Anyone have an unsupportive family? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 28 Old 12-05-2003, 02:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi! I am so glad to find this forum. I was actually referred here by a poster here because I had some questions about vaccinations and I stumbled across the circ forum... it's so nice to find a forum of people who feel the same way I do (and there are a few people I recognize, too!). Anyway, my name is Emily and my husband Matt and I are expecting our first child (ultrasound says boy!) in January. It took a lot of convincing of my circumcised DH but we finally agreed not to circ before we were even trying to conceive.

The problem is that no one in our families or circle of friends supports us. My mother is the worst. She is... how can I put this, a circ nazi? lol, I don't know how else to describe her. I always had so much respect for my mother as a smart woman until I became pregnant. I cannot believe how ignorant she is about circumcision, and she doesn't want to hear a word against it. She admits there are no medical benefits but says she does not care... she is all for circ for cosmetic reasons. She says circ'd penises look bigger and better and all boys should be cut. She is a special ed teacher of young children. Most either need diaper changes or help using the potty, and get this.... she comes home and laughs about the intact ones. How their penises are "so small" they can't even hold them when they are urinating. How the parents are trash because they "couldn't afford to circumcise." She will tell this not only to me but anyone who will listen. She has also made comments about grandsons of her friends... again, how small their penises are because they are intact.

(As a side note my mother does not have any sons, so it can't be that she feels bad for circ'ing...)

I wonder if any of you ever had this problem... losing respect for someone after you learned of their circ view. I guess that sounds a little extreme, but I am so passionate in my feeling that infant circumcision is a horrible thing that I can't get past it.

My grandmother is also bad. Upon the news of my pregnancy - I was 8 weeks pregnant at the time - her first question was "Are you circumcising??" Whether she thinks they are better cosmetically or not I don't know, she thinks babies ought to be cut because it will "have to be done eventually anyway." My grandfather "had to be" circ'd in his adult life. I don't know the details but I know he was in the service. So, automatically now every man is going to need a circ because my grandfather did. Her motto: "You do it when they're babies, you don't have to worry about it again!"

My in-laws have yet to mention circ but I am expecting it. After all my mother-in-law circ'd her two sons (born in '73 and '79 - were circs without parental consent still being performed in those years?). I might get some support from my father-in-law, though. He is very much against doctors, medicine and surgery. I can't imagine how DH and his brother were ever circ'd with HIS consent... I doubt this man would go to the hospital if he accidentally chopped off an arm.

Sorry about the novel, but it feels great to get that out. I am hoping for some advice on dealing with these people. I know it's easy to say, screw them, who cares what they think? I do care, though, especially about my mother. I get the feeling that my son will never be good enough for her because of the state of his penis... and thinking about her telling her friends how small his penis is because he is not circ'd makes me want to throw up.

What, if anything, can I do? If I try to bring up medical facts to my mother - she waves me off and says "It's your baby, do what you want to do!" But I know how she really feels and I hate it.

I am also terrified to leave my son with her or anyone else in the family.. I can see my grandma as a retractor, definitely, and I can see my mom retracting in an effort to make him look circumcised.

Any advice?
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#2 of 28 Old 12-05-2003, 02:25 PM
 
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I'm so sorry your family is being this way ((hugs)).

My mom is also very circ "friendly". We also have some other differences, such as homophobia that really irritate me. I call her on it anytime I hear it. I also tell her not to spread that crap around in front of my child. I can say it has made her think twice before opening her mouth. A while ago she was relating a sotry to me and dh and I caught her light bulb moment that we were the wrong audience for her story. So, saying something does at least reduce our exposer to her prejudice.

Honestly I wouldn't want someone like your mom caring for my child, or being my childs teacher. How horrible. If she refuses to be educated and refuses to respect our choices as the parent then I would limit her contact with my child. ITA I wouldn't leave my children with someone that you don't trust, even if they are family.

I would tell her flat out that you are concerned your son won't be good enough in her eyes because of a decision that you made. And how sad it is that she would hurt your son because of it.
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#3 of 28 Old 12-05-2003, 03:39 PM
 
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If she refuses to listen to the lack of medical necessity for circumcision, how about taking a different approach.

