In-Law Drama

This is gonna be very long so I apologize in advance.

My boyfriend and I are kind of at odd ends here with my in laws who are in the mist of them becoming first-time grandparents. They found out about my pregnancy early and since then (I feel) they have monitored, and condemned my every move. Mind you I am a 23 year old female who lives on my own, supports myself and does what needs to be done to get shit handled- so in my mindset “if you are not fucking me or financing me- your opinion isn’t really my problem.”

With that being said, the son and I have always had a very interesting relationship. We have been on/off since middle school (that should tell you most of what you need to know right there.) His Mom and Stepdad met me when I was 14, while his Dad and Stepmom didn’t meet me until I was 19- (his dad and stepmom were absent from his young life but have been around since he was 18.) At both ages I was still very young and going through some personal motions in life- I lost my stepdad when I was almost 17 in a motorcycle accident and I ended up losing my biological dad right before I turned 20 so I was maneuvering through life without much parental guidance since my mom despises my partner enough that it greatly hurt our mother/daughter relationship. So his parents know about me but in most ways don’t actually know me. Its also worth mentioning we were teens and young adults for most of this so many times we were still unwilling to admit our own faults and place blame instead, so our families are very angry with the respective partner and they’re not completely wrong for having their feelings, but a majority of it fits into the childish grudges category.

Anyways theres part of the backstory, so now to the situation at hand. His Mom wasn’t surprised and Neither was mine. Angry and mildly disappointed with the 23 year old daughter and almost 22 year old son, but trying to be happy and supportive how they can. He talked to his actual mother and she stated that she wants the past issues between us to be past issues and no drama, otherwise she is out. I’m with her in that because a new baby should be a joyous time for everyone- especially because for all 4 of his parents this will be the first grandchild and great grandchild in his family.

His Dad and Stepmom though, well, they seem to have their own agenda for how things will go. Since they found out, I feel as though it has been more of a control-freak situation. I may be wrong in some aspects but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are right either. So I’m going to riddle off all of the known issues in order and you can make for yourself what you want of it.

1. Nickname: the baby is currently 8 weeks and 5 days, they found out around week 6. When we went over to discuss it with them, at the very end I asked them if they’d like to know what we are calling the baby until the gender is revealed, and they said “Yes.” When I told them “Tigger” his stepmom told me that “sounded stupid. Tiger? Tig-Tigger? I dont like that. That”s some shit I’ll have to get used to.” Now, I explained Tigger is a Winnie the Pooh character and since I loved the show when I was little (and my grandmother LIVES to buy me Winnie the Pooh things even as an adult, it only makes sense to me that my baby theme was always deemed to be Winnie the Pooh- so it’s also fitting that Tigger is an appropriate nickname for our little one. My SO has no issue with the nickname either when I asked him if we could call our currently un-gendered child that.) So her comment automatically rubbed me the wrong way. His real mom though is a disney fanatic and will probably be happy to know I kept it Disney for her grandchild.

2. Theres two different issues that come from announcing my pregnancy, so bare with me while I try to riddle off why they didn’t want me announcing before my 12 week mark.

• “Because I have a dead baby outback as a plant and you won’t make me change my mind, so quit talking about announcing early because it’s only gonna piss me off.” Now, I can respect that she had a stillborn child who was cremated and is now a thriving plant on her back porch, but I feel its uncalled for for her to blatantly throw it in my face as her reason to not have me announce before twelve weeks. Thats to me just seems like a guilt trip and a very selfish reason to not let someone announce. I understand that death is a cruel and hard fact of life (losing my dad and stepdad taught me that) but your situation is not the same as mine. I learned from my psychology professor that when a baby does not carry to term or is born unhealthy- it is mostly in the genetic code that that little one was not meant to survive. It’s sad, but scientifically more sensible. Other times there are just complications with pregnancies- the bottom line is that shit happens that you have no control over. I’m sorry that happened to you but your bias doesn’t deem where my child’s heath stands. Also, your anger doesn’t scare me. That just shows me you obviously have some demons you’re still battling. I could miscarry or I could not, but you’re not god so you don’t get to make the decision.

• “All the great grandparents need to know first.” I have zero arguments with this. That is a very respectable thing to ask. The reason this became an issue is because his parents claimed to have been busy for the last three weeks and didn’t have time to call the grandparents and let them know. (Mind you this is his Dad and Step Moms parents- most all of whom are divorced and remarried. My SO also did not grow up with these individuals and most don’t play an active role in his adult life either, but I respect that they are still his grandparents and do deserve the respect of being told.) So while the last three weeks played out on their end, I was a very busy bee making arrangements with my family to tell them the good news and get through the first doctors appointment. Most of my family (the ones who are active in my life) were told however I could best reach them. My family is scattered across Polk County, so it was a lot of driving for pregnant little me- but I got it done. We both have equally big families, but they took their very sweet time getting to it. I waited until my SO gave me the green light (then questioned it and got another green light) before proceeding with anything.

3. Generation Gaps and Social Norms. Look, we’re about 20 years apart in age, so I understand your times are different than mine. You didn’t have one-click-away social media growing up, you had beepers and giant phones. But what step-mommy dearest miscalculated with trying to use that against me is that my mom grew up in her generation and my grandparents grew up in her parents generation. In all honesty, my family members are actually a bit older than his- give around 5 years older? And both families are very southern. Her issue of me announcing on social media because it’s not respectful flew out the window with me because my family doesn’t have a single problem with it. I’m not going to keep my child a secret when I have tons of friends and family who would like to know that I’m bringing a child into this world with someone I’ve been in love with for almost 9 years. Kind of miraculous I didn’t get pregnant sooner.

4. Picture perfect isn’t really my idea of happiness, but if there was one thing that haunts me as an adult- it’s that I need to take pictures of things that matter to me. Why? Because the moment I lost my Stepdad and Dad, it became very clear to me I didn’t take a lot of pictures with them growing up- so I only have my memories, and some personal items of theirs but not very many photos of us together, and that alone hurts like hell. Respect that taking pictures of things that matter to me is highly personal but with good intentions. If I take a picture of it, it matters to me. - Also, what mother and mommy to be wouldn’t want to take pictures of their baby?!? If I want to do week-by-week belly growth photos, who are you to rob me of such pleasures? Especially sharing it with friends and family who want to see my progress with baby and it’s just convenient for them to see it on Facebook?

*To Be Continued*