Jaime - posted on 11/02/2010 ( 23 moms have responded )
I am concerned about the relationship my mother is trying to have with me now that I'm about to have her granddaughter.
My mother never wanted me. She never wanted a kid, let alone a girl, and didn't know she was even pregnant with me until she was six months along. Up until that time she drank coffee and smoked, thinking she was just getting fat. My great grandparents made her go to the doctor while she was visiting for Thanksgiving, and that was when she found out. My original due date was February 12, but I wasn't born until April and the doctors thought I'd be brain-dead when I finally was. My mother was sick with what my great grandma thinks may have been an STD, which made me sick and so after I was born I was stuck in the hospital for twelve days. My mother was a signature away from giving me up for adoption, but my great grandma stopped her. She stayed with my great grandparents for a little while after I was born, but because I was allergic to the formula she was feeding me I cried after every bottle. She had very little patience and screamed at me for crying, my great grandma said, and eventually threw me at her saying she didn't want me and that my great grandma should take me. From then on I stayed with my great grandma while my mother moved out and started dating again.
My great grandma believes my mother broke my arm at some point. I did break it, because we still have the cast, but I was too young to remember and my mother claimed I had rolled off the bed while she had gone to the bathroom. The first Easter I remember, we were at my mother's friend's place, and my mother dragged me outside by my hair when I said I didn't want to hunt for Easter eggs. I told my great grandma as soon as I got home and she still remembers that, as well as a few other episodes in which she had to come get me from my mother's friend's place because I had called her when my mother got mad at me. My mother claimed I had tripped and all she had to grab was my hair or else I would have busted my head on the coffee table, which may explain the first part but not the being dragged outside. I distinctly remember being pulled backwards out of her friend's living room onto the back porch, so...yeah.
She didn't move back in with us until her five-year marriage with my little brother's abusive sperm donor ended, and when she did she seemed jealous of my relationship with my great grandparents, who treated me like their late-life child. She and her mother always talked about how spoiled and ungrateful I was, and were verbally abusive toward me. Of course, my mother was verbally abusive toward my brother too, but she was always comparing us and always brought my faults to light if her son ever did anything bad. It was very obvious that she favored him over me.
She also hated all of my boyfriends unless they paid her special attention or weren't much to look at anyway. The only one I had who didn't pay her attention and was IMO highly attractive was my husband, and she hated him from the time we started dating until we got married. She did everything to turn my great grandma against him as well, and so our relationship has been pretty stressed from the very beginning.
But now that we're married and have a baby due in January, everything's wonderful. She acts like she's proud of me, and like she raised me and was there my entire childhood. I mentioned to my family that I planned to breastfeed my daughter for at least the first two months, maybe longer if my husband and I could afford it, and my mother immediately said that was how long she breastfed me. She didn't see me for twelve days after I was born, in which time she was given pills to dry herself up (my great grandma told me this long ago, when I was still little). She couldn't have breastfed me. Everyone was hoping I would have a quiet and happy baby, and she said that I was too after I was put on soy milk by my great grandma, which stopped my crying. I don't even know that she was around that long. She's been all gung-ho about me having a baby and about my relationship with my husband, even though she claimed she hated him before we got married and she's never liked kids. She tells me things that I know aren't true, and it's as though she either thinks I'm stupid or that these lies are real.
Last week she used my great grandma's money to buy a car seat. Not for my husband's car, but for hers. Black and gray, very boyish, $45. She said she'd buy one for ours later, when she had the money for it, even though my daughter is coming home in my husband's car, not hers (it's not even her car anyway, it's my great grandma's). My grandmother bought a jungle-themed 3-piece crib bedding set in the same trip, $60 or more. I had mentioned before we found out it was a girl that I wanted a jungle-themed nursery, and that was why she got it. However, a couple days later, I found a 4-piece set with pink ladybugs on it for the same price and mentioned it. My great grandma suggested we just trade them, and my grandmother was fine with that idea, but my mother became livid. I hadn't even told her what I'd thought about the car seat, or about how upset I was that she had bought it for her own car instead of ours. After my mother finally cooled down about the bedding set, she said that my husband and I had been "nitpicking" the entire time about what we wanted for the baby since we'd said we were pregnant, when all we did was stress that if they HAD to buy anything, they should buy the crib and the car seat, because it made no sense to have a bunch of baby clothes and bedding when there was no way to get the baby home and nowhere for her to sleep. We also said that if they wanted to make it easy on everyone, they should just give us gift cards or money, and we would buy what we needed as we needed it.
I don't know where she's coming from on some of this. I don't want to put my Juliana through the crap she's put me through. I'm worried that she'll be babysitting Julie one day and Julie will cry and she'll blow up on her like she did me, and what if this time my great grandma isn't there to stop her from hurting my baby? I can't imagine finding out that my daughter's arm got broken while she was visiting her grandma, and how would I ever tell her about that when she got older? How would she react? Would she become as stressed out as I have been my entire life because her grandma treated her like that?
And what if I turn out to be like my mother? What if I blow up on my Julie because I can't find out why she's crying? What if I hurt her somehow like my mother did me? I don't know that I could live with myself if I did that. I know that my feelings for my daughter are much different from my mother's feelings for me, but I have just as bad a temper. I can fly off the handle at anything, too. I've been much better during my pregnancy but before that I was very easy to piss off, and what if I go back to being that way after I have Julie? My husband thinks I have much more patience than I used to, and that my daughter will teach me even more, but I'm so scared that I'll revert back to being like I was, or will become worse and more like my mother.
So I guess I'm asking for advice on how I should handle the situation with my mother and managing her future relationship with her grandchild, and I guess reassurance that maybe I won't be like her with my daughter...
Also if anyone knows of any therapy groups in eastern Arkansas I would be very grateful for information on them...