Jump to content
Forums forums
PRIMETIMER
DeLurker

Family: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Recommended Posts

Thought we could use a general thread for family discussions and a place to talk, vent or ask for ideas as to how to handle these wonderful folks that make us laugh, cry and everything in between.

Share this post


Link to post

Anyone have any advice on where to find a Mothers' Day card that doesn't say "You're the best mother ever, you did so much for me....."???  Cuz my mother is a nut, and has told me my entire life that marriage is a trap and children are a burden, which explains why I have elected against both of those things.

 

The closest I can find says "Don't worry, my therapist says it's not all your fault.  Dad did a number on me too."

 

But I thought that hit a little too close to home. 

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post

Family... can't live with 'em, can't shoot 'em.  The end.

 

 

Quof, do you have Papyrus stores where you live?  They usually have cards that are off the beaten path, but not too out there.

Share this post


Link to post

Quof - I usually go with a blank card since I rarely find words that fit. I just look for one with a pretty picture I think they'd like. I write very little inside, but if you feel obligated write about a pleasant memory you shared or grab a book of quotations for something that works for you.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Quof, I come from a similar situation.  When Mothers'  and Fathers' Day cards were an issue for me, I went with one of these two tactics:  1) Total denial that anything was ever wrong, so getting a regular card (and maybe I was lucky, but I was able to find ones that didn't do the best mother ever thing); and, 2)  the blank card that DeLurker suggested.  I'd look for a picture my mom would like and then write a sentiment that was, admittedly, about 75% BS but that would make her happy.  Largely because I have no balls.

Edited by harrie
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

Figured it out.  Ordered a gift online to be shipped to her directly, so no card will be included. Seems kind of silly for me to put a card in the mail, when the gift will arrive separately, doesn't it?  Doesn't it????  

 

She lives 2 hours away.  Haven't laid eyes on her in almost 2 years. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

I keep telling myself I have no obligation to have a relationship with somebody just because I'm related to them but sometimes it seems the whole world is conspiring to make me feel guilty about that.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

Not the whole world, just Corporate America so you feel obligated to buy a card, buy a gift, send flowers or an edible arrangement...these are the same folks who try to make you think you deserve to get an Open B̶u̶t̶t̶s̶ Heart pendant for Valentine's Day if someone loves you.  Providing they can afford it after buying you the new car at Christmas.

 

 

She lives 2 hours away.  Haven't laid eyes on her in almost 2 years

 

If spending time with her is that unpleasant, than a gift or a card seems like a small price to pay to preserve your mental health.  I suspect there'd be a lot of anxiety and stress before and after any visit.

 

I don't mean to suggest that I support severing family ties over minutia; however, if the relationship is/has been toxic and substantially compromises your current equilibrium I think maintaining a safe distance is the prudent thing to do. 

Edited by DeLurker
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Hearing for several decades that you're the reason her life sucks makes it hard to conjure up the warm and fuzzies.  I send lovely gifts and stay away. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Similar situation here. I visit, briefly, bring a gift and the card says happy mothers day. Simple and to the point. I wish my mom well, but I cannot get behind all the gooey sentimental stuff. I've done fine without my parents emotional and financial support, they have never been there when I needed them. I help them out now that they're elderly. I call and check in, but sadly, there's no love there.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I imagine if I had been on the receiving end of such toxic parenting, I wouldn't be able to manage it as gracefully as you guys.  I commend you and sincerely hope you spend a few hours on those "special" days to indulge yourself. 

 

If I could muster up the wherewithal to get a gift, I'd probably chose to donate to a charity in their name or to just get them a plant.  I actually get my Mom plants as gifts because she loves them and she has very little need for other stuff.  A food gift usually gets consumed by my Dad who has numerous health issues, including diabetes, and a remarkably low level of restraint.

Share this post


Link to post

If I could muster up the wherewithal to get a gift, I'd probably chose to donate to a charity in their name or to just get them a plant.  I actually get my Mom plants as gifts because she loves them and she has very little need for other stuff.  A food gift usually gets consumed by my Dad who has numerous health issues, including diabetes, and a remarkably low level of restraint.

