As you know, our granddaughter was born not too long ago. It was nothing short of amazing to hold her in my arms, then to see the look in my husband’s eyes as he held her…wow! He’d never held an infant before and watching that wonderment and seeing him bond with her while he held her as she slept for nearly an hour and a half was so precious.
Then to see my child with her, I don’t think I have the words in my vocabulary to describe what that felt like. I had this rush of love and feeling of tenderness flood through me and move me to tears.
We took a ton of pictures and shared them with the happy couple. They were elated and expressed how grateful they were to have us in their daughter’s lives.
A few days later, I asked if I could stop by for a quick visit on my way home from work. The first response was, “Absolutely, anytime,” which was then followed by, ”We’ve decided to bond as a family this week. We hope everyone understands and apologize for anyone’s hurt feelings.” (The text went out to everyone in our family).
My immediate feelings were anger, quickly followed by hurt. I had lost sight of compassion. I had forgotten that the baby wasn’t even a week old yet. They were still trying to navigate being parents and here we were, all trying to get another chunk of time with her too. They had every right to spend what limited time dad had off from work to bond as a family and let mom recover from labor and try to get on some kind of schedule.
Except…except…feelings of rejection kept worming their way inside my head. Did I do something wrong on our marathon visit? Maybe they really didn’t mean it when they said, “No, please stay, we want you here to bond with her.” Did I say something to hurt someone’s feelings? Or was there something else?
What made it even more difficult for me was that Devin was struggling with similar thoughts. Usually we are the Yin and Yang for each other and can lift each other up, but in this case, we couldn’t.
So I turned to my bestie. She has two grandchildren, each very young. I was surprised by what I found out. Her kids did the same exact thing. I was shocked because now she sees her grand babies all the time. I mean all the time! My friend reminded me of the struggles and adjustments a baby brings into a home and odds are, our kids may not want us to know about those struggles. They want to navigate that journey on their own…at least for right now.
Oh, and here's a novel idea. After I talked to my friend, I called my kid and asked them what's up. Communication. Imagine that? It turns out that they are overwhelmed, exhausted, and still trying to figure things out. Then the floodgates opened. I was told about the struggles they are having and understand exactly why they need some time and space. I totally respect and understand their decision.
I’ll be patient, work on not feeling rejected, and keep in mind it’s not all about me. I’m not the star of the show.
ETA: And then this morning, I got a message that they are ready for company. It just goes to show that sometimes my brain can still be a dangerous neighborhood to hang out in for too long because if I'm there for too long, those old feelings of low self-esteem can creep back in.
Have you ever felt rejected?
Please bear with me today, I'm working with a migraine, so if there are typos here or on my comments on your blog, I blame the migraine. :)