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My mother’s attempt to send gifts for my newborn son feels like an unwarranted intrusion into his life, considering her previous absence and lack of involvement.

My mother and I have been estranged for the past three years, though this is not the first time we’ve had no contact. Our relationship has been tumultuous, with her abandoning my father, sister, and me when I was just four years old. She later received a bipolar diagnosis, which she often cites as the cause for everything, including my own bipolar diagnosis. Her consistent exploitation of my kindness and absence during my times of need led me to sever ties with her for the sake of my mental well-being.

In my previous post, I expressed concern about her reaction upon learning of my pregnancy. Surprisingly, nothing came of it. I announced my pregnancy at 12 weeks, and despite the likelihood that someone informed her, she chose not to acknowledge it.

My son was born on March 18th through an emergency c-section. I endured a grueling 22-hour labor, and instead of having my mother by my side as a support person, I had my sister. I refrained from informing anyone about my induction and delayed announcing my son’s birth until the next day, as I needed time to recover and adjust to caring for him. I half-expected to hear from my mother then, but the silence remained.

This Tuesday marked three weeks since my baby’s arrival. Apart from a few text messages she sent to my sister, which were promptly ignored, my mother has remained completely silent. However, yesterday I received a Facebook message from her that read:

“I know you don’t want to talk to me, but I wanted to congratulate you and (boyfriend) on your new baby boy (baby’s name). When I get the chance, I’m sending you some stuff for him.”

I chose not to respond, but the urge to say something has been difficult to resist.

When I first discovered my pregnancy, I made the firm decision that she would not be considered my child’s grandparent. Initially, some claimed it was cruel of me, but having spent a significant portion of my life anticipating her presence, only to be consistently let down, I did not want her to disappoint my son in the same way. I experienced firsthand the deep pain that comes from such disappointment, and I vowed to be the mother for him that she never was for me.

Thus, her declaration to send things for him greatly frustrates me. It feels as though she is attempting to be a part of his life, and I don’t believe she deserves that privilege, given the substantial parts of mine she has missed. I am fiercely protective of my child, and I refuse to expose him willingly to the potential for hurt from someone who has repeatedly let me down.

Additionally, since she is aware of my baby’s arrival, I would like to think she knows his full name and understands that his middle name pays homage to the parent who was actually present for me.

I sincerely hope that she is not attempting to force her way back into my life yet again. This would not be the first time she has done so through random letters, photos, or gifts. I have granted her multiple chances throughout my life, and she has squandered them all. She has made her bed, and now she must lie in it, missing out on the opportunity to be a part of the life of one of the sweetest babies in the world.