 

I do flowers or plants for my mom too, because she also loves them. Her home is like a greenhouse. I stayed with her over Easter weekend after she had some surgery, and the plant watering routine took about half an hour.

 

My dad was the same way with sweets, and also diabetic. My husband was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes about a year and a half ago, and I asked my mom what she did with my dad. She told me he would faithfully check his blood sugar, but then not do anything with that information. I remember her saying, "Your father was one of the most intelligent people I've ever known, but he seemed to think that there was some kind of magic in just checking his blood sugar. He wouldn't use what he learned to try and control it." Then she told me he was diagnosed in the early 70's, but I don't remember him really getting serious about it -- or even talking about it -- until the mid-80's or so.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Hmmmm...your Dad sounds a lot like mine.  My favorite diabetes related theme is "It's not sweet so it is not going to mess up my blood sugar".  This comes after he's been eating way too many carbs (bread, crackers, chips, ...).

Share this post


Link to post

Yeah, my mom told me that white potatoes would send his blood sugar through the roof -- even more than ice cream. The same thing happens to my husband.

 

When my husband was diagnosed with diabetes, he said he figured that since he'd been eating like a teenager for the last 25 years, it wasn't too surprising and it was time to grow the hell up. He's done a great job laying off the junk food, fast food, and has identified the things that don't play well with his blood sugar. There are a few days a year where he's "not" diabetic: Thanksgiving, his birthday, and a couple others. But for the most part, he's really turned things around. I am actually sort of in awe of his willpower, and wish some of it would rub off on me.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Just feel like saying....

I got the call- Great news!!!!! Testing was negative for Down syndrome or trisonomy or spina bifida!

Sorry, just quite happy everything is looking great for my pregnancy so far.

  • Like 11

Share this post


Link to post

Just feel like saying....

I got the call- Great news!!!!! Testing was negative for Down syndrome or trisonomy or spina bifida!

Sorry, just quite happy everything is looking great for my pregnancy so far.

No need to be sorry! 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Ugh! Warning: baby name talk...

I've decided what I think will be my son's name. It's long and I will see what name or nickname fits him as time goes by. I'm fine if he prefers one name over another later. Anyway, I had realized that one option would be to go by JW. I doubt I'll call him that as a baby, but he could like it later. Who knows.

So, I texted my mom and asked if she would be able to consistently pronounce JW as double U, not dubya. (She's southern). She says maybe not. She'll stick to the first name and how she doesn't like initial names anyway.

I.really.dont.care what she likes or hates. Maybe she took my question as if I were rude. I don't know. But, seriously, I lived at the W Hotel...she called it dubya. She has a friend JW- it's dubya. Pres Bush....dubya Bush. It's not making fun. It's what she and the rest of her family say!!!!

Just ranting.

Accents can affect pronounciations of names. I think it's respectful to at least be willing to try to say the name correctly rather than acting like it's dumb to even make the effort.

Oh yes. I've made her mad. So true to my normal self who can't let things go I said..

It's not like anyone would say "double trouble" or "bubble gum" as dubya troubya or bubbya gum"

Edited by Betweenyouandme
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

I love baby name talk!

I've found that nicknames just kind of happen. When my son was born my daughter wasn't quite 2 yet and when I told her that was her brother she said "her budder" so he's almost 30 and he's been called Budder since he was born. His fiancee and all of our family still call him that.

My daughter's kids call him Uncle Budder.

My daughter had some medical problems when she was born and had 2 big black circles around her eyes that looked like black eyes for about 2 months, so she's been called Panda since she was born.

I'm a big nickname person. All of mt kid's friends have been renamed by me.

JW is a fine nickname. Don't listen to anybody but yourself when you name your baby. They all had their chance at naming kids. It's your turn now.

Edited by Maharincess
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Hope your daughter is all better now! What sweet nicknames. :) I love nicknames, too. My dad's is frog, and mine is miss piggy. Well...no one else other than my dad calls me that, but it's fun. I think I'm fairly set on the name. I thought girl names were more fun for some reason, but if I have a girl later on, at least I've got a list and a top favorite.

