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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Guess who's pregnant?

Hahahahaha.  No. Just no.

That would be my sister, Tina. It seems she celebrated the first birthday of my nephew by conceiving baby #2.

I've been trying to process this in my head since she told me a couple of weeks ago. Yes, this is what I was alluding to in my Six Words that Saturday and a few of you did guess correctly. One of you even made sure to send me a direct message on Twitter so your guess would be on record. I wasn't quite in a positive place when I wrote those words.

When she found out she was pregnant with Collin, she called me. Honestly, just the fact that her phone number was on my caller id when I arrived home and her message asked me to call back was enough to tip me off that she must be pregnant. You see, she can't afford to make long distance calls. In fact, that's the only time she has ever called me. Ever.

This time, the news didn't even warrant a phone call. Just an email. Never mind that she probably could've just kept the news quiet for another couple of weeks and told me in-person on Ye Big Ole Family Vacation O' Fun.

It's such an in-my-face reminder of so many things. Our lack of closeness. Her inability to afford even a quick phone call (or unwillingness to make it a priority). Her place in the family as the golden child creating grandchildren and great grandchildren while I'm failing at such tasks.

I feel bad for my father though. Because Tina and her husband can't afford gas money (and didn't pay a dime towards their share of the rental - my folks paid it all for them), they are riding down with my parents in the back of their Exploder Explorer. That's my mother and father, sister, brother-in-law, and baby (in a big car seat) plus all of their things. On a good day, this trip would take about twelve hours. With a one-year-old who has recently decided he hates "no" and a two-month-pregnant lady (plus my parents' unwillingness to drive through major cities, instead taking crazy detours), I expect it will take much longer than that.

Again, my overwhelming issue is concern. She can't really afford baby #1 and now baby #2 is on the way. My baby sister is now going to have two kids less than two years apart with no insurance, no stable income, at the mercy of family and friends to keep food on their table and a roof over their heads.

And I'm also fully aware that my reaction is probably much more about my own issues regarding children and family than anything else.

I don't mean to sound like I think the little ones are evil or unloved or undesirable. I just can't help wishing the circumstances were a bit different.

Yes, Auntie Cate once again.


blognut said...

I hear ya'. It's frustrating when people don't take responsibility (financial or otherwise) for their kids.

silver star said...

Birth control is much cheaper than the consequences, unfortunately some people don't seem to understand this.

Rebecca Jo said...

I totally get all your concerns & the way you feel about it all...

At least her children will know they have a great aunt :)

joanne said...

All yu can do is be supportive, and be a caring aunt. Really. Its not fair, and your parents sound like enablers, but sometimes it is really, really hard to break the family patterns.

Don't know what else to say. Its not fair... but most likely, it won't change.

Comedy Goddess said...

I can understand your feelings, totally! Maybe it's their Karma to all be so co-dependent.

You have your own happiness in being your best self. Don't get dragged down by their issues. Keep reaching for a higher vibration, do something that makes you feel good, everyday!

andy said...

been there, done that with my own sister.

it's hard to not judge.

and probably one of the main reasons that my communication with my family is quite limited. it keeps my stress level lower, due to the less gossip i receive.

just live the life you want to.

have babies, don't have babies...find YOUR bliss cate.

fuck everyone else.

except joe.

'cause he's made of awesome.


Snarky A. said...

I totally hear you on this. It's nuts. I look at my baby sister, who is spoiled rotten. Of course she thinks she got the sweet deal, being the baby and knowing that she can always rely on our parents to get her anything she wants/needs. What she does not realize is that she has zero independence, no will to stand on her own two feet, no sense of consequences, and no drive to succeed on her own. Yeah, thanks mom and dad, that "giving her whatever she wants" does sound like some favor... those are some winning skills to teach your kids to prepare them for life.

Sistah Friend said...

It's hard to see your siblings going nowhere in life yet reaping all the family advantages while you bust your butt and are independent and get nothing.

Unfortunately I agree with Joanne, it's not going to change and all you can do is be an awesome aunt. Maybe by your example at least the kids will want something more for themselves when they grow up.

S~DLT said...

I have a sister like this. She has 3, and not one of them live with her now. It sucks, all the way around.

My only advice. Be the best Auntie ever.

Ryan Ashley Scott said...

As much as I'd love to comment on this, I really don't need the hate mail. I can only imagine how frustrating it must be for you.

My BIL is in a similar situation. They're trying for # 4. And they just moved in with my in-laws.

Grand Pooba said...

I've seen it so many times with my friends getting married young and having kids right off the bat. It hurts their relationships with eachother because handling kids on top of financial problems is HARD!

I'm not saying I'm perfect in waiting to have a family, but I do think there is a responsibility a person has to take when deciding to bring a child into this world!

