Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Dear Everyone

Posted by Anonymous.

Dear everyone,

Firstly: boyfriend, I love you, but you are DOING MY FUCKING HEAD IN. You try looking after a baby and two demanding cats all day, trying to run a business, and still have some Me Time. Then imagine someone’s told you that of COURSE you have the fucking time to work, you can just do it in the evenings and at the weekends. Because I have a free evening when I’m not cooking you dinner and pouring you beer and tidying the flat. We’ve poured so much money into this, and I’m scared it’s going to fail if I can’t put more time in. We can’t afford a child-minder and our son is too little to go to nursery, but I need to make time to work. Even if I start as soon as he falls asleep, I still only get half an hour at a time doing useful stuff. I need to be working all hours of the day at the moment, and you don’t seem to appreciate it. In fact, you take everything for granted. You don’t tell me you love me without prompting, you expect to come home to cooked dinner and a nice cold beer and an evening in front of the TV, or playing on the Wii. You think you’re such a perfect modern man because you change the odd occasional nappy or look after the baby while I get a very occasional gym trip, but you’re stuck in the past. You want me to bring some extra money in? Let me work, and not in some shitty shelf-stacking job at the supermarket. Wake up.

Mother-in-law: yes, I get it. Your daughter had a baby too, and he’s smaller and cuter than mine. That doesn’t mean you have to stop being interested in your eldest grandson. I know you never really approved of him: your son and I aren’t married, and you’ve made no secret of the fact that you think I should’ve taken the morning-after pill. Your daughter has been with her husband for ten years and trying for a baby for eighteen months, and you had the gall to be upset when I got pregnant and carried to term after TWO YEARS of miscarriages? And of course, she wants to be a stay-at-home mother, and that makes her a better person than me. They can afford it, we can’t. I know that the baby is the most important thing in my life, but I need to be able to support him and your son, because hell, his company will go down the shitter if things don’t start improving soon. Also, when you do show some interest in your eldest grandson, be gentle with him. He might be a big baby, but he is still a baby. He doesn’t like being thrown around like a toy.

Father-in-law: I’ve worked for you for over a year now, doing bits of design and admin work. Remember we agreed in August that perhaps you could pay me for some of the work I do? Still waiting for that to materialize. Also, when you give me a pile of stuff to assemble into a workable presentation on Sunday night, and expect it done by Monday lunchtime, the answer is a NO. Not unless you’re prepared to fund a child-minder or let me bring the baby to the office. I feel guilty writing this, ‘cause you’ve been very good to me, but PLEASE will you pay me for what I do?

Mum: I’m a mother now. I can make perfectly adequate parenting decisions. I’m not breast-feeding anymore, and in your book that makes me a terrible mother. You know what? He’s thriving on formula and solids (I’ve never met a baby who loves his fruit and veg so much), and that’s much better than him ingesting any traces of Zoloft. I’m not going to put him in his cot and leave him to scream until he falls asleep without trying to rock him to sleep first, just because that’s the way you did it. Stop nagging me to stay chained to the kitchen sink, just like you were. My brother and I turned out so non fucked-up because of your parenting decisions, didn’t we? In addition, forcing me to eat isn’t going to cure me of my eating disorder, and making life so uncomfortable when we visit that I can’t take my antidepressants is going to do nothing but screw me up further.

Dad: Thank you for everything you’ve done for me. Just... you need to stop being a soft touch with your son. You were incredibly strict with me when I was his age, and I can’t believe you like the way he treats Mum and you.

Brother: Get off your lazy backside and get a job. At least help your parents around the house. You’re sixteen years old and you’ve not had a day of responsibility in your life. Mum effectively did your GCSE coursework for you because you didn’t know how: you’ll never fucking learn if you don’t make an effort. Quit spending your money (that they give you) on beer and weed. If you keep having irresponsible unsafe sex with your girlfriend you’ll have to support someone else, and then you’ll be well and truly fucked. Also, quit stealing my money. Every time we come and stay with you money magically disappears out of my purse if I leave it in my room. I’m sick of it. Treat your parents with a little more respect. Grow up and be the man you think you are.

