February 21, 2017 by acontraryspirit
The last few weeks have been a whirlwind and so slow all at the same time. There have been birthing classes, exams, lots of company and three, yes three, baby showers! My wife and I really have been overwhelmed by the love and support that surrounds us. The last shower, this past weekend, was thrown by our friends and family and I even had all of my parents here from out of town. It really was a nice weekend. Part of me didn’t want it to end, while the other part of me was so ready for some down time.
Now that we are back to work, school, studying, and getting things ready for baby at the house, I still find myself a bit overwhelmed. This is such an exciting time and that means not only are my wife and I excited, everyone around us is too. And excitement is great, right? I mean that word has such a positive connotation . For an introvert like me though, I am beginning to see how excitement can be a bit draining, particularly when there is an expectation in the air that my excitement is consistently maintained and that I support the excitement of those around me because their excitement is all for me of course!
But is it really?
Part of me feels like a jerk as I read what I’m writing out loud. But it’s tough. It is really tough as a gay woman to have your parents be so excited for this baby you are bringing into the world when many of those parents have not been so excited about your being gay or at least don’t really understand why President Trump makes your heart break…on the daily.
As a gay mother, I feel it is wrong if I am not always thankful that my parents are all so excited and supportive of this little one my wife and I are bringing into the world. I mean, this means that they support us, right? They support my wife and I, they support LGBT rights and social justice…
But it doesn’t. That is not what their excitement about this child means at all.
And here I feel the need to put another caveat into my writing. My next sentence was about to say, ‘And yes, I know there are many other LGBT folks out there whose parents want nothing to do with their families and children….so I should be thankful and I am.’ But while I know the first part of this sentence is true, the second part, I’m not so sure of.
I am so glad that my parents are going to love this child. But I am also frustrated that they are so quick to embrace a child, their grandchild, while they still defend folks who voted for Trump and still support Trump. I am frustrated that my parents don’t understand the similarity in principal between the religious freedom bills floating around different states and the fact that blacks used to be barred from utilizing certain establishments. I am frustrated that they use the memes about Sally and Bob or whoever still getting along even though Bob voted for Trump, because Sally and Bob know how to behave like adults. What does that even mean?
I am really frustrated that I find myself caught between wanting to help them understand why these things are hurtful and feeling infuriated that I even have to explain it.
And in the midst of all this, I am seeing all of them more and more because they are so excited for their first grandchild. Spending more time with them, and speaking with them more, and seeing more of what they post online, I find myself questioning if they ever grieved the state of the country their gay daughters are going to raise their little one in. Have they ever grieved the rights their daughters stand to lose because beliefs they defend as legitimate impositions on legislation? I don’t think they have.
And for this reason, if I am being honest, I am finding it hard to see excitement for their daughters. I am seeing only excitement for their own new status as grandparents. And so being excited with them; supporting their excitement, is exhausting. Because yes, this baby is a huge part of our lives and will be forever, but this baby is not the sum of mine and my wife’s parts.
We are not just mothers.
We are women.
We are members of the LGBT community.
We are professionals.
We are musicians and writers and artists.
And being excited for our baby does not negate our desire to have you pay just as much attention or provide just as much parental care and nurturing to the other parts of ourselves, some of which are under constant attack in very public forums these days.
I love our parents. I love our baby. I do not want our baby to be what binds us in love to our parents.