Thursday, May 13, 2010

The saga of my of many.

Okay, so I've been trying to write a post about my mother for days now.  I have tried this at my husbands suggestion.  He seems to think that it will be cleansing for me.  I think that it's blocking my creative writing.

I can't come up with the right thing to say.  I mean, I don't think that I can accurately sum up the whole thing in one tiny blog post.  And I don't have much emotion about the subject as a whole.

This is almost like a dead subject to me.  No pun intended.  That means that my mother is dying of cancer (three different kinds at this point) and really is on borrowed time.

Before you start to feel sad for me, please don't.  If I had any LESS of a relationship with my mother, it would totally be non-existent.

I'm not saying that our relationship has always been this bad.  It hasn't.  There have actually been times in my life that it has been okay....all of which only existed AFTER I moved out.  So since I have been living with Jon for the last 12ish years, I would say that maybe 6 of those would include having a somewhat non-hateful relationship with my mom.

Hey, you don't always win the lottery in the parent pool.  I didn't win.  I spent a lot of my time being angry about it.  I spent even more time wishing for a mom that I was never going to have.  So I got over being angry.  She is the way she is, and she has been for 66 years, she's not going to change now, so I (and in turn my husband) deal with what we have to the best of our abilities.

Our relationship took it's last turn after Munchkin was born.  You would think that having a grandchild would do wonders to boost someone's mood and well-being.  Apparently not.  They (my parents) wanted us to bring Munchkin over to their house.  We didn't want to do that because, no lie, they are hoarders.  As bad as you see on TV.  Actually, I have pictures that were taken in early November of's MUCH worse now.  This is why I refused to take my daughter to their house.

 Dining room looking through to the rest of the ground level.
 Completely blocked front doorway/entry.

 The bedroom.

I told them if they wanted her to come over, they had to clean up, and they didn't.  So we told them that they were more than welcome to come to our house ANY TIME.  We even gave them an open and standing invitation to come over for brunch on Sunday mornings.  They did not take advantage of this.  Then approaching Munchkin's first birthday, I was getting word that my mother was talking about us (pretty much me specifically) behind my back.  She was telling people that I wouldn't let them see their granddaughter....among other not-so-nice things (all of which was totally not true).  And it was coming from people that didn't have any other agenda than telling me the truth.  This was not the first time in my life that she was running her mouth, but this WAS the first time that I stood up for myself.   I told her that I didn't appreciate it, and it wasn't acceptable behavior.  We didn't hear from them for about 6 months....AT ALL.  Yeah.  I know.

I finally saw them for the first time when I was about 6 months pregnant with the Little Man.  It sort-of got the relationship ball rolling again, but things have been very strained since then.

The day I had Little Man, they insisted coming to the hospital and sitting all day.  They were there for the Munchkin, and much by accident my mom ended up being in the room for the delivery, which is NOT what I wanted, but my daughter decided to make her arrival VERY quickly.  So everyone that was there, got to witness me give birth.  So, I guess she felt entitled to see Little Man make his entrance.  I told the nursing staff to keep her out (which they did) and my mother turned the birth of MY son into something about her.  She raised hell and literally berated the nursing staff, my husband (by a nasty voicemail message from my father), and my two of my best friends (who I wanted to be there).  My husband shot out of that room as soon as we heard what was going on.  I don't know what was said, but apparently she apologized to everyone.....EXCEPT FOR ME!  My dad came in and tried to make excuses...I told him that this wasn't about her, and bad behavior of ANY kind wasn't acceptable, and they could leave if the attitude didn't change.  Yeah, still haven't gotten an apology for that one (and I won't....ever).

So this brings me to now.  Which, by the way, they maybe see the kids once a's actually less often than that I think.  

On Mother's THIRD ONE that I have NOT been able to do what I have wanted (okay, yes, I know this is selfish, but really, all I ever have wanted to do is spend a nice day with my husband and my kids....and nobody else!), we had my family over for dinner (my parents, my brother, sister-in-law, and their kids).  I decided that we would have them for dinner because it really will be my mom's last Mother's Day, and my brother HATES having functions at his house.  Yes, he's weird, and yes, it's annoying.  He threw such a fit about actually doing something last year, I just thought it would be a nice gesture to have it at our house.

Long story short....we (meaning Jon and I) were basically ignored in our own house (yes, by pretty much everyone, but they always pay attention to the kids).  There was complaining that the kids didn't want to play with them (mainly by my parents)....hello, they barely know who you are!....there were snarky comments made to my 18 year old niece (by my mother) who is just shy of 5 months pregnant....and then the subject of Baby #3's impending birth came up.


My dad said, "keep us apprised of the situation, we want to be there".  Yes.  This is actually what he said.  He's just full of weird and awkward sayings.  I said, "we are asking that no one come to the hospital until the day after the birth".  

My parents looked at me like I was nuts.

Once second my mom said, "well, that will be nice to be able to bring him into the world as a couple"......and then she said, "well, your friend can just be there and take over like she did the last time!".  I looked straight at her and said, "No one will be there.  No one."  She actually rolled her eyes at me.

Yes, my best friend will be there...I don't really care if my parents find out or not, but they don't need to know that at this point.

And THAT made me regret the decision to try and be nice about it.  I should have just told them with the way that they behaved when Little Man was born, got them an automatic un-invite to the hospital.  Stupid me for not wanting to be mean about it.

Guess what?  I haven't heard from them since.  I don't think we'll hear from or see them until Newbie is born (if I decide to call).  Yes.  Mean, I know, but at this point, really?  You get what you give.  I want to protect my children from insanity like that too much to let my parents behave like that around us.

So that was my Mother's Day.  I'm glad that I will never have to host another one like that ever again.  Yes.  Sad to hear, I know.  I'm okay with it.  I've accepted the fact that my mom will not be here....and it will be soon that she will pass, I'm sure.  I've already grieved though.  A LONG time ago.  I have grieved the relationship that was never had.  I have grieved the mom that I wanted that I didn't get.  

I'm good.  

What I CAN do is be the best mom to MY kids that I can be.  I can give them what I always wanted and never got.  I have the will to be a better person for my kids and give them a better life than I had.  

These are the only pictures that I have (and possibly even exist) of my mother and I, which were taken at the point our relationship was at it's best.
My wedding day.  December 15, 2003

December 2005

One of the MANY pictures I already have a me and my babies!!!!

So I guess this is the way the story of my mother is going to be.  Spotty and not told in one sitting.  I can't just sit and tell the story from beginning to end because it's just too messy.  The best I can do is explain it as it comes up.  I suppose at some point there will be a whole story here, it just may take awhile.


  1. Sorry, Beth, I didn't know your relationship with your mother was so estranged.
    I knew the house was a bit crazy because of what my mom has told me - which is why they have your parents over for dinner every week. Most of why I moved away to Wisconsin was to escape my family - so I partly know where you are coming from. I managed to get away happily, bot now I have someone else's family filling in where my family left off.

    Hope you are well! Not long now until baby #3

  2. Tina,

    It's really okay. I know that she wouldn't make it seem that way (they never do).
    I think it's great that my parents have your mom and Chuck to hang out with (at least they like someone, right?).
    Getting away from family would be nice, but we don't really have the option. And honestly, it doesn't seem to matter too much anyway..they all pretty much keep to themselves (even though they all live within a 10 mile radius of us).
    So, it's all good!
    I'm looking forward to seeing you when you come back to Ohio for a visit!


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