Hmmm, why did Octomom just pop into my head?

C. Beth said...

I'm really sorry--I mean, I agree, babies are blessings and all that, but it's genuinely sad when the family a baby is born into isn't ready for it--financially, emotionally, whatever.

When it comes down to it, there seems to be absolutely no connection between the people who deserve & are ready for children; and those who have them. It's unfair to both parents and kids, and it's frustrating.

mo.stoneskin said...

I'm afraid I don't have any helpful advice, but I hope that you and sis do grow closer. I say that 'cos I also know and understand distance in family.

The thought of your parents rolling their Exploder about the country lanes does amuse me!

The Wife O Riley said...

I understand completely. My sister told me that she was pregnant earlier this year. Although, I was happy for her I was so worried because her husband is a complete drug addict tool and she was finally seeing him for what he is. We were making plans to move her back here and where she could get a job, etc.

Then, in February, she called crying that she had lost the baby and I was heartbroken for her.

Being a parent of 2 girls, there is nothing they could do, this side of a 3 state killing spree, to not make me proud. Whether or not they have children doesn't matter in the slightest. I want them to be happy and I'm sure that's what your parents want for you.

Call Me Cate said...

blognut - There's such entitlement there. No need to provide for themselves, do what they want and somehow it will all fall together.

silver star - Yep, I get the impression she wasn't on birth control at all this time. With the first, supposedly she was on the pill.

Rebecca Jo - I do my best as an aunt. It's hard being so far away and the kid(s) so young. But as they get older, I definitely plan to be more present.

Joanne - my parents are enabling them something awful. As are BILs parents. They don't even pay for housing. But you're right - they won't change until people quite giving things to them.

Comedy Goddess - Thanks for your words. I try hard to live life to my standards of happiness and not hold everyone else to the same. But big sister can't help having her worries...

Andy - The vast majority of the time, I've learned to do my own thing. But a week under the same roof being judged is not something I'm looking forward to at this point.

Snarky - I'm glad my sister feels my parents will help her. I've never felt that way and it stinks to be on the other end. But you're right - I'm beholden to noone and I stand on my own.

Sistah Friend - Sister with babies, living nearby and following in my mother's footsteps is definitely living life "right" according to their standards. It's frustrating to me, but more so it's frustrating to see how it is shaping Tina.

S~DLT - I just hope everyone stays together and healthy.

RAS - People never cease to amaze me. "Trying" for #4. Wow.

Pooba - We married young and before the wedding, everyone gave us hell for it. At the reception? "When will you start having kids? Soon?" We still had a lot of growing up to do - I can't imagine raising a family at the same time when we were still raising ourselves.

C. Beth - Yes, it's not the baby's fault. I just fear costly medical issues, emergencies, etc. You're so right about readiness and deserving not playing much of a role sometimes.

Mo - I hope we grow closer as well. We had some good moments when I was home a year ago for a few days. With a whole week together (and me on the anti-anxiety meds), I really hope we make some progress. We'll see how amused Dad is by the Exploder trip down once he arrives. He may decide to fly himself home. :)

Wife O Riley - How heartbreaking for your sister. Even if the situation wasn't great, it's still so sad. I just hope for the best for the babies.

Me, Amplified said...

i wanted to write a really good comment with non-insulting snappy comebacks for your family, and sage advice for you about your sister but i got nothing.

instead, we all love you no matter what, and you would be the most awesome aunt ever. then if anyone gives you a hard time, you can always say that the kids like you better lol ;)

Yaya said... do I write a politically correct comment to this one...ah screw it:

This stuff drives me nuts. It's not fair. It sucks. Who decided that she deserved another one when she can't even support her first one? Who decides that other well-deserving couples don't get to have a baby when they would be able to support and love them but then other screwed-up couples do get to have a baby?? (can you see why my faith has fallen off the charts with my whole infertility stuff??)

It just makes me batty.

Thanks for letting me rant.

And I'm sorry. I know how you feel. You're "happy" but you're also sad and irritated. It makes sense to feel that way.

Oh...and the 'golden child' thing you mentioned..yup, I know ALL about that feeling....

Call Me Cate said...

Me, Amplified - Thanks for the support. I'm not sure how I'm going to handle myself. When she told me about Collin, I cried for days. It just stirs up so much inside me on top of the situation itself.

Yaya - I think of you often but specifically I thought of you in regards to this. But yes. Exactly what you wrote. And that's exactly how I'm feeling - happy but totally sad and irritated. I hate wrestling so much with my emotions.

Tori_z said...

It's a shame that people who can't afford to are getting pregnant without even trying, while those who can afford to and desporately want to be parents are trying and failing to get even one. *Sigh*