I’m an over planner. I’ve grown to realize that I’m most comfortable and least stressed when I have planned out things well. It does consume extra mental effort cycles but usually the results are worth it. Before the baby came, I spent ages setting up the nursery and buying everything that I thought we’d need in the first few weeks — from diapers to medicines to clothes and so on. I think that’s when Hubby finally appreciated my planning skills – all he had to do was ask “where is <something>?” and I’d go “in the second shelf, on the left”. Of course, I can’t (and don’t try) plan baby’s schedule to that degree but there’s a certain schedule that seems to work for us. Hubby is completely the opposite – he never plans and ends up compensating with more physical manpower when needed. We do have regular arguments about this but largely, I’ve made peace with my role in our relationship as planner and his as the labor needed when things go off-script.
What I really really can’t stand is when people change their plans (which involve us) and then there’s a whole host of dependencies that are drastically affected (and they’re oblivious). In this case, it’s my in-laws.
I don’t know how to describe my relationship with them – they’re very nice and affectionate people but things regularly happen with them that piss me off. It could be that they don’t even realize that they’re comments/behavior are having that effect or that they think that we’re close enough. The current set of issues is a fairly long story.
Back in Feb/Mar, they basically said that they wanted to see the baby and they wanted to come in August. They’re nice people but I did not want my in-laws around when I was exhausted and bleeding and recovery and trying to establish my own relationship with my child. So many reasons I didn’t want them to come right after he was born — I was worried they’d take over my husband’s role (that’s basically how it played out with his brother’s family though in that case, it was more like the husband did nothing so my mother-in-law stepped in to fill the void). They have particular opinions when it comes to religion that I didn’t want to entertain. I didn’t want to deal with their advice/opinions about diet/practices/etc. Also in our culture, the standard practice is for the girl’s parents to come out to help for the first several months and the boy’s to help after that. It’s not that I didn’t want them to visit but I wanted them to come in the November or so when Hubby and I were more used to things.
This led to a ton of arguments between Hubby and me. My stance was basically that them coming in November is actually useful for us because my parents make their annual trip to India then for my grandfather’s remembrance ceremony. Hubby’s was basically that they want to come see their grandson. They didn’t want to come in November because it’s too cold (we have to keep telling them that there’s heat in the house which for some reason they don’t seem to understand). Anyways, after all the arguments, we booked tickets for them to come in August. So then my dad planned a trip to India in that same time frame so he could get some work done there.
Said trip of theirs got canceled (for legitimate reasons – my father in law had a minor surgery so he can’t travel for a few months). Health reasons – absolutely a good reason to cancel. But his mom wants to come on her own except she’s not committing to a timeline and my dad was nice enough to volunteer to come with her for company but he needs to book his ticket soon and can’t indefinitely wait on her. Anyways, that’s one big mess.
The part that did annoy me with their cancellation is then they ‘suggested’ that we visit in December. I am not at all sure I want to do that. The logistics of traveling with a 5 month old are daunting. I’m not sure if he’ll have enough of his vaccinations. Plus, I don’t know if I’ll have vacation time. Or the energy – India trips are never particularly relaxing for me.
The other part of this is we have been planning for my parents and hubby’s parents to be our childcare for the first year. There are various reasons behind this choice including Hubby completely dropping the ball on looking at daycares (and there’s a long waitlist) and savings. So we figured my parents will do ~6 months and his another 6 (both sets of parents have indicated a willingness and desire to spend this time).
In a conversation a couple of weeks ago, his dad basically said “We’re thinking of coming for at most 3 months next summer. Any longer and we’ll get bored.” Bored??!! If you’re bored, you’re clearly not contributing enough. But this all leads to other issues that we have to resolve because then my parents have to provide coverage (or we pray that the daycare waitlist is short).
The thing that’s been frustrating me about dealing with them is it feels like their decisions are based on solely their desires with our needs not coming into play at all. It doesn’t even seem like it occurs to them in any fashion (even though, in certain cases, we’ve been pretty clear about that).
I’m learning to not depend on them and instead figure out childcare between daycare and my parents. If they come, great. If not, whatever.