Thursday, 10 January 2008

Back to Earth at last

Thanks for your comments on my last post. Sorry its been so long.

After the disappointment of our last cycle I put my head down and threw myself into work [which is always frantic for the last few weeks of the year]. Then on the 23rd we packed up and went to the beach with the kids for 2 weeks. The house we rented was gorgeous, the weather was wonderful, we caught up with some great friends, the kids had a great time.... Oh my god, doesn't anyone else see that massive elephant in the corner? I had an awful time! Never. Again. Ever.

We agreed that the kids could each bring a friend. So Rosie [13] brought a horsey friend, bit of a tomboy, but she's not into boys yet so we like her. Tiger [15] doesn't have many friends, and the one he invited pulled out at the last minute. Batman [17] is never without a crowd, so after much negotiation it was agreed that he could bring 2 friends. But seeing how rules don't apply to him, he rocked up with 3.

So here we are in a brand-new pristinely-white 4 bedroom house in which every sound echoes, with one lounge room, one tv, no back yard and 7 teenagers [plus girlfriends and other hangers-on popping in]. Basically, my idea of hell! My relaxing holiday out the window.... I think I got to sit on the sofa once.

Every time I went down the street I saw hoards of teenagers hanging out in cafe's, in groups on the beach, surfing [after all we were at Victoria's best surf beach!]. But where were my hoards? Taking over the house, watching dvd's, drinking beer and playing poker or - inside! We couldn't get them to do anything, but we couldn't leave them alone either. Tiger and Batman fight like cat and dog, and I just wasn't comfortable leaving two 13 year old girls alone with all those boys.

Look, it really wasn't that bad, I know it could have been worse! But I really mind the kid's arrogance, their disrespect, their sense of entitlement that this holiday was all about them and DH and I are only there to pay for it and pour their drinks. Batman took the cake when the first lot of friends finally went home he told us there were another 4 coming the next day! Thankfully DH said they couldn't stay. And Tiger's disdain and disbelief when we said, on the second last night, that we were going out for an adults-only dinner with friends.

It's probably just me, I don't know. DH certainly couldn't understand my distress, and now doubts my ability to cope with a child of my own. He seems to think that going on holiday with 7 kids is just what normal mother's deal with on a regular basis. Personally, I can't think of any who would have coped with that. My mother rang me in tears after a morning of minding my 3 year old niece. Perhaps we need to have one of those uncomfortable discussions about expectations.

I think there is a reason babies and young children are so cute; its so their parents fall madly in love with them and that love tides them over during the ugly, selfish teenage years. I do love DH's kids but not in that unconditional mother's love way, and I don't think it is reasonable to expect me to. They are not mine, they have not been brought up the way I would do it, they get away with stuff I would never tolerate, and we have burst into each other's lives without history, without bonding and really without permission.

We are going ahead with a FET cycle in February, even though I am seriously concerned about how the kids would handle a new baby in their lives. Or perhaps more honestly, how I would handle having my baby in their lives.

Wow, what a long post! Now I'll try to catch up on what you've been up to.


Rebecca said...

Your beach "get-away" sounds nuts! As a teacher of 8th grade monsters, I feel some of your pain, but I can send them home at the end of 7.5 hours! Good luck with your next step.

Topcat is fiery, said...

Oh my goodness .... thank you so much for writing that post. So sorry you had a teenage gang take over your holiday. I have decided to never go on holiday with my stepchildren again, ever. EVER!!!

Wishing you much love, luck, and hope as you go into your FET. xooxx