I don't even know where to start.
We had a visit from my IL's last night. I dreaded it all day. I was quiet and withdrawn. Visits from them are not usually all that enjoyable for me - I always have my guard up, waiting for snide or snarky comments. And last night was no exception.
First there was a *comment made that my MIL has noticed quite a few pictures on Ruby's blog (I have a blog just for Ruby) that have beer bottles in them. Immediately the hair went up on my back but I didn't say anything because I wanted to look back on Ruby's blog to see if I was posting pictures of her with beer bottles in the background that I hadn't even noticed. I looked this morning and there was a camping trip back in MAY where you can see that people are indeed drinking beer. Namely, Steve's brother (not that it matters, we drink beer once in a while, it doesn't make us bad people). And there is one picture of when Steve, Ruby and I went on a little mini-vacation and she is on my lap and there is a glass of beer on the table. That's it. So why the comment? Why did she feel the need to say that?
The next thing was when I was trying to feed Ruby. We still struggle with the solids occasionally. Right now it's because Ruby thinks the spoon is a toy and she grabs it and wants to play with it instead of eat and it's hard for me to get food in her. So last night she was doing that while I was trying to feed her and my MIL said, "Tara, I really don't think she's hungry." Meanwhile, they're making faces at Ruby behind my back to make her laugh while I try to feed her. I am already struggling with feeding my baby, I don't need them to make it harder and then comment that suggests that I wouldn't know enough if Ruby was hungry or not. But she would know???
Later, my FIL asked, "What are these Negro books you are reading to Ruby??" Whaaaa? It took me a few minutes to figure out what the fuck he was talking about, but then it clicked: about TWO MONTHS AGO I **tweeted that I had read a page out of "The Book of Negroes" to Ruby. So I explained to him that that is MY book and I was just reading out loud to entertain her one day. My MIL says, "Is that a children's book???" When I told her that it isn't... she gave me the old "raised eyebrows" look. Oh fuck off already! And this was after I had already told them that I read to Ruby a CHILDREN'S BOOK every day. Just that one day, I read from my book... Gah! I shouldn't have to explain!
There was no recognition when we told them that I had taught Ruby to sign "milk". Ruby even did it when they were here - but they just ignored that. I don't think they really believed that that's what she was doing - even though after she signed "milk" I showed her a bottle and she got so excited she squealed and signed, "milk" "milk" "milk" over and over again until I fed it to her. They just ignored that little achievement.
By the time they left I was emotionally fucking spent.
So today, I brought up my feelings with Steve. Didn't go over very well. He is so protective of his mother it makes me want to punch his teeth out. He said, "That's my MOTHER!" Yeah, but what about me??? I'm his wife and the mother of his daughter, yet he thinks NOTHING of his mom treating me like that. He said, "She was just passing comment." YES! EXACTLY! And who is she to comment on anything?! I tried to tell him that when you work so hard to be a good mom and you try to do everything right for your baby - to the point of being emotionally and physically exhausted at the end of each day, it is very hurtful for someone to come into your home and start making comments suggesting that you're not doing things good enough, or not doing things right, or could be doing things differently or better... But it doesn't sink in.
And what's more frustrating is how difficult it is to get Steve to talk to me about any problems. He just goes quiet and won't engage with me. As I was talking he just started emptying the dishwasher and ignoring me. He did say that he knew this would happen because I act like this every time his parents come to visit. Because you know, it's my fault for feeling upset after being disrespected??? His "solution" was that this will never happen again because he won't invite them over again, and we will never go there again. Right. That's a great way to solve the problem. He will say ANYTHING to make an uncomfortable conversation stop.
Lift up carpet, and sweep....
Maybe it wouldn't have been AS big of a deal for me if it didn't happen EVERY time we see the IL's - maybe I've become overly sensitive about it. 9 years of someone "just passing comment" can make a person a little bit sensitive.
And maybe it wouldn't have been AS big of a deal if I still felt like Steve cared about me or my feelings - instead I feel like nothing more than hired help. There is no appreciation, and not much love directed at me lately. I feel really alone. I've been doing everything with Ruby lately. I do all things related to her - bottles, solid feedings, diapers, baths, naps, entertaining, reading, teaching etc, etc, etc. He does as little as he can get away with. Sure he loves her like crazy but he doesn't help me with her if he can get away with it. I feel really alone right now. I feel like I live with a roommate that I cook and clean for. And it breaks my heart. And it makes me really feel hurt and defensive and on my own when insult is added to injury and my inlaws visit and make ignorant comments about everything.
What can I do? He won't talk. He REFUSES any form of counseling. He ignores me half the time if he doesn't like what I'm saying. He won't discuss his parents behavior with them. I'm not even sure how he feels about it because he won't discuss it with me. Hell, I'm not even sure how he feels about ME.
Usually when this happens, if I don't just start acting happy and pretending nothing is wrong (sweep, sweep), it could go on for days. I am the only one who can fix anything and it's by acting like nothing ever happened. So basicly it's up to me on how long I want to suffer in a quiet and cold house.
*Imagine the comments "passed" in a strong, Northern England, British accent.
**My twitter feed has been promptly removed from my other blog since they read it and fucking obsess over it and "pass comment" a little too often. I'm pretty sure they don't know any other way of viewing Twitter feeds.