• Tue, Apr 9 2013

My Friends And Family Are Becoming More Attached To My Baby Than Me

jealous of baby“We have to bring Holt,” I sighed to my fiancé, a couple weeks ago, before leaving for Passover. “No one wants to see us! They don’t care about seeing us!” And even though it was family and friends of family, it is also true that NO ONE really cared if my fiancé or I came. They only wanted to see the baby.

“But he’s going to be so cranky. It’s his bedtime when they want to start dinner,” my fiancé moaned reasonably.

I knew all of this, and I knew Holt would be a nightmare. But when you have a baby, people want to see the goddamn baby. Honestly, we’ve not brought the baby before when we’ve been invited over to people’s homes – because he’s napping or it’s his bedtime – and the looks of disappointment on people’s faces when we show up at the door is almost heartbreaking. Literally, their faces fall, as if we just gave them some awful news, like, “I’ve just smashed into your car while parking.”

I want to kind of hug them and say, “It’s okay. You’ll see the baby another time, I promise.”

People don’t even bother to hide the fact they want to see your baby more than they want to see you. I want to say to family, when they open the door and we haven’t brought our baby, “Well, WE’RE here! Isn’t that good enough for you?”

But, as I’ve said, when you have a baby, no one cares about seeing you – they’ve seen you for decades – they just want the baby there. This is especially true, I think, for grandparents.

Sometimes my mother-in-law will drop by unexpectedly (I don’t mind) and if the baby is napping, her face falls too. I’m sure she’s always happy to see me, but she is THRILLED to see the baby.

“Bring the baby!” everyone will tell us, while we, the parents, who know our son better than anyone, will sigh and say, “Well, we might leave him at home. That’s kind of his nap time, and he won’t nap anywhere but his crib.”

Then people will be like, “Oh, he can sleep on my bed. It’s no problem. Bring the baby!”

You can reach this post's author, Rebecca Eckler, on twitter.
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  • msenesac

    My husband and I get this with my in-laws. They were disappointed last year when we didn’t bring our 6 month old, cranky son to a birthday dinner for my husband when it was past the baby’s bedtime. WTF? We didn’t care, though, and still refuse to drag the (now) toddler around just to appease other people.

    • lea

      I imagine my inlaws will be a little like this too. They are disappointed if we don’t bring our DOG around for dinner at their place. We both walk in and they are looking over our shoulder “but where is the dog? Didn’t you bring her? I bought her a new toy and some chicken”.

      (I don’t mind though, I love that they love her so much)

    • Gangle

      My family is like that with my dog. Oh, the disappointment if we make a visit without her. My mother cooks treats for her. And she has sleepovers. Although, she IS pretty awesome.

  • AS

    The last time I went home to visit, I told all family members to stop by my parents house and the hours we would be there. I get tired of having to drag her everywhere and she is exhausted too.

    On that note, my parents were talking about passing through town during the week and maybe they would stop in to take “us” to lunch. I said that would be great, but reminded them that grandchild would be in daycare as I would be working. The plans changed, my dad said we were now a package deal, so not one without the other. He was joking (somewhat), but still….no lunch!!

  • Sara

    Oh my God, I could have written this. I just flew across the country for the weekend for my grandma’s 90th birthday, and my 18-month-old daughter stayed home with my husband. I spent the whole weekend answering questions about WHY I didn’t bring her, and WHEN people would see her, and WHY didn’t I bring her again?!?! I tried not to let my feelings get hurt, but it was like, “HellOOO! I just completely re-arranged my whole schedule and went out of my way to be here for Grandma’s 90th. Does that count for nothing?”

    Apparently not. Oh well…….I figure, better for family members to take too much interest than to have them not care. At least I know she’s growing up in a family that really loves her and wants her around…..there are far worse alternatives, right?

  • http://twitter.com/ptownstevesgirl Ptownsteveschick

    From the time my daughter was 6 weeks, I carried her around in a Moby wrap most of the time we were away from home, whatever outing it may be. She could sleep soundly in there and I could still go about my day. And when we were somewhere with a bunch of overwhelming people, it gave her a place of security. And if anyone complained about not being able to see her, I said, at least you know she’s here. I did take breaks to let people hold her, but if she got cranky or tired or overwhelmed, back she went.

  • Diana

    Yeah well thats ’cause the baby is cuter.

  • http://www.facebook.com/houde.veronique Véronique Houde

    About a month after my baby was born, my friend invited a whole bunch of us over at her house for a little party and my first thought was “woohoo! breaky time for mommy!!” I arranged that boyfriend stay home with baby and I told my friend I would be coming solo with some beer and good times. She was all disappointed that I wasn’t bringing the baby! 1- babies and parties don’t mix and 2- mom needs some alone time with her friends too! Even today, I went to visit my friend who is terminally ill sans baby and she was all disappointed that I didn’t bring her with me. Touching that they love the girl, but hey, can a mom get some time off from her 24/7 occupation?

    I do make it a point though that people say hello to me before they say hello to the baby whenever we go out to meet people! They got it the first time i “corrected” them! ;) Now, they always make sure to give me two kisses before they turn to the baby!

  • Me

    Rebecca, you’re actually my favorite Mommyish writer :)

    • Molly

      You must be new here..

  • http://www.facebook.com/courtney.wooten Courtney Lynn

    It’s like even people who have HAD kids forget that kids, whether on their own set schedule or one that you have set, have a routine. No, I will not bring my baby over at 3 p.m. He needs to nap. I will be the one who has to deal with his whining and fussing and frankly, I’m not up for that at any time.

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  • Not That Rebecca

    Lots of us with babies manage to attend (and host!) Passover seders as a family. It’s possible. Not always convenient or simple, but then nothing with a baby is convenient or simple. Leaving kids out of family dinners, particularly seders, is missing the point entirely. Going to the opera? Yeah, leave your kid home.

  • brebay

    Maybe because Rebecca is one of the few mothers who’s actually more self-absorbed and needy than an infant…

  • Trudy Kretschmer

    YOu sound like an irritable cranky little fuck yourself. There’s two of you? Yikes.