Saw my bastard nephew yesterday (I mean technically, it's true, not to mention he's one whiny, tough nut of a baby).
He's ugly. He's got a biggest pumpkin, blue ribbon at the fair type of head and never smiles and just doesn't seem "right" and the hubs and I are worried something is off there. Maybe our baby was just a stellar deal and this kid is just toward the other end of the spectrum?
Anyways. I tried to connect. I fed him his bottle, I lugged him around IKEA in a ring sling trying to soothe him (big ole head, drool, complaining nearly the entire time, it was not a great aunt-to-nephew bonding moment.)
At first I thought, "Oh my gawd. It's only been a year and I've already lost my momma skills;" but the hubster reassured me that it wasn't my fault, this baby is just a case!
So here's the pickle.... I want to be a good aunt. I don't want to resent this child, I don't want to resent my sister, I want to be able to function as a member of my own family, even if that family is a bit.... dysfunctional.
How can I reframe this? I have a tendency to worry so "the ugly duckling" storyline doesn't help much. Just too much left to faith and chance there. This kid's head is so ginormous he's not even fun to cuddle, it's either bearing down on your arm making it hurt cuz it's so heavy or making him loll around like a reverse weeble-wobble thingamajig.
Part of the issue is I had this weird thought when she was pregnant that the baby would be ugly because he was born out of wedlock. This coming from the proclaimed atheist that is somehow still influenced by religious pressures and beliefs. Oy. It's just so confusing and frustrating!
I guess this is all coming up because A) saw The Nephew at IKEA and B) gonna see him and my family and my sister today for Easter-not-on-Easter.
I feel sort of bad for having these thoughts and feelings but then I feel glad that I can own up to them and get them off my chest. My dad admitted that this child is never really happy and complains and whines and cries and fusses a lot. He also admitted that the kiddo's head is impressively large but didn't quite commit to, "boy howdy that kid is ugly!."
SO. That is one of my life challenges lately. I want to be a good aunt. I want to feel affection and love and connection with my family, but it's just not there in some cases...
Any thoughts? advice? wisdom? stories? I feel like I'm in the wrong but also feel like, "yay for you, embracing some feelings!"
Life. Is. Complicated. And. Messy.
*insert ookey feelings here*
Linda! That quote is so helpful and reassuring! Thank you for posting this: Please don't keep all your feelings pent up inside of you. Sometimes you need a good cry. Even if you don't know exactly why you're crying. It's okay not to be okay. But it's not okay to give up.