Share this post


Link to post

Oh yeah, she's great now. Just an issue during her birth. I had easy births. I did both with no epidural.

Girl names were so much easier for me.

Edited by Maharincess
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

A friend named her baby Alison Jane.   Within a few days, a visitor said "Oh, cute little Ali.  Little Ali J."  My friend said "That's it, my child will not have a stupid nickname. Henceforth, she is Michelle."  I received a thank you card for the baby gift from Bob, Mary and Michelle.  Years later, the young woman is Alison Jane.  My friend denies the Michelle incident ever happened.  It must have been a post-partum fog.  Wish I still had the card to show her. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

A friend named her baby Alison Jane. Within a few days, a visitor said "Oh, cute little Ali. Little Ali J." My friend said "That's it, my child will not have a stupid nickname. Henceforth, she is Michelle." I received a thank you card for the baby gift from Bob, Mary and Michelle. Years later, the young woman is Alison Jane. My friend denies the Michelle incident ever happened. It must have been a post-partum fog. Wish I still had the card to show her.

That's funny. Yeah, I could see myself doing the same thing but hopefully not! I don't know what shape I'll be in after labor. I guess no one ever does. I'm trying to prepare myself now to just not say any words. Even if I'm screaming in pain- just keep it as a scream. Don't include words. I can be mean :/

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

It's really that I'd like her to agree to make an effort. She's not incapable of speaking one specific name without an accent. She always spoke pretty much without an accent at work. It's really about how she keeps inserting her negative opinions of names I pick out.

Half my family is Indian/African. Several of the names take more practice to get right, and I know I'm not perfect in saying them bc I don't have an Indian accent. But, my mom is American and she can say the word double.

On one hand, I'd like to be able to talk to her about my name choices. On the other, a give an inch, she takes a mile. She starts right up like she's my husband. It's not her decision. I'd be fine if she said, "I'd try, but I might still mess up sometimes. But, I'd respect the pronounciation of his name."

It's the going off on how initial names are ugly and common that upset me. I mean, I'm hurt to even think what she'd say if I go with a Muslim or Indian name.

I've talked with her directly before. She said she understood. Then she asks me more questions, but quickly slips back into criticizing like it's her choice. I've told her I don't need to know a list of names she hates and why. Constructive criticism would be pointing out that the initials spelled something strange, for example.

Thank you for sharing about your experiences. Did you share name ideas beforehand with friends or family? Times like this a husband would be nice. It's lonely to keep things inside.

Forgot to add- I do think I have a little bit of an accent but it's not like my mom's. It's more just my voice rather than dropping off whole syllables or changing them about. If I'm not thinking I say "ah" for "I". But, like my mom, if I'm thinking, I'm perfectly capable of saying it correctly. It's more when I'm overly excited.

Edited by Betweenyouandme

Share this post


Link to post

Since you live in Texas, you're bound to hear the Dubya from a lot more folks than just Mom.

 

But a whole lot slides when you hear the name said with affection and love, even if it is not pronounced right.

 

What is important is finding a name you like - besides, once the baby gets here, you may take one look and say "He doesn't look like a JW!"

 

Accents are funny - I grew up in South Florida and had a mild Southern accent.  I made a concerted effort, especially professionally, to not use terms like ya'll*.  But when I drank alcohol (a thing of the past), am around people with Southen accents, get super tired or am with friends from wayback when, it creeps out again.

 

* I worked in the LA area for most of my career.  Since I did not speak with a noticeable accent usually, dropping a ya'll once in a while would bringing a meeting to a standstill.

Edited by DeLurker

Share this post


Link to post

Oh, no, I very much doubt I'll call him JW. Just thinking ahead. Me being upset has little to do with what will probably actually happen and more just the attitude. If I stick to what I'm planning, he's going to have four names with the first two initials making the often used JW.

Edited by Betweenyouandme

Share this post


Link to post

Oh, stewedsquash, you aren't and weren't a failure. I'm so sorry you thought that. There is so, so much to worry about having babies. I knew some of them before I got pregnant but had no idea i would worry every day about something going wrong. I'm so glad your pregnancies and children ended up okay.

