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Cultures that covet sons and their offspring... - Page 2

post #21 of 36
My DH's family is Taiwanese and strongly prefers boys over girls. My DH is the preferred child in his family, and is deeply resented by his sister. She married a Taiwanese doctor and was under pressure from her ILs to produce a grandson, her third and last child was a boy.

My DH was hoping for daughters, partly to get his parents off his back, but we have 2 beautiful sons. Our DS1 is autistic, which creates a whole new set of issues for grandparents who want perfect trophy boys...and my SIL has been a total witch throughout the whole process of pursuing a diagnosis and appropriate therapies...I will never understand why she would try so hard to turn her parents against their son and grandson.

I think the preferred gender thing can be very destructive to family relationships. I'm so sorry that the OP is going through the feelings of rejection over and over again in her life.
post #22 of 36
Sorry about your situation, Mags,

My mother came from a traditional Chinese family where boys were favoured over girls, and her own mother forced her to do a lot of house chores while the younger kids skeddadled and played. And lucky me, as her only daughter, she somehow took out some of that anger and frustration on me. My two brothers got pampered and spoiled while I was told that the only reason she was giving me a university education was to find a suitable guy ASAP.

Fast forward to me having my first kid, and my mom was absolutely NO help whatsoever. Though I envied my friends whose parents would come from across the ocean to help out after a birth, at the same time I was relieved NOT to have my mom helping me, because there would have been plenty of grounds for many arguments and disputes. They came and visited for TWO hours when their very first grandchild was born. Our DS was a boy, but since I wasn't the favoured child (read: black sheep of the family) it appeared as though my mom could hardly wait to get out of our apartment after dropping off the pig's feet in vinegar.

This too shall pass. I wish you a supportive network of friends and hired help. Accept your toxic in-laws and parents for what they are and limit your interactions with them so their negative energy doesn't poison you. There's no use in rationalizing why they do what they do. Just stay out of the line of fire and your kids will thank you for being ever-present and sane!!!

It's taken me time and lots of reflection to build the loving family I never had, and I wish you lots of courage to do the same. My situation is slightly different from you in that my non-Asian DH and his family are close by, very helpful in all respects but non-obtrusive and don't interfere.
post #23 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FelixMom View Post
Sorry about your situation, Mags,

My mother came from a traditional Chinese family where boys were favoured over girls, and her own mother forced her to do a lot of house chores while the younger kids skeddadled and played. And lucky me, as her only daughter, she somehow took out some of that anger and frustration on me. My two brothers got pampered and spoiled while I was told that the only reason she was giving me a university education was to find a suitable guy ASAP.

Fast forward to me having my first kid, and my mom was absolutely NO help whatsoever. Though I envied my friends whose parents would come from across the ocean to help out after a birth, at the same time I was relieved NOT to have my mom helping me, because there would have been plenty of grounds for many arguments and disputes. They came and visited for TWO hours when their very first grandchild was born. Our DS was a boy, but since I wasn't the favoured child (read: black sheep of the family) it appeared as though my mom could hardly wait to get out of our apartment after dropping off the pig's feet in vinegar.

This too shall pass. I wish you a supportive network of friends and hired help. Accept your toxic in-laws and parents for what they are and limit your interactions with them so their negative energy doesn't poison you. There's no use in rationalizing why they do what they do. Just stay out of the line of fire and your kids will thank you for being ever-present and sane!!!

It's taken me time and lots of reflection to build the loving family I never had, and I wish you lots of courage to do the same. My situation is slightly different from you in that my non-Asian DH and his family are close by, very helpful in all respects but non-obtrusive and don't interfere.
Thanks for posting. I relate so much to your post. I know there is nothing I can do to change the way that they are and you are right it takes a lot of time and reflection to build the loving family that I have now. I feel like I have had to parent my children completely opposite from the way I was brought up. I'm so glad for you that your DH's family is close and supportive of you.
post #24 of 36
to all.

Dh and I are both Asians (Vietnamese & Chinese) and we are fortunate that our parents are not too archaic in their thinking. Yes they do value males (to carry the family name) but they also love their daughters & granddaughters. As dh is the only son, I know there is pressure to produce a son. My oldest brother's wife also felt the pressure to produce a son. Although our parents (his and mine) do not treat the grandchildren any differently, we (myself & sil) understand where this thinking comes from.

