she avoids the topic like the plague and it's driving me crazy. i can't say anything with out it being met with a very, very, uncomfortable " we love her no matter what she looks like"; as tough the things we're saying are bad. things to warrant this reply can be very simple just noticing things about her such as, her hair getting lighter, her skin getting darker, her eye colour. even when other family members make comment pointing out what feature she's taken from me or her father it all becomes very tense and awkward not to mention the constantly saying she doesn't care for no reason often makes me wonder if she truly does
MIL is horrified when ever babies appearance comes up
I just wanted to say, she is a beautiful baby. I love the photo of her, she looks so happy. I agree that when people usually keep repeating I don't care, they do. I hope your MIL will be able to enjoy a relationship with her grand daughter in the future, but if she holds a negative view about her appearance maybe it is best for her not to have a lot of contact.It is her loss.
I hardly belong here as my family is only the slightest bit multicultural (my niece was adopted from Taiwan, we're all of European descent otherwise).
I wonder if you MIL is hesitant to comment on your baby's physical appearance because she doesn't want people to think that she is favoring the features of her 'own' heritage, but at the same time doesn't want to comment on the features from your heritage lest she look like she's gawking at the differences.
I'm not sure that I've phrased that right, but I know I've been uncomfortable in a similar situation and I've chosen to stay quiet on the subject lest I say something uncouth.
I hear you. My mil is...a secret racist. She has managed to say some VERY racist things to me when NO ONE else is in the room...and even my husband says that I must have misunderstood. (um, no.) My mil has commented on several occasion that she is thrilled how much my children look like their father and most of the time she means that they don't look brown. (I'm not even that brown...I'm a guerita) When my mil says something about how cute they are I usually chime in something like, "I know, interracial babies are so cute" (She once told me I couldn't raise my children with Spanish and English because they wouldn't learn to read! Notice I didn't say bilingual. That isn't even the worst of it...just the most recent)
A couple things to keep in mind. She may be afraid to talk about it for fear of sounding ignorant or racist or negative. She may have had a very...monocultural upbringing thus making it hard to talk about. Her discomfort may be lack of discomfort. (I don't know...)
Me, I confront. If it isn't a secret there is nothing to hide. When she says she doesn't care, let her know her body language says otherwise. When she avoids point out that this is what you mean. I say, let her be uncomfortable. Let her find peace in the discomfort. And if you can provide a safe place for her transition (I found this difficult) In my opinion, expose her to carefully selected movies, books, tv shows that deal with the subject. Show her the culture and embrace her in it. If she hasn't had to much exposure then it became unusual. Help her and don't allow yourself to be a doormat...trust me when I say that is hard to come back from.
But provided she isn't a monster, she should fall in love with the baby. And whatever her feelings you might be pleasantly surprised.
As far as it being completely annoying...learn to breath through it. I know, it's crazy. You are so right. and inhale. That chic is just plum crazy. brown is beautiful. and exhale.
hope it all goes well.
UPDATE: Sorry...I'm NOT saying Endellion's MIL is a racist. I'm saying my MIL is a secret racist. But I am saying how I dealt with it and I think racism aside, it does apply.
Edited by mamaprovides - 6/10/11 at 2:30pm
so funny update, she wasn't sure she was her sons, not in a mean way, we have an open marriage and the baby looks so much like me she was grasping at straws for similarities. that combined with a worry of her not being accepted is now gone due to how completely amazing my kid is (i'm biased).
she still has her issues but at the end of the day she thinks the sun shines out of nadja's bum and loves her. that's enough for me to shrug off dumb things she might say or imply