Tuesday, 19 April 2011

My Mother In Law

Warning, this is a rant. I have not taken the time to breathe or relax before sharing this info. The hubby is out of town and it's after 10 here in London so too late to call up a friend. So you, my internet friends will be the first to hear my rant.

I just got off the phone with my mother in law (who manages to always call when the hubby is away). I should start off by giving a bit of background to our relationship. She is not a particularly warm and fuzzy lady. It's just not her way. She tends to say what's on her mind without thinking about how her words may affect others. She's like this with everyone, not just with me.

It's fair to say that over the years she has said many things that have hurt my feelings. I'm not sure she means to be so hurtful, but she just doesn't get it sometimes. The hubby is quite aware of this fact and always does his best to give me hugs and reassurance. She is who she is, and she's in her 70's and isn't likely to change.

So really I shouldn't be surprised that she has an opinion about the fact that we are trying for another baby. Really, because when the hubby told her a few months ago her response was, "Oh, No!"

Tonight she asked me how things were going. I did my best to bring her up to speed without confusing her with all the medical lingo. She listened and then said, "Wouldn't it be easier to adopt?" So I had to explain that as expats we can't adopt a British child and went into how complicated it would be to adopt either a US or international child. I didn't get into the fact that we aren't ready to consider adoption yet. That we want to try and have our own baby. That we hate it when people think we should just give up on our dreams because of the false notion that adoption is so much easier and cheaper.

She tells me, "Well if this doesn't work then you should just call the whole thing off. You're not getting any younger you know." Then she goes on to tell me about how nature intended for us to have babies when we are young and healthy. That when we get old our nerves can't handle raising kids.

At this point I am crying but trying not to let her hear it. I have a million responses running around my head but somehow managed not to say any of them. I just listened and said things like, "I see."

Then she asked how my parents feel about the whole thing. I told her that they are very supportive and that they really want a grandchild.

To which she said, "Don't they already have one?? Doesn't your sister have a little girl?"

At this point my head is spinning and the tears are really flowing. "Did she really just say that to me," I ask myself?? Is she really suggesting to me that my parents shouldn't be excited about having a grandchild by us because they already have one by my sister?

I wanted to scream to her that my parents just want me to have a baby that I can take home. They want a grandchild that they can actually see, and hold, and play with. Not just one that they can pray to at night. Does she really not get it?

Not once during this whole conversation did she ask how the hubby and I are coping without our son.

Instead she shares this gem with me. "Maybe this is nature's way of telling you something."

Really??? Like what? That we aren't fit to be parents? That some woman who is addicted to crack and has had 4 children born addicted to drugs is more equipped to raise a child than us? That some irresponsible girl who gets pregnant and doesn't know who the father is more worthy to have a baby than we are? What exactly is nature trying to tell me???

I would love to be able to say that I ripped her a new one and told her where to shove her opinions. But as always, I simply smiled and just took it. I asked about how she is doing and how my father in law is doing and about their upcoming vacations. I was the good, loving daughter in law.

But inside I am fuming!


  1. Firstly, please have some cyber hugs, it sounds as if you need them this evening. I am so very sorry that you had to hear this conversation and such unbelievably insensitive comments. I have no words as I would be absolutely fuming too.

    You and your husband are such deserving parents and I truly hope with all my heart that you can have another brother or sister for your first born son. I also wish that others would understand a little more about how things are for you and even if they don't, to at least be mindful of what they say. I think the latter is perhaps too much to ask sadly.

    Take good care of yourself.

  2. Beyond insensitive and just plain wrong. Hope you're ok. x

  3. Wow, how did you not blow up at her?! I don't think I could have held my tongue. Sending you hugs! I'm so sorry you had to deal with her.

  4. Oh, nature's trying to tell you something alright. Nature is trying to tell you that your mother in law is an asshole.


    I'm sorry you had to have a conversation like this with her, next time you might want to try screening your calls when your hubby is out of town. I do this when my hubby is out. ha.

    You are definitely deserving of having a baby, don't listen to her yammering.

    I hate that you had to listen to her spewing her nonsense, but good for you for being the bigger person. She's obviously a little bit crazy. I very much hope things work out for you, and that your parents get the grandchild you very much wish for them.

    BTW, MILs tend to be on the crazy side. Mine, upon hearing our little guy would in fact, be a little boy and not the girl she never had, exclaimed to my shocked husband, "oh, not another boy". I can't even begin to tell you the rage I will reign upon her should we be blessed with another boy and she expresses disappointment. I will need to be physically restrained!

    (apparently I too needed a rant!)

  5. God bless you for having to hear this. I fully understand, Whilst I was losing my little girl my grandmother (who had produced 5 healthy children) said to me "Well you didnt really want another baby so soon did you?" Like I should be glad I was miscarrying because I already had 2 children. Then when my son died she was so upset and asked "How old was he again". He was 4 damn you!!!
    People can be so insensitive especially if they havent experienced what we have but we should feel sorry for these people because they have never experienced angels as we have.
    Big hug from Manchester
    Sarah x

  6. I am so sorry that you have to deal with her. I don't talk to my MIL directly. Ever. I give you big hugs and cudos for having the strength and patience to handle her without showing her your frustrations.

