Your parents reactions to not circ'ing? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 120 Old 04-27-2007, 05:14 AM - Thread Starter
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I understand some people do not share such decisions with their parents, and I respect that.

On the other hand, if you share such things with your parents or mother and father in law -- what were their reactions to you not circ'ing your DS('s)?


My parents were 110% supportive. My Dad isn't circ'd, so both of my parents felt it was unnecessary, since I guess it's what they knew. My Dad was happy with our decision, gently sharing (as gently as he could share..) that he thinks not being circ'd was helpful to him in the love making dept. Not something a daughter wants to hear about, but reassuring in a sense, I guess.

My in-law's? My father in law couldn't care less. As long as my DS's were happy and healthy, that's all he cared/cares about. My mother in law on the other hand was shocked at our decision. She got her son's circ'd, my husband included of course, so she thought our decision was disgusting and strange. : I know she still thinks that today. She didn't even try and understand our decision in not circ'ing. She backed off flapping her mouth about it when I told her cutting off a piece of my baby at birth was the cruelest concept ever. (The same MIL that thought extended BFing was the second strangest thing we had ever done. Why bother when formula existed, or even cow's milk for after a year old? D'oh.
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#2 of 120 Old 04-27-2007, 05:24 AM
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That sounds defensive to me, she feels that you are (quite rightly) criticising her for what she did and doesn't want to have to deal with any guilt.
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#3 of 120 Old 04-27-2007, 05:28 AM
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Leaving our son intact was a big non-event, really! My dh is British and intact - his Mum would have hit the roof if I'd wanted to cut off part of her grandson's body for no reason (and rightly so! ).

My mom noticed, of course, when I changed ds's diaper right after she'd arrived to visit after his birth. Both of my brothers are circed, but she told me then that my Dad wasn't.

She did say that she'd thought circumcision was something you 'had to do' when you had a baby boy (which is strange, since obviously Dad was fine being intact - but back then, when doctors told you something had to be done, I guess you just didn't question it).

Mom didn't say anything one way or the other about it - I think she felt that it was just up to the parents.

After listening to me rant about circ on and off over the past 3.5 years, though, I think she finally 'gets it', and she was as thrilled as I was when my nephew was born earlier this year and was left intact.
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#4 of 120 Old 04-27-2007, 09:50 AM
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I am REALLY nervous about this. My son is due in July and there's NO WAY I'm cutting off part of his body w/out his permission. I think it's one thing if (for some strange reason) he chooses to have it done when he's older, but doing something like that just seems ridiculous to me.

My mother is VERY anti-circ... she witnessed a circ when she was in the hospital after having my sister or me, so I know I'm well supported there. My dad, on the other hand, is VERY pro-circ, but doesn't change diapers, so I think I can skirt the issue with that one. He's also pretty religious, so I think I may be able to go the "God put it there, who am I to have it cut off?" route if it comes to that.

My nervousness comes to my husband's family. My husband didn't seem to care too much when I stated my case against circ, even though he's circ'd though he seemed a little worried about how to explain why his looks different from his sons. I explained that IF it comes to that (which... I'm not sure they'll be comparing by the time our son is old enough to be asking those types of questions and REALLY mean it), we can just tell him the truth... That when daddy was born, they removed part of his penis because that's what everyone thought you should do back then but now we know that's silly (not to mention cruel) and so we didn't do it to him. Buuut... I really don't want to deal with my mother-in-law. I don't want her in the room when I'm changing diapers, I don't want to have that conversation at all, I don't want her to ask when we're in the hospital "how is his circumcision scar doing?" because I'm not sure I can react reasonably and just tell her "we don't do that." What I really want to say, is that we didn't circ my daughter, so why on earth would I do that to my son? But I know that's just going to start an arguement/discussion about what she sees as pro's and I'm going to get very frustrated trying to set her straight. I was worried before, but at a family gathering recently, I heard her and a couple other people talking about how one of dh's cousins "hadn't even had a chance to get him [her son] circ'd yet" because he'd been so sick during his first year. UGH! The sad part is that she actually STILL WANTS TO HAVE IT DONE! Even after a year. I don't think I've ever been this nervous about my inlaws finding out about something EVER.

