Monday, May 2, 2011

Oh the Drama!

My sister-in-law's baby shower is this weekend. I've been mulling it over for weeks and weeks including this post from several weeks ago entitled Preparing for SIL Baby Shower in May.

Well, it's finally here - this coming weekend. I was 99.9% sure I wouldn't go and called my sister-in-law to let her know. As we were talking, I felt her understanding and compassion, and suddenly I realized that I wanted to be there for her - it was just not knowing how to best deal with my mother-in-law who is the difficulty for me right now.

My SIL offered the suggestion that we stay somewhere else - the baby shower is supposed to be at my MIL's house so being at her house around the decorations might be too hard for me. Plus, I just need my physical and emotional space this time around.

So, I was all geared up with that plan and called my MIL to tell her and you know what she does? She cries that she's upset we wouldn't be staying with her. I really sometimes can't get over this.  This is my pain we're dealing with so why can't she have a little more compassion?

I get the sense that because she's talked to other women who have miscarried that I should just be able to get over this. B tried explaining to her how painful this experience has been.

She's a pastor on top of it all. So, I just don't get how someone can be a pastor and claim to love a family member yet just not know how to be understanding or compassionate toward us.

I get the sense that all she's concerned with is being able to express her joy over this new baby.

My husband really thinks that he's explained the emotional aspects of what we're going through enough with her that we should be able to have a good weekend. I'm not convinced.

How is it that I can have an amazingly meaningful conversation with my SIL yet my MIL causes me so much angst on top of an already pained heart that I have?

Why is this so hard for her to understand? Why can't it be enough to say I'm in pain? Why can't she just have compassion for us?


  1. Oh friend. I don't know. I really don't know. I think we have to be resigned that there will always be some folks near us who are just waiting for us to "get over it, dammit." In our situation, I guess I've decided to look at it a little more globally - is this person REALLY dissing the memory of our daughters and negating our pain, or do they react like this in other situations? with other people? Somehow if I convince myself that I can't take it personally, it helps, a little? I don't know if that's an option here. Just throwing out a little coping mechanism to see if it helps.

    I think you should CONTINUE to state your pain and your feelings, whether or not they listen. It sounds as if you have a wonderful and understanding SIL. And really, its HER day, her shower. And if she gets it, everyone else can @#$# off.

  2. I don't have any great advice for you, but I just wanted to say that I'm really sorry you have to deal with this. I wish your MIL would try harder to understand what you're going through. I wish she would understand how much effort it will take for you to even go to the shower. I wish your husband didn't even have to explain "why it's difficult" in the first place...

    I read a lot of IF blogs--and just started one of my own--but I actually didn't come across yours until yesterday, when I Googled "baby shower for a SIL" (or something along those lines.) I'm so glad I found it. I have been TTCing since July 2009 with zero success, and my SIL just announced her pregnancy after trying for one month. I'll probably co-host her baby shower, and I hate dealing with the mixed emotions of being thrilled for her, but really sad for myself.

    Anyway, I could not have come upon your blog at a better time. I whole-heartedly wish that you were not faced with these issues, but I really appreciate your willingness to be so candid about them in your blog. Thank you, and be well~~

  3. If they've never been thru IF/miscarriages, then they have no idea how to deal with those of us who have. My mom has flat out told me that she has no idea what i am going thru, but she empathizes very well. I don't have a MIL, but my dh's side of the family stays out of eachother's business and we don't live close enough to either side for it to be a problem. That's the very best thing--i have the excuse of "Oh, I would sure *love* to be there, but with gas prices, we just can't afford it right now..."
    I don't get your Pastor?/MIL though...where's her compassion towards you? That I don't understand either.

  4. I'm proud of how your handling the SIL shower situation. I think you are doing a really great thing in supporting her (as hard as it may be for you).

    I'm not sure what the deal with your MIL is. I don't know how she could think you should "just get over it" if she's talked to anyone who has ever had a miscarriage. I don't think it is something that you can possibly just get over.

    I think some people don't get it. Or they just don't know how to respond. Or they are just oblivious. It can just be really disappointing when they don't respond in any sort of a sensitive way. It blows my mind that she is a pastor. Sigh.

    At any rate, I'm sorry that part of your family is like this but happy that your SIL is trying to support you. Good luck this weekend :)

  5. It is hard to believe that she isn't more understanding as a pastor, but maybe she puts on a different persona for work. Perhaps she has some personal issues that are blinding her in this situation.

  6. ugh, I am so sorry that your MIL is giving you a hard time. I find that my MIL can be more compassionate to others but is harsher on her own family members- it stinks. I am glad that you found a plan that works for you. I hope that the shower and the weekend go well. Your SIL sounds great and understanding, BTW.

  7. Oh my - a baby shower and Mother's Day weekend all rolled into one? I do hope you decided to stay somewhere where you can vent and release your pain & tears as needed. I am very glad you have gotten some support from your SIL and try not to let the bad stuff overshadow those wonderful moments.

    Maybe you need to impose a self restraining order with your MIL and just maintain a certain amount of physical space from her at ALL times for a while. You need to establish boundaries for yourself right now and that's okay. She doesn't understand your pain and she won't understand you need to keep your distance.

    Sending you a huge hug,