As we have decided that ds will be the last, I hope that we don't unknowingly put any pressure on our future dil to produce a son.
post #25 of 36
Oh, mags
I'm so sorry. That WAS painful to read.

Congratulations on your new baby!
post #26 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by mags View Post
skreader,
I think my mom is mad at me, b/c to her, it's all about the chinese medicine herbs. She wanted to feed me all kinds of horrible chinese herbs and I refused to do so. I asked her what they were and she said she didn't know the, "american" name, I told her to find out and I would research it and if it was ok for breastfeeding, I would take it. She kept saying, "it's all natural, it's safe." I said, "no, you don't even know what that BAG of random ingredients is and you're telling me that it's safe????" She got really angry with me, told me she spent good $ to get the quality label japanese brand and I was being unappreciative. She still keeps trying to push the herbs on me, my brother was in a very serious car accident several months ago, my mom is trying to give him the SAME herbs, he refused (he's a doctor, so even more suspicious), so instead she gave it to one of her friends' dd who just had her baby a month ago as a baby gift (wouldn't listen to me when I told her just to give a gift card, now she looks like a lunatic for her, "gift"), and that new mom is a doctor herself, who own Taiwanese mother would probably not push chinese herbs on her. I guarantee she will NOT some weird herbs. What really makes me mad is that I told her I would take it if she could tell me what was in the concoction, BUT she didn't want to be bothered with it. Plus, she was annoyed that I chose to BF my babies and seemed to feel that if I did not BF, that I wouldn't have thrown such a fit about wanting to know what the herbs were. Funny how someone who touts how, "natural" and "safe" these herbs are, seems to be so gung ho about baby formula (she would show up with cans of formula every time she showed up for a visit). She seemed totally insulted. So, I guess she feels that if I don't blindly take some chiense herbs that *may* harm my baby (who knows?), that it means I am rejecting her, "help?"
I haven't read the other responses yet, but I think she may feel that you're rejecting HER and HER ways. (I've btdt too.)
You know how we mothers can be sensitive about our own decisions to the point that sometimes we may feel that we need to justify our choices to other mothers who do differently than we do?

Since you're questioning the use of Chinese herbs and formula (which is your prerogative of course), she may feel you're judging her and that you think that your choices are superior to hers.
Now, sometimes parents can be extremely pushy and don't accept their kids being assertive, no matter how gently it's done. So, it's a tight rope to walk. But maybe there's something you can find that she recommends to you where you can make her feel important and wise. Ex- asking her for advice about something or inviting her to go shop for the baby and joyfully accepting HER choice.
And no doubt, my suggestion may be difficult to you because of the hurt and rejection you've felt for so long.

However, if you don't want to live in a state of perpetual hurt........ I think you can either try to make amends with your mom OR limit your exposure to her and try to not let what she does affect you (I know easier said than done, but possible). Sometimes when we feel rejected, we raise our expectations of others really high- wanting them to compensate/suffer for our mistreatment. If we keep these unrealistic expectations, we're usually highly disappointed since they rarely meet them. So perhaps find another outlet that allows you to express your pain that doesn't involve expecting them to apologize or to change.

I hope that you didn't find that advice too outrageous.
Take care
post #27 of 36
I'm so sorry. That must be so difficult. I certainly can't understand how families can be that way, but my DH's is. He is the oldest son, and we have a boy. My SIL has 3 girls. When I was pregnant with DS my SIL said to me "If your baby is a boy he will be the most important grandchild".
It made me so sad to hear that, and it didn't even seem to phase her. Just a statement of fact!
post #28 of 36
Mags,

My heart goes out to you!! Your mom sounds a lot like my MIL...

My DH's extended family favors boys over girls too. It is horrible! They definitely treat my sons differently from my daughters. I cannot believe people are so silly.... I mean should the gender of your child really matter?

I have a very good friend and colleague who is Korean born and she constantly talks about how boys are so much more precious in Korea and how when her mother had a son after 3 daughters one of her friends from across the street stopped talking with her from envy. Come on!! Come to your senses!!

Congratulations on your new baby!! I hope you can find someone to help you when your third comes!! Maybe a sister-in-law?
post #29 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoMaH View Post
I haven't read the other responses yet, but I think she may feel that you're rejecting HER and HER ways. (I've btdt too.)
You know how we mothers can be sensitive about our own decisions to the point that sometimes we may feel that we need to justify our choices to other mothers who do differently than we do?

