Coming in at #2 on my list of parenting life lessons…

Remember how your family used to make a big deal out of your every little accomplishment? Yeah well, now that you’re a parent you’re irrelevant.

When I last spoke with my mother it was about the possibility of her coming for a visit in the summer. She responded with an enthusiastic, “I’d LOVE to spend some time with my grandbabies!” No mention of spending time with ME – her only daughter. I didn’t even merit an honorable mention like, “…oh, and you, too.” Somewhere along the way, I have become yesterday’s news.

For Dick, his relevancy meter started heading into dark territory as soon as word of my pregnancy spread. Meeting my in-laws in Vegas during my 1st trimester with Adam, I was the center of attention with loving belly rubs, hugs, kisses and generous rations of baby-friendly snacks all coming my way. Meanwhile, Dick was given a passing glance and a quick smile, the unstated message from his family being, “Good job knocking her up. You can move out of our way now.” Suddenly, Dick was barely a blip on the paternal radar.

When Adam came along, I expected that some residual relevancy would still cling to me as the mother of the new baby. I knew my importance was on the decline, but I refused to admit the truth. The truth was harsh. Grandparents semed to view me strictly as a hollow vessel. With a soft, pink baby there to cuddle and coo over I might just as well have been a servant lurking in the shadows, only there to silently serve the needs of his majesty every 45 minutes to an hour. Inside my head, I was like – What about me? I just gave birth here – had an emergency c-section even. Where’s my pat on the back for surviving 5 months of daily puking followed promptly by 4 months of being subjected to constant kicks to my bladder? 

The initial descent into irrelevancy is steep and harsh.  I’d like to say that our status has gradually recovered some of its lost respectability since Adam was born, but that’d be a big, fat lie.  As the children become more like little people, their allure grows while ours continues to decline.   The only consolation Dick and I have is that, while our relevancy may be in the toilet with our families, we seem to have a devoted fan base here at home.  Adam and Tabitha may be little, but I know when they see me approaching after a solo grocery run or an evening out, the greeting I receive from them is nothing short of frenzied enthusiasm. 

As the kids get older, I suspect my meter will dip back into negative territory so I’m going to enjoy their attention while it lasts.  I’ll take comfort in knowing that at least Dick and I aren’t alone in the discard pile – we have each other – and like misery, irrelevancy loves company.

Spread the Love:
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis