Sparring Partner and I are what some would refer to Latecomers as it applies to starting a family. He was over 35 when our oldest was born. I was over 40 with the youngest.
The situation is not all that unfamiliar to either of us since my mom was in her late 30s when she had me and Sparring Partner’s mother was 40. And while not unfamiliar, it has created a bit of fission within my husband’s family. My in-laws have great-grandchildren OLDER than Aitch, who is their youngest grandchild. Their second-to-youngest grandchild? That honor is bestowed yet again on our family as that would be Doodicus.
To put it another way, out of the 11 grandchildren, only two are under the voting age. Obviously they are our two.
Sparring Partner has a couple of siblings who seem to think that since he lives the closest to his parents that he should be at their side at a moment’s notice. They don’t understand when they come in from out of town, why we don’t want to go out to dinner every night they are here, which means getting home from work in time to put everyone back into one vehicle and getting home later that night just in time to put everyone to bed. Forget about baths or homework or laundry or cleaning up.
Just this past week Thursday we went out; Friday they all came to our house for supper; Saturday night we went out. Last night? They were going to do supper at the SIL’s home. We told them thanks, but no thanks. I’m sure that by declining the invitation, we were criticized our seeming ungratefulness.
I have to give props to Sparring Partner, who when on the receiving end of an eye-roll from one of his siblings after a similar incident, responded, “You had your turn to raise your children. It’s my turn now.” I think they forget that while he’s the youngest in the family, he most certainly isn’t their boot-scraper and going to take their shit anymore.
We both love our families, extended and otherwise, but right now our priorities lie with who we tuck into OUR beds under OUR roof. And if we feel we are being spread a bit thin in trying to make EVERY one happy, we know that while there’s other family around to take care of our parents, no one else is there except Sparring Partner and me to PARENT our children.