Monday, February 12, 2007

Confrontation with Mom

So I write about how my parents were not exactly excited when I told them the baby news. Two months have gone by and I still couldn't shake the feeling that my mom was just not happy about it. We talk almost every day (we've always been really close- which is what made this whole thing so strange and upsetting) and yet we rarely talked about my pregnancy or the baby. It got to the point where I didn't even feel comfortable bringing it up. I couldn't figure out why I felt I'd let her down in some way- like I was 16, pregnant, and still in high school. I initially blamed her reluctance to be excited on the shock and then on fear of miscarriage (she miscarried her first at 14 weeks- and she had the exact same due date I have), but those excuses had expired. I felt like one of the biggest points of contention was my desire to work after having the baby- she stayed home for 10 years with the 3 of us, and I worried she was unhappy with my failure to do the same. All of these issues and hurt feelings had been building up and I finally decided to deal with it.

So... I emailed her. The easy way out I know, but my sister was visiting and I didn't want to call while my mom with with her and I knew I'd cry the minute she answered the phone. I wrote about the impression I'd been getting from her and how confused I was about it- I described, again, JP and my reasons for starting our family now and wrote about how even if it was a complete accident, its a happy one and I really wanted to be able to share it with her. I hit "send" and was immediately plagued by worries that this was all in my head and really wished I could take it back.

She responded about an hour later with a subject of "I'm sorry..." and of course, I burst into tears. A portion of the email:

"I will try to explain my jumble of feelings as honestly as I can. I have prayed and prayed about this - I know the minute I see that baby, every concern and worry I have will disappear - but as the mother of the mother, I think I am in a unique position because the only person I can think about right now is you. I totally respect your right to decide when it's best for you and [JP] to start your family - and I totally support your decision to be a working mom . . . I just so wanted you to have that choice to make after the baby is born - I guess because I was so thankful I had the choice."

It goes on and it made me cry (I starting crying in the green lounge while re-reading it), smile, and feel enormously relieved. I called her and we had such a great talk about her experiences with pregnancy and labor and I got to ask all the questions I haven't been able to ask. It felt so good to know that she really wanted to be involved and part of why she thought we'd wait was her desire for me to be living closer when it all happened (and here I had the impression she wanted no part of it). She told me she couldn't wait to be here when the baby is born in August.

This was my first ever "confrontation" with my mom- we sailed right through the teenage years, college, etc. I'm so glad I told her how she was making me feel and that she was honest and upfront about her concerns. Its all a huge relief and I took off the rest of the night from law work in celebration.

I also wanted to add, in response to Magic Cookie's post about how baby book's describe the first few few months after the baby is born as some sort of hell that must be endured, that my mom agreed with Citation's comment on how those were some of her favorite memories:

"Don't worry about those first three months. Despite what the books say - I found them to be a magical time. You spend most of your time just looking at your baby in wonderment at the gift you've been blessed with. :)"

I'm so glad I feel like I have her back!


  1. That was such a great post. I'm glad things worked out with your mom.