Once Upon a Tanbo

Mid-week ramblings

Posted on: February 12, 2009

Bear with me today folks, I think this entry may be all over the place. This week has been sort of emotionally draining and I’ve found the waterworks coming on a few times for random reasons, and most likely thanks to an abundance of fun hormones.

So first… the car drama… I may have mentioned it before but we are getting a car since Ryohei will be commuting to work. There has been a lot of talk and debate over the car – what type to get, how used or new do we want the car etc. Obviously budget wise we can’t really afford a brand new car with all the latest stuff. I – the much more financially conservative one in the relationship was perfectly happy with a 2-3 years old K-car to get us started for the first couple years since we will have a new baby and a new apartment and new appliances to take care of as well.

Ryohei has had it in his head that he wants a certain kind of car – a flashy Toyota. Plus he wants it to have car navigation and an ETC (high speed roads pass) both of which I was fine with. Anyways… a while ago he decided a K-car was out of the question for sure and that he HAD to have his Toyota. So… we researched some used ones but nothing was turning up, and when finally there was a possibility we couldn’t buy it because of some issues with us not having a parking space here in Kobe. A huge mess really. So Ryohei called his parents to tell them and was told that his grandma offered to buy us a brand new car of his choosing.

Now that’s a lot of money and to me, a very very very extravagant gift. Ryohei was soooo excited, but honestly it just made me feel very uncomfortable. In my family an extravagant gift is maybe a check for 100 bucks… the thought of receiving a car worth about 3-4 months salary… I just couldn’t get excited about it. I know that Ryohei is his grandma’s favorite and I’m sure a lot of this is spurred on by the fact that they will be getting their first grandchild/great-grandchild but I guess it just makes me feel incredibly obligated to people that I’ve only meet less than a handful of times.

Also – it sort of pisses me off that once again Ryohei gets something without really “working” for it. I feel that our relationship is so lopsided at this point. What with moving for his job to a place I really don’t want to go and living and raising our kids in a country I’m not sure that I want to live in forever… its just him getting his car wish is like the cherry on top of the disgruntled sundae. Of course I’m happy we will have a nice and safe car… sure… but I feel like I have no input at all about my life and its direction. I feel like I do stuff for “us” and for “the future” but when he does things it usually seems to benefit him the most and he’s never really had to “go it alone.” He’s always had family or me to look after him and pay his way.

Not that he is a spoiled brat… just I really want to pressure off for a while. The longer I am into my pregnancy the less appealing sticking at my job until May seems. I threw up again today at work and I seem to never be sick anymore when I am home or relaxing. But since I am the one with a higher paying job and better saving skills I feel like the extra money I can make by sticking it out will be helpful. Some days are better than others…

On a happier note, we had a nice day yesterday and went out to a park that has plum blossoms blooming. Its been warming up lately and the colorful white, pink, and purple flowers gave me hope that spring really is approaching. It was nice to get out and just relax and walk around. (although I’ve obviously gained some weight because walking around for just a couple hours gave me horribly sore feet)

Regarding the jellybean… I think I am occasionally feeling movement but nothing really “Eureka!” yet. It could just be wind. I’m not feeling entirely positive about the whole thing either. Yes I know I wanted a baby but now that he/she is on the horizon its very scary. I think the whole gravity of the situation hasn’t hit yet. I’m just randomly getting a big tummy and accumulating baby stuff as a new hobby. Maybe when we know what it is and theres a little more identity to the baby as opposed to occasional lava lamp tummy I will get more excited about the whole thing. I’m sure I can’t be the only one who felt this way during a pregnancy.

That’s all for now I guess… thanks for sticking around to read the whole thing if you did.


14 Responses to "Mid-week ramblings"

Oh Sara, I feel for you on so many fronts!

The way what I consider to be huge amounts of money are thrown around here makes me very uncomfortable but it is a losing battle and I just grin and bear it. One sum I actually put in an account for MILs old age as she was so intent on giving it to me and I was equally determined not to take it. 🙂

I can’t believe you have plum blossoms already!! I love plum blossom- all the faint streaks of pink.

I think not being deliriously happy 100% of the time during pregnancy is- shhhhh! don’t tell anyone- normal! I got really jack of it- the possession of my body by this ungrateful parasite that made me anaemic, nauseus, puffy, sore, lethargic, monopolised every conversation I had etc etc. Some people really connect with their unborn baby but for me nothing really happened until they were out!

Hang in there and remember- even if it seems like it might, pregnancy really doesn’t last forever!

It’ll get better, I promise!

