throwing me a baby shower because it’s “not appropriate for the grandmother to throw a shower.” It was so early, I didn’t pay much attention to the comment. Oh and P.S. this is the same woman who refused to throw me a bridal shower (my MIL did instead), didn’t come early or stay late or help with the shower in any way. She showed up as any other guest.
My MIL knows how my family is and is perfectly willing to throw me a shower, but doesn’t understand why my mom refuses to do anything for me. So this past weekend at our little gender reveal party, she put mom on the spot and asked what her plans were for doing a shower.
So I talk to my mom last night and she proceeds to complain about MIL’s comments stating that she can’t afford to throw a shower, it’s not her job (she says one of my “friends” should throw me a shower) and she’s highly offended at MIL’s questioning. My mom even went so far as to tell me that this practice of mothers throwing a shower is an Italian thing and no one else in the world does this – but according to her I’m so wrapped up in this “Italian” life that I wouldn’t know the difference (P.S. my dad is Italian and so am I)
So after a lot of back and forth with her, it appears no progress has been made. She’s mad and she apparently doesn’t have any desire to do anything for her daughter or grandson-to-be. Period.
Now, I don’t need anything fancy. I don’t need gifts. This shower is not even for me. It is in celebration of a brand new life that me and my husband are so overjoyed about. It has taken us so long to get here and we want to share every moment with our families.
I spent hours crying my eyes out last night. I know I should be used to this by now, but it never seems to get any easier. I guess I also expect that someday, my family will surprise me and act like they give a shit. But I’m only left alone, disappointed and hurt.
And feeling guilty too. I feel like I am forever burdening my in-laws.
Now I feel like I just don’t even want to invite my mom to a shower, should my MIL choose to throw one. Why should she be allowed to wander in, head held high as the proud grandma?
So something as simple as a baby shower that is supposed to be a happy occasion, has turned into something negative and a source of stress for me.
I can say that what I have learned through all of this is how NOT to treat my children. I guess, thanks for that, Mom.