I worry about movement. He moves sometimes but I still don't feel him all day. The biggest movement I felt was when he turned back over after the ultrasound tech flipped him over with the wand. He liked to be curled up faced down. But, I have certainly read online that every woman feels her baby's movements differently. It's no sign of being a good or bad parent. We care and try, and that's what matters.

Share this post


Link to post

I don`t remember much about the second trimester, but I vividly remember wildly active baby periods in the third. My son got super active after lunch (just when I was starting to want to nap despite being at work) and my daughter got busy just at bedtime.

Talk to your ob if you are stressing too much to see how much activity is normal for this stage.

Share this post


Link to post

When he kicks, it sometimes is fluttering. Other times, it's enough to just slightly see my stomach move. But, that's just a couple episodes per day total. I'm trying to just stay relaxed. I'm in my twentieth week now. Made it this far at least.

My mom is strange about this. Normally, like yours stewedsquash, she overreacts. But, she told me that she can't remember ever worrying when she was pregnant. She thinks she just assumed everything would be fine bc it's so rare something bad happens. I'm personally in the camp of liking to be informed of the good and bad. I'd rather mildly worry each day than to be blindsided by something horrible. But, I respect everyone's way of thinking on this. I just don't relate to my mom, but I am glad she hasn't stressed me out about the baby's health.

Edited by Betweenyouandme

Share this post


Link to post

Yes, I have , but I mentioned it to my mom, and she flipped out. Her plan is to come mid-September and stay a month. Then, come get me and drive me to NC for a month or two for Christmas. ..........

I have a cat. I can't leave him and won't leave him that long. I had to leave him two months when I was in the hospital. And even though we were living with my dad then, I worried every day. I still think back to it and hold him and say I'm sorry. I hate to think he thought i'd left him or had been injured :/ He's elderly, and they are two terrible months we can never get back. Ill go back for Christmas, but not for that long and only if my dad will move my cat in with him during that time!

Share this post


Link to post

Might be early for making extended travel plans...I'd probably tell Mom that visiting sounds great, but you'll want to put off making that commitment until later in the fall since you know that once the darling gets here you'll have a lot of adjustments to make (planned and unplanned).

And you might face some fussin' from your Dad - he might not take missing his grandson for 2 months so well!

Sounds like your folks are getting excited.

Share this post


Link to post

That's true! I don't know how my dad will be. I mean, he's been really happy, but I still don't see him in person often. He says he'll be around more...I'll just have to see. If he's around, I will be far less likely to want to be separated ..for myself and my son. He won't travel to NC, so 2 months would be too long. My mom doesn't understand why my dad and I are up each others' butts when he's around, but oh well. It's jealousy I think.

Share this post


Link to post

On the baby name vein I know I've mentioned somewhere here about my husbands cousins. Granted, it's not my kid so whatever floats your boat. I myself, accidentally named my own children names that happened to be on the top ten list, go figure. But anyway, husbands cousin had a dog first named Aiden, baby boy came next and they named him Hayden (I think I got the boy and the dog name right, I forget which is which) now baby boy number two is due shortly and they are going name him Kaelen, pronounced Key-Len. The -en trend has got to stop!

Share this post


Link to post

I'd like to go on record of being opposed to naming all your children with the same letter.  My SIL comes from a family with three girls and all their names start with D (they lived 2 blocks away so we knew all of them).  She named her daughter with a D.  Daughter named her son with a D.

 

Another brother and his wife all went with T names for their sons like their Dad.

 

Another brother and SIL went with first names that start with their letter so 4 more Rs or Js.

 

Maybe it is just my family who did this to my annoyance.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

My husbands family does that. I've obliged because well, I don't want to be the first to break the trend but everyone has the same middle initial. I can deal with that. I wouldn't agree to it if it was first name initials. My brother and I had all three of our names start with the same letter. I didn't follow that trend with my own. Just the middle initial.

