I hate drama. ESPECIALLY family drama which I unfortunately find myself smack dab in the middle of right now. Someone in my family (protecting identity because frankly, I'd be ashamed if I was her) has a problem with me. APPARENTLY, I take advantage of my husband because she sees him doing all of the work for our infant daughter when we're at family get togethers. Work meaning feeding her and changing her diaper. First of all, we don't keep count so I'm not sure who is winning the diaper tally in our household, but I can promise you that we both have changed our fair share. Second of all, seeing us for maybe 2-3 hours once a month or so is HARDLY a clear indicator of what goes on in our family on a day-to-day basis.
I think part of her frustration stems from when my father-in-law was sick, in hospice care and passing away. My husband couldn't be there as much as other family members, he was in a crap job with crappy hours and absolutely no paid time off. We also happened to have a 4 month old at the time and were still learning and growing in our roles of new parents. I never once told my husband that he could NOT go over there. He went over there every other day but really struggled with it. It was very difficult for him to be there and personally, I think he needed some time at home with our baby girl to experience a little bit of joy in such a terrible time. Being with our daughter seemed to be a buffer for him, a little salve for his soul as he watched his father lose his long battle with cancer.
All of this is beside the point... when has it become socially acceptable in our society for people to pass judgment so harshly on others? Just because you're related to someone, through marriage no less, does not entitle that person to be all up in your business, passing judgment on things that they only have partial information on. Who the heck does this person think he/she is? It ASTONISHES me that people feel so entitled to make judgments about other people and the way they live their lives. Just because someone does something differently than you, that doesn't make their way WRONG and your way RIGHT, it just means that you're different. Differences should be celebrated because who knows, maybe you'll find a new and better way of doing things for yourself. But judging someone, making them feel like a total outsider in the family, making them feel inadequate as a parent, wife, and person in general? Shame. You should feel SHAME. You should also turn that intense scrutiny into your own home and look at yourself. I promise, you ain't as perfect as you think you are. I just have too much class to point those things out to you.
It also makes me sad that moms feel the need to rip each other apart, rather than build each other up. It's HARD being a mom, y'all. It's especially hard being a first-time mom and having someone who is supposed to be like family to you tearing you down? That really sucks. I may not always agree with what I see other moms doing, but I'm damn sure going to be a supportive and caring presence in their lives, not a demeaning, negative and judgmental one.
At the end of the day, dealing with people like this, people who mask hatefulness and cruelty behind false words of "concern" for others just show me the kind of person I NEVER want to be. I will never be a close member of my husband's family, it's just not possible now because it's been made abundantly clear that I'm not a member of the family and that everything about my life- my parenting, my marriage, my relationship with others, is open to critique and judgment from others. Every moment spent in their presence will feel like operating in a fishbowl. There will never be comfort there now and that's okay. Because I learned the truth about where I stand and sometimes that's a really valuable lesson. You also learn about who you can really rely on... to respect you, stand by you, and love and care for you unconditionally and without judgment. I have that in my husband and that's enough. I also happen to have a family who loves me and would NEVER make my husband feel the way his family has made me feel. For that, I'll be eternally grateful.