So it happened. I finally said to my mom: "Why is it that my friends realize how difficult it is for me to be one parent and two kids and somehow my own family does not?!?"
Yup. I said that. To my mom.
And it's not entirely fair, my family DOES help -- but each time I ask them it's like a huge deal... "Welll.... let me see.... we might be doing this... we might be doing that..." And I know it's partly sour grapes. Like when they say "We were going to see a movie that night." My thoughts are: "you can see a movie any fucking night. I get opportunities to go out every once in a while. I cannot just go out any night." Or they'll say: "I'm tired." So, take a nap. You can take a nap any time you want! Any time!
I know. Doesn't sound very healthy to me, either (my responses). And I'm sure the best way to be (for me) is somewhere in the middle. Not feel SO hostile towards them, but not let them shirk their extended family responsibilities, either. I'm working on it.
But still, my parents and sister live nearby and never take the kids over night, never just come over during the week, or offer. I guess that's it. They never offer. I always have to ask.... and that's what sucks.
And I'm thinking about the single parents who DON'T have X's to take the kids every other weekend, and I want to erect a huge statue in your honor... because I have absolutely no idea how you do it.
I went on to my mom: "All the decisions: Me. All their anxieties: Me. When they don't feel well: Me. Homework: Me. Doctors: Me.," And my mom said something that might very well be true: "But you don't tell us." And I don't. They call up: 'How was the first day of school for the kids." And I say "Nathan cried." But I don't say all the filler... how it was difficult, how they don't want to go the next day, how I spend the whole night convincing them to go the next day, how it's so draining..... I don't.
BUT - I DID say to my mom... I did tell her that sometimes all I want is for her to listen. To empathize. Not to offer advice, or what often seems to me as criticism. (Like as we were standing there she looks over at Nathan's meds. "Did you give him his meds this morning?" "YES I GAVE HIM HIS MEDS! I"M HIS MOTHER!" Stuff like that.)
So, the vibe here (since I'm out at their place on Long Island for the Jewish New Year....) is now a bit tense. I wanted to go home yesterday but the kids didn't want to leave. Saying things like "but we have a yard here" which also made me feel really, really good...
And, what initiated all this was that tonight I am going out w/J and his family for his nieces birthday. So I wanted to leave the kids here. In this house. With my parents and sister (three adults, that's right!) and well... they didn't say yes right away. (Ok, in the interest of full disclosure my mom's arm has been hurting - we think pinched nerve.) But they did. Ultimately. But it's still tense.
We'll see how the rest of it goes. I'll keep you posted. Just keep checking in on this blog channel. Ha! Also, have to post on the big meeting - J's family and mine! They came here first night Rosh Hashana! So I know that will keep you coming back for more!
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