Conflict with decision making - Chinese inlaws - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 38 Old 03-02-2009, 01:13 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mags View Post

Oh and I totally get you about the crazy, unrealistic expectations. Even my parents, who moved from Taiwan, to the US, THEN had my brothers and I get upset when we are, "too American." We ask them, "Why did you move to America if you didn't want us to be American" and they end up giving us some song and dance about their sacrifices and how we're so disappointing.

Oh and my mil, she was (and still is) very upset that my DH did not marry a Korean girl.
Mags.... kudos to you. You sound like you have it hard. Pleasing 2 sets of parents must be very hard.

Yes, my dh's parents will often give him grief for being "too American." He, of course, was born in South Carolina and mostly grew up in Virginia. We often joke that he's a redneck. LOL And they often tell him how disappointed they are in him... took him to long to find a career... get married... get his sh*t together, basically. At his ripe old age of 30, he should have all these things already... several houses, 6 figure income, several children, etc.

I think my MIL isn't very happy that neither of her ds married Chinese women, but my DH is the 1st born, so I think that's really hard on her. Oh, and his father told him he could find someone prettier and thinner than me, and at my age (I'm 4 years older than dh, 33 when we married, just turned 34) I'm probably infertile. You know, menopausal. Of course, we got pregnant without really trying, so I guess that theory didn't pan out for his dad so much... although, I guess dh could have found someone prettier and thinner. I don't know what's worse- the fact that his parents say this stuff or that dh tells me! Ohhh! I'm going crazy!

Mags, we should get together sometime over virtual coffee. I think it would be very therapeutic for us.

Anyway, I've gone WAY OT. To the OP- I think you and your dh need to find a way, w/ a joint front, to set boundaries for his parents. This may be hard for him, but it's the only way it will work. Your MIL probably won't be happy, and she may not let your dh hear the end of it for a while, but you need to do what's best for your child. I bet it will be easier to stand up for yourself to your in-laws after you do it the first time.

Mom, wife, full-time student.  And tired.  DH, DS#1 (9/99) and DS#2 (9/09), and 2 dogs.

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#32 of 38 Old 03-02-2009, 01:41 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mags View Post
LOL! Yes, this! My DH got laid off soon after we were married and my mil was over-the-top with calling us at least FIVE times a day, asking if he had found another job, b/c she was sooooo worried. It was REALLY depressing for her to be constantly on our case about it, as if he was not trying to find a new job?!?! As if WE were not worried, as if WE were not stressed out???? Anyway, my DH finally got totally fed up with it and told his mom to stop calling us five times a day. Well, of course HER feelings were hurt (who cares about our feelings?), she went around telling ppl that she no longer felt comfortable calling us, b/c we told her NOT TO CALL HER! FTR, we told her not to call FIVE TIMES A DAY!!! At first I was annoyed, but then I realized the benefits of her holding a grudge against us. Since then, she no longer calls us five times a day. It was like a blessing in disguise that we pissed her off, b/c she has always given us more of a cold shoulder since that incident, which is fine by me. For a long time, she actually expected me to be her best friend, that was totally awful.

Fay, my brothers and I all regularly get into shouting matches with our parents when we have to talk to them on the phone. As my brother says, "I want to be nice to them, but they make it sooo hard." That is exactly the way I feel too. I really want to be nice to my parents, but they have this way of basically pushing us over the edge everytime they talk to us by nagging and being meddlesome and/or being extremely critical and putting us down. My parents used to expect weekly calls from us, those were the worst. Since I've had kids, I've really slacked in that dept (and they haven't bugged me, b/c they know I am busy, but I know they were still expecting these weekly calls from my brothers), but it's been good for my mental health. My mom just visited yesterday, b/c I really needed someone to watch the kids so I could attend my son's preschool parent/teacher conference and she was nice enough during the visit (rare, b/c usually she gets on my nerves at one pt or another, but I'm pregnant right now, so my parents have been nicer to me). Of course, she started to get nosy though (it's like they can't help it) and wanted to know if we had filed our taxes and what the outcome was (ie: how much did we owe or get back, what tax bracket are we in, etc.). I just kind of played stupid and said my DH took care of it and I hadn't had a chance to talk to him about it. My DH just snickered, b/c my mom will ask me all these financial questions, but she won't ask my DH about it, b/c she knows my DH will just brush her off.

My Korean mil is even worse. My DH stupidly answered her question when she asked him how much his salary is (same with bil, in fact last time both my DH and his brother changed jobs, my sil and I agreed we would not let mil find out how much our DH's salaries were) and the goes around BRAGGING to ppl about her sons' salaries!!!! Talk about unclassy and crass. Ironically, my mil thinks she is a very classy lady, she compares herself to Audrey Hepburn.
Oh my DH learned the hard way about volunteering too much information to my family. He also finally understood why I hate it when he tells his own famiy too much, especially in regards to our financial situation. That is a very hot button topic.
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#33 of 38 Old 03-02-2009, 02:30 AM
 
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OP:

However you choose to handle your in-laws you have to get your DH on board with you and both of you always have to show a united front with them. You shouldn't do anything or let your DH be pressured into doing something you aren't comfortable with regardless of what anyone says period.

The both of you are the family unit now and you do what is best for your family. In my earlier post I said have him deal with parents because a parent can forgive their own child, but someone else's child not so easily. And even if he deals with them, they may still blame you anyways. I also said just nod and ignore what they say and do your own thing, but with some parents that can only work so much or so long. I like to pick and choose my battles there.

