Unexpected Counseling With My Genetics Counselor

I am  pregnant with my third child.  Sometimes I wonder what was I thinking.  Having The Don and The Boss (aka Bam Bam) running around like crazy, screaming, yell, fighting, causing a ruckus, I’m beginning to wonder if I am out of my mind to want a third one.  But, there I was last week going to see my genetics counselor to talk about baby #3.

When I was called back to see my genetics couselor, she introduced herself and we proceeded to her office.  “Oh yeah, I remember you from last time,” I said to her but I couldn’t remember her name when she called for me. “It’s Ok if you don’t remember.  I won’t get offended,” she said nicely but matter of fact like.

We sat down to talk about the genetics test and what they look for.  She also went over my family tree to ask if my sister or my husbands brothers had any children.  She asked about my children and how well they are doing.  I also remembered that she had two boys of her own that she doted about last time and was curious to find out how they were doing.

As the genetics counselor was typing some information on the computer, I looked around the office, especially where she had her pictures of her sons on the shelves.  I notice that the pictures of the boys didn’t look like they aged much over the two years.  I thought maybe she kept the most recently pictures of her boys on her phone.

I’ve asked, “Don’t you have two boys?”

“Uh, yeah,” she said but seem kind of cautious with the response as she moved the mouse.

“So, how are they doing?  Are they doing well?”

My genetic counselor turned away from her computer with a empty, shaken look in her eyes and said the words I will never forget, “Well, my elders son passed away,”

I felt like I’ve cut her chest and ripped out her heart.  Why did I even mention her boys?

“I’m so sorry for your lost.  If I’ve known…”

“It’s ok,” my counselor reassured me.  “It just caught me off guard because not many patients knew I had two boys.” I started tearing up. She hands me a tissue.

“I remember that you talked about them the last time I was here.  I can’t imagine what you are going through.”

She turned back to her computer.  My curiousity was eating at me wanting to know how a child so young passes away.

“If you don’t mind, it’s not too personal, how did he die?  I understand if you don’t want to…”

“It’s ok,” she says.  She told me that her son just started second grade, he was seven years old.  He had a high grade fever and the school called to send him home.  He started throwing up a lot and they took him to the ER to find out he had a GI tract infection.  After the ER, she felt it was best for him to stay home for a week from school until he felt better because what’s a week of missed school.  A couple of days later, he gotten worse.  He wouldn’t eat nor drink and wouldn’t wake up, just falling in and out of consciousness.  She had her MIL come by to watch her son to see if he would get better while she went to see a couple of patients.  When she called her MIL to see if he woken up, her MIL confirmed that he didn’t.  So they went back to the ER to find out her son had luekemea and he had blood on the brain.  A couple of days later, he passed away.

Maybe it was the pregnancy hormones, maybe it’s because we both have two boys, or maybe because of us being mother, I felt a little piece of her pain.  I could never say I felt her pain because I never lost a child, but I thought of my boys and I couldn’t imagine losing them.  I told her that I couldn’t imagine how she was handling this.  Her response was, “Losing your child is the hardest thing that a person can go through.  Make sure you go home and hug your boys.”

Although I’ve met this woman once before, I couldn’t help but to give her an hug.  Not one of those pat pat hug; a hug like a best friend, a mother, a sister would give.  A hug that lasted for about five seconds.  She accepted the hug as I mention how sorry I am for her lost again.  She mentioned that this is the first time she told the story about the death of her son and she didn’t cry.

After I left, I thought about how my sons gets on my nervous, how loud they can be, or how they can be so noisy that I’m sure the next door neighbors can hear. I also thought about how in just a blink of an eye they could be gone.  No Noise.  No Yelling.  No Screaming.  Nothing.  We hear how other people children die everyday and we see it as ashame but continue on with our day.  Once you hear of a child dying from a parent that is close to you or in your circle, you started to appreciate the noise, the commotion, the temper tantrums, the talked back, everything negative about your child as you know that you may not get a chance to hear or see them again.  When my sons came home from a day out with my MIL, I held them dearly and make an effort to hug them tightly everyday because it may be the last day.

Yes, my sons still get on my nervous but I see them differently now and handle it differently.  I also appreciated the good like, The Don’s easy go lucky personality or The Bosses determination to be heard, to appreciate their smiles, their sense of humor, their love.

I just didn’t go to get counseling for Baby #3, I recieved counseling from a grieving mother on how to love and appreciate my children.

 

 

Moms: Do You Encourage Your Son To Put His Wife First?

When you gave birth to your son, you knew that he would be the love of your life.  You fell in love with him each day as he learned how to crawl, walk, run, and talk.  You love bedtime when your son cuddles next to you reading his favorite bedtime story.  Your son comes to you when he’s hurt and when he’s happy.  You are his best confidant.  It feels good to be needed.

Then one day, when he’s older, he’ll start becoming interested in girls.  You think to yourself that these ‘girls’ are just a fling and the only one that will have his heart is you, so you’re not sweating it.  You see your son slipping away from your arms but you are still in hands reach.  These girls shall pass and you’ll be right there if they break his heart or he moves on to the next.  You’re still his number one girl.

Fast forward ten to fifteen years later.  Your son meets the woman of his dreams.  She’s kind, thoughtful, hard working, and the most humorous person you’ve ever met.  You can’t believe how this woman has your son wrapped around her finger…so tightly.  Although it’s great that someone is making your son happy, however, the thought of another woman coming between you and your son scares you.  You see your son slipping away from your hands and into the arms of another woman…a younger woman.  Not only does she have his heart, your son announces to everyone that they got engaged.

