Frustration, irritation and some fun… now with update

I really do not want to become one of those women who finally have a baby on the way and then move on to complaining about new topics. So please realize that even as I write today’s post which I admit is quite a rant, I am still approaching Joey’s pregnancy with a large sense of awe and gratitude. Of course at the same time, it is still an odd and surreal thought that we will have a baby (or 2) before Thanksgiving.

Now to the rant: I am absolutely infuriated with my mother at present! My phone decided to call my mom on my way to work so I took that as an omen that we should chat. I am now torn on whether I am glad I talked with her or not. She was talking about when she would tell my father’s extended family and then she moved onto how she will tell them. To be honest, this is not an area I had given any thought to since all my grandparents are gone.

Background: I love my dad’s side of the family but they are just generally stuffy. We don’t share many of the same beliefs and I pretty much don’t care what they think of me (though I do love my aunts who are patient and lovely women to stay with my dad’s brothers). I have been bringing a woman with me to family functions on and off for the past 17 years so I am pretty sure that no one is shocked by my sexuality although we don’t really talk about it. Being gay in the south can be so complicated! Also I have a female cousin on my dad’s side that sooooo looks gay and also brings a woman to functions. We all know the score so I just planned to bring Joey along and talk about “our” children. Period. The family could catch on or not. And I do plan to share the news with my cousins which should actually be pretty fun.

What my mom said: she started talking about how I will be adopting the baby Joey is carrying. I agreed and said, “Yes, as a second parent adoption.” She skimmed over this fact and said that Joey was just being something like a surrogate for me. I said, “Sort of Mom, but Joey and I are raising these babies together as a family.” I began speaking more slowly and in a punctuated way as though I was speaking with someone with English as a second language… I guess I was in a way. I am asking my mother to speak a language she is unprepared for: I need her to have the ability to “come out.” I have been gay for years and my parents know that. They are even supportive — in private. But dammit- these are my kids and Joey’s kids — equally! And I refuse to be quiet about my family just to make my mom and dad feel more comfortable. I refuse to pretend that “my roommate” is acting as my “surrogate” and that I am “adopting her baby.” We are raising children together. The extended family– and my parents– will have to learn to love the idea or miss out on some wonderful children. Grrrr. Freakin’ surrogate!! As if?!

So now I am left with the question of how to tell the extended family, because I want my story told correctly. I have no desire to tell each family member on the phone. Do you think a nice letter will be okay? Seriously, I am open to ideas here. And please, try to be gentle about my mom. I love her but I kinda  feel the need to create her in voodoo doll format at present.

***Update*** After reading the comments so far, calming considerably and deciding to just talk directly with my mom about how upset I was about the “surrogate” comment, my mom actually called me. She called to share some other non-medicinal m/s remedies she thought of. It seems that she had been thinking about Joey all day and was concerned about her. Talk about taking the wind out of my sails! So we talked about that and I thanked her. Then I said something like I understood from our earlier conversation that she felt a bit uncomfortable talking with the family about Joey and I “being pregnant.” I offered to call all of them and/or send pg announcements. Then she said that she really doesn’t feel stressed about telling the family and she thinks they will understand and be excited.  Holy shit, I think she was just working it out in her own head in our earlier conversation and when I made it clear that Joey and I want to share our news from a “family” perspective, she heard me. This just never happens with my mom. She tends to mean well and yet be terribly insensitive at the same time. She even said that she wants to tell them and she is terribly excited about the u/s on Monday…. what??? Then she said something about how grateful she feels to Joey for letting me get this close to having a pregnancy because she knows that Joey would have been just as happy adopting starting 2+ years ago. dumbstruck. Oh, and I totally plan to use all the pg announcement ideas!

And on to a happier thought: I am posting a poll for fun. How many babies are in the oven? Our ultrasound is Monday and we are beyond excited. Of course this brings up lots thoughts and feelings but that will have to wait for another post because my agency would really like me to do more work right now. 🙂


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12 responses to “Frustration, irritation and some fun… now with update

  1. Ah, sorry for the comunication/spin headaches. 😛 Sorry something which is really happy and straight forward has to be complicated.

    It’s not the same, but I have trouble with the way my mother spins my business to other people sometimes. Actually, the fact that she ~spins~ it at all is a problem in my mind. LOL.

    You could ask your mom to imagine her own mother or mother-in-law describing ~her~ to family as your father’s surrogate. (That was my immediate thought … 🙂 what if someone described me as Mike’s surrogate … or Mike as my sperm donor. Uh … technically … sort of. Only not.)