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#5 of 120 Old 04-27-2007, 10:01 AM
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My parents didn't say anything...I don't think they really cared either way (although they got my brother circ'ed, I think they were just told it had to be done).

My mil flipped out and told us that if we ever saw the elderly intact men and the problems they had, we would NEVER have left him intact *shaking head* (she is a geriatric nurse). That kind of reasoning makes me bonkers, just bc I am sure that is only one problem of many for elderly patients who need continuous care in a nursing home. Its hard for me to understand why she justifies something for a newborn that wouldn't even effect them for another ~80 years down the road. I would LOVE her to bring it up again bc at that time, I was still new at the whole thing....I have a lot more guts now to talk about anything and everything.

Their whole family though is crazy for circumcision. His older brother said that he will be there for my son when he comes crying to him that we didn't circumcize him...since its just so gross and my son will be so embarassed eventally. And the younger brother said that if he ever had a boy, he will do it bc he can and its their right to decide. Thank goodness they are having a girl right now. I am going to keep working on the younger brother, and the older one will probably never have children thankfully! Thank goodness I married the smart one in the family (although he fought for it at first, once he read a little info about the subject he relented and 1.5 yars later, he is now VERY VERY pro-intact!)
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#6 of 120 Old 04-27-2007, 10:04 AM
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My Mil left my dh intact so she is awesome! She fought the dr's in the late 1960's in D.C., without even speaking english at the time. She came from Chile 7 months pregnant. DH's dad died before I met him.

My parents are pro-intact also, my mom had it done to one son without even bening asked about it. His crying afterwards shook her up so much she vowed to leave the next boy alone & she did. My dad is circed and totally against it. He's the one who said to me, "circumcision defies all logic." They are both daily mass Catholics and feel that God designed the body perfectly so why would we mutilate it?

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#7 of 120 Old 04-27-2007, 10:42 AM
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We've not yet had a boy but when/if we do, the thoughts of our parents are immaterial. The only parent we give a rat about is MIL because she rocks. But I don't think she'd say much about it, and even if she did, she knows that we're going to do whatever we think is best regardless of her opinion. My parents and FIL...all are disowned and out of the picture.
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#8 of 120 Old 04-27-2007, 10:53 AM
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My mom was SUPER relieved. My son is her only intact grandson. My brother was circ'd without permission back in the late 60s. My father was intact and my mom said that he "knew it was better" (he passed on and never told any of us his status, but obviously mom knew LOL). My brother sadly never knew and went on and had his sons cut : .

My inlaws...well, my father in law has seen William naked during a diaper change. Nobody every brought it up, and they don't watch him. So, it will be interesting once they do. My MIL is sort of a freak about cleanliness....she's on some serious psychiatric medication for all sorts of emotional/psychological issues. So...I can't think her response would be good. But, if she did say something I would let them have it..."full disclosure". I am a very informed person, and they know it. So they would believe my info.

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#9 of 120 Old 04-27-2007, 10:54 AM
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My pro-mutilation parents are afraid to disagree with me and my ILs are "1st born regret" intactivists.

My grandma asked if we were going to in front of everyone, I responded quickly and loudly with "Oh no way!!!" as if it was obvious.
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#10 of 120 Old 04-27-2007, 11:16 AM
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It was mostly a non event. My dad, circ'd, didn't say anything. My stepmom said something along the lines of it not being a big deal either way

I was slightly apprehensive about my grandmother's response, for religious reasons, who came to stay for a couple of weeks. But all she said was "oh. you didn't circ?" And then, that was it.

