It is amazing how having a baby changes a family’s dynamic. Suddenly some family becomes closer to you and your new or growing family. Sometimes it pushes some family further away. And then there are other times it just brings out the true colors in the rest. While we are busy preparing for Cora’s first birthday party this weekend, I am looking back on her first year with all of this family and seeing what she has done for us all.
I have watched my Husband’s parents struggle with their relationship with our daughter. I think there are several factors that go into this, that with time will get easier. These are factors though, that I don’t think my Husband or I thought would play such a big part.
Then there are my husbands siblings. They have more important things to attend to than her baptism, birth or birthday. They have only seen her very few times, have no relationship with her and don’t know anything about her unless it is posted on Facebook.
On the other hand, I have watched how Cora has brought my siblings and I closer. My brother called today, as he stood in the toy aisle at Walmart, he was overwhelmed by all the options for a perfect birthday gift. He didn’t want to screw it up. Him, his wife, and my nephew drive out more often and join us for more adventures with the kids than they ever did before.
My sister lives with us, so that is a given.
Cora has given my Mom more hope and happiness as we continue to deal with my Dad and his declining Alzheimer’s.
Then there is even more extended family on both sides. They haven’t made a move to come meet her and for that matter we haven’t made a move to go to them. Others we have seen more in the past year than we have in the past 5 years combined! It isn’t just about meeting up for the obligatory Christmas dinner anymore because there is a baby to be held on a random day in May!
And then there are the friends we consider family. The ones that aren’t hesitating giving up their Saturday to attend a 1 years olds birthday party. (I promised wine though!) These are the ones that Cora also has a relationship with. The ones that lay on the floor with her while she plays whack-a-mole on their heads. The ones that keep tabs on her. The ones that ask for more pictures on social media. (I post too much, I think.) The ones that are near and far that love her very much and enjoy seeing her grow. The ones that could have distanced themselves from me because they enjoy a kid free life and lets face it, those with babies, can kill a social life.
I’m not pitting this as one family against the other or one friend against the other. I remember when I was pregnant, the hubby and I would talk about the relationships some may have with our child. You dream about those first meetings after her birth, the holiday get-togethers, the birthday parties. We eventually had to let all those preconceived notions fly out the window. They were wrong. What we have today is a lot of love surrounding us in a way we never could have imagined. At the end of the day, isn’t that all that matters?
6 thoughts on “Family Dynamics”
Yep it is funny how friends/relatives are! My mother-in-law is/was to involved in my kids life. Basically I have always felt like she would be so happy if I was out of the picture and she could raise them. I was also bad about not taking my kids around my parents a lot because they had a very low “getting on nerves” and it stressed me out. My husband did not help a lot with the kids for years. So they are not as close to them as they are to mother-in-law. I do have a lot of regrets in that regard.
Hope everything else is going good!
My MIL is hardly involved. Both in-laws are also deaf and that is causing some difficulties in bonding with Cora:( It is tough to find that balance with some family though!
haha we promised sangria at H’s first birthday party and we had a huge turn out of child-less friends and family. Amazing what a little alcohol can do to get people to show up.
I hear you on all of this though. A baby coming around can truly bring out the differences in relationships. Friends without kids either step up and take your child on as though they are their family, and some will make things more complicated because they can’t grasp what life with kids is truly like and how to work around it. Your family dynamic with Cora sounds very similar to mine. My siblings have massively stepped up and truly, truly love H so much they would take on the world for him. Whereas Eddie’s brother hasn’t even touched or held his nephew or even played with a toy with him. All these ideas of relationships are so easy to form, but then reality hits when the baby is here. It’s truly incredible and also a great way to figure out who you know is worth the effort in your life and who isn’t.
I also post WAY too much on facebook and instagram. H has his own hashtag that we use whenever we post a picture on instagram (so we can track them later) and I think there is about 680 pictures alone on there lol. It’s funny because I totally have this image in my head of what Cora looks like with your stories and I always wonder if it’s accurate haha.
We do a daily dose. One pic a day on Instagram:) I hodl back more on FB just because I’m not on their as much and I figure that is what instagram is for!!:) Smart to hashtag it with his name though!
Love is love and wine is good for getting adult friends to birthday parties! I hope Cora has a lovely first birthday. It’s your birthday too mama, enjoy!