Since you're questioning the use of Chinese herbs and formula (which is your prerogative of course), she may feel you're judging her and that you think that your choices are superior to hers.
Now, sometimes parents can be extremely pushy and don't accept their kids being assertive, no matter how gently it's done. So, it's a tight rope to walk. But maybe there's something you can find that she recommends to you where you can make her feel important and wise. Ex- asking her for advice about something or inviting her to go shop for the baby and joyfully accepting HER choice.
And no doubt, my suggestion may be difficult to you because of the hurt and rejection you've felt for so long.

However, if you don't want to live in a state of perpetual hurt........ I think you can either try to make amends with your mom OR limit your exposure to her and try to not let what she does affect you (I know easier said than done, but possible). Sometimes when we feel rejected, we raise our expectations of others really high- wanting them to compensate/suffer for our mistreatment. If we keep these unrealistic expectations, we're usually highly disappointed since they rarely meet them. So perhaps find another outlet that allows you to express your pain that doesn't involve expecting them to apologize or to change.

I hope that you didn't find that advice too outrageous.
Take care
Thanks. My big issue with the Chinese herbs is that I don't know where the hell my mom gets it. She goes back to Taiwan and then gets bags of herbs. They are not labeled, or anything, she has no way to know how they were handled or if they are pure, etc.. As for expectations, I have really, really low expectations of both my mil and mother, my mom is esp unreliable when it comes to, "helping" me with the kids, even if it was her idea to begin with.

Strangely enough we just found out though that mil's boss has made her go part time (from full time). So, she is off in the afternoons now. My DH told her that we will need her to be, "on call" when it's time for the baby to be due (they live an hr away), so she can watch our two boys when I go to the hospital. She seemed very agreeable to it and is actually very excited to have one more grandchild. She had assumed that she would have no more. So, who knows. Maybe my mil will come through for us.
post #30 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by mags View Post
skreader,
I think my mom is mad at me, b/c to her, it's all about the chinese medicine herbs. She wanted to feed me all kinds of horrible chinese herbs and I refused to do so. I asked her what they were and she said she didn't know the, "american" name, I told her to find out and I would research it and if it was ok for breastfeeding, I would take it.

She kept saying, "it's all natural, it's safe." I said, "no, you don't even know what that BAG of random ingredients is and you're telling me that it's safe????"
Good move, because those things are DANGEROUS! The actual herb may be OK, if it is correctly identified and prepared, but the quality control is non-existent, and they are often laced with prescription medications or contaminated with heavy metals.

http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=3031748
http://www.ufscc.ufl.edu/Patient/can...rnews&id=17520
http://professional.cancerconsultant....aspx?id=29307

And that's just a few of the cites.

The same goes for the "traditional" remedies in Hispanic cultures: many or them are loaded with lead or mercury salts.

As for the "It's all natural" argument: botulin toxin, rattlesnake venom and castor beans are 100% natural. Any takers?
post #31 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by mags View Post
Thanks. My big issue with the Chinese herbs is that I don't know where the hell my mom gets it. She goes back to Taiwan and then gets bags of herbs. They are not labeled, or anything, she has no way to know how they were handled or if they are pure, etc.. As for expectations, I have really, really low expectations of both my mil and mother, my mom is esp unreliable when it comes to, "helping" me with the kids, even if it was her idea to begin with.
mags
Forgive me if I wasn't clear enough.
I wasn't AT ALL suggesting that you take the herbs.

I realize that you were only venting and not asking for advice, so I hope this isn't overstepping any bounds. Your relationship with your mom is so painful for you, I thought it possible that you had not looked at the situation a bit differently.

What I suggested was to try to find ~something~ to help your mom feel included and important to you. You say she's unreliable (so not the babysitting), but there must be something else, something that you approve of that won't make her feel rejected by you.

