Originally Posted by nerdymom
Flame away if you like, but honestly I feel you have no reason to be mad! She told you honestly and matter-of-factly how she feels, and WHY she feels that way. And her last paragraph, about respecting your choice because it IS your choice, is pure gold! How many women here would love to have a MIL who was so honest, and yet so open!
You are a lucky woman. Be thankful that you have people who care about you and yours enough to SAY something (in a loving and RESPECTFUL manner), even if they are wrong (in your eyes [and mine]).
Wise words. It's always best to believe a close relative (especially one you just met) has good intentions before taking a concerned email personally. What ObamaMama's MIL wrote could be very respectful and loving. I could see it, and there is definitely concern and understandable fear in it. The thing is, we can't tell 100% for certain what her intentions are. Since it's just email, there's no tonality. Maybe she's being respectful and loving. Maybe she's being condescending and eloquently bossy. This is why we have a whole range of interpretations of it in this thread, and this is why email conversations (and forum conversations) can turn ugly really fast.
What will be the deciding factor is how the MIL acts are after this. If she doesn't bring it up again or try to pressure ObamaMama into a hospital birth, she is truly awesome and her words about respecting ObamaMama's choices ring true. If she keeps pushing it, though, she is simply being a busy-body—and probably not the type of person a pregnant woman needs to be spending time with as stress is bad for growing babies (and their mothers), right?
The one thing that bothers me is more than the email is the situation itself. The MIL only just met ObamaMama and choose to email her alone (not her stepson) about the homebirth. Even with great intentions, that's not great etiquette for an inlaw. It would have been much smarter for her to have talked to her step-son first. While birthing impacts a woman—he is probably a big part of that choice. And potentially starting a conflict with your DIL over birthing choices (something which is *very* personal) is not a good way to start a relationship with her. It could also negatively impact her relationship with her stepson.
I know if my stepfather disagreed with a decision DH and I made for our child (for example, our decision not to circumcise) and then emailed my dh without speaking to me first—I'd *not* be thrilled. I'd even be less thrilled if my stepfather just barely knew my guy. It wouldn't matter to me if my stepfather was a doctor, either.
I'd perceive it as my stepdad singling my husband out. I'd probably respectfully, but *very firmly* ask my stepfather to leave my husband alone and not bring up the topic of circumcision again. While we appreciate his views, we'd ask he respect our rights to make decisions as adults.
If he didn't respect my request we would not be getting together with him anytime soon until after the baby was born as I would don't need the drama (and neither does my husband). DH and I talked about this before we announced our pregnancy (his family can be opinionated, too). He is also willing to take this tactic if his parents give us any trouble.
We are trying to avoid some of this by not disclosing too much information to our families. While we want to share our happiness and joy with them, they don't need to know all of the details right now.