Giving up?

Eric and I had another discussion this morning about my MIL. Honestly, I feel like a broken record, both with him, and with this topic on here. None of you probably want to hear about it anymore!

Ultimately we still haven’t come to any conclusions. If there even are any. I think for me, allowing Liz back into my life, into my holidays and special occasions, is a lot more than just having to tolerate her, see her, etc. Maybe I think too much of myself, but I truly believe I deserve to be treated better… She swore at me, threw furniture, kicked me out of her home… and has yet to acknowledge her behavior. I know, she’s Italian and was grieving the death of her husband, I get it. But all that aside, I still deserve better, in my opinion. I don’t let others treat me like she did…

Allowing Liz back into my life feels like destroying a bit of my own dignity and respect.

Does that make sense? I don’t really know how to put my feelings into words… Eric is adamant that he can’t change her, though he has tried, and that she will not change. So I’m left being told I MUST bend and change for her. Of course I could do that, I could put on the happy face for the baptism and every other holiday, pretend all is well. But what will that do to me over time?

Last straw

Today might be the last straw. I can not live here any more. Can not.

  • Lack of shit in every category – Yesterday at 4pm I was looking for something to do as I had a sitter until 5pm. I seriously couldn’t find a place to go or something to do with a free hour of time. I went to Fareway to pick up groceries we really didn’t need.
  • Lack of healthcare options – I’ve been trying to get in with a therapist for over three months now as the one I was seeing when we moved here moved to Cedar Rapids. Finally one texted me back yesterday, said she was too busy to take on new patients but recommended another. I called this morning, that one isn’t taking new patients either.
  • Lack of decent real estate – Don’t even get me started on how we’ve been searching for a house since before we moved here.
  • Lack of available daycare – A part of me hates that we have someone come to our home to watch the girls. It forces me to leave as Nora clings to me if I’m home which means I just end up taking care of her. And ridiculous that we have been on a daycare waitlist here since I was pregnant with Nora. That was over two years ago.

My list could go on and on… But you get the idea.

And to add to my stress, the girls still have tons of appointments in Iowa City. I was just there. Nora has one Friday. Nadia has one Monday, the drive is wearing me out. And now with Nadia starting speech and physical therapy… which they still haven’t called me about…

And… Eric and I are at an impasse regarding his mother. I scheduled the girl’s baptisms for mid-August. I am not inviting her. He says she must be invited as she is his mother. How do we move forward when our wishes are complete opposites? I refuse to have my daughter’s baptism uncomfortable because of her presence. I am not ready to see her. I don’t see how this can work when I do not wish to have a relationship with her and he wishes to include her in everything regardless of her behavior and lack of acknowledgment.

Christmas 2014 – My Side

I suppose it’s only fair that since I (sorta) ripped on Eric’s family regarding Christmas I also rip on mine.  I’ve actually been feeling a little guilty regarding his Christmas post.  I was harsh, and granted, all my feelings and experiences were real, but perhaps the entire internet didn’t need to know all the details.  But then what would be the point of this blog if I can’t be open and honest and real, which I always promised I’d be?  Maybe that’s the risk of having readers who know me in real life.  But I can’t change that now…

Going back to Eric’s side though…  There are so many raw feelings between his mother and me, feelings I fear could someday come between Eric and me.  Is it normal to feel a certain amount of hostility for one’s mother-in-law, or am I just freaking crazy?  For example, his mom called for him the other night.  I obviously couldn’t hear her side of the call, but there was lots of eye rolling on Eric’s part, so I can only imagine.  I did gather a few things from the call though:

  • Eric was instructed to call his grandparents, which seems to be a weekly direction from his mother.  This annoys me, but I’m not sure why.  Maybe because I feel like calling to see how someone is doing should be genuine and if it’s not, than what is the point.  Or maybe I feel guilty for not calling my own grandmother more, or ever really.  But if I did call her, it would be out of obligation, and thus, I don’t call.  We aren’t close, we were never close growing up.  I care about her, but just don’t feel a connection and thus don’t check in with her often.
  • Eric’s mother asks weekly what we will be naming the baby.  I hate this!  We’ve told the world everything else, can’t this one thing be our secret until she is born???  And frankly, we don’t actually have a name picked out yet, and I fear if we did Eric would tell his mother,  and that would really hurt me, almost like a betrayal, if that makes any sense.  I long for some things to be kept between Eric and I for now, but getting him to understand that need might be difficult.