Nobody has given us any grief (to our faces). Not the ped, not anyone we've talked to about it. I am aware that a conversation took place after we left a party where friends discussed how *dirty* and *unhealthy* it was not to circ. But, it was not related to us specifically, I'm pretty sure. I am still thinking about how to handle this. I am thinking about sending lucky stiff postcards to them (they are thinking about TTC in the next year), and also the mothering article.

ETA: MIL - doesn't know. That one might be hard, as DH was circed at 3 1/2 due to "recurrent infections." : Makes me sick and I don't want to get into the whole deal with her yet.

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#11 of 120 Old 04-27-2007, 11:20 AM
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My mom is supportive of not circumcising and seems to regret that my brothers are circ'd (one was done by the hospital without direct consent in 1972 and the other one born in 1981 I think is circumcised, although I honestly can't remember what his penis looks like and my mom has mentioned the pediatrician retracting him at appointments - maybe a loose circ?).

The tricky thing is that my dad is Jewish, and obviously my grandparents, etc., on that side of the family. I was raised Jewish, too, although we were Reform (the least "strict" kind). People in my family were circumcised in the hospital rather than in brit milah (I know that isn't really "right"). My Dad has never said a word about my sons not being circumcised, even when my mom drops comments about circumcision being cruel and unnecessary in this day and age. My Jewish grandparents are probably the ones who would be dismayed by it, so I don't plan to let them know about it if at all possible. They would just worry about it.

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#12 of 120 Old 04-27-2007, 11:41 AM
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My MIL has no issue with it, DH is intact I know my mom knows we didn't circ, I think she just assumes that people don't do it anymore. She's never mentioned anything about it. I don't know if my dad has ever changed their diapers, normally my stepmom does when they watch the boys, but they've never said anything either. I guess I should be glad no one's giving me a hard time about it.
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#13 of 120 Old 04-27-2007, 12:16 PM
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They were shocked. They thought "That's just what you do!"

They don't bring it up because they know they'll get an earful.
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#14 of 120 Old 04-27-2007, 12:38 PM
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I don't know if I am having a boy. I haven't talked to my in-laws about it they are pretty much shocked by everything I do and they really don't comment on it. I am pretty much the polar opposite of my in-laws. My mom is sad and regretful about doing it to my brothers and it is a difficult subject to talk to her about. I know I have her 100% support. My dad and my step dad are intact and they have no issues with it.
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#15 of 120 Old 04-27-2007, 01:06 PM
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My mom when I first told her we were not circ'ing she was going all haywire on diseases & infections told me to research some more I told her I did so she let off a bit after I told her that my uncle didn't like him being circ'ed but he had still circ'ed his son because his son soon to be ex wife said if she had a boy she would have circ'ed him too look like daddy. My mom is still worried of a girl not liking him because of his foreskin and I go your afraid a shallow women won't like my son because he doesn't have a part of him cut off ?

She shushed on that but still belives it's a parents choice if other parents do it or not to her it's there buisness.

My brother proably think it's weird but don't really care that my son is not circumcised but he said isn't there more pain later on so I'm hoping to have him see I would rather die before my son gets a part cut off of him so by the time my brother has kids hopefully he will still see that my son even if he does has some issues that he will still keep his foreskin.

My grandpa was a not carer either

My stepfather didn't care either.

My SIL she didn't say anything

My son's dad side of family never met my son .
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#16 of 120 Old 04-27-2007, 01:25 PM
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Well, my mom was initially against leaving my boys intact, but, when I showed her the info about why it was unnecessary, she agreed, and since has said that she wishes she had not had my brother circumsiced.

My dad thinks its no big deal, and still wonders why I refused to do it, but puts it off as one more "quirky" thing I do.

My MIL almost had a heart attack when we told her we would not circumcise. She tried for a couple months to convince us that we had to, that he could not be baptized without it (???) and that it was "dirty". Eventually she gave up.

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#17 of 120 Old 04-27-2007, 02:05 PM
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My brothers are circumcised because (as my mom told me when I was 11.5 when I asked why there was a wound on my newborn brother's penis) "it's just what you do with boys."

