Friday, October 10, 2008

Not Coherent

Who wrote that last entry? Must have been done in my sleep-deprived state. Or while I was still in that numb-controlled state I stay in when around Mom. The "paste a smiley face on" stage.

Last night I crashed about 9 pm. Little one let me sleep a decent stretch. Whew! I promptly woke up, wide awake to make sure he was still breathing. To have slept that long was odd. Then I realized that since he was screaming and crying, he was surely breathing. So there I was wide awake in the middle of the night.

I'm not having time to think much lately. Well I have time but not the brain power. I'm functioning on auto-pilot, going from one task to the next. But in the middle of the night, my thoughts tend to wander. Last night I was re-playing Mom's visit.

I found myself encouraging my daughter to do things, like hug Grandma, when she didn't want to. So I stopped. I could tell Mom was irritated. Mom kept wanting to give advice. And doing things that were annoying. For instance, she would come in while I was changing Baby's diaper. Sometimes I would need to change his entire outfit. While Baby doesn't have messy diapers, he's got great aim with the wet ones! I can change him pretty quickly now. He cries - most babies do. I talk and sing to him. But frankly, I want him to wake up. That's why I change his diaper before feeding him - so he'll eat good. Mom kept covering him up with a blanket so he'd not cry or be cold. He wasn't freezing. He was fine. I had to keep throwing the cover off so I could work around getting his diaper on and clothes on. It was like a comedy routine.

She also made comments about nursing - I mentioned going to a LLL meeting to get out and meet some other nursing moms. Also to get some support on figuring out how to use this sling-thing so I can get a free hand. Mom made a face and said, "well I would have thought that was more for first time moms."

Mom was also here when I got the bad phone call about work. She asked a ton of questions. It's a difficult situation to explain to someone outside the legal field and I wasn't in the mood to clarify. I didn't get any sympathy or "it will be okay" or anything. I did get a call from another partner who said his "sole purpose in calling was to tell me not to worry a bit. To enjoy the baby and not fret or get anxious." THAT is what I needed.

Mom is also not "into" older children. My Sister had told me about that. This is the first time I saw it. Mom wanted to hold the Baby - not as interested in playing with Daughter. So I took advantage of my free hands and played with Daughter. But she also wanted to play with Grandma. She's quite bossy sometimes - I let her stretch her boundaries when playing games. She thinks it is fun to play "mommy" or "teacher" and tell me (the daughter or student) what to do. I could tell Mom was annoyed.

Midway through the second day, I made a definite change and started parenting Daughter just as I would if no one were around. She was a bit hyper with a visitor. But she was also feeling her way around Grandma. She kept trying to do things with her that she does with her other Grammy (my MIL). I had to remember that she's not seen Grandma for an entire year almost. So Mom's expectation that Daughter will jump into her arms and hug her and let her brush her hair is just over the top. She was impressed at how smart Daughter is. That annoyed me too - I heard her saying the same things to Daughter that she said to me. I want Daughter to be smart and accomplished, but I don't want her entire value of herself to be wound up in her schoolwork and intellectual successes.

Last night I found myself recognizing all the feelings I had just trampled down while Mom was here. Irritation with her. Annoyed at her comments and facial expressions.
All in all it went okay. She emailed when she got home - raved about Baby and threw in a "of course I enjoyed playing with Daughter too."
I can't say I got anything out of Mom's visit - except childcare for 1 hour while I had to take Baby to doctor. But it didn't freak me out either. It is over for another year! And I'm not dwelling on it.


lawyerchik said...

Glad you survived! :) Here's hoping the work stuff will be handled just fine while you are away as well. Your priorities are you and your family right now - enjoy them!!

Lynn said...

Having it over for a whole year is a good thing!

Kahless said...

Your mother is similar to mine with those damn snide underhand comments.

But who cares about them.

You have a new addition to your family - yahoo!

Angel said...

At least she is predictable. Glad you survived. Good for you for not making daughter hug grandma if she didn't want to.

Tamara said...

Everything my mother did (when I was speaking to her) would rub me the wrong way. Too much history!!

Good for you that you could maintain and continue to parent your daughter the way you normally do. It is too bad that you mother only likes babies (mine is the same) but it seems your daughter was not upset by it.

Hope the work thing smoothes out soon. You really should be able to just enjoy your family right now.

Take care and I hope you can get enough rest for yourself.


Beautiful Dreamer said...

Just to have all that behind you for another year must be a huge relief. Sounds like you handled things well, and of course your mother isn't going to change this late in life. You made the best of it and seemed to get through it without any horrible reactions.

I hope all goes well with your work related issues.

Anonymous said...

Good reflections here. So glad you got that stretch of sleep.

Did you get the help with the sling? Amy didn't like riding in it lying down, but maybe I didn't have her well supported -- I've seen people recommend a few blankets under a newborn. But once she could control her head, I could carry her upright, and she still likes to ride that way or on my back, at almost two.

I have a hard time balancing my pride (and others' impressedness) in Amy's smarts and cuteness vs. wanting her to know we love her because she is herself, and not just because of her performance or appearance.

April_optimist said...

Big (((((hugs))))). You sound like a terrific mom! What a shame your mother can't appreciate that--or your daughter.