  7. I can relate like you wouldn't believe. Just recently I wanted to share some interesting news with my mother-in-law and my hubs thinks its funny to through out," No, she's not pregnant." Then I got "oh, GOOD!", from her. Yep, she's not much of a fuzzy person in this subject and has flat out told me I shouldn't try for any more. I can feel the fumes with ya sister. Just breathe and good for you for not reacting in a negative way...I struggle with that at times...lol

  8. Oh wow, I am fuming for you. So sorry you had to deal with this. I would be livid. So upset, so angry, so hurt. I hope there's some way you can express your hurt to her in a way that she is able to hear and learn from.

  9. Totally, totally wrong!!!

    So reminds me of my grandmother who managed to convince my mother that she'd die if she had another child after I was born. Reason? My mothers age..27 and much too old in my domineering grandmother's narrow mind.

    I went through a similar situation when I had children; my mother actually was annoyed when I had my second daughter and then my son. She never treated the two as favorably as her first granddaughter.

    People that are raised with ignorance continue to profess that same, cruel, stupidity as demonstrated by your MIL. You deserve so much better.

    As always, sending you prayers and many, many hugs.


  10. Hell-to-the-no my friend! WTF. Not acceptable and you are far more mature than I would've been.

    I'm an ocean away and fuming for you! With you.

    It's not nature's way. Don't listen to that BS. Just drink a glass of wine and try to remember she DOESN'T get it and never will. Glad you wrote us. :)

  11. Makes me realise how lucky I am that my immediate family at least, have been very sensitive towards us. Some extended family and friends however, I would put in the same category as your MIL. Seriously, I'm so sorry you had to endure that.

  12. Wow! You have nerves of steel to deal with so much insensitivity and not take someone's head off. I don't know that I could have kept my mouth shut. I'm quick to mouth off at insensitive comments, especially about adoption. I'm so sorry you had to go through that experience. Is there any chance that your husband could have a talk with her? I am just really sorry.

  13. Its not just MIL's that suck. My own mother said,"you're kidding right? was this a mistake?" when I told her I was pregnant with my first child and her first grandchild. And then my own father offered me $20,000 not to have any more children after my third child was born. My parents kind of suck at times.
    I'm sorry for your pain. And I wish you all the best.

  14. I feel for you! Sometimes there are no words and a big hug or cup of tea speak more.

    Just finished reading Melissa Ford's Navigating the Land of If (notice you've got a link to her blog on your page).

    Feel much better for doing so.

    Take care

    SSG xxx

    Sydney Shop Girl blog

  15. Uggghhhh!!!! How awful! I'm sending you lots of huge hugs and hoping that you're feeling a little better.

    She's very lucky you didn't go off....I know I would have!

    You most definitely deserve to have a baby here with you and I know it will happen for you mama!

    Sending you love!!!!!!

  16. I can honestly saw the jaw is on the floor. No way on earth I could have held my tongue.. she just sounds awful!

  17. Oh, I'm seething on your behalf. I am so sorry that you had to face that kind of negativity and unkindness. I was so hurt when my husband's grandmother gave me the "These things happen for a reason" kind of speech and I couldn't think of a damn thing to say in response (although I later mailed her Kushner's book When Bad Things Happen...).

    I hope that you and your husband are able to hold tightly to each other as you create a united front and move forward on your journey to expand your family. And tonight, I hope you're able to let go of the hurt and be confident that you're doing what's right for you.

  18. Yuck. I find a lot of the grossly stupid comments come from old people. Maybe that sounds harsh, but really? I realize that things were harder in 'their' day, but did they never learn compassion? I'm sorry that you had to hear those things. I just nod my head when you say you just grin and bear it, because I often do the same. It hurts to take the high road, but is it really worth the energy spent on the argument? Love to you mama~

  19. OMG! I can not believe how insensitive someone could be. I thought I had it bad when my parents just plain out never even ask me how I am doing with Liam's loss, but this lady is a real piece of work. Good for you for just being the bigger person. You and your husband absolutely deserve a child of your own and I pray all the time the things are going to work out for you.
    Thinking of you always!

  20. Jeebeezeeziees!

    I can quite understand why you are crying...I would have bawled my head off. She does not seem to be a pleasant person to be around and she seems to be too fixed in her idea.

    At some point infertility and cancer happened to people who had done bad bad bad things in their lives - some grand punishment for their sins. As much a curse that it was. Today cancer patients receive compassion, infertiles are still trying to wash off the curse-mark.

    Next time say it loud - 'I want to have children. For my sake. For your son's sake.'

    My SIL received this beautiful necklace from my ILs and the timing could not have been any worse. First of all, no gift was brought for me. Second, SIL had just had her anticipated baby #1. So I felt that she had been rewarded for her fertility.

