Since my parents found out I was pregnant, they have been insanely overprotective and obnoxious about pretty much everything. They are not shy at all about criticizing me and my decisions, or about telling me when they disagree. One of my mom’s favorite things is to tell me she has more wisdom than me, so I should do what she says…. right. When I went to get the Covid vaccine last May, they both admonished me and said that I was being selfish, only thinking about myself being able to go out to eat and socialize as opposed to thinking about my unborn baby (it was actually the opposite, but hey, they have more wisdom than me!). When I got the COVID-19 booster shot, my mom got even more pissed, saying that I had no idea what risk I was putting my baby in just weeks before labor and delivery. And when I was in San Francisco back in August, Chris was holding back and trying to be very patient when my mother was fussing over me about literally everything: she got mad when I leaned over the dining table to get a dish during dinner, she did not want me bending down, and she obsessed over me eating cold foods. This was all annoying, but I expected it. And since we were only in San Francisco for one week, I put up with it. If I actually lived in the same city with her and had to deal with her fussing over me this much, I probably would’ve told her to take a hike and learn science.
So, since the baby has arrived, I have tried to communicate to my mother that I’m not going to deal with her ridiculous nonsense. I stopped responding to all of her 5 million daily calls, and I tell them constantly to stop freaking out and that I’m doing what I’m going to do, and I am not going to listen to them. Chris particularly likes to egg them on by trolling them. He takes pleasure in getting reactions out of them because they are that predictable.
The latest episode of this was when one morning, Chris woke up to check on the baby before a feed to see that she had broken out of the swaddle that he had done in the middle of the night. It honestly looked like she was stuck in a big bag and trying to wiggle her way out. He thought this was absolutely hilarious, so he decided to take a video of it, completely aware that this was something that would totally piss off my parents and make them think that we were irresponsible parents to their grandchild. He immediately uploaded it as an unlisted video to YouTube, and that afternoon, he sent it via our group text that he created facetiously among my mom, dad, him and myself. He laughed evilly and was just waiting for a reaction.
Well, I took a nap after nursing the baby that early evening for just an hour. And when I woke up, I looked at my phone to see that there were two missed calls, one from my mom and one from my dad. There were also two voice messages, again, one from my mom and one from my dad. In addition to that, my mom sent me a direct text outside of the group text, asking me why I had covered up the baby’s face… She would not be able to breathe. I did not bother listening to the voice messages from both of my parents as I knew that they would be accusatory and irrational. Instead, I quickly looked at the audio transcript on my phone to see that both parents had accused me of suffocating my child – entirely predictable. The funny thing was, the way that my dad started the message was, “Yvonne: there is a video showing that the baby has her face covered.“ Well, considering that it was uploaded to my account, doesn’t he think that… I would know that the video existed?! Granted, they did not know that Chris used my phone to send them this video link, but considering that this is my YouTube account, why does he make it sound like there is a random video out there showing that our grandchild is about to suffocate that I would not be aware of? It’s as though this was news or something that we had no idea about, and that just seemed senseless.
I responded to my mom’s direct text with my usual sentiment: stop freaking out. And then, I ignored both the voice messages as well as the missed calls. On top of that, the next day, I refrained from sharing any photos or videos with them. I cannot deal with their nonsense.
And the more that I think about it, the more ridiculous my dad‘s involvement in this is. To give you some context, my dad has not called me directly probably since September of last year. Even after the baby arrived, he never had any direct voice contact with me until this call. He has only sent me these basic 1 to 2 sentence emails. He has also sent me a handful of texts, but mostly in response to videos and photos that I sent of the baby. The most substantial text he has sent is, “Nice,” or “interesting,” or “very good.” So as you can see, he is not particularly interactive or talkative or… Really involved.
And when I really, really think about it, it’s ridiculous that he even has these responses considering the fact that he was not really even actively involved in my life while I was a child or my brother’s life except to criticize us. Sure, he paid the bills and made sure we had a roof over our head, but in terms of day-to-day interaction, there was a little to none unless it was a put down. When I think back to my childhood, there was never a time when my dad spent any quality one on one time with either my brother or me. He really did not know us, our interests or hobbies, nor did he make any attempt to show he wanted to build a bond with us or be interested in our lives and development. In fact, he spent more quality one on one time with my pet parakeet. Every night, when he would get home from work, he would spend about 30 minutes to one hour downstairs in the bird’s room, talking to Willie my parakeet, playing with him, and having one on one time with his favorite child… my parakeet Willie. He never did that with Ed or me. In fact, he barely even said anything to either of us when we were at the dinner table. How does this even make any sense? So now, fast forward to 36 to 43 years later, and he suddenly has all kinds of opinions about my child, his grandchild! And that, when I think about it, is very infuriating.
So no, I’m not going to put up with them. And no, I am not going to deal with the fact that they have zero sense of humor and are stuck in their ways, and think that their parenting is the best. Because as you can see from the above, it is clear that their parenting is not the best.