How to have this conversation — The Bump
Adoption

How to have this conversation

We have a very open adoption, and I'm having a hard time with something that's been happening during visits. I'm not sure the best way to approach it. I will probably DD this at some point.

I love our son's bparents, and I love our open adoption. We have not really had to have difficult conversations so far though, so this is new and tender territory for me.

Our son's bdad has been kind of swooping in and, well, acting kind of parental for lack of a better word. The other day, my son was fussing a bit and rolling around in my lap (he does this a lot and it passes quickly, so much so that I don't even really notice it. Bdad picked him up out of my arms and started bouncing and flying him around to get him to stop fussing.

Then last night he came over and my son was asleep when he got here. He is a slow-to-wake guy and needs  afew minutes to orent himself after he gets up from a nap, and I've told bdad this. When we went to get him out of his crib, bdad immediately started touching him (in my arms) and trying to kiss him.

He also picked him up while he was playing several times last night (he does not like to be held by others 95% of the time right now, and besides that I never pick him up without asking him or when he's engaged in something), and a few times he even tried to take him out of my arms.

It's definitely at the point where I need to say something. I'm not sure if it needs to be an email, or if I should say something in person next time he visits, or if I should just address it as it happens. 

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Re: How to have this conversation

  • I'm open to not bringing it up, which it sounds like you might think is preferable. Say more please?

    I feel like it's gotten more frequent and more intense. That's why I want to say something. We have a very open adoption, and probably see him once or twice a month for long (3+hr) visits in our home.

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  • I definitely would not let any family member do these things (picking him up out of my arms, touching/kissing him when I've just said that he needs space), and I DO consider him a family member.

    He DOES let him know that he doesn't like it, and then bdad tries to soothe him unsuccessfully, and I have to take him back. It's very awkward and uncomfortable for me when I have to do that. And I guess the reason I feel the need to say something now is that I HAVE had those conversations, about general parenting style, or, oh, he will warm up to you a lot faster if you give him some space, and he is still doing it - he's doing it *more* actually.

    I have told him so many times that he's not really into being held (even by us a lot of times! He's a toddler on the move!). The issue is that one time out of 10 he's fine with it, so bdad keeps doing it probably in the hopes that he will get lucky and LO will be fine with it.

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  • Yeah I didn't include the info before because I didn't want to seem like I was trying to make a case aainst him or something. I'm also mega sensitive right now so I'm totally open to the possibilty that I'm overthinking it or makin too big a deal of it. Thanks :)
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  • I agree about letting it go.  I realize it's different, but I've had family members do this, and I just don't think it's worth the battle for something that doesn't make a big difference.  Sure, your child is upset for a moment, but is it worth it to strain your relationship with bparents?  I doubt it.  

     

     


  • image fredalina:
    ]Honestly, if you've addressed it, and he's not just still doing it but doing it MORE, he's telling you something. He's either saying, "I know my son better than you do", or maybe "I know you're right but it's too important for me to feel right so I'll ignore you." If you push, you will be inviting a power struggle. I would ask myself how important it is for me to win this one. It sounds like it isn't hurting LO and will probably resolve itself soon as your LO is getting older and more vocal. Then I would think about what need BD has that is causing him to act this way... I'm guessing it's that he doesn't feel important enough in LO's life, maybe some jealousy, etc... and find other ways to address those needs so that maybe BD doesn't need to have a power struggle over something silly like hugging a waking baby.

    This is very interesting, thank you. I can say what is behind it most likely (based on what I know from him and from when it started becoming more intense) - LOs birth mom broke up with him and he has been trying to talk to her and she won't talk to him. So maybe he's clinging hard to LO because it's all he has access to that is related to her.

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  • image AwBeth:

    I agree about letting it go.  I realize it's different, but I've had family members do this, and I just don't think it's worth the battle for something that doesn't make a big difference.  Sure, your child is upset for a moment, but is it worth it to strain your relationship with bparents?  I doubt it.  

    I've left the last 3 visits feeling resentful and defensive. Prior to that I have genuinely enjoyed spending time with him and I do really love him. I miss feeling positive after visits. And I do want to build a foundation of honest communication even if it's difficult or awkward. I feel like I should be able to have a conversation about something that's bothering me without straining a relationship with them.

    I'm not disregaring your suggestion, I guess I'm still working out how I feel about it.

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