Does she believe that we were created by a God. (I'm not trying to start any religious discussion at all.) If so, ask her why God would create a living being with a flaw in it's reproductive system. Life is about perpetuating the species. If there was a flaw in the reproductive system, doesn't it seem that we wouldn't be able to reprodice properly?

If she doesn't belileve in creation by a supreme being and instead thinks we evolved, why the heck would nature create a flaw in the reprodictive system?

Just questions I bring up to people not convinced that circ is a horribly barbaric thing to do.

These people definately fail to meet my standards to be able to care for my child. I'd not leave him with her- not for one single diaper change! And that is sad that you won't have that support network. I'd suggest you start building a different support network now before your child is born. Seek out the local La Leche League and go to a few meetings. You might find some people you really connect with. You'll also learn alot about breastfeeding and that will help you. Find your support before you need it! and congratulations on your baby!

"To err is human, to forgive, canine." - Unknown
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#4 of 28 Old 12-05-2003, 04:59 PM
 
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I'm sorry but your mother is awful. This is her grandsons penis and she wants it to look big. It's creepy.

You said she has commented on her other grandson's penis' being intact? So you aren't alone. Stand your ground. Don't hurt your child to compensate for your mother's ignorance.

Show her this link

http://www.circumstitions.com/comparison.html

How's that for too small?!

She probably has no idea what an erect intact penis even looks like. She would probably be surprised.

Give her a little test. Print that page and have her guess which ones are circ'd and which ones intact.

My bet is she says they are all circ. My husband did. And he owns a penis. He absolutley could not tell the difference. Erect that is.

And I must agree with everyone else. Never leave him alone with those women.
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#5 of 28 Old 12-05-2003, 05:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the advice so far. I will keep everything in mind when I see her next. I just wish she wouldn't cut me off when I try to bring the up subject. It's as if she knows I'm right, and doesn't want to hear about it.

Actually it is her friends' grandsons she comments on. This will be her first grandchild.

She has really ruined so much for me. When she made it known she wanted to be present for the delivery... uh uh, no way. All I could think was, "Why?? He's not good enough for you as he's born, so why would you want to be there?" I feel horrible but I can't look at her with respect. It's not that I don't love her anymore, I just feel angry around her. I've got to change this, too - I don't want my son to pick up on it, I want them to have a good relationship ...

And I agree that her need for young boys to have large penises is creepy. That is her number one argument - size. I know she was sexually abused as a child and I wonder if this is connected somehow, maybe she's got sex issues?
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#6 of 28 Old 12-05-2003, 06:05 PM
 
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Sorry you are going through this. I lost respect for my mom on another really important, hot-button issue last year, so I know what a shock it is. Before I knew we had this difference, I fairly idolized her!

I had to laugh about her thinking that uncirc'ed boys are "small". What kind of logic is that? Cutting something OFF makes it BIGGER? If anything, I would say that leaving the foreskin intact gives the penis more room to grow as it becomes erect. I have heard some circumcised men say that their skin feels uncomfortably tight when they get an erection, presumably because they are supposed to have more there!

The only uncircumcised man I have ever slept with was also the largest- that thing was 10 inches long, 6 inches around. The circumcised men have ranged from 4 to 10 inches. I do hope you can get your mom to listen to you, but like the other posters, I would never leave my child with her, for fear that she would harm him (either physically, by retracting, or emotionally with her attitude.)

~*Kristi*~
Tallulah Dare 8-01,  Marcos Gael 12-04, Cormac Mateo 9-09, Leonidas Ronan 11-11

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#7 of 28 Old 12-05-2003, 06:33 PM
 
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I was going to ask whether or not she was sexually abused or raped. My mother was raped by my biological father. She demanded I circ my first ds. I did. But not my next 2. She now, after dealing with issues and seeing an intact penis ,agrees boys should not be circ.

I'm going where I shouldn't, but was she abused by your grandfather. The man that was intact but needed to be circ later.
It does sound as if your mother is trying to fill a void by making fun of "poor small uncirc'd penis'". She laughs at them to possibly cover her hurt and disgust as to what was done to her. A penis caused her pain. She will cause all penis' pain.

Ask Sarah. She's the best when it comes to psychological ramifications from trauma and abuse.
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#8 of 28 Old 12-05-2003, 07:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I do not know who abused her, she has never volunteered that info and I haven't asked (I