Another quick thought, your mom may be enthusiastic about your sil's child right now.... but it's quite possible that she might end up disappointing your sil also in the same way that she has you when she's cancelled out on you. That would be sad, but it may turn out that your mom has a hard time giving the help that she herself didn't receive from her own mother and that it's not some deliberate action she's taking to hurt you. (not an excuse but a plausible explanation?)
Best of luck to you
post #32 of 36
[QUOTE=noobmom;12814855]Look at the bright side--surely in her old age she'll expect your SIL (her DIL) to take care of her, not you, since that would be "tradition".QUOTE]

seriously? my dad is czech american and i've always felt my three brothers are favored, and being the only girl, i'm dumped on. i'm pretty sure that when my parents are old, the job of caring for them will be mine.
post #33 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazy Gardens View Post
Good move, because those things are DANGEROUS! The actual herb may be OK, if it is correctly identified and prepared, but the quality control is non-existent, and they are often laced with prescription medications or contaminated with heavy metals.

http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=3031748
http://www.ufscc.ufl.edu/Patient/can...rnews&id=17520
http://professional.cancerconsultant....aspx?id=29307

And that's just a few of the cites.

The same goes for the "traditional" remedies in Hispanic cultures: many or them are loaded with lead or mercury salts.

As for the "It's all natural" argument: botulin toxin, rattlesnake venom and castor beans are 100% natural. Any takers?
Thanks for the reassurance. I have this problem with both my mom and my Korean mil. They both think that Chinese herbs are, "safe." My mil actually says, "Chinese medicine is safe, Western medicine is bad." Meanwhile, my mil now has some weird lung issues. Her (western) doctors cannot figure out what is going on. My mil is convinced that she got sick from some geese (???) that hang out at a pond about a mile from her house?!?! I am convinced that with the weird concoction of Chinese herbs she takes, that it was something in those herbs (whether it be a fungus/mold or some other contaminant) that has made her sick. She refuses to believe it and now is on antibiotics almost ALL of the time. I'm going to send some of those links to my mom to read. She will most likely push Chinese herbs on my sil as well.
post #34 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoMaH View Post
mags
Forgive me if I wasn't clear enough.
I wasn't AT ALL suggesting that you take the herbs.

I realize that you were only venting and not asking for advice, so I hope this isn't overstepping any bounds. Your relationship with your mom is so painful for you, I thought it possible that you had not looked at the situation a bit differently.

What I suggested was to try to find ~something~ to help your mom feel included and important to you. You say she's unreliable (so not the babysitting), but there must be something else, something that you approve of that won't make her feel rejected by you.

Another quick thought, your mom may be enthusiastic about your sil's child right now.... but it's quite possible that she might end up disappointing your sil also in the same way that she has you when she's cancelled out on you. That would be sad, but it may turn out that your mom has a hard time giving the help that she herself didn't receive from her own mother and that it's not some deliberate action she's taking to hurt you. (not an excuse but a plausible explanation?)
Best of luck to you
LoMaH-

Yes, I understand what you mean. My mom will probably just make some frozen meals for me. She is a good cook and she knows that I like her cooking. And your point about mom's enthusiasm for my sil's baby waning (or broken promises) was something I was just thinking about a few days ago too. I had already told both of my brothers yrs ago that when they have kids, not to count on my mom to help them out, since she is so unreliable. I guess we shall see. At least my mil has agreed to be on call to watch our older kids when we need to go the hospital. Biggest problem is that she will probably either get lost or get into an accident on her way to our house, b/c that is just the way she is {sigh}. So, I don't know. I really wonder how my mil and mom were able to raise kids w/o something happening to us. Thanks for your support and ideas!
post #35 of 36
Hi Mags,

That is a positive development for you (if not for your in-laws income). I hope she will be able to come through for you and help out w/ the older ones.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mags View Post
Strangely enough we just found out though that mil's boss has made her go part time (from full time). So, she is off in the afternoons now. My DH told her that we will need her to be, "on call" when it's time for the baby to be due (they live an hr away), so she can watch our two boys when I go to the hospital. She seemed very agreeable to it and is actually very excited to have one more grandchild. She had assumed that she would have no more. So, who knows. Maybe my mil will come through for us.
post #36 of 36
Wow, I'd be majorly pissed off if my brother got preferential treatment.

My parents are from an Asian culture as well, and they are pretty traditional in their ways, but they do NOT prefer boys over girls. At least, I never got the impression. If they DO have a preference, they hide it very well.

My partner and I have a daughter together -- the first grandchild on both sides. The grandparents love her to pieces. If any one of them were ever to make a comment on how my daughter "should have been a boy," or something ridiculous like that, you better believe I'd cease contact immediately. :

That's just not cool.
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