RANT: My Family

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-26-2008
RANT: My Family
9
Mon, 08-23-2010 - 10:25pm

So I get a call today from my mom, I didn't get to the phone and she left a message. on it she said "Hey it's your mom, I talked to your Aunt....Just give me a call when you get this" and in the background I hear my father saying "Just have her call us" really cranky and yelling almost. So I think, great, something is wrong with my aunt (its the same one that had the double bypass and has the brain aneurysms). So I call her back and apparently my Aunt is all pissed off because my cousin (her daughter) who mind you is 40 (so an adult) wants to come and see Gabriella, but doesn't want to drive an hour if she can't hold the baby....

Some background. DH and I decided when we were doing some research that we weren't going to let anyone who smokes hold the baby in clothes that they smoked in. There are studies that show damage to infants and children because of the toxins that are in the smoke that lingers on couches, clothes etc.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=what-is-third-hand-smoke

So anyway when I told my mom this back when I was pregnant she mentioned it to my Aunt, who at the time smoked, then she found out about all her issues and quit. My cousin & Her fiance smoke and aren't going to quit (Supposedly, I have heard it so many times before) until after their wedding on Sept 25th. Well my dad got all mad that my mom mentioned it to my Aunt. No one brought it up since then. well now that Gabriella is born apparently my cousin wants to come and visit. Instead of my adult cousin calling me to talk to me about it, she mentions it to my Aunt, who calls my mother and then my mom calls me.

Well I talked with my mom a little later tonight because she could hear I was upset and she says your father thinks you are upset, and I said well of course I am. my cousin is being childish and I am annoyed by it. It's not about her anymore. My aunt doesn't want to upset my cousin because she is getting married in a month, well what about the new mother who is on a hormonal roller coaster who just had a baby. I mean seriously. Stop this passive aggressive crap and just call me.

DH and I are sticking to our rules and aren't letting anyone hold the baby in clothes they have smoked in. Its for the benefit of my child and it's not about just me anymore. I have let my entire family walk all over me all my life and not anymore...

My mom said to not worry about and she was going to tell my Aunt that I wasn't up for visitors, but it's annoying because I feel like she is "Lying" even though I am not feeling up for visitors it still seems like another passive aggressive way to get around the situation...

I am not going to worry about it tonight and just deal with it later....Fun times! Gabby isn't even a week old and it's already starting.









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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-01-2005
Wed, 08-25-2010 - 5:34pm
Aaack! I agree with Ash...just turn everything off and focus on your family. They are totally selfish in their behavior and if it were me, I would completely "reconsider the rsvp" and not go at all, especially just a month postpartum. No matter what you decide you and your DH are parents and partners in parenting so you need to stick to each other and your mutual decisions on how you'll raise Gabriella. Hugs!!
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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-08-2008
Wed, 08-25-2010 - 2:46pm

Wow, your cousin is really being selfish. IMHO, how dare she put a change of clothes ahead of the welfare of your baby. I can't believe she puts her gross habit ahead of meeting your daughter. Just as she has the right to poison her body with tobacco and chemicals, you have the right to protect your child from it as much as possible.

In terms of being/feeling like a second class citizen, I really think that the smoking laws that are in place/being enacted are designed to make people feel that way. In the city I teach in, it is illegal to smoke outside in a public place. No joke. There are 'designated smoking areas' in our outdoor malls and around businesses, out of the way of where the general population would be. Also, most new cars don't even have ash trays in them! It is so rare that I even see anyone smoking anymore. I love CA for it's smoking laws.

Try not to let her bother you, as difficult as it is. Really, your daughter is more important. If your cousin can't get that the world doesn't revolve around her, she doesn't deserve to know Gabby.






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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-22-2006
Wed, 08-25-2010 - 2:32pm

Oh, Jess - that totally sucks and it breaks my heart to hear how upset you are. Like you said, this should be a joyful time, but your selfish cousin is making it ALL about her! Ugh.

I agree with Ash - take the phone off the hook and don't check email or FB or anything for a while. Take a break from the insanity and enjoy your little girl.

(((hugs))) to you - I know how overwhelming other people can be. You're trying to do something good for your baby, and everyone is making YOU out to be the bad guy. It just plain SUCKS, and people just love to do this kind of thing for some reason.





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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-23-2003
Wed, 08-25-2010 - 2:21pm

Oh my gosh. Take your phone off the hook, and stop checking emails, as these people are awful and just because they are family doesn't give them the right to treat you horribly and stress you out you while you have a newborn in the house.

If she really wants to see you and the baby then she will bring a change of clothes and not smoke before touching her, it is as simple as that.If not, then not.

In terms of the wedding why in the world would she need to touch the baby there? However if you don't really like her I wouldn't want to go to a wedding with a month old baby anyway.

So sorry you are dealing with this. I think you are 100% in the right, you shouldn't back down, and you should try to just ignore all of these people. I'm honestly horrified that people think it is acceptable to bully a new mother like this...