I eased my mom into the fact that we won't be circumcising if/when we have a son by relating it to c-sections and VBACs. When my mom had her three c-sections she didn't even know it was an option to try for a vaginal birth after having one. I took my mom to a LLL meeting while we were visiting my parents and we met a lady who had a home VBAC with twins. My mom had never heard of such a thing! It was very easy to lead from - "people used to think 'once a c-section always a c-section' but now they know that isn't always the case" to "It's a similar thing with circumcision - it used to be thought necessary for x,y,z reasons; but now they know that the only real reasons to have it done are frostbite, gangrene, and cancer."

I didn't go into detail about why we wouldn't be doing it except that it's not necessary and we know that now. I want her to get used to the idea first before I tell her anything that may cause her guilt about doing something 19 and 12 years ago that she really didn't know wasn't the right thing to do.

My mom is totally fine with us not circumcising and said that she was wondering if we would or not (probably wondering how we would have it done since we're having a home birth... I told her that the local hospitals don't do it anymore either and that really surprised her since one of my brothers was born and circumcised at the closest one). I think it went over better because I didn't go into how horrific it is... my siblings still have (more than likely) at least six more years before they have children and I'd like to ease into the topic with them as well.

I haven't talked to my dad about it, but since he's preached sermons on why Christians do NOT need to circumcise for religious reasons, I'm sure he won't care either way. He's circumcised, but he is intelligent (and a lawyer) and I'm sure he would read the info I have if he was uncomfortable with the "health" aspect of the intact penis.

ETA - My MIL passed away soon after dh and I were married, but I know if she was here that she would applaud us leaving her grandson(s) intact because she left dh intact almost 24 years ago. I assume that FIL will assume that we're leaving his grandson(s) intact since dh is intact. I have no idea what step-MIL did with her sons' penises or what she thinks about circumcision, nor do I really care at this point... she's not dh's mother or our children's grandmother (not really) so she truly shouldn't care either way.

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#18 of 120 Old 04-27-2007, 02:30 PM
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My mom asked me wouldn't I feel guilty if my son got an infection? I said no, explained everything to her, printed off a bunch of info for her, and now she is an intactivist, passing out the info I gave her to pregnant women.
My Inlaws are pro circ, but we already had an argument about circ before i was even pregannt. It hasn't come up since.

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#19 of 120 Old 04-27-2007, 03:36 PM
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My MIL (bless her heart) fought circ'ing her son in 1972 so my DH is intact, and technically Jewish btw. She was very happy that Daniel would be intact as well. My mother hadn't ever thought about it before (just me and my sister), but I guess my Dad was circ'd by a mohel since he's Jewish. My mother said that her brother and father were intact so it seems normal to her!

I've never met my FIL since he's been out of the picture for 25 years. I have no idea of my Dad's opinion, I no longer have contact with him and he doesn't see my kids.

Altogether, the only protest I had was from my sister, who had circ'd her son in 1999. I wish I'd known of all the info then, but I don't know if it would have changed her non-practicing Muslim DH's mind.