While my DH's family (they are caucasian) is not quite as meddlesome as mine, they are excellent guilt trippers when we don't do the things they want us to do. We had a huge issue with not baptizing our DD (his family is Catholic, I am agnostic and so is DH though to this day he can't bring himself to tell his family). Even though DH dealt with his family on this issue I know for a fact they blame me, because in their mind they raised him to be a certain way and I'm the outside influence. We still each handle our own family and we've found that this works best for us. But we're also on the same page and in agreement about how to handle situations and we don't allow ourselves to be pressured by anyone.

We had to draw very firm boundary lines with both our families and there was a time we didn't talk or see either of our famlies because they pushed us to that point. There was a lot of bruised feelings, attempts at involving other family members and I'm sure a lot of crap was said behind our backs. But everytime we had to deal with them we did it respectfully and we stood our ground and refused to be engaged in a subject we felt we weren't being respected.

Sure it took us both 30 years to stand up to our family, but in the end it's worth it because they now know that we just won't deal with their crap and they can't push us around. They also know that if they keep meddling or pulling guilt trips we will just avoid them. Is it harsh? Sure, but it's the only way sometimes to maintain our own sanity and to salvage any chance of having a relationship with them by drawing that boundary line (that they are overstepping to begin with) or else we just end up resenting them.

Another poster here mentioned it's about control and that is dead on, it often really is about control. The control a parent has over their own child and how much weight their words carry with them. In some families unfortunately it's about competition, who the person will listen to more their parent or their spouse.

IMHO with meddlesome parents is that while somewhere deep inside they probably have our best interests in mind, what it really often boils down to is their parental ego. When we don't want take their advice their feelings get hurt and then it's somehow it's all about them. And this is all because you might have a different idea of what is best for youself. The parent with the bruised ego is the one who turns a complete deaf ear to anything you might have to say.
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#34 of 38 Old 03-02-2009, 05:01 AM
 
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Hi all,

I guess my experience w/ ILs (and parents) is extraordinarily mild. She rarely advises us on stuff now that the kids are big. DH sometimes nags her a little to watch her salt intake. He calls her a couple times a week when she's in Canada, and daily here - it's usually a "Hey, what's up, how're you doing" type of conversation. I call my own mom and dad about once a week to see what's going on with them.

When the kids were babies my m-i-l would say things like "It's cold, the baby needs another sweater" or "Drink this soup, it's good for a cough" and that was about it as far as pushiness went. My own mom LOVES to give the kids candy & cookies, feels like that her role a grandma.

So, since I realize now my experience of "pushiness" might not even qualify as a mild nag by the standards of most people on this thread, I will bow out now.

I hope things get better for those of you who have these difficult family situations.
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#35 of 38 Old 03-02-2009, 10:23 AM
 
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Frankly, whether or not they would give your child the pumped milk is a minor issue here...

I would NEVER let anyone take care of my child if they had already tried to take my crying child away from me, talked about CYO, etc.

If you really must go to work, I would have your mother take care of your child. I would not even consider the in-laws after what you said about them.

Mama to a little lady and always praying for more.
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#36 of 38 Old 03-02-2009, 10:28 PM
 
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Wow!!! i almost cry upon reading the original thread.What you are experiencing now did also happened to me. i'm into multiculti marriage, my husband is european and i'm Asian. Believed me its not just about Asian culture but MIL all over the world are mostly the same.
My MIL was actually wonderful too, not after i discovered her wickedness. It did began when our First DD was born...she wants to rule and even gaved up her good job to concentrate on a new found hobby PESTERING!
She was annoyed that i BF my DD. In her time she never do that. Who cares what she do during her parenting days?? Even asks me to makes hole and insert honey on the pacifier that DD sucks it( not even considerate DD dont like pacifier)
MIL dont like to listen to my concern and DH cant do nothing about it so my last option was to give MIL a cold shoulder whenver she mess up. Well its not easy, it takes years before she finally makes her distance.
I'm sure you will pass this dilemma over the time, pray to GOD for guidance.

Gudluck
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#37 of 38 Old 04-10-2010, 02:37 AM
 
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Blithe -- I'm white, my husband is Korean. We've been married ten years. My ILs are first generation immigrants, as is my husband. My ILs would have tried what yours are pulling, but we live three hours from them. They still tried to go on about the negatives of breastfeeding over one year, co-sleeping, AP type parenting, trying to get us to use CIO, (sigh.......). My hubby tries to stand up to them, and does, in his way. But I had to learn to start standing up to them myself.

Blithe, if you don't want to go back to work, don't. I mean, your baby is young. If you feel your hubby is "making" you go back because his parents are blabbing on and on about it, then don't do it! I mean, it's a free country. : ) Right? If there's no emergency financial reason to go back to work, just stay home with the baby, and you won't have to worry about ANYONE not carrying out your wishes.

I would discuss this with your hubby. Tell him, i'm not going back to work so that we can give your parents more money. There will be time when the children are in kindergarten, that i could go back part time while they are in school. In the meantime, i will be a SAHM. Period.

When my MIL used to go on about BF'ing, I used to say, "No, Omani, breastfeeding is the best choice for the baby." Period. And if they try to take the baby away, and play games with that, and not give the baby back when you say to hand the baby back, then you can say something. Otherwise, they will walk all over you. You can say, "I know the baby is crying, I'm going to hold him now, Omani, thank you." and walk away from her.
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#38 of 38 Old 04-10-2010, 02:42 AM
 
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And as far as the suspicion that your MIL will throw away your pumped milk, to me that is very, very insulting and goes to the core of disrespecting you as a mother. I mean, throwing away your BREAST MILK? Your MIL is not ready to watch your child. When your child is much older, it might be okay, and your child can tell you what went on with his grandmother. For now, as I said, I would not even go back to work if I were you. I think you need to send a CLEAR MESSAGE. You're not going to be pushed around. And you can do this in a loving way -- it sounds like you love your ILs. But, you don't have to give up your time with your BABY because they want you to. That's just ridiculous.
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