Well… I survived this past weekend!

A whirlwind recap of a whirlwind weekend would go something like this: my parent’s arrive Thursday afternoon and come over to drop off baby gear, say hello to me and the puppy, and somehow acquire a ticket in a parking spot I see in use every single day (sorry, Mom and Dad!) before heading out to Queens and “their” hotel in the city (which has free off-street parking – a huge perk!) … my husband’s parents arrive Thursday night and settle in to our spare bedroom/nursery before we head out for a quick dinner and then home for bed … somewhere in all this, my sister also arrives in the city, but she is staying with my brother, and so I don’t get to see her yet 😦

Friday morning, I am up at my usual time (6am or so … WISH I could sleep in, but alas, internal alarms aren’t as easily reset as those resting on our bedside tables) and enjoy a few hours to myself before anyone else in the apartment is up for the day … Eventually, everyone is up and eating breakfast and doing a variety of things, and I get to go pick my sister up from the subway station – YAY! … arrive back at the apartment to find the husband’s family out, so I get to enjoy time alone with my sister (PERFECT!) and then the two of us go out to eat as the rest wander back in … After lunch, it’s time to decide what to wear (note: made the wrong choice. 8 months pregnant + velvet graduation robe = does NOT need tights to stay warm) wit the help of my sister, then off across the park to graduation! … Meet up with my family, get stuck with the rest of the graduates by accident so can’t spend more time with them (argh!), and then sit through an interminable ceremony full of “interesting” speeches (eh, not so much… and just a note: the colon is NOT part of the upper GI tract, nor is there such a thing as  “metatastic”, as cool as the word may sound) … Walk across the stage – TWICE! – sweating and grumbling … Until finally the ceremony is over, I can remove the robes and try to fan off the pools of sweat that have accumulated underneath, and make my escape! … Back to the apartment, whole family in tow, to meet up with the few who didn’t make it to the mind-numbing speeches … Out to dinner (mmmm… Thai!) and then home again, to say good-nights and go to bed

Saturday morning was another lovely early few hours of peace for me, followed by the eventual wakefulness of the husband’s family and setting out on our adventure down in Union Square… Wandered through the Farmer’s Market, where we met up with my parents … Wandered through Babies R Us, where his dad took delight in trying to buy us everything in sight, and succeeding in buying maybe half of what he wanted … The off the girls go, to my New York baby shower!

The shower, I must say, was lovely – my sister and sister-in-law did a great job of knowing me/listening to me, and did everything just as I could have wanted – small, friendly, and with as little focus on ME as possible 😉 We all enjoyed an amazingly delicious vegan lunch paired with yummy tea (it was held in a tea house!) while chatting and having fun, and then I opened my amazing presents (seriously! amazing! lovely! and very, very thoughtful!) … Perfect!

From there, I went home with my mom, mother-in-law, and sister… I had hoped that we might still have time to go out and do something, but – that wasn’t in the cards. Apparently, what was in the cards: building all the baby stuff … Stroller, swing, mobile, etc … fun???? eh, not so much… though my father-in-law certainly thought so (my sister, no) … Eventually my sis decided to head back to my brother’s (since the entertainment of watching guys struggle to build things while ignoring the manuals was wearing thin – for all of us) and then the rest of us eventually headed out to dinner (mmmm – pizza!) before my parent’s went back to their hotel and we went back to the apartment, to read and rest and go to bed.

Sunday morning, everyone was leaving – my parents driving home, my sister catching an early flight … By noon, the in-laws also departed for their flight, and finally, finally, we had the apartment back to ourselves.

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Now – some thoughts on all of this… (And the reason behind the title)

1. The main events of the weekend? My graduation, and my baby shower (OK, “our” baby shower, but it was just girls, so… mostly mine!). So, um, WHY was MY family staying in a hotel, and HIS family with us? Good question. Originally, the plan was for both parents to stay elsewhere, and my sister to stay with us – a plan I was very excited for, as I never get to see her enough, and wanted some good girly time with her. Except… Then his parents invited themselves to stay with us. No questions, just “we’re doing it.” Now – don’t get me wrong – I love his parents, I love seeing them and even love having them stay with us (mostly), but – COME ON! This is MY weekend (sort of), so – shouldn’t *I* get to decide?!?! But, no. Because I don’t want to start a war with them, and really? In the scheme of things? This is not a big deal.

I really do think it comes down to something familial, or cultural – my parents would never have thought of staying with us this weekend, they would have felt it too much an imposition (they have stayed with us at other times in the past, and will again in the future – just not when there is so much going on, and they know I/we may need our space and rest) ; his parents, meanwhile, stay with us each and every time they come, and would never even think of getting a hotel to stay at, no matter what is going on around them. Like I said, just a difference in viewpoint. And I know that, and accept that, and really, it’s fine. It’s just that sometimes, I need to blow off some steam… Especially after having my home invaded for 4 days!!!

2. On very much the same track, guess what their new plan is??? When baby girl is born (2.5 weeks! GAH!!!) my parents are, of course, coming – but will stay with my brother. My sister is coming, as well (which, since she lives across the country, is AMAZING and LOVELY and I cannot tell you how much I love her!!!), and her husband – but he’s working it so he has business to do here on the trip, so they will get a hotel and write it off as a business expense. His parents? Will likely not make it for the actual day of the birth, due to unchangeable commitments they had already made (baby girl is scheduled to arrive a week early, which I don’t think they were expecting) – but they WILL come as soon as they possibly can, likely the day I am to leave the hospital. And? I highly suspect that they will be (wanting to) stay with us then, as well.

Now, I know what they are thinking – because my mother-in-law said this to me enough times this past weekend – which is, I will need someone to help me during this time. In fact, in their culture, the new mother is not supposed to do ANYTHING for a month after birth (including taking a shower – ew!) … And I was told that if I were to be giving birth back in their country, they would be putting me up in this swanky birthing center where the mom and baby stay for a month after birth, the mom with her own attendant (servant?) and the baby with her own nurse, each getting individual care and, you know, being waited on hand-and-foot. Which? Doesn’t sound half bad, to be honest. But! It’s not exactly the culture here, and not exactly my personality to be able to lounge around for that long… So… Yeah. But, that brings us to the point – they want to stay here so that they can help me/us. Which, on the surface, is totally awesome.

But?!?!?! Let’s think about this for a moment. We live in NYC. In an apartment. A small one. It has 2 bedrooms (with 2 doors! WOOT! the only thing that makes any of this even remotely possible and not totally sending me into pulling-out-my-hair spasms of agony), 1 bathroom, 1 kitchen, and a small living/dining/everything else area. They will arrive the DAY I GET RELEASED FROM THE HOSPITAL. As in, before I get back to my own apartment myself. So – NO time for me, my husband, our daughter (and our dog) to just be there, ourselves, a family… NO time for me to adjust to being a mother out of the hospital, on my own …

Now, I am not sure where this is going. What our decision will be. What will happen. I imagine, if they plan to stay only a little while (2-3 days?) I can – and will – allow it. For the sake of the family. Because I know their intentions are beyond good. Because, in the end, this is one of those compromises one makes. But if it emerges that the stay is longer than this – well, then, I may just blow my top. Because mama needs her space, dammit!

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