Share this post


Link to post

I had told my ex that if he wanted to name our son his name, that was fine.  Anything else had to be negotiated.  My son is a III which is unfortunate for someone without a trust fund!

 

Since their family has a tradition of middle names being family surnames, we were using my maiden name for her middle.  My first choice for first names was ruined by my cousin's horrible ex girlfried so I couldn't use it (I loathed her with the heat of a thousand nuns and he's my favorite cousin) and so I just chose a letter for it to start with (so I liked her initials) and asked him to pick some names that start with the letter K for me to consider.

 

He picked a name that which has a male and female version which happened to be the name of my favorite ex boyfriend (who was never mentioned prior to this) although he liked a spelling variation.  I gave him a few weeks to be sure and when he was certain I told him that sounded like the female version of my ex's name (Kiera vs Kieran) because I knew someone would eventually say "You named your baby after your ex?".  Threw him for a loop but he wanted to stick with it because he picked it independently of that and with a different spelling (Kira).

 

To my friends and family's credit, they never blurted out the question I was waiting for, but many eyebrows were raised.

 

Who knew baby naming could be so dramatic!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

As I mentioned earlier upthread, my mother is crazy.

 

If she doesn't like your name, she simply won't use it.  I have a cousin who is in her 30s.  My mother has never called her by name, because she doesn't like it.  It is a perfectly normal name, spelled the usual way and pronounced just how it is spelled.  Sometimes, it takes quite a feat of gymnastics for her to communicate who she is talking about, or to, but she has managed to do it all of these years, without ever saying her name.

 

Did I mention she's crazy?

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

I've found that nicknames just kind of happen. 

 

Yep, me too. You can't plan them (this is reminding me of George Costanza wanting his nickname to be "T-Bone LOL). My nickname for my daughter is Cupcake, which came from a super cute pair of jammies she had when she was still a baby. They were brown, with multi-colored polka dots, with a pink cupcake stitched on them. It just came to me one night, and I started calling her Cupcake, and still call her that and she's now 6. My husband came home one day and picked her up and said, "Well, what's happening, Trouble?" And his nickname for her has been Trouble ever since. He got her a personalized Broncos jersey for Christmas with the name "Trouble" on the back, which is really super cute. 

 

My daughter's name is Clara, which my husband suggested and I liked, since we wanted a classic name, and not something that was too common. He picked that name from Lonesome Dove, one of his favorite movies/miniseries ever, because the main character's love interest was named Clara, and she didn't take any crap from anyone. I loved the name, and still do, but I think she's doomed to a lifetime of people thinking she's named Claire instead of Clara -- it has happened many times.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

That's a really pretty name. I like classic names, names that aren't super common but not an oddball name.

I HATE trendy names.

We have an accidental tradition in my family on my mom's side regarding names. When my daughter was thinking of names when she was pregnant, I realized that going back to my great grandma all of the women in our family have a first name that ends with an A.

My granddaughter is the first one to be named with an A on the end on purpose.

Another thing with my family names brought tears to my eyes.

My dad's mom died when he was 4. His dad couldn't afford to keep my dad and his 4 sisters so they were basically given away to other families. All my dad ever knew about his mom was that her first name was Jennie. He had never seen his birth certificate until he needed to apply for disability. My daughter was 15 at the time my dad first saw his birth certificate.

His mom's middle name was Amanda. It brought chills when I saw his birth certificate.

Edit: I first felt my daughter move when I was almost 5 months pregnant. I was at a Def Lepperd concert and she was in there dancing the whole time.

My daughter bought us tickets to see them in concert again when she was 25. I blew up a picture of me pregnant at the first concert and we took a picture of us holding the picture of me at the second concert. Did that make sense? Lol.

Edited by Maharincess
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

I love the name Clara. It won't work with my baby to be's last name, and it rhymes with my name, but I do love it. I also like Claire. I'm not into trendy names either. I've looked at traditional names that are somewhat uncommonly used now. The boy first name I've picked is ancient (Biblical eponym).

Share this post


Link to post

My last name is in the top 5 most common so it was hard. I didn't want to pick too common of a name but like I said I hate trendy names.