Okay, rant about my mother-in-laws is now over…  Onto ranting about my own family!  This is truly more difficult though, for obvious reasons, they know me better, I’m used to their ways, and thus their ways seem normal and natural to me, even if they seem odd and crazy to the rest of the world, perhaps Eric included.

Christmas Eve is always spent with my mother’s side of the family, as she has five brothers and sisters and someone each year takes a turn at having the celebration at their home.  This year is was actually quite low-key, which I loved, as many cousins weren’t able to make it back into town.  The evening was rather uneventful really, we all ate, most bringing a dish to share, updated one another on the past year, etc.  I enjoyed seeing everyone, interesting to see how much changes each year.

The Christmas Eve celebration always takes place in my hometown, which is about two hours from where I live now, so for simplicity, Eric and I, and Kona too of course, usually stay at my sister’s house in our hometown, along with my mom and step-dad, so we can all wake on Christmas morning together and celebrate with just my immediate family.  So this brings me to the fact that normally I’ve been going to bed around 9pm each evening, but at 9pm Christmas Eve we were still at my aunt and uncle’s home for the celebration, not arriving back at my sister’s until around 10pm.  My sister, her husband, and their two children, an 8-year-old boy and 4-year-old girl, had gone to church and arrived back home shortly after us.  I assumed the adults might stay up, have a drink, rewarm some food, but I figured the kids, and me too, would go straight to bed.  Boy was I wrong!  At 1am I had to call it a night, but the kids were still running around like crazy little creatures on meth!  I think they finally went to bed around 2am, which is when the house was finally quiet and I was able to sleep.

Christmas Day was much the same story, children running wild, lots of food, everywhere, including chocolate fingers on couches, leaky sippy cups contaminating carpets, dogs (three) barking, and men drinking, basically a result of the earlier mentioned items.  I sat there at my sister’s, amid the mounds of torn wrapping paper, unnoticed yet opened gifts, and thought, my own children’s Christmas will be different.  And yes, I already know what you’re thinking…  That I’m not yet a parent, that it looks easier than it is, that children sometimes have their own ideas and nasty attitudes…  So I will take some experiences from Christmas and learn from them:

  • My children will eat only at the kitchen table, this includes beverages, although I may make some exceptions for sippy cups during special occasions, cuddle time with movies perhaps.  I have zero interest in cleaning food from my couches and carpets on a regular basis.
  • My children will have a strict bedtime, and I’ll do everything in my power to hold to it, even on vacations and holidays.  I think structure and a schedule is great for children,  and we all know they need a lot of sleep to avoid daytime melt-downs.
  • My children will not be spoiled.  Grandparents have already been told that Christmas gifts will be limited to one toy.  No exceptions.  I refuse to find space for millions of toys, nor do children appreciate gifts when an abundance are given.
  • My children will use the terms ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ as soon as they can say those words and understand their meaning.  Manners are huge to me.
  • My children will be taught respect.  Under no circumstances will swearing or talking back to adults be tolerated.
  • My children will be given a weekly chore list upon which an allowance will be determined.  The earlier they learn the value of a dollar and how to earn it, the better!

I have many more… but I’ll save those for another time.  I guess my point being though, is that I expect parenting to be hard, the hardest job I’ll ever have, even though at this point I have no clue just how difficult.  I’m up for the challenge though and look forward to shaping my children into respectful, mature adults.

Back to my Christmas though…  Aside from my niece and nephew running wild, the celebration was quite nice.  I enjoyed seeing my family, as while we don’t live that far from one another, we still don’t actually visit that often.  The food was tasty and I really can’t say anything bad about the gifts.  Again though, my family knows me, much better than Eric’s side, and thus the gifts are more useful and appropriate.

