12 September 2006

Long Day Ahead

I'm on Day 2 of 12 with my in-laws in the house. They arrived on Sunday night and are staying until next Friday (I guess you could have done the math!) Actually, my father-in-law will leave this Friday and my mother-in-law will stay another week.

I haven't posted much about my relationship with my in-laws. Let's just say that between the cancer issue, the cross-cultural issues, and the plain old garden-variety in-law issues, we have our problems. We're polite to each other and I'm grateful for their help, but I have to bite my tongue a lot and I don't always succeed.

It's really great to have two extra sets of hands with the twins. And GH's mom is a wonderful cook, so I'm eating really well and loving not having to think about food--it just appears before me.

But they are in-laws, and Korean at that, so they have plenty of criticism to dish out. We don't keep the babies warm enough. They eat too often--they must not be getting enough nutrition in the breast milk. I don't eat enough. Why aren't the babies sleeping through the night yet? That's not normal. Why do they take so many naps? That's not normal. Why won't Riley take a bottle? Then there's the hovering, the constant hovering by my mother-in-law. Whenever I'm breastfeeding, she's right up in my grill, poking the babies, covering them with a blanket, staring at them. It's annoying and unnerving. And then there's the usual when one has guests around: I only get to hold my kids when they are fussy. When they are being cute and fun, everyone wants to hold them. Then when they get fussy, back to Mom. That gets old fast.

Gar. The undercurrent in it all is that I'm doing something wrong. It's my fault Riley won't take a bottle, my fault they won't sleep through the night, etc. In an already sleep deprived and vulnerable state, it's hard to take.

GH just left for work around 8:00, not to return until 6:30 this evening. It's going to be a long, long day. I was planning to go for a long walk this morning, but the babies decided to nap here at the house so I don't want to disturb them. Maybe I can make my escape later, although I was already told that it's too cold to take Maddie and Riley out. I replied that it most certainly is not too cold, that they have hats and blankets and we'll be FINE. Sigh. I'm not a very good Korean daughter-in-law. I talk back too much. I can't help it!

Trying to focus on the good things . . . trying to focus on the good things . . .

4 comments:

bg's Little Sis said...

Hoping it gets better or next week comes quickly. I hate that crap from in-laws or anyone, it's tough enough with a baby, and you have 2, like you said being tired and worn out. We do enough of our own self-deprication, we don't need it from anyone else. You're doing a great job!

When I got the, "it's too cold" and "you're not keeping them warm enough" stuff and I knew they were comfortable, I said, "No, the baby is just fine, it was just colder when you were younger with kids, but with all the global warming the previous generation created, it really isn't too cold for them." But that would be bad, especially since you're trying to be so Good...good luck:)

weigook saram said...

We went through more or less the same thing when we visited my inlaws when K was six weeks old, but it was only a couple of days. And I think it was probably a little easier for me because it was all in Korean so A got the brunt of it.

It's tough that your husband isn't around. Maybe you can invent some errands. Have them watch the babies while you go to the store, or vice versa.

Angela said...

I really sympathize, I already have a Korean mother, I'm grateful I don't have one as a mother-in-law too, otherwise I'd have been carried away in a strait jacket a long time ago.

My Mom says and does all those things you mentioned--I swear it's a genetic Korean trait! When the twins are sleeping or being looked after, go out and get a coffee, get some alone time or take a nap too-I know it's hard to bite your tongue when you get all that 'helpful' advice. Just be grateful they're only around for a short time, thank God they don't live closer or God forbid live with you!! Hang in there, you will survive.

LeggyP said...

I'd love to be able to meet for coffee again and dish about inlaws. But I agree with the others- you are doing a great job, and if possible try to sneak some time to yourself. Here's to Friday coming!