Saturday, December 12, 2009


Two years ago I was sitting in an OB's office listening to him tell me not to 'pre-worry' after I'd asked him a very basic question about who delivers babies for him when he's not on call. A very stupid thing to say to a woman newly pregnant with triplets who was instructed by most people to find this out from their OB before too long. True, I was only a couple of months pregnant and statistically speaking I had a higher chance of losing that pregnancy than most of his other clients but really? That's 'pre-worrying?' Wondering who covers for your OB in the surgical suite when you might have a really high chance of an emergency c-section?

My husband, naturally, seized on this phrase and repeated it to me incessantly until I threatened to cut off his entire nether regions with a dull knife. He knew I had a habit of worrying about things sometimes before it was truly necessary to worry and here was a man who had summed it up into a tidy phrase for him. It didn't occur to him that since I had now labeled the doctor a jackass he was winding up in the same category quite quickly.

So here I sit pre-worrying about the holidays. For the first time ever I have my mom at my house for the holidays. Throughout my childhood this woman made gift receiving unpleasant, thus ruining Christmas for me most years. She never gave a gift without expecting a certain type of reaction from you. She had some sort of pre-written script in her head, and if you didn't follow it to the letter her feelings were hurt. For example, once she gave me some earrings and I thanked her but did not put them in my ears. The next day she comes to me all sad and forlorn and says it really "hurt her feelings" that I didn't put the earrings in.

Really? Thanks isn't enough? Oh, thats right, it's never been.

In addition, the lady never asked what anyone wanted for Christmas, she just bought things all year long and stowed them in her closet, sometimes for more than a year, and then around Christmas she looked through everything she had and picked out some things for you. Naturally, this resulted in a sweatshirt I might have worn as a 13 year old being given to me at the age of 16 and somehow the hearts and kitties didn't quite work at that point. So, as you can imagine, Christmas, and any other gift giving occasion became a series of faking a positive reaction to a gift you didn't want and would never use and watching her reaction to see if you performed according to her expectations and then holding your breath for about 24 hours to see if you heard about her hurt feelings because you failed.

Really fun.

This year, after 3 blissful years with the in-laws, who not only ask what you want, but properly anticipate other things you might enjoy and then don't wear their egos on their sleeves waiting for your reaction to their gifts, I'm back in hell. She will be present for presents, she will be jealous and she will likely notice the disparity between the number of gifts my new family exchanges versus what she gets and gives. She's not even getting anything for the adults despite my hinting to her that she would be receiving from the adults. Truth is, even if she behaves herself, I will be on edge all holiday waiting for the explosion and trying to protect my in-laws from her brand of crazy. My holiday is destined not to be relaxing or as enjoyable as I've gotten used to in the last couple of years.

In addition, I've just found out I will have no nannies from Dec 24 through Jan 3. Thats 10 days people. I'm going to be 7 1/2 months pregnant. I have to go from having regular breaks where I can rest in the morning to having 10 days straight of taking care of triplets with only the 2 hour nap break in the afternoon. I don't know how this happened but I'm freaking out. I already cried about it. I'm already miserable. That's pre-worrying for sure, because why be miserable 2 weeks early? I will suck the marrow out of every second I have to rest over the next week and a half, but I am terrified of this 10 day thing. I feel like I'm going to go into labor or fall down dead or cry daily. I don't know how to not be upset about this.

It honestly feels like these two factors put together basically have destroyed my holiday. Yes, I'll enjoy watching my kids open presents, and watching my husband and in-laws opening theirs, but that's a pretty small window. Otherwise I'll be tired, stressed, and on the alert for my mom taking the crazy road the whole time. Not good people. How do I deal with this?


  1. oh my gosh, what a nightmare! can you hire temporary nannies for at least some of those days?


  2. Ack! I will come help as much as I can! And send you peaceful, calming vibes the rest of the time...

  3. Dear God, and you can't even have any spiked eggnog. I feel for ya!

  4. Dude- there have to be a lot of young college types on winter break and back home in the city. Send an email to all the mothers you know and ask them if they know a young girl who wants to make some holiday spending money. I am sure you can find someone who you can pay $10 an hour.

    And- when it gets hairy- focus on your kids. This is truly a magical time for them and you will love to see them opening their presents. Maybe you can steal a nap while your husband, mom and in-laws play with them and their new toys on Christmas Day. Hang in there!

  5. yuck! not good at all. I second the poster who suggested hiring a college kid for a couple hours a day...though I know how difficult it is to train a stranger on how to not kill your kids so you can get some rest. Maybe a nanny service has some holiday workers especially for situations like this?

    As for the crazy mom...since your in-laws are so great, might you be able to forewarn them about your mom's typical gift-giving behavior? And that they will not likely be getting anything from her? Maybe that will at least de-stress the whole affair by a small notch.

    Good luck, girl.