I know what you mean about how different things seem for your hub, we have the same issues (and we’re old!). DH has always had a huge, supportive, and more-than-a-little-well-off family, the complete opposite of where I came from! He seems to take so much for granted, and it absolutely infuriates me sometimes! But eventually, you learn to just accept it, and sometimes, hopefully, be happy about it.

And trust me, all your pregnancy feelings are totally normal! I was massively disgruntled (to put it mildly) through all of my pregancies, and with the first, it was several months *after* she was born before I started feeling happy or excited. I had some pretty serious bonding issues with that one, but your mothering instincts will kick-in, and soon enough, you’ll be a cooing, babbling idiot who just knows she’s got the smartest, most adorable child ever to grace this earth! And not long after that, you’ll completely forget what life was like before that beautiful baby came along!

lava lamp tummy – love that. A few more weeks and you will hopefully know what it is and be able to feel it and – fingers crossed – have stopped the throwing up 🙂

It sounds like the car thing is going ahead – so at least put your foot down about a few things. Nice reclining passenger seat so when Ryohei is taking you to checkups you can lean all the way back and put puffy ankles up on dashboard. Automatic side door – very very handy when have baby on hip and shopping in hands. If all the works are included get one of those reversing cameras so you can see when you back into parks and things – like 99 percent of the population. Wish we had one. Seeing as it is almost a done deal I would suggest just accepting it grasciously, as hard as that may seem. Think of it as granny giving you an extravagent baby gift that Ryohei will just be the most excited about. A good, sturdy set of wheels is very reassuring when driving around with babies.

If it is any consolation I have just had a big hormonal cry tonight. All I can say is thank bloody god we aren’t elephants – don’t they have a pregnancy that lasts something like two years?? Bugger that.

And stick with the job – and the savings. Even if it is into a ‘me me me’ account so you can go out and buy bling when you’re feeling down and Ryohei is out driving his new set of wheels 😉

I think what you’re feeling about the financial stuff is perfectly reasonable. A big gift like that would make me uncomfortable too, and the car thing … well, of the harder things about being a foreign wife is, I think, getting your husband to really understand just how much you’ve given up for the sake of the relationship. The car thing seems kind of more symbolic for you than anything else, not that you wouldn’t like a new car, but that not getting his dream car would be a small sacrifice on Ryohei’s part. I can totally see how that it would bug you that he won’t have to make that sacrifice.

As for pregnancy, I think that its completely normal to feel a bit ambivalent about the whole thing. For me, the gravity of the whole situation didn’t really hit me until my son was born. Up until the day I went into labor, the whole concept was still really abstract. And you know, I had a relatively easy pregnancy, but I still didn’t really *like* being pregnant. Its ok not to like it, to feel crap, and to sometimes feel a bit down about it. I think I was actually in tears a couple of times because I was sure I’d made the hugest mistake of my life … and my son was planned, so it wasn’t like I didn’t know what I was doing! But you know, you’ll do fine, as scary as it is now, things will fall into place once the baby is here, and personally, I found that having a baby isn’t nearly as hard as you imagine it to be, somehow you just do it.

(and how exciting that you’ll soon be finding out what you’re having!)

Fuka – Thanks for the encouragement. That was a good idea putting the extra money in an account for the MiLs old age. Very clever! Pregnancy feels like forever and still less that halfway there!! I just want it to be over!

Slime – I guess it really is just a difference of being raised. Its difficult for sure to see a huge sum of money being tossed around… that sort of money was never ever spent on one of us by my parents or grandparents. Maybe we just aren’t as well off lol.

I am slightly disgrutled… but I don’t think the baby is the real cause of most of it.. just seems to be adding to the general blah of my situation at the moment.

GW – Aww I’m sorry you had a cry as well… although sometimes it does help. I usually feel better (for a bit) after a good cry. I think that the car will be everything you described and more… so I guess that we are lucky! But still… I just hope they don’t expect to buy the rights to raise our baby through this. (see how my horrible mind works?) I probably will stick at work through at least mid-May I suppose if not for the regimented system of guilt that leaving my office without an English speaker/translator would “sort of” give me. I’ve been in Japan too long… and all the money I save is going towards vacations/trips home. Thats for sure.

Jessica – Yes yes yes. Your first paragraph is exactly how I feel, just more eloquently voiced. Its not that I don’t want a car I guess I just feel resentful that R is getting exactly what he wants while I feel like I just am getting jack. I understand the whole.. “was this really the right choice” regarding the baby. I’ve thought that a few times. Of course I’m thrilled to be having one but just all the issues of bi-cultural/bi-lingual child raising in such a mono-cultural/mono-lingual environment are daunting. I sort of wish I was doing this at home 😦

This is a sticky situation but one that is leaving you at the crossroads so-to-speak, and I was reluctant to post my advice (hoping that you don’t take it the wrong way) eek but you regretting the decisions later could be worse.

