Change / Stress activates family systems.
Wash, rinse, repeat; I’ve been a family therapist for how long now? Why does this surprise me when it comes to my own family?
I had thought I was going to write a post on the crazy ass things that happened in the family when Baby Squeaks was born, but for reals, yo. Ain’t nobody got time for that (and I’m not sure I want to waste emotional energy re-hashing it at this point.)
Fast forward to right now, when I have snapped, yet again! (adulting is difficult!), at my MIL. And really, snapping for me entails using a stern voice and walking away. As in, when my MIL was pushing for the 15th KAJILLION time for us to not pay for full time childcare for Baby because she wants to provide parttime childcare, I stood up, firmly said, “We need to pay for full time care” and walked out of the room. Now. I don’t want to get into it on here about why this is a necessity, but suffice it to say the daycare we’ve chosen has a part time or a full time option. If you’re part time, you’re up a shit creek without a paddle if you need more.
Like, if my MIL gets a cold or the flu? Or has a doctor’s appt out of town? (These things happen with consistency.) I’d have no options but to stay home, and although I’d FREAKING LOVE TO, I’m on a healthcare student loan forgiveness program and they dictate how much PTO I get in the next two years (Hint: it’s paltry.)
She can watch Baby a few afternoons a week. I don’t have an issue with that (well … I’m choosing my battles). I DO have an issue with being argued with about everything over the course of the past year:
- WHY are you trying IUI again? Why won’t you just go to IVF?
- WHY did you hire a midwife and a doula and not an OB / GYN?
- WHY are you going to give birth vaginally and not just schedule a c section??
- WHY are you still working? You look exhausted. Your health is at risk!
- WHY aren’t you asking the right questions to her pediatrician (this was when we were in the hospital.) You’re not doing the best thing for her! You’re putting her health at risk!
- WHY are you paying for full time childcare?
One might look at these and think, “Oh sweet, she’s just concerned.” Chuckle. I, too, once attempted to give her the benefit of the doubt. Until Hubs, for the millionth time, said, “You keep approaching this like she’s a good person who sometimes does bad things. Stop. She’s a BAD PERSON.” I’m not sure she’s a bad person, but I just feel so done being walked on. Continually. Consistently. I’m going to lose my damned mind.
So I stand up and use a firm voice. Which, although harmless enough (and by many measures is setting an emotional boundary), is apparently enough to start the martyr rambling to other family members. (Sorry, guys, but y’all don’t live here and therefore don’t take the brunt of her frustration.)
Hubs is taking her tonight to get the snow tires taken off her car. “It’s an ambush,” he said. “She’s going to pounce on me about you and childcare.” Mmm. Probably. So, grateful that he gets it and will advocate for me. SO GRATEFUL.
In non related MIL news, my kid, whom I’d always said would never sleep in her carseat, is TOTALLY SLEEPING IN HER CARSEAT because if I take her out, all hell is going to break loose.
Parenting. Verb. An exercise in eating crow for the rest of your life.
How can something so little, loveable, squishable, precious and heart melting also produce so much second guessing, guilt, and “Hey man, whatever works”??