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#20 of 120 Old 04-27-2007, 03:55 PM
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When my mom found out she said, "Oh, is that the trend now?" Not sure what that means. My father is a surgeon and once wanted to get a novelty license plate that said something about 2 cut is 2 cure (not sure how that would fit on a plate but whatever). I have a feeling is is for circ, because he has never said a word to me and won't respond if it is brought up. I am glad I haven't had opposition to it, but I haven't had support either.
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#21 of 120 Old 04-27-2007, 04:00 PM
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Luckily, my parents were hippies and believed in everything being 'natural' Mom is almost 58 and is still a hippie at heart, a very carefree spirit, ie. doesn't shave, grows natural foods and makes her own breadl. My late father was born and left intact by his parents and when both my sister and I became pregnant, it was a subject never brought up, and both of our sons are as nature intended. Jacob's father is British and he is intact as well as all of the males in his family. He knows why he has a foreskin and what its purpose is and he has yet to grow tired of displaying it. I can only hope I can change this before he starts to school in the fall
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#22 of 120 Old 04-27-2007, 04:07 PM
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Anyone else kind of feel like it's really no one's business but the child's? I mean, it seems kind of weird that people ask such personal questions about someone's crotch (even though the person is an infant or infant-to-be). Honestly, if I had a weird mole or birthmark or something on my crotch that I was born with I wouldn't really want anyone talking about it with my parents, so it's even weirder that something that is a COMPLETELY NORMAL part of the anatomy is discussed about what to "do" with it. I mean, it's as if our parents were asking us if we were going to have the child's belly button removed after it heals up so that there is no mark there, or have implants put in our 10 year old daughters so that they looked "nicer" and filled out their blouses better. Or maybe have our children's nostrils removed so that it was easier to clean. We live in a weird society, that's what I think. How often do you think genetals are discussed with family members before the child is born in other countries where circ-ing is not the norm?

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#23 of 120 Old 04-27-2007, 04:17 PM
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My mom wasnt happy at all about it but that is because of the issues she had with my older brother who I have mentioned a few times here. He was circed at 3 for no reason at all really, a infection that abx cured but Dr. talked her into circing anyway.

My father I have no idea since we dont talk about personal stuff like that :

My mil no idea never discussed it. Fil gave me a really hard time about it with the stories about so and so being circed at 75 BS. : Just want I wanted to talk about with my fil : 3 days after my son was born and him having to drive me in for the blood test because ds was jaundiced.

SAHMlovin' to DD 10/00 & DS 10/04 If your son is intact, keep him safe, visit the Intact Care forum Circ, a personal choice, Your SONS 11/98 6/99 Thyroid cancer survivor. With 5 & 2 Boxers wishing for
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#24 of 120 Old 04-27-2007, 05:43 PM
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I actually talked to my mom about circ before I was even pg. I was doing newborn hearing screenings in a hospital as part of my graduate work and saw a boy being prepared for his circ. Up until that moment the actual details of circ hadn't even occurred to me, it was just something I had assumed was a fact of life and never questioned. I didn't see the baby getting circed but just the prep (left naked and strapped down to a board with a baby-shaped dent in it for a LONG time, waiting for a doc who wasn't even in the nursery to get there) seemed traumatic. Shortly afterward I was lurking on TTC boards and noticed a circ forum and wondered what was so important about it that there was a whole forum dedicated to it. Around the same time, I talked about it with my mom about my nursery experience, told her how horrible it seemed for the baby, and asked WHY it's necessary. I still assumed it was necessary.

My mom shocked me. She said "it's not medically necessary. It's totally unnecessary cosmetic surgery." She went on to tell me that she had my brothers circ'ed because the wisdom of the day was that boys should look like their daddies, but that she thinks that argument is STUPID. My third brother had an infection after his circ and she says that if she had had any more sons, they would not have been circed and she wouldn't care at all about them "matching" their brothers.

I was floored. What if I had never asked her about it? I would have blindly gone ahead and done it.

So anyway, my mom is 100% behind our breaking the chain of mutilation. My dad hasn't registered an opinion but I suspect he feels the same way. My oldest brother is fully anti-circ now and he and his wife have one child, a boy, who is intact. My other siblings are now aware of our sons' status and our objections to circ and I hope that we've planted seeds there.

DH's parents were unquestioningly pro-circ when we were pg with DS1. I don't remember how circ came up but DH told them we wouldn't do it and they seemed to think it was really wierd. Blah blah, it's medically necessary, blah blah, but YOU are circ'ed. FIL insisted that it would just have to be done when the boys are older. I'm not sure where they stand now - we provided education, they backed off, it hasn't been discussed since.