I think you are “RIGHT” to look at this objectively and not subjectively, which almost always yields “feeling comfortable with the decision you made”!

I think gifts over a certain amount are trouble (speaking from experience.. bare with me), considering their age (unless they are considered as being seriously wealthy at retirement)hehe “wink” the money would be better sitting in their bank for retirement, which they’ll really need later. Things which you feel comfortable saying “NO” to now will make you think twice if you accept it, know what I mean? And I think you could possibly win the argument on this account.

Your mind is not working horribly, your mind is thinking rationally. Things or large priced items, possessions are more appreciated when we buy them for ourselves, but on the off chance you see yourself accepting it, how about paying a monthly note(your DH) to the in-laws so the CAR is YOURS with no strings attached.

I accepted a car once, and house once and my then husband had no appreciation for THINGS and later on.. people, there is an expectancy from the giver, almost always, and you don’t want that strain on your marriage, what about suggesting an appliance or help with the “Move”? I can tell you when my husband and I bought our own cars, our own house, I have a HUGE appreciation and feel proud, whereas the past experience was all good at first but sour later. If I came across as being too harsh or rash, it is only because I went through this before and want to save anyone I know from anything “uncomfortable” if possible.

Be strong and keep your foot down
= )

GJ – Thanks for the advice, I believe its true to be honest. But there really isn’t much for me to do in the situation. For one its not R’s parents but his grandma that is doing the “heavy lifting” And pretty much to refuse would be a horrible insult. Also its not MY car to be honest… I can’t even drive so I will merely be the passenger. I hope to get my licence and my own car eventually but I am sure I will be on my own for that *sigh* Oh well…
From the other posters who commented and also talking with Nay and Lulu last night it seems that expensive gifts or large sums of money for seemingly no reason are common here… so in short I think that receiving the car is more or less a done deal and my husbands 80 year old grandma obviously isn’t going to accept money from us… I told R that after this we aren’t accepting anything else from his family besides small things like birthday presents for the baby. So hopefully this will be the one and only 🙂

Reading your post, I was nodding my head and agreeing with everything that you had written. I can understand how you feel about the car and the money…

Everybody has already given you lots of advice and support that what ever I did want to say has already been said! So, because we spoke last night about it, I will just end my comment by sending you lots of cyber hugs your way!

Nay – Thanks for the cyber hugs, I enjoy them so 🙂 and thanks for listing to me rant on for like 20 minutes about this last night!

Thanks Sara, so glad you understood where I was coming from = )

Have a fabulous weekend and a more than fabulous V-Day tomorrow!

Oh god I know exactly what you mean, when I was worrying about where our money was going to come from to buy baby stuff and ryota’s dad took us to babies r us and blew close to $1000, I felt sick on the way home inbetween the summimasens and arigatou gozaimasu’s. Ryota said it was normal but it made me sooooo uncomfortable and still does. I guess it is a culture thing, but I draw the line at the car. Ryota’s dad has offered to buy us one and I flat out refused, it would be more for me anyway and I’m quite happy to walk. (need to get rid of my baby weight anyway!) I know living in the country, that’s not an option for you, but if it makes you uncomfortable now I think you should let ryohei know that.
Don’t worry about the not grasping the reality of the situation yet, I have my little squirt on my lap now and I still can’t fully comprehend it all. You’ll be a fantastic mum though, and that’s all that really matters. Hope you can feel better soon. It was the same temp here in Oz as Osaka yesterday!!! Glad it’s warming up there but we’re in a cold snap!
Take care, see you next month!!

Corinne – Thanks 🙂 I miss you and can’t wait til you and Ryota and the new little guy are back!! I’m sure you guys are sooo busy with a newborn that I appreciate you finding time to read and comment here! I actually look preggers now 😀

I can absolutely understand how big expensive gifts would make you a little uncomfortable. And for me – the whole first part of my pregnancy felt very alien and parasitic. I could never get away from it and I didn’t feel good…Things turned a bit around midway when I started to feel much better, but I never really “bonded” to my unborn baby like some women do. Once she was born, and I could see her and hold her (and knew it was in fact a HER instead of a mystery gender) it all became much easier to feel good about. 🙂 And we really really tried to get pregnant and planned for it – and none of that means that pregnancy or parenting is suddenly a walk in the park and the most wonderful thing. I think for a lot of women it just takes time to adjust to the major changes in our lives! You’re in good company I think.

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