So another year has passed, a lot has changed, and I expect even more changes in the coming year…  I promised myself I’d make a few, realistic, resolutions, so I’ll think on those and post another day 🙂  Happy New Year!

Christmas 2014 – Eric’s Side

The holidays always tend to bring about much reminiscing…  Reflecting back on accomplishments, how life has changed, for better or worse, our dreams for the future…  But since you read my blog, you already know all that.  So instead, allow me to share my holiday ‘experience’.  Close family, don’t say I didn’t warn you… I promised this blog would also be 100% honest, so here goes!

Oh where to begin.  In chronological order I suppose.

Eric’s family almost always picks to celebrate the weekend before Christmas.  This bothers me for several reasons.  First though, in my efforts to be more positive, I’ll start there…  I do understand they pick days other than the 24th and 25th to celebrate as to accommodate other celebrations.  But for the love of God, why does my last available weekend to finish Christmas shopping always have to be spent in Fort Dodge??  I need those last two days for last minutes items!  Couldn’t we celebrate one of the weekends after Christmas??

And now, onto my complaining…

Just let me say it.  I don’t enjoy traveling to Fort Dodge for Christmas each year.  Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy seeing Eric with his family, as I know how much he misses them during the year, and the more I get to know my sister-in-law the more I enjoy her company and wish we had more time together, but the overall experience of the holidays with Eric’s side stresses me out none the less.  In no particular order:

  • To me, Fort Dodge is already the middle of nowhere, but his parent’s don’t even live in Fort Dodge, well, not by my estimate, as a gravel road is required travel to reach their home.
  • Because they live in the middle of nowhere, once we arrive, we’re stuck there, for days, eating, showering, watching TV, going to bed, and repeating.  There are very few days I don’t leave my own home, so to be encased in theirs for days is very odd to me.
  • Their toilets don’t flush properly.  No seriously, I swear to God you pee, use one square of toilet paper, and even that won’t flush.  WTF?
  • The one shower we all share is nothing more than a dribble of water.  I could probably spit a greater amount of liquid onto myself for cleaning purposes.
  • For whatever reason, Eric finds himself much more ‘at home’ at his parent’s house and thus proceeds to openly fart and burp for the entirety of our stay while his mother laughs.  Nothing about this is funny to me.
  • Once during our stay we are expected to travel (so I guess we do get out of our cages for a few hours) to Eric’s grandparent’s home to celebrate with an aunt, uncle, cousins, and their children.  That such gathering is even more uncomfortable…  Something about Eric’s mother pissing off the aunt years ago and thus they apparently dislike me by association, or so it feels.  And don’t even get me started on the food there.
  • The bed in Eric’s childhood room is so uncomfortable he won’t sleep on it, and thus sleeps out on the couch when we visit, leaving me alone to fend for myself.
  • This childhood room though is one of only about five rooms I’ve ever viewed in the house.  I wonder what is hidden away I can’t see…
  • The fake bird in the main bathroom is really starting to creep me out.  I don’t like being watched while I pee.
  • I feel like keeping silk flower arrangements in the fireplace is a bad idea…

Shall we move onto gifts?

  • Eric received underwear from his mother.  Again.  I have issues with this.  The man is 33 years old.  He is fully capably of purchasing his own boxers.  What bothers me even more than the fact that his mother buys him boxers each year though is the fact that he sees no issue with it.  In fact, he swears it’s different from if my dad bought me panties.  WHICH HE DOESN’T, CAUSE THAT WOULD BE WEIRD.
  • How many regular-sized, considering I’m pregnant, Columbia fleece jackets does one girl need?  Apparently multiple.
  • If you’re going to buy someone sheets, shouldn’t you ask what size bed they have?
  • Why even box a gift if you aren’t going to wrap it?

I really could go on and on, but for the sake of Eric’s mother ever reading this (God help me) I best stop here.  I’m retitling this to “Eric’s Side” as my own family Christmas will need a separate post all its own 😉  And don’t worry, my own family is just as crazy and weird as Eric’s, there is no discriminating here!