    I feel your pain on the announcement and not wanting to call everyone and make it a hairy deal. You want to control the message, but there’s something about calling everyone that makes it feel like … more than you want it to be.

    I suppose if this is the older generation, email announcement is not an option? ( probably has some of those).

    Something like this? Is this too much?

    I don’t know. You don’t want to seem all in people’s face, attention seeking … especially after IF, you know how this kind of news can pack the wrong kind of punch. But worded the right way …? With humor and sincerity? Smart ones will get it and the rest … oh well?

    So excited to hear about Monday. Stay well!!

  2. This is such a hard situation. I’m not in the same place with my mom, but she’s definitely not 100% comfortable with everything. And I hate those little adjustments she can make showing that she doesn’t view us as totally normal (I mean, we’re not *normal,* but you know what I mean!). I hope the family is supportive once you tell them. They’ll be missing out big time if they don’t want to know your children!

    By the way, don’t worry about ranting – you have to get this stuff out. It’s not like once you have a baby on the way all other problems vanish!

  3. Yuck. I’m so sorry to hear all of that. I have friends who were going through something similar with their respective families. Thankfully once the baby was here it seemed like everyone forgot about all the drama, but what a crappy thing to have to deal with while you’re busy being so excited about everything. If you feel most comfortable with a letter then I think that’s fine. Or you could do some kind of cute pre-baby announcement card with an ultrasound pic or something. That way you wouldn’t have to say much, but could still put out there what feels comfortable to you.

  4. That is definitely hard. Our families are very cool now but I think it was our wedding that helped them get over the “coming out” hump. No more “this is my daughter and her roommate” moments.

    I think a letter or email is a great idea. That way you can chose and model the language for your family and its creation that you and Joey want to use. Sometimes people just don’t know what the right words are. (See above under how many times someone says “daddy” meaning “donor”.)

  5. sorry to hear about the difficult conversation. its okay to rant – as olive said, pregnancy doesnt cure all of life’s other problems!

    we have struggled with this with some of our extended family members too. there are times when a gentle correction has been enough (when people ask about the “dad,” letting them know there isn’t a “dad,” just a donor, etc).

    i like the idea of some of the pp’ers re: a pregnancy announcement. if that feels like too much, a birth announcement will have a similar effect. we got birth announcements printed from shutterfly and sent them to all of our extended family for that very purpose. they said “S & R are delighted to announce the birth of their daughter” and had her name (including her hypenated surname).

    the grandparents have still had questions, its so beyond their realm of experience, but all of the aunts/uncles/cousins definitely got the message.

    good luck with whatever you decide!

  6. What about a card with your first or second sonogram pick and the picture of the two of you. It could say something like- we’re pleased to announce we’re growing our family!

    Jokingly: If you’re in the South, and its on beautiful stationary, you should be just fine- bless your heart :c)

  7. poppycat

    Reading your update made me a little teary. I’m so happy things turned around and that you get to feel your moms understanding and feel like she is really listening to you and taking things to heart.

    I think sometimes they just need direction, vocabulary and time to digest.

    I am so damn excited for your u/s!!!

  8. I am so happy that you had such a great convo with your mom, after all. She sounds so excited! I’m looking forward to your update once everyone knows.

    I can’t wait to hear about the ultrasound! So excited for you two! 🙂

  9. Em

    Honey I hear this convo loud and clear… I think a lovely little card with you both stating “we are expecting” when time might be lovely.

    I know the first few years dee and i were together I would send out a newsy chrissy card with an update photo of us and furries… saved me relying on relies to send our news out… I am so happy that your mum is coming to the party now…

  10. Awesome update–so glad to hear it. Babies are magic!

  11. I’m so glad your mom is starting to “get it”. I’ve been pretty surprised by some of my family members along this journey. Some have been unbelievably insensitive and others have blown me away by they’re insight and unconditional love. Such is life…

    Thanks for hooking me up with my very own poll button. 🙂 You’ll have to let me know if it gets more than one hit.

  12. I’m happy to hear your mom called you and things got worked out. At first as I was reading your post, I felt so angry right along with you. Why do people insist on creating their own version of the truth, instead of opening themselves up to reality? I’m certain my mom and your mom were twins separated at birth. My mom creates her own reality all the time. And it drives me insane. BUT, your mom came around, which is cool. And you gave her credit for it. You’re cooler.

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