Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Families

As most of you who read my blog know, I have had my inlaws stay with us for the past two months. They are due to go home on the 25 April.

I admit I have found it very hard with a four month old thrown into the mix.

I guess we all have expectations of how things will be, and my expectations have been blown out of the water. I thought I'd be getting a little bit of help around the house, but as well as taking care of Liam, I've had to cook, clean and wash clothes for two extra people in our household. I've had extreme moments of frustration. Tears and tiredness. Wanting to bang my head very hard against the wall. I think I have been questioned on my parenting techniques a million times.

I'll reiterate that my inlaws are lovely people. They are not all bad. They are just very high maintenance.

I said yes to a 7 week visit because Richard loves his parents very much and misses them. He only gets to see them once every two years, although this year being the exception. I figure if he moved countries for me, 7 weeks was not a lot to ask for.

I guess the frustration I have with my inlaws is that things are not discussed. Nothing is ever confronted. They are dealing with a lot at the moment. An alcoholic relative who lives with them and trying to find their daughter that they had before they got married and due to their religion, decided to give her up for adoption. These things are not easy by any means.

However, this morning, it seems I broke a few walls down. The three of us had a talk about their daughter. They cried openly. They cried about how hard it is to have their son in a different country. How hard it is to have a grandchild live on the other side of the world. How Liam has bought up so many emotions and feelings for them about their daughter, it is too hard for them to comprehend.

I felt like I had made a breakthrough. I realised having a child and giving them the gift of being grandparents had further ingrained me into Richard's family, that maybe they were comfortable discussing things with me.

Becoming a part of a new family is something I find challenging about marriage. Heck, I'm still trying to work out why my own family are the way they are sometimes.

I guess you can't pick your family. I certainly didn't pick my inlaws. I don't know if you can pick the perfect inlaws.

Families will always have their moments. They will experience happiness and crisis and grief and wonderful milestones that are life's journey.

I've realised Richard and I are quite an independent couple. We got married and had a baby, but we did it on our own without any family around us. So there is not the mandatory Wednesday dinner at the parents house or having to attend a second cousin's birthday celebration. We live our life the way we want to.

I think maybe that's why I have found it so hard.

1 comment:

Amy said...

Jo, I just keep nodding whenever I read your posts on this! Jason and I are the same, a very independent couple and I have very similar issues to all that you have been going through with the in-laws.

Mine are the same - they dont talk and are not open. it makes it so hard.

I also experienced the joys of not having help but rather the extra cooking and cleaning!

You have done wonderfully and the end is in sight!!! bring on the family time when you are back to yourselves :)

xoxo