My first granddaughter was born yesterday.
7 lbs 5 oz, the image of her Mama at the age of just barely new to the world.
She came like the winds of March, fierce, and fast, though not furious or angry.
She is protected from the worst of that and leaves is to her Mama to deal with any furious or angry reaction surfacing from the surprise of her appearance. Although more and more I am wondering why anyone could even feel that way, or what right they have to throw their opinions and advice around unsolicited. (hey! I have a blog that states I give unsolicited advice – that is not the same thing. Truth. )
As Mama to her Mama, I protect them both, a natural instinct to be sure, but on the decision rubbing many the wrong way, I had to think for a while before I saw my daughter’s point as clear as it was to her, always respecting her decision, but not until the last few days, totally in her corner about it.
I am always in her corner, no matter whether I agree or not.
Do you think you missed the big announcement on Facebook and wish you had paid more attention? Do not beat yourself up, there was no announcement on FB, although by all rights there should have been.
Many will read that should and misinterpret it as a mistake on my daughter’s part, and disappointment in her she did not share the news with her many friends and family who care very deeply about her. That is not what I meant.
There were no big announcements anywhere to anyone, not because she didn’t want to share her joy, but because she learned the hard way, when you do, if you are not anywhere inside the realm of acceptable social behavior, people tend to take liberties, and often the outcome is sharing joy, and getting grief in return.
Grief serving no purpose other than to give the grief giver the satisfaction of being filled with self importance (and the title asshat).
Surely when you announce a pregnancy , the outcome of the joyous announcement would be the joy shared with those who care and the intended recipients still may not think it the best life choice but without the openings of – such a promising life veered off course – to give the expectant mother grief about, those who are not happy about the soon to be little bundle of mush, seem to understand they are not entitled to criticize, judge, make decisions for, demoralize, degrade or otherwise say a word in the negative and keep their mouths shut, or if they don’t, we ignore them anyways.
Go slightly off of the acceptable standard of society and risk hurting the reputation of the family who (in their dreams) never does, and all bets are off… its a hell of a crapshoot.
For some reason, there is a general feeling we should be specifically told of something which becomes overly apparent – in the form of a growing stomach quite soon and once told, if the circumstances are less than ideal, everything from intelligence to sex life is suddenly open for discussion?
As in: Are you stupid? Try Birth Control… that said without so much as even asking any questions – and they shouldn’t but f they are gonna say something ignorant thinking it’s funny or helpful, they should try to find out facts first. Or how about this one; You are too young and immature…. (fill in the blanks here ) without so much as even really caring how good of a mama you are to your first. Or: This better be the last! Like how many kids you have is anybody’s business other then the basic sharing the joy. I could go on but I am too happy to be bogged down with the ignorance of narrow mindedness.
I have learned from watching my daughter struggle these last two years; you get pregnant unexpectedly, and all bets are off as to being able to live your life the way you should be able to when you announce the fact you are having a child, with excitement and expectancy and love and support.
Hell as you are supposed to be able to as an adult (which legally is 18 for those who forget this fact and think you can still shout out from the peanut gallery)
When the announcement is a fall from grace, people who you thought loved you unconditionally, suddenly pretend like you don’t exist, or are just a distant family member. Your opinion does not matter, possibly to the point you don’t much matter as you become the focus of pity you didn;t think warranted or asked for, and conversations people should not be having about each other, you are judged and found lacking without any consideration for anything else you have done, and it just generally sucks because there is no joy to be found from the ones who are blinded by the things that are wrong with the whole mess.
There happen to be, especially in the closer circles of family, enough of those who assume their title gives them carte blanch to insist they are the wronged one and the only acceptable outcome is abortion or adoption no matter what you say. They talk about you right in front of you, discussing where your life needs to go as if you are no longer capable of planning or deserving of having a life of your own because you made a mistake and are having a baby..outside of marriage, before college, before having a nest egg, blah blah blah etc ad nausea um,…
What century are we in? Women are not property and if not married nor in their father’s house, free for all to tear to shreds for having a baby in less then ideal conditions.
Finding all this out in round one was more than devastating to her, the stress of the criticism and the naysayers and the ones who continued to berate her, the disapproval from those who took it as a personal insult and decided she was a lost cause and had thrown her life away after all she had been given took its toll on her mental stability, her self esteem, her choice to find joy was ridiculed and the result was a big mess of hormones and fear, not a good combination for a favorable outcome.
Even though the asshats who caused the above discord and turmoil were fewer than the ones who support and love her unconditionally and listened to her wishes and validated her as a person, as it often goes in life, the asshats yell louder and she had enough. Plain and simple.
My daughter learned a lesson and as pained as I was to watch her choose a path of difficulty and be exposed to the disappointment of the way people act and speak without thought but to their own motives, I was just as thrilled when i saw she did not give up and fail, she learned and applied this knowledge to her life.
This is her life and her choices and no matter what anyone said or how cruel they were or how much they judge her, the outcome is the same and although at first appearances, she may seem selfish and disrespectful, treating people who love her and would have loved to have known with little to no regard, but she actually was thinking from a very wide angle on this one.
