Ask Xantar #10

Dear Xantar,

My mother-in-law is driving me crazy. My husband and I just found out that we are pregnant with our second child, and I heard she’s pregnant, too. I cannot conceive of being pregnant at the same time as my mother-in-law! She has this notion that she is “too young” to be a grandma, and I am so angry with her for trying to take my spotlight. She is 44 years old, and it makes me upset that she wants to have children now (after already having three of her own) instead of just being a grandma. What should I do or say when she reveals her big news to us, which will likely happen when we reveal our big news to her?

Dear War on Menstruation,

You think that’s bad? One time I showed up at a bar with this gorgeous girl on my arm, and my best friend had the nerve to have an even hotter woman with him at the same time. A professional model, in fact! I couldn’t understand why he didn’t see that this was supposed to be my big night. And there was this other time when I showed up at a party after being an almost total recluse for two months. I’d been working out, you see, and was 20 pounds slimmer. What do you know, there’s my friend and he’d just lost 25 pounds! I just couldn’t stand it. I’m so glad you wrote in because now I know there’s someone who understands. I mean, all these other people keep telling me that the world doesn’t revolve around me. Well duh, I’m not that egotistical! I’m just saying when I’ve put in all that effort to do something, it’s only right that I should have a moment to be recognized. I mean that’s what it’s all about, right? That’s why I had to dump my friend and set his house on fire. That got his attention!

Obviously, now that your moment has been spoiled, you don’t have any choice now. There’s really no point in having your baby. You might as well just abort it and get it over with. You might even get some sympathy from your friends and family for what you’ve gone through. And if any of them don’t, well now you know who’s on your side and who isn’t. They clearly haven’t learned that the true purpose of babies is to act as props for mommy competitions. I’m glad to find that there’s someone out there with proper family values, though.

Dear Xantar,

My sister “Eileen” just had a baby. She has to attend an event soon and, due to the driving distance, Eileen e-mailed to ask my other sister “Karen” if she could stay at her home (which is at the halfway point) that night. Karen and her husband would be responsible for hosting Eileen, her husband, and a newborn. Karen wishes to keep the family peace and came to me for advice as to how to politely tell Eileen that even though she and her husband have a guest room, they do not wish to allow Eileen’s family to stay over for fear of losing sleep due to the baby crying and the general inconveniences of having a newborn present. How does she do that without upsetting Eileen? With most people, it wouldn’t be a problem to just decline to host, but Eileen is extremely sensitive and tends to take things personally.

Dear I’m Totally Not Karen,

Speaking of inconsiderate mothers, don’t you just hate it how they always expect you to respect the needs of their children? I mean, what is with that? How presumptuous is it that Eileen asked her own sister to give her a place to sleep for a night and had to bring the baby along? Don’t they have baby hotels somewhere? Or she could have just hired a wet nurse. Those little buggers aren’t too fussy in their early lives anyway. They’ll never know. I think it’s pretty awful that Eileen is taking this all personally. It’s just a baby! It’s not a part of her, and the little lump doesn’t care.

Anyway, I’m glad you sought out advice on the internet for your problem. I think that was the only responsible choice under the circumstances. I just hope Eileen hasn’t arrived at Karen’s house already in the time it took me to type up this answer. Obviously we can’t have Karen spending any quality time with her nephew/niece. They might bond or something! The thing to do is clearly for you to reimburse Eileen for a night at a hotel. And then if she gets mad at you, just tell her she has a choice to make: you or her baby. Then we’ll know where her priorities stand.