    It is an arrow that goes straight to the most hurting corner of our hearts and there is no other way than cringing that we have.

    Hope you have children. And I know your parents will love your kids.

  21. Huge huge hugs from me. I'm sorry your mil is so insensitive.

  22. People are so insensitive and I run away from them all the time. But it hurts when our won say such things.

    My mother has a complicated relationship with one of her two sons who actually lives away from us (with his wife & baby) and doesn't visit us/call us. The day after my baby died I heard my mother telling someone 'people lose their grown up children (so its okay to lose just a baby)' She didn't say it clearly but I just think she was comparing the loss of my baby to the rift with her son. I was mad and yelled at her and she was defensive and never repeated it and is very warm with me now, but I still feel sad/mad sometimes thinking my own mother said that.

    I feel its easier to forgive others but hard to forgive our own.

  23. Ahhh you are pretty strong aren't you? I think i would have made some lame excuse to go or just hung up and complained "something must have happened?"
    Try not to take her words to heart. You guys definitely deserve a little one of your own to watch grow up.

  24. AACK. This reminds me of when I had to have a hysterectomy due to cancer at age 23. We had no children. My mother-in-law's first comment was to express sorrow that she wasn't going to get a grandchild (my husband's an only child). What WERE our M-I-L's thinking?

    My sympathies on the loss of your child, and I wish you a happy, healthy pregnancy.

    I'm a new follower from the hop, and hope you'll visit & follow my place.

  25. Wow, that's all I can say.

    Happy "Get Wired Wednesday"! I'm following you now thru the blog hop and hope that you'll follow me back. Have a fantastic day!!


  26. Some people are just unbelievable.

    I hope you keep the strength to deal with her and I'd echo the person above who suggested you don't answer the phone to her.

    My MIL is the most unpleasant person I have ever had the misfortune to meet so you have my every sympathy.

  27. My jaw was agape while reading this. What the hell? I can't even believe she said those things, I'm sure you can't either. I finally had to get caller ID because my slightly crazy, non-fuzzy MIL has a way of calling when the hubs is gone, too. I just stopped picking up to avoid the anger. And like others, I just don't talk with her directly. Can't do it. So sorry you had to deal with this. xo

  28. Your husband must be mortified.

    That MIL sounds like the worst of the worse. I am sorry to see you win that much unwanted prize.

    She sounds like such a bitter ass.

  29. They really have an, ah-hem, talent, for lack of a better word, to say the most inappropriate things and get under our skin in the worst way.
    What a feckin' horrible woman.
    PS. New follower from MamaKat :)

  30. I don't know if there's anything I can say that the others haven't, but although I am not her psychologist (or yours or anyone's) I think it is safe to say that SHE SPEAKS FROM HER OWN ISSUES. We're here for you out here in cyberland.


    Stopping by from Mama Kat's.

  31. What a not nice lady. I would have hung up on her after the first time she was rude.

  32. I am so so so sorry you had to listen to that! UGH How awful. What is wrong with people?!?!?!

  33. Oh, I am so sorry. What a witch. I have a MIL too. And they suck!
    Your husband needs to put the smack down on that woman!
    I came over from Mama Kat's!

  34. I saw your comment on my blog "if mommy dearest had a blog" and you are correct your mother in law sounds like my mother.....cold, harsh and doesn't believe that the words that come out of their mouth could possibly be hurtful!!!


  35. Wow. Just, wow. The word 'toxic' doesn't even BEGIN to describe this woman.

    The next time she calls spouting that poison, you really need to say "I don't have to listen to this." Both to yourself and to her, and then HANG UP THE PHONE!

    If you do that, I can only see one of two things happening: a.) she gets pissed and stops speaking to you (PLUS!) or b.) she bitches to your husband who gets pissed and finally lets her have it (ALSO A PLUS!)

    Swallowing her bullshit hurts nobody but you.

    Stay strong

  36. Not seen your blog before but have just popped over from Blow You Own Blog Horn. I just had to comment on this post as I read it and it made me so cross and sad and I don't even know you. I hope that all your dreams come true really soon xxx

  37. I'm sorry about your MIL. The insensitivity of people continues to astound me. Hugs.xx

  38. I just found your blog today and I'm catching up. Wow, your MIL sounds like a real gem. I'm sorry she was so insensitive to you. Hang in there!

  39. Oh how familiar all of this sounds. The first 9 years of our marriage were the same way. Then one day I just stopped caring what she said. I would give an "mhm" reply and let it go. I know it seems impossible sometimes, and in your case the emotions involved are so much deeper, but you know what you are doing is right for you, and I hope in the end you can forget what she says. Hugs!

  40. I found your blog from the love of blogs and i am loving reading through it. I cant believe your mother in law is so heartless or thoughtless, but you handled it well. Probably no point to get into it with someone like that. I am your newest follower, cant wait to read more about your journey!