Noone knew at first and in the end, it basically became the elephant in the room but still only a need to know basis. There were no favorites though she desperately wanted to tell some of those left out. She felt it was wrong to tell someone then ask them not to tell, this defeats the purpose of announcing for the sake of joy kind of. She also figured why have everyone worried sick over it when she could worry enough for all of us and half the things weren’t valid anyways.
She sailed right through this pregnancy, the end being the hardest as it usually is.
You can sit there and ask are you an asshat or someone who she wanted to tell? You know the difference and the truth if you are honest with yourself.
Me? I know I was on the want to tell list, but I did an asshat thing and it took me all of ..no time at all to realize it was my own fault for acting the way I did, a way so outside my character too, to try to scare her enough to not trip up where I had long years ago..
Not that I can regret it or wish it different, only knowing the trapdoor I fell through and knowing my daughter, I gave her the doom and gloom speech last fall, the one saying; you made a mistake and you have recovered and I am so proud of you but if you even have a thought of getting pregnant again anytime soon, blah blah blah.
I must have been home, sick that day and a substitute mom there, because I issued an ultimatum, I told her .. never mind, it doesn’t even matter now. The purpose was already lost and I didn’t mean a word of it..most of them anyways.
When I found out quite by accident, my first instinct was to be mad, then I asked myself why, hurt a little maybe, I mean, seriously I am her Mom, then I remembered and I knew, I have always been on her side, trying to not be the asshat, but that one moment I was and she listened to it, scared I would desert her. And she was still getting used to the idea the first baby had lost her others she never in a million years thought would not always be there for her.
She misses them but knows they are the ones who really missed out because they forgot the most important part of the play, was the baby who joined our family and whom we all adore, not their own agenda.
Choosing the path she took was not the easiest one to be on, and she rejected that she could if she wanted to, actually have good reason to not be considered to be falling down even more, stating, and she is right too, it would be the equivalent of apologizing every time she said it, and she had nothing to apologize for.
She said to me the other night,
Everyone was fighting and being nasty and angry and thinking they could dictate my course of action with no consideration to my wants the first time around. It hurt my heart to see my family who had only shown me love, fighting over a mistake I made
I told her it wasn’t her fault they were fighting, she wasn’t the cause, they would be fighting over something else. She accepted it with the stipulation..at least it wouldn’t be her and she wouldn’t worry so much.
Good point and I can see she was trying to consider what was best for everyone she cares about, but mostly she did what was best for her and the baby.
I also think it hurts her heart, some still refer to Caden as a mistake, failing to see the enormous amount of love she has for him, her excellence at motherhood and the fact that their idea of a mistake, is actually a beautiful vibrant little boy.
I know it hurts mine.
In between worrying about everyone else and making a decision to wait as long as possible, she wasn’t doing much. Just school full-time and working and taking care of her toddler son. Nope, she had plenty of time and energy to dwell on others, especially the ones who would not even acknowledge she had not failed at all after her son’s birth a little over a year ago, but persevered and graduated and was hired on full-time with a Dr office an hour after she graduated. That was a week and a half ago by the way.
She is still exactly where she wanted to be right now, when she enrolled in school last year, except she is on maternity leave for a while. Next she is going to start working toward her RN. I am so very proud of her.
I don’t think it is a stretch to excuse her for not finding the time to include those who don’t even bother to acknowledge her success in the announcement she was expecting another baby. I get it.
Regretfully, the asshats ruined it for everyone as they do in most things in life and I do not think in this case she should have braved their crap for the greater good. She had enough going on and was brave enough by basically doing it herself.
In the end, it is still the same, my granddaughter arrived and Lauren was much better for not listening to the negativity. Maybe there wouldn’t been as much as the first time but I don’t blame her for not risking it, and no it wasn’t a possibility of ignoring and tuning them out. .
Time is a funny thing and when you are 3 months pregnant and not showing you can’t really conceive being 9 months and big as a house. It kinda sneaks up on you ninja style, especially if you go with it rather than fight it or have people constantly telling you it’s wrong or you are. She was living her life doing the best she could, also thinking eventually the elephant would stir some questions. That didn’t happen either, no one asked.
Baby was not due for another 10 days.
I tell you this not to convince you but to make a point.
There is a moral to this story, a firm statement to the fact that you cannot judge people by what the majority of people in the same situation do. I realize the norm, the general rule of thumb here is that she would never go to school, end up pregnant and a gaggle of children and no money. She is the exception to many of life’s stereotypical rules, I always had faith in her, and knew she had the drive and motivation to not fail, and the ones closet to her should have given her the benefit of the doubt as well. Many did.
Others still refuse to see how hard she has worked or simply say it’s her own fault and have removed themselves. They refuse to even acknowledge her son more than a passing conversation as if denial will make it all go away.
She will talk to the ones who she was going to tell in those last few days before and it is my hope and my belief, the ones who matter won’t mind, they will understand. Those who continue to mind, who want to hang on to some sort of sense of entitlement, they had the right to be told….
Maybe you should stop for a second and think what this story is about. It’s not you for sure and all you are doing is cheating yourself out of being included in the joy. Maybe you are part of the reason the Belly that Launched a Thousand Ships decided to go ninja style this time.
You think you got cheated? Think about what she gave up to not tell. Really.