In the beginning I often didn't let people hold Teddy.He was so colicky that he often spent full visits wrapped up tight in the wrap and they couldn't even see his face. They all got over it.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-26-2008
Wed, 08-25-2010 - 2:08pm

Well the drama has gotten worse. My cousin responded to the email and she is all pissed off she isn't coming to visit and sending a gift in the mail. She wants to know how we are going to handle her wedding in a month. And if that plan I'm Amy wu shape or form disrespects her, her fiancé or her mother then we need to reconsider our RSVP.

She said I am making her feel like a second class citizen. Which is no at all what I was trying to do. I wa t to say forget about the rule and just give a blanket to people to put in between their clothes and Gabby but mike is doing research on that. After the research he has done he doesn't want to back down.

So now I am feeling torn between my husband and my family and I am not doing well. I am so upset. I didn't get good sleep last night becAuse whenever I was up I was thinking about this And when I of her back to sleep it would take me awhile to fall asleep so I am not feeling rated today at all.

I just hate this. I should be enjoying his time with my DD and instead I crying my eyes out.









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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-01-2005
Tue, 08-24-2010 - 10:50am

I think your cousin is being a brat and everybody else is also acting childish for dancing around each other or playing phone tag instead of dealing with it like adults. There is nothing unreasonable about changing your shirt if you're willing to drive an hour. I"m sorry they are putting this one you just a week after she was born...its more stress than you need right now.

I also think its a good rule to have someone wash their hands before holding the baby, smoker or not. I think that changing clothes or waiting to smoke is a good idea to put out there for people so they know your wishes. However, you cant control what other people choose to do other than control access to your child.

That said....my mom's parents are extremely heavy smokers. They light up every 30 minutes from sun-up to sun-down. They do smoke outside their home except for when they use the hot tub room which is attached to the house by a door, sometimes it leeches into their basement which we are never in anyway...but trust me, it could be much much worse. I get the whole second-hand, third-hand smoke thing as a danger to children and other adults but if I made them wash their hands or change their clothes after every cigarette, they would probably be making me do their laundry. I also only see them twice a year and we just got back from introducing Maxim to his great-grandparents. If I had even tried to limit their access or make them wash/change....it would have been an extremely unpleasant visit and my son wouldnt have spent the quality time with his great-grandparents that he did spend with them. My SIL is also a smoker and she readily washes her hands before taking Maxim but I guess I would never ask her to change her clothes too if she's only holding him for a short time.

How often do you see this cousin? I'm not saying to bend your rule for her if she's being unreasonable or if you see her a lot...there does need to be a boundary in place if you have expectations in this area. But if its not that often and only for a short time, then this wouldnt be something I would get that uptight about in general. Your daycare provider? Absolutely!! Grandparents, aunts and uncles, close friends you see often? YES! But for someone that you may not see that much, I'm not sure I would be able to stick with it as rigidly...I would rather they have a relationship with that person (depending on who it is of course...some people are just toxic in general)...Now...if you feed my child something that I dont want fed or dont follow the feeding/sleeping things I've put into place...then yes, I'll say something.

Just my opinion...I've been around smokers (grandparents, aunts and uncles, not my parents) all my life and I think its utterly disgusting but I would hate for my child to be isolated from these people too.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-26-2008
Tue, 08-24-2010 - 10:36am
Well apparently my mom called my aunt to tell her that I wasn't up for visitors and then she found
out that my aunt was the one upset and hadn't even told my cousin about it. So my
mom emailed a bunch of the family on facebook saying how tired I was and to call first. Whatever. I emailed this cousin and another one who smokes and just layed it out. That if they were planning on coming over to either not smoke or being a change of shirt with them. That we were trying to limit the Amy of toxins she is exposed to and hope they understand. I included a link to the article and I am just leaving it at that. My aunt can kiss off if she thinks I care. ;)








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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-22-2006
Tue, 08-24-2010 - 8:40am

That is so frustrating, Jess! Good for you for sticking to your guns. It's annoying that your mother's way of dealing with the issue is to lie to them - that just guarantees the conversation is going to come up again and again.

I agree with Amy - if she's so willing to drive so far to see the baby, why is it such a big deal to change her clothes and wash her hands, etc.? Sounds like she's just being a brat about things.

If you have the time and energy, I would just call the cousin directly, explain everything to her, and then hopefully that will solve the issue (or at least there won't be these "telephone call" games, where you're hearing something 3rd or 4th hand).





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Edited 8/24/2010 8:41 am ET by cassiopeiae




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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-19-2009
Mon, 08-23-2010 - 11:49pm

I have the same rule and you know, it's really not that hard to just change your clothes, or wait to smoke until you have held the baby. You want to drive so far but you're not willing to change your clothes? That is ridiculous. I don't care what my family thinks about my rules, they know they can either follow them or I have no qualms about telling them where to go. I love my family but my son's well being comes first.

Stick to your guns!






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