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#25 of 120 Old 04-27-2007, 06:35 PM
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My parents lived on a different continent, so we did not see much of them, but we were there for a couple of weeks when DS was one, and again at 3. I have pictures of him in their back yard running around naked. Some years later I was there by myself and asked my Mum why my brothers and I had been circumcised. She asked if DS was. It must not have been on her radar screen. There was no comment when I said "no".
MIL had no comment either, but then her first 2 boys were intact, and the next 3 circumcised.
Often it does seem to be a subject about which people have very strong views, and that probably explains their curiosity about what kind of "decision" others have made.
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#26 of 120 Old 04-27-2007, 07:13 PM
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My mom and dad were a bit upset when it came up in a conversation and i heard the "But he won't look like you" argument. I very politely told me that it would be impossible for him to look like me, even if he was circed, because my piercer won't do that to a kid his age. They turned 97 shades of pink and red and I haven't heard a thing about it since.
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#27 of 120 Old 04-27-2007, 07:50 PM
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My folks and my ILs are all for intactness. My mom is the only one born in the US and she has never been one for interventionist medicine. She went on and on while I was preggers that they might try to just do it in the hospital without my concent. MIL has never trusted "english" (as in englishg speaking) doctors again after DH was circ'd.

Originally Posted by trmpetplaya View Post
When my mom had her three c-sections she didn't even know it was an option to try for a vaginal birth after having one. I took my mom to a LLL meeting while we were visiting my parents and we met a lady who had a home VBAC with twins. My mom had never heard of such a thing! It was very easy to lead from - "people used to think 'once a c-section always a c-section' but now they know that isn't always the case"
In your mom's day (depending on when that was) it might have been true. They used to do c-sections with a verticle cut that left the womb very weak now they usually do a horizontal cut which does much less damage.

Timmy's Mommy WARNINGyslexic typing with help of preschooler, beware of typos
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#28 of 120 Old 04-27-2007, 08:22 PM
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My parents were indifferent. I know that when my brother was born, they kept him intact because my step-mother's OB told her that circumcision was un-necessary. They've never said anything negative about it.

I expected that my in-laws would be supportive, because my husband is intact. Shockingly, my MIL was ANGRY at us!! I can remember her telling us that we needed to hurry up and have our son circumcised before it was "too late", and that she regretted not circumcising her son, because he ended up with an infection as a baby. I asked her if she could remember retracting him as an infant, and she said "Of course! I had to clean him!" So I explained to her how the intact penis works, and that it shouldn't be retracted, because it can cause damage and infection. And then DH told her that he was very glad that she had left him intact, and to stop harping on us about it. She finally let it go.
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#29 of 120 Old 04-27-2007, 08:41 PM
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Great topic.
My Mom freaked. My parents were in the recovery room with me right after DS was born and my mom casually asked when he would be circumcised. When I said we weren't doing that, she went off on the hygienic benefits and social norms, and ended by nearly crying, and saying "I'm having a breakdown." I had just been through a traumatic birth and didn't want to defend my parenting already, so I said something about learning how to care for yourself as you get older and we left it at that. My dad stayed out of it, as he usually does. In the days afterward, my mom asked if I was sure what I was doing. Like anyone who doesn't want to show how overwhelmed she is, I said of course, and she went home and we went on with our lives. Neither parent has mentioned it since, but I've become a whole lot more educated since then and I'm actually itching for a chance to get into it again with her.

From my in-laws, we got what amounts to an apology that they had DH circed. MIL said that's what was done, they regretted circing DH's older brother but thought they should match. I got into the conversation with her again just last Christmas and gave her to know that I don't care that DH "matches" his brother, I still thought it was the wrong choice and they should have gone with their gut instinct. I don't think that topic will come up again between us.
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#30 of 120 Old 04-27-2007, 08:47 PM
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I was raised an intactivist. My mom comes from a culture that does not circ. My dad, however, is American and believes in circ. Once he tried to say something smartass about me not circ'ing and after my response he never brought it up again.

My in-laws never said a word about it. They simply accepted that fact that we do not circ.
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