Hi Aunt Becky!
My husband and I have found out that we are expecting a baby in October after 2 years of trying… I have had my first appointment with my Dr. and my husband and I are super excited! We are getting LOTS of advice and opinions that we haven’t asked for though. We have decided that we are going with a doctor instead of a mid-wife, are not going to baptize the baby, and have made other decisions that my in-laws and family aren’t comfortable with.
His family is into all-natural shit (to the point of not even listening to doctors which is where the advice comes is.. “oh your Dr. said that? No, you should do this instead!!”) and is super religious and mine is just religious and thinks that you are going to Hell if you aren’t baptized… How can we tell them to, you know, leave us the fuck alone to raise our child the way we want to??
Excited To Be A Mommy!
Well, first things first, Prankster +1, and let me say, CONGRATS! I’m so excited to hear that you’re having a baby, especially since it’s not mine. Because HELLO AWKWARD. Can’t wait to hear more about my new niece or nephew come October.
So, you’re running into the same thing all of us parents do: The Unwanted Advice-Givers. From “that baby needs to be wearing shoes!!!” to “your baby is going to HELL!!!!” you know you’re a parent when people start telling you your business.
Let me offer you a sympathetic cup of (decaf) tea and all of my deepest condolences for this introduction to parenting because it’s not going to stop. Ever. It’s as much a part of parenting as wiping butts and hemorrhoids.
My advice is this: you cannot control what other people will tell you about your children. You CAN control how you react to it. ALL new parents are FURIOUS by the unwanted advice. Rightly so, I should add.
By the second or third kid, you simply stop hearing it.
Why? Because it’s not fucking worth it to your sanity.
I’m pretty sure my mother thinks I’m a shitty mom. My mother-in-law does too. Frankly, they can both eat a hot bowl of dicks for all I give a fuck.
But I used to be outraged by it.
So my advice is to simply smile, nod, and turn the other cheek. Opinions are like assholes (presumably because everyone’s got one) and this is YOUR kid, not theirs. You can kindly tell them to shove their opinion up their puckered pooper with your words, or you can just ignore them. Or some combination of both.
But you are going to have to get used to it. And I’m sorry, because it IS annoying as hell.
Good luck, Prankster +1.
I’m in a curious doubt here. I’m the mother of a wonderful 3 years-old girl. I’ve never wanted a lot of kids. I did not enjoy being pregnant.
On the other side, all my girlfriends are having their second babies, and they look sooo cute. And I’m 33.
The question is: I went to my doctor, and asked to change my birth control method (from condoms to pills). Then I decided (by myself) to come back to using a diaphragm.
Am I trying to get pregnant or am I scared of getting pregnant? I REALLY can’t figure that one out… Pleeeease help me!
Well, Prankster, I’m not much of tie-breaker here, but what it SOUNDS like to me is that you feel like you SHOULD want a second baby because that’s what everyone else is doing. Which makes sense. Babies are squishy and cute and stuff. Baby envy is common.
But I’d take a long hard look at your motivation before you go throwing condoms out of the window just because. Trust me when I say that two is a FUCK of a lot more than one. For serious. And there’s not a damn thing wrong with a singleton. I promise.
It seems I’ve come across a situation that even my vast problem-solving skills can’t solve. All the pro-con lists haven’t helped. I’ve asked therapists, I’ve asked my family and most of my friends and now I’m coming to you, ’cause Becky…I’m lost.
I’m a single mother of a beautiful 21 month old daughter. Her father and I split up about a year ago and though our relationship is still friendly, I don’t know what to do about a very glaring and disconcerting fact: he’s an alcoholic.
He pops in and out of our lives with no patterns or modicum of reliability. He can’t keep a job, he can’t finish school; he’s 22 years old and already falling apart. He’s not allowed to be alone with our child, but I just don’t know whether to cut him out of her life entirely.
I really don’t want her first memories to be of her drunk of a father, but I don’t want to give up on him either. I juggle being a young mom of a young child and finishing my senior year of nursing school. I have enough on my plate and I don’t want to have to be dealing with this drama as well. I just don’t know how to deal with him; no answer feels right. My daughter is my world and I love her more than anything so I need to make sure I’m doing the right thing for her. Whatever that is.
–Amber (Who is not witty)
Oh Amber, my heart hurts. My heart just hurts for you. I’m so sorry.
As the daughter of two alcoholics, the baby momma of a semi-unreliable daddy and the wife of a workaholic, I will try my best to answer this. I will also ask my Pranksters to answer this. I know that a lot of them have experience with this, too, and honestly, there is no “right” answer. It’s a shitty situation. Being an adult sucks sometimes.
I don’t think that your daughter’s father is in any place to be a responsible parent right now, and I don’t know that being around him will do your daughter any good. Now that I’m finally dealing with all of the bullshit that I was taught by my parents–when they weren’t “teaching” me anything–I see just how much they destroyed of my childhood.
I can’t get that back. I’ve spent many years forgiving them so that I don’t carry the anger around like a noose around my neck, but that doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t give both of my legs to get a redo on my childhood. I don’t want that baggage, I don’t want these scars, and I don’t think that I could counsel someone to willingly allow that sort of negativity around their child; parent or no.
Kids need consistency, they need normalcy, and they need routine, especially as they get older. You can throw a toddler into an unfamiliar situation and they’ll adapt, but the older a child gets, the harder it is, and the worse it will be for them when the situation unravels.
I don’t think that you have to give up on him as a person, and trust me, I know how awful it is to watch someone swirl the tubes, but you can’t let him drag you and your daughter down. You can’t change an alcoholic. Period.
Before my father was in recovery, our relationship was incredibly volatile. He’d badger me, belittle me, and eventually, I’d leave in tears. I was 26 years old (I am 29 now). As a child, he was the only one who cared about me. As an adult, he seemed to hate me.
I was about to cut him out of my life (before he went into recovery), and the lives of my children, because I could not, as their mother, allow my children to see their grandfather to treat me like an asshole. What was I teaching them by doing that?
This is precisely what I told Daver about the workaholism.
I cannot, in good conscience, teach my children by proxy, lessons that I don’t want them to learn when they are small. There are plenty of times for them to be hurt, disappointed, and left crying. This is not the time for it.
I think that perhaps you need to think about it from that perspective.
And Amber, I do wish you the best. You deserve it. I’m sorry things are so hard right now and I hope that it gets better for you soon. There’s a big fat “EMAIL AUNT BECKY” button on my sidebar. You can use it any time.
Pranksters, as always, please fill in where I left off in the comments.
Aunt Becky out.
Funniest Blog, tomorrow’s the last day to vote!