Share this post


Link to post

Did your husband read the novel? 

 

No, he's not a big reader. I love to read, but I've never read that particular book. But we did watch the prequel, Comanche Moon, and the part of young Gus was played by Steve Zahn. I kind of rolled my eyes at this, but we watched it anyway. And we were both struck by how much Steve Zahn seemed to inhabit that role. It was clear that he'd spent a lot of time studying Robert Duvall's performance from the original, because he had his mannerisms, speech patterns, and all the rest of it completely down. And he did it naturally enough that it didn't seem like he was doing a Robert Duvall impersonation, but giving his own performance.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

 

My husband calls him Daniel San. (Son?)

In Japanese, adding san to the a name is a gender neutral honorific or sign of respect. 

Share this post


Link to post

Steve Zahn has been in some real stinkers, but I think his talent is truly underrated.  Now I will have to seek out Comanche Moon.  Thanks for the tip, Queasy-bo. Okay, back to family stuff.

Share this post


Link to post

Found out today I'm going to have to have a c-section because of my large cyst. Depending on the type of cyst, one of my ovaries might need to be removed, but if so, it hasn't been functioning anyway. So, new due date is a week earlier. I'll schedule the exact date and time later on at another appointment. Next appointment will be the glucose test to see if I have a blood sugar issue.

I gained a lot of weight the past two weeks. The doctor said it was fine since I started underweight.

The appointment was overwhelming, but I feel better now. At least I can think of the positives about not having to go through labor. I was scared because you never know how that will go. Still scary negatives, but I'll have time to accept the facts.

Edited by Betweenyouandme
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

BYaM - Glad you got early notice about the c-section.  It gives you time to find out what you are in for and mentally prepare.  I had two, but was completely taken by surprise the first time.  I knew, in theory, about them but never expected it might be a possibility for me (just mental blinders).  From what you've posted, you are still young and in good heatlh overall so there are proably pre-delivery exercises and steps you can take to make the recovery period go better.

 

Have you looked into prenatal yoga classes?  I've heard good things about the benefits.  Of course, with everything pregnancy related you would want to consult with your OB and not take the random recommendation of a stranger on some forum!  I always research stuff with respected sources - Mayo Clinic, Consumer Reports, etc...

Share this post


Link to post

My parents are 50+ years old. They fall into these giant dramas with members of my extended family (who are much older than they are, and fairly estranged from us). I then have to hear about all this drama until I want to rip out my hair.

 

I understand that seventy year old people still have the capacity for immaturity and vendettas, but for my sake, just assume that every comment or thing they do is done/said maliciously. You never cared before, why do you care now? Their time on earth is limited. Heck, so is everyone's. I would just like to talk about something different. Anything different. 

 

It really diminishes my parents in my eyes. They sound like squabbling children/broken records. This morning I was berated: "Don't tell (cousin I'm on good terms with) anything about us because you know it'll get back to this person, And I'll be very angry, because I'll know it could only have come from you!" and I'm like "My cousin doesn't care. No one cares!  At all. But thanks for threatening me. You're a cool, stable person, there."

Edited by AltLivia
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Ahh...the family soap operas!

 

It is probably a need for them to feel you are on "their" side.  And as your parent, they still view you as being easily manipulated or naive and they don't want you to be taken advantage of (regardless of how old you are or how "real" the risk might be).  So your closeness with you cousin may seem like a recruitment campaign by the enemy camp.

 

Since I am in the neighborhood of your parents agewise, I can honestly tell you that maturity and a balanced perspective are something that you have to fight for - it doesn't magically appear like the grey hair and laugh lines!  And it is a fight you don't always win.

 

It doesn't mean their feelings are wrong - afterall there is 50+ years of history that might back them up.  But it doesn't mean they are right about everything either.  But their relationship with the extended family shouldn't dictate nor define yours.

 

I would probably say something like "I respect your feelings on this (however BSC they might be) and will use discretion in family matters with my cousin".  A nice vague statement that sounds reassuring, but doesn't commit you in anyway.

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...