Giggling and excited pattering of 16 month old feet running across the room is what you hear when our older friend from church, John, comes over to help my hubby work on the house. When Mom and Dad, my husband’s parents, came over to get our little guy when we were about to have his little sister, he practically jumped into Mom’s arms. The sweet smiles and giggles when he sees these loved ones is something too precious to adequately put to words. The love you can see in my little guy’s happy movements is something that touches me and makes me smile, but sometimes it also hurts.
There are people openly, willingly absent from my babies lives. People who should be and could be experiencing this pure joy of unconditional baby love. It’s unfair that I am feeling the pain from that absence, but I’m thankful that it happened before their births so that they don’t know the absence exists. At least yet. Someday they will be old enough to realize they don’t have two sets of grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins like many other kids their age, and probably at that point it will hurt, but they will always know how loved they are by the family and friends that do choose to be involved.
This is not something new to a lot of people. We all have baggage, we all have drama in our lives only we ourselves and our closest loved ones can truly understand. We all have hurt that we don’t know how to express or deal with from time to time. This is some of mine.
Our baby boy came into this world as a product of his parent’s love for each other, commitment to each other and commitment to raising children to love God and love people. He was a surprise, but he certainly wasn’t a mistake. According to some people, my son, and now my daughter, shouldn’t exist because my marriage shouldn’t exist. I’ve spent the last 6 years of my life avoiding those people because of the guilt, anger and heartache involved in contact with them. The last correspondence made back to me was cold and reserved to 4 short lines. The contact before that was at least 3 different, many pages long, angry, demeaning, hateful letters. Even though I have felt many, many emotions over it all, I have never responded in like.
I say all of this because I know there are so many out there that can relate to what I’ve been through. You have a parent who belittles you and makes you feel guilt if you don’t appease them and instead of your focus being on your husband and family, it is on trying to do what makes them happy. Which then causes discord between you and your husband, and your marriage suffers. Which then damages what you’re trying to accomplish as a parent because one of the most important things you can show your kids is commitment to and unity with their father. What a painful situation, and, Mama, I feel your pain.
I believe this is why God made it clear to us in the Bible that we are to LEAVE our parents and unite with our spouse.
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.
We are to honor our parents, HOWEVER when that relationship comes between the one flesh relationship of a husband and wife, the marriage relationship is the first to be regarded and protected.
Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.
So Mama, don’t be weak, don’t be afraid to stand up for your marriage and your children. Your babies were NOT meant to be raised by you and your mother because she came between you and your husband, made you feel abused and your husband like the fifth wheel. Do it in a strong, firm, Godly way. Your husband comes first to you, your children next, then the extended family – which your parents, siblings, aunts and uncles, grandparents, etc., are a part of now no matter how deep the depths of love you have for them.
Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!
I am living proof of that verse. I can’t fathom in my earthly Mama mind how a mother can forget, but I have totally experienced how God has not forgotten me. <3 And my son, and my daughter, will never have to experience their mother forgetting them.
So, bottom line, you can either be a part of my children’s lives, while respecting my marriage and only having supportive, encouraging things to say to them about their mama and daddy, or you can enjoy your place on the outside of our lives.
Signed: A loving, protective wife and Mama Bear