Your world as a mother has scattered.  “What would happen on holidays,” you question yourself.  “Will I still get to see him every year as usual or will he go to her parent’s house?” “What happens if they have kids?  Will I get to see the grand kids as often as I like?” “Can I come by as often as I like to see my son?” “What if my future daughter in law keeps my son away from me completely?”  These thoughts of another woman ‘controlling’ your son scares you, too. How can you compete with a younger, prettier, outspoken woman like her?  How can you win your son from this woman?  Do you even try?

Some mothers would try to have a say or have control in their son’s life and compete for their son attention and affection when they get married. Maybe because the mother feels that they don’t have a place in their son’s life anymore and would try to make their presents known. The mother will try by changing the way the kitchens organized in her son’s home, or disobeying how the wife wants her kids raised by thinking she ‘knows’ better, or dropping by without notice despite the disapproval vocalized by their daughter in laws.  The daughter in law voices her concern with her husband (your son) in how her mother in law (you) treats her.  Your son loves you and his wife and don’t want to hurt you and feels loyalty to both.  What can he do?

Let’s not get into the biblical sense of a man leaving his mother and father and cleaving to his wife and becoming one (Genesis 2:24).  Even if you’re not religious, when parents interfere with the relationship between a husband and wife, it will cause problems in the marriage.  What some  mothers don’t realize when their son takes a wife and builds a family, it’s his responsibility, his duty, to be the leader of his family; not his mother.  He has chosen a wife that he feels is capable of helping him lead in life and his family.  Once the son chooses a wife, the mother’s duty to her son changes from being his main supporter to the supporting woman in his life since her main job of raising her son is done.

 

The problem with mother in law and daughter in law relationships is usually because the mother in law is overstepping her boundaries because she wants to feel important, in charge, in control, and to have an uninterrupted relationship with her son.  What a lot of these mothers don’t encourage their sons to do once they get married is to consider the wife and his immediate family needs and wishes come first before her own.  If mother’s taught their sons this, a lot of the friction between mothers, sons, and daughter in laws won’t exist.  If mother encourage their sons to put their wife’s needs and wishes first this would avoid:

  1. The son feeling disloyal to his mother:  Usually when the mother does or says something that the daughter in law doesn’t like, the son usually defends his mother’s actions because he feels that his mother didn’t mean any harm.  In his mind, his mother is right, even when she’s wrong. If he chooses his wife and his mother’s feelings are hurt, he will feel disloyal to his mother because well, it’s his mother. If he know he needs to put his wife’s feels first without the guilt of not being loyal to his mother, he can see the situation objectively instead of having a bias emotion that his mother can do no wrong or be subject to emotional blackmail by his mother.  This will also help the son know that he doesn’t have to feel a disloyalty to his mother if he choose to disagree with her for the betterment of his relationship with his wife.
  2. Disrespecting her son and daughter in law: When a son’s mother criticizes her son’s wife, he may be disgusted at how his mother sees his wife and feels she’s disrespecting his choice in a wife and how his family lives.  If the mother realizes that his choice in a wife or family life has nothing to do with how’s he was raised, then she shouldn’t feel to overstep her boundaries by cleaning up after them, cooking for them, or rearrange things around the house. The mother will understand that she doesn’t want to disarray their lives because that’s not the way she would do it.  Her son and daughter in law live their lives the way they see fit.  She would want her son to be happy regardless of how she see her daughter in law and how their family lives.
  3. Mother and daughter in law tension: If the mother knows that her son would stand by his wife, there should be less tension between the mother and daughter in law.  Since the mother knows she’s not the matriarch of her son’s family, there shouldn’t be any competition for that role. The mother realizes that her daughter in law is capable of raising her son’s family without interference unless asked by the daughter in law.  It will be hard to follow after leading a family for years, but if the mother respects her son and daughter law, a better relationship can develop and can bring them closer together if she follows their lead.

This is not to say that the mother shouldn’t be apart of their son and his wife’s family. She should. It’s not to say that the mother in law should be a doormat to the daughter in law if she is not treated fairly or with respect. She shouldn’t allow it. It’s not to say that if his mother is ill or in dire need that the son doesn’t have an obligation to help, take care, and be there for his mother. He should be there for his mother when she really needs him. It’s to say that the mother doesn’t have the right or privilege to dictate, demand, impose, or force her views upon her son’s family when he has a wife that can run his family the way he see fit or force her son to choose between her and his wife.

It’s disheartening, some mother’s somehow sees the wife as competition instead of a helpmate to their sons.  “She’s taking him away from me,” is how some mother’s think.  Honestly, that’s what should happen.  The son needs to live his own life without his mother. Do you remember what it was like to be the daughter in law when you enter your husband’s family?  Do you remember first meeting your mother in law?  Did you like every smart, passive aggressive remark she made about your cooking, cleaning, child rearing, and fashion sense?   Don’t be her.

Us as mother’s of sons lived our lives, had our husbands, and raised our children.  Let’s trust that we’ve raised our sons to picked a wife that can live their lives the way that’s works for them and makes him happy and let us be the supportive parent. Remember, we are still their mothers; that will never change. Our role in our sons lives is just different.