Update on Baby, Philippines, and Learning to Be A (Kinda) Daughter-In-Law

About half an hour ago, I bought the last of the things that I want for the baby, courtesy of Target gift cards (thanks Ray & Paz and Tita Beth & Uncle Pilar!). There was a bit of a problem because, for some reason, even if the gift card covers the whole price of your purchase, you need a credit card handy, and ya know what? I don’t have any of those anymore. Nope nope nope. [NOTE: WTF is that about, Target? You need a credit card to use a gift card? Are you retarded?]

Anyway, it’s official: Not only do we have EVERYTHING we could possibly need for this baby, but in some cases we have more than enough of a necessary baby item (like, baby towels and washcloths – we have an entire adult-sized bureau drawer FULL of them!). I’m super excited to have finally finished my baby shopping, and have on hand three – count em: one, two, three – electric breast pumps plus one manual breast pump to take and test overseas, courtesy of very, very generous friends who paid in cash and don’t have receipts for their purchases. I plan on keeping one of the electric breast pumps (whichever suits me the best) and the manual breast pump, and donating the other two when I figure out which I’m keeping.

It seems amazing to me that at a time like this, when the economy is in the shitter and neither Rob nor myself have jobs, that our kid is so well-provided for. I’m very grateful and very blessed, and always beside myself with giddiness.

***

After months of waiting, Rob and I finally have the use of a car! I no longer have to worry about how I’m going to get to the hospital when it’s time for labor! Hip hip hooray!

***
Tomorrow marks a week till my due date, and wouldn’t you know it: it doesn’t feel like Riley’s gonna make his appearance any time soon. I haven’t gotten an increase in contractions or any strangeness of any kind, and unless labor happens without any leading-up-to-the-big-moment warning signs, then it’ll be a whiiilllee till we get to meet our little guy.

We’ve purchased my ticket to the Philippines for an incredibly low rate, and have Riley’s ticket on reserve (you can’t purchase a ticket without having a birthday for the intended traveler), and there are now less than three months till we leave the country. Lots of people have asked why the baby and I are going, and the long and short of it is: time and money. Rob and I just don’t have the time or money to simultaneously stay in New York, go to school, work, and provide for the baby. Okay, no. That’s kind of a lie. We have enough time and money to make it work here in New York, but it’s just so much easier to live in a third world country, where we have a four-bedroom house, a cook, a maid, a chauffer, a car, and a nanny, and where we don’t have to worry about money because – and here’s where I totally exploit the social system – it’s like A DOLLAR to pay for a hardy breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

But, ya know what? This plan isn’t my dream plan, and that’s the case for one reason: Rob won’t be there. I really want him there. I want us to be a family, all in the same place, struggling, laughing, and loving together. I know, pragmatically, that it’s easier to go through with the plan – Riley and I in the Philippines, Rob working and sending us money every month – but there’s no telling if Rob’s going to find a stable job any time soon, and here’s the kicker: my folks have offered to pay for our expenses AND put both of us through a 4-year nursing school. They know that in as long as four years, Rob and I will be RNs in New York, making a tidy six-figure sum, and we’ll be able to take care of ourselves and pay them back. They have faith in us. They want us to be happy.

And now there are only two things in the way of my family starting a life TOGETHER in the Philippines: Rob and his mom. His dad was a deadbeat whose hand had to be forced to pay child support, and Rob’s greatest worry is that he’ll be no better than his father was. He feels an intense need to take care of us financially. I understand his worries, and I try to assuage his fears with facts: If he comes to the Philippines and finishes up nursing school, it would be a) cheaper than going to school in New York and b) only a matter of a few years before he’s making big bucks and able to support us BIG TIME. Like my dad told him, no one is going to look down on him for sticking with his family and taking care of us the best he can – even that isn’t financially.

Now, when it comes to his mom: I don’t officially know how she feels. I know that my father has broached the subject with her, and she gives half-assed excuses for why she won’t “let” Rob go overseas, like, he doesn’t understand or speak the language. The truth is, I know that Rob shouldn’t let his mom affect his choices, and he knows that he shouldn’t let his mom affect his choices, but that’s exactly what happens. His mom says no, and Rob agrees for no other reason than he feels guilt tripped into it. Here’s his mom, who was left by her husband and oldest son in a period of a week, who constantly insists to Rob’s face that he loves his absentee father more than he loves her, and who means well but hasn’t taught Rob how to exist and succeed in this world (maybe so that he has to be dependent on her and never leave her?), so when she says something, she gets listened to – whether or not Rob wants to.

This trait annoys the crap out of me, mostly because it makes me feel like I’m dating a shadow of a man. I mean, if he doesn’t have any backbone, then what does that say about his being with me? That he’s only with me because I haven’t ended things indefinitely? That nothing he does is because he wants to do it, but because he thinks it’ll make me happy? That one day he’ll resent me for some of his choices, because he’ll feel like they’re not really his choices?

Anyway, I’m sitting in Rob’s mom’s house, typing this while I’m 20 feet away from my pseudo-MIL, and waiting for Rob to wake up from his nap so that we can talk to his mom about him coming overseas with me and Riley. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping for the best, but really, I don’t expect anything to happen. His mom will say no and refuse to help us financially, and be very sad about us wanting to leave; Rob will show me that he doesn’t really want to come; I’ll shrug it off, cry myself to sleep, and wonder what this all means.

Or maybe I’m wrong. Maybe my hormones are making me think the worst of everyone involved, when really, his mom will be as supportive as possible. Maybe. We’ll see.

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3 responses to “Update on Baby, Philippines, and Learning to Be A (Kinda) Daughter-In-Law

  1. I imagine that as you are getting insanely close to delivering his baby, it is only natural that you want Rob there with you for the long haul. I don’t necessarily think that’s hormones talking. It’s probably more of a desire to be a family, and to be whole.

    That aside, my boyfriend is somewhat of a mama’s boy himself. We live two hours apart and I’m starting to wonder if that will ever change. He won’t leave his mom and I can’t leave my job. She says to him that he should do “what he wants” to do. But oh hell would he be the worst son in the world if he left there. She gets pissed when we go away for a week.

    Anyway, it’s manipulation for my boyfriend’s mom on some level, and probably for Rob’s mom too. I wish I had the answer for you. You can’t try to force him into it, because that will most likely push him the other way. Yet I know that you would like for him to just see it for himself, but know that he has this other influence on him. Maybe having a son could be the draw for him. Women bond with their baby for nine months, and sometimes don’t realize that the father really starts the bonding process moreso once the baby arrives. I’m holding out hope for you that once he lays eyes on Riley, he will just want to be with you both and will decide to go with you. Best of luck!

  2. Thanks bunches, Becky! I’m hoping, too, that he decides on his own accord to come with us overseas. We just had the conversation with his mom, and really, the second he said, “Mom, I’ve been giving this a lot of thought and I think it’s best that I go to the Philippines with Maria and the baby”, she cut him off by repeating “No, no, no, no, no…” She wouldn’t even entertain the notion.

    Rob swears that at this point, he realizes that his mom is being manipulative and that the only reason he’s questioning his desire to be with us overseas is because he wants to be a provider. All I can do at this point is wait for him to make up his mind – and since we’re so close to meeting Riley, it really upsets me that so much drama is being heaped on.

  3. happy birthday riley.

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