I am on the verge of being a grandmother (I prefer Nana, BTW). My daughter is 23 years old and unmarried, as well as doesn’t currently have a job. She and her baby’s father, her boyfriend, live with me. I am trying to help them with their death-trap of a vehicle, I feed them and provide them with shelter. I was young and pregnant and homeless once, so I get it and I will help when and where I can — I’m a Mama Bear, so that’s just part of it! Not to mention, getting her to specialist visits an hour a way, providing gas money to the OB/GYN and hospital, etc. It’s just part of the territory when you’re a mother, never a big deal.
Since the holidays are nearly over, we are starting to plan a baby shower, which is also fine (that means that I don’t have to provide or find those items). My kids’ father, my former abuser, has not really said much of anything about this baby, thus far, other than texting me to “blame” me for allowing that to happen. It was shocking when she first announced it, but it is becoming a very soon-to-be reality. Throw into this reality that she has a debilitating stomach issue that causes her to not be able to each much of anything.
However, now that Christmas is over, the Ex is asking all the questions he should’ve asked before: When is the baby due? What’s his full name? Where’s your baby registry at? What do you still need? (*Insert eye roll here. He’s been told MULTIPLE times). Realistically, I’m ultimately not REALLY surprised. Our children weren’t “real” until he saw them on the final ultrasound and/or they were actually born. He did not participate in our babies’ OB/GYN visits or shopping or care, ultimately. He was there to LOOK like the doting father and to receive all the handshakes, slaps on the back, money/gifts, and cigars.
I got Christmas gifts accomplished this year (thanks SO much to the help of my loving boyfriend) and managed to get my grandson a port-a-crib that has EVERYTHING. She told me she told her Dad that [we] did that, so he made sure that he purchased a few things from the online Baby Registry. His girlfriend purchased the baby bag she wanted. I told her I was glad for her and that that was nice of them (thinking to myself: it’s about damned time! — thankfully, I do keep those thoughts to myself).
What I am now wrestling with, is the fact that I may be stuck in a hospital waiting room with them. I know he has someone else, and that is totally fine — I do too. It’s the fact that he is currently three states away and not in the same proximity to me. I have spent so much of my adult life “circling the wagons” and protecting my children, that now my circle includes my grandson and his father. I don’t worry about him being abusive — he will be the ardent actor for his girlfriend and any other onlookers. I worry that he will AGAIN break my daughter’s heart and disappoint, not to mention act badly when the focus isn’t on him for an extended period of time.
Honestly, I don’t want to share my grandson’s tender birth celebration. I want to be the first person in the waiting room to hold him, if allowed (dang it, COVID!). I know I’m going to be emotional and overjoyed and I DON’T want to be in the presence of the kill joy that is his biological grandfather. My Ex will make sure the focus is totally on him and will make sure he gets to steal that from me. He is also not vaccinated, which does not thrill me. I am NOT worried about him hurting me. He no longer gets that privledge. I can talk to anyone or read a book and pretend he’s not even in existence. I don’t worry about making things okay or not awkward. I will make things awkward AF. You’ll have to excuse me, I was raised in Memphis, TN, so I can go rogue temporarily…my apologies…I’m normally composed and well-spoken. I will even talk to his girlfriend and totally ignore him. I harbor no ill will toward her, only slight-worry TBH. Him, I can ignore happily.
Okay, I guess my personal rant is over. I know that I have to share, and to be gracious in front of my children and family friends. I will be, I just WON’T like it. My kids know I always do the right thing and that I want them to have a relationship, of some sort, with their father. However, they were there too for all of the abuse and hate he spewed. They well know how he is. They also know that I am a human person, although I think still think of me as a “Super Mom” of sorts…they know that I want what is best for them and will always care for them no matter what. I do not have to put on the happy face. I am grateful that they know that I always take the high road. Because, after the birth celebration is over, they also know that their Dad WON’T be joining us in the trenches of raising a newborn. He’s there for show and they know that’s normal. And thankfully, he will go back to being three states away.
NOTE: My grandson is due in early March 2022. I have some time to work on my thoughts and actions, in that moment. My Ex also has a pending OWI out there, for our area, so he may not even show up. Again, internal thoughts! LOL!