Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Why I'm Letting Mom Come

Commenters have reminded me that I don't have to let Mom visit and that I'm in control of the terms and conditions. That's true. So, why am I letting her visit?

My mom is different now as compared to last pregnancy. Last pregnancy was when I cut off contact with Toilet. She and I stayed close - adjusted just like our family always does - ignore it and pretend there is no elephant in the room. Her comment to my announcement was "he's very hurt and upset but he'll honor your request. He just doesn't understand why you'd do it now when you've been close all these years." Blech.

This pregnancy is different. She's not been supportive during the pregnancy - not visited at all and has not seen me pregnant. She was calling every 3 weeks or so and not emailing. In the past few weeks, she's been different again. Now she's giddy on the phone. She calls every 2-3 days. She's more like the mom I remember - more motherly. I want to experience that again - even though I know that it won't last. And that it will hurt when it fades again.

As much as I know intellectually she will never change, there is some small part of me that hopes that a new, beautiful grandbaby can make her see what she is missing out on by staying with Toilet. Another part of me looks at him and wonders how on earth she, as a mother, can ever choose someone who hurts her children over her child.

I feel like I have to let her come. I am just not up to dealing with the ramifications of her not coming. The phone calls and emails and the guilt I know I'd feel. So in some ways, letting her come is a cop-out.

I did stay strong on having her come this week instead of last - but I'm regretting it now. Because there is a breastfeeding support group that day and an infant massage class I wanted to take. And Baby's 2 week appt is that morning. He'll get a shot and I hope he isn't fussy.

I'm having second thoughts about letting Daughter sleep in her room with Grandma. Our thought was for Mom to sleep in there and Daughter on the floor in her blow up mattress. I think we may just give mom the couch instead. Or move Daughter in our room and deal with her being woken up when Baby wakes up.

We'll have the smoking issues too. Unlike MIL and Sister who take advantage of Baby/Daughter being quiet and occupied to talk to me, encourage me to go nap, etc - Mom runs for the outside to smoke. Then it's a battle to get her to wash her hands. Luckily Daughter has become rigid in having people wash hands and use sanitizer. She'll chase you with the sanitizer bottle !! (love that girl!) And then the smell. Daughter asks her "Why do you smell funny?" It's choking. Two packs a day will do that.

This morning Daughter asked about Grandma and I said that Grandma was coming tomorrow. Again, the questions about her "husband" and if he was coming. We said No. She asked, "why" and I said "he's not nice." And she asked, "he's a bad guy, right?" Then she asked about Mom taking her somewhere to see him. I get the impression that our conversations about Toilet and about strangers have gotten intertwined and she's thinking on them and maybe having nightmares. Bastard - better not be in my daughter's dreams. I'll have to reconsider my vow not to kill him. In any event, we reminded Daughter that she'd never be alone with Grandma or go anywhere with her.

I just KNOW this is going to come up with my Mom. Can I blame my response on post-pregnancy hormones. I have no idea how to react except not to apologize at all. I keep telling myself - stay strong!


Tamara said...


Believe me I know how hard it is to tell your mom not to visit or to stay strong about your boundaries. You have every right to protect yourself and your family from anything that you feel would not be in their best interest. It is easier for me because I don't have kids. I have watched my brother and sister struggle with their kids asking questions about Gram and Gramps. It is a sad situation because the sweet innocence of small children is something you don't want to tarnish with harsh facts of child abuse.

I wish I had more to offer but I am sending you lots of strength and hugs to get you through the visit.


Lynn said...

Enola, it seems to me that you are just doing whatever it is you feel you need to do to best handle the situation. As long as you remember that you are allowed to be the one making the rules, then you're probably okay. It's so hard explaining to children, isn't it? I think you're doing so well with that! What a hard thing. Hang in there.

Anonymous said...

Tough situation. Maybe the motherlyness is real to your mom when she feels it, even though it is so inconsistent.

Lord, be with Enola and her family during this visit -- to protect and provide, to bless.

dm said...

My prayer for you is that you will not be intimidated. Period.

lawyerchik said...

What DM said.

Also, what you have decided may turn out to be OK. It may not lead to any reconciliation or anything getting "fixed" or her leaving her husband, but it may just be what you need at this time.

Her visit may also give you the encouragement you need that you made the right decision in cutting off contact with Toilet, and about how you are protecting yourself and your children.

beauty said...

You're being what you mother never was to you: a good, strong, protective mother.

I don't think it's horrible or weak of you to allow your mother's visit. Sounds as if you have thought ahead of time how to deal with certain issues, and that's half the battle, it seems.

Here's hoping and praying the visit isn't a huge source of stress to everyone in your home.

(I don't think that you're wimping out by allowing the visit. You seem to have a need and longing right now for some mothering, and no one in the world could blame you for that.)

Angel said...

You have to do what is right for you. If you would rather let her visit than not, then it is right for you. For me it was revolutionary to realize that I did not HAVE to do anything, that I could choose to not have someone visit. It was empowering. So if my mother visits, it is at my option. That makes me feel better about it.