Son, I love you and your chubby baby cheeks and your gummy open-mouthed kisses. I just want to do what’s best for you... I wish I knew what it was.



Jill said...

Wow! You've got a lot going on. I hope you can find the courage to stand up for yourself and say some of these things out loud because it sounds like that's the only way you'll get the change you need. By asking for it yourself. I know it's hard, but think of the alternative! Hang in there and know you've got support here on the internet!

p.s. Your bf needs a swift kick in the arse if he expects you to get his beer for him.

Anonymous said...

You lost me at "two demanding cats." Seriously? They're cats. Throw them outside. Problem solved.

Boyfriend sounds like more trouble than he's worth. Either ask him to help you (be specific - "Please wash the dishes," or "Please do the laundry," until he takes charge of things on his own) or leave. You teach people how to treat you. You've taught him to expect you to wait on him hand and foot (hot dinner and cold beer? What is this, 1950?). Either put in the effort to teach him to treat you better or leave.

It's natural for your "MIL" (not really in-laws, but whatever) to be closer to her daughter's child than she is to yours. She's not your family. She also probably senses your resentment of her and her daughter, and that is probably very off-putting.

Send your "FIL" a bill.

Given the state of things with your boyfriend and his parents, I think it's pretty natural that your own mother questions your choices. You are just wasting your energy worrying about their relationship with/discipline of your brother. Don't take cash with you when you go visit him anymore. It sounds like you should limit your interactions with all of them.

I think the best thing you could possibly do at this point is to focus your energy on yourself and your child. Ditch the boyfriend, get child support from him and a custody agreement, and let HIM take the kid to visit his parents when he has visitation time. Maybe if you start making better choices (with your health, with who you have in your life...), your mother will back off.

This sounds more critical than I intend it to, and I'm sorry if it comes off as harsh. Sometimes it's easier to see solutions when you're outside of the situation, as I am.

Hayley said...

WOW, no wonder you're on Zoloft. Tell 'em, hon.

Even though it was pretty blunt, Anon's advice is just what I was thinking. Sometimes, limiting time with people or just cutting them out makes things easier. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm the OP.
Thanks for all the advice :)
Things are getting a little better now: BF has got his backside into gear, and has decided to take a day a week "off" to look after the baby. It's still not enough, but it's progress. I've arranged to rent an office, so I can be working away from home and get things done. We've been much better at talking things through in the last few weeks. (The cats are also learning to take care of themselves, and the new kitten!)
I'm now seeing as little of the "in-laws" as possible: it makes things so much easier when I don't have to deal with them. My relationship with BF's sister is now much better, because there's less tension and less jealousy there. The money situation has also been sorted out.
We've also cut down on trips to my parents' place, and I've decided to resort to locking anything valuable in the car when we go. They still don't support my choice to work, or to formula-feed, or to take antidepressants, but at least the only thing they're *really* able to nag me about now is his christening.
Thanks for the space to rant. I really needed that, and it's been the push I needed to start getting things sorted.

Anonymous said...

You could have made every one of these great points without the terrible language.

Won't you be embarassed when your "chubby, baby-cheeked" angel son grows up to talk like this to his girlfriend, in-laws, siblings, and you two--particularly in public, with pride in his adroitly expressed, even hip-and-trendy rage?

You were the one giving "gummy, open-mouthed kisses" yourself a few short years ago; what happened? What will you do to keep your son from making similar mistakes?

Best of luck for his sake.


St said...

I'm glad it sounds like things are getting better. We can't control what other people do but only our response to what they do. Still, things are a bit sucky, eh? For the record, I can't imagine a grandma who would favor her daughter's child over her son's. After JRF's comment I had to go back to look for the "terrible language" but did not find it!

~Monkey said...

Dear Submitter, Can I just say, if you FUCKING need to swear--the FUCKING swear, and don't let ridiculous commenters make you feel badly for it. Clearly Anonymous has missed the point of having this place to vent entirely. Perhaps he or she should consider that a) not everyone has a stick quite as far up their butt as he or she does and b) perhaps you swear here so you don't do it in front of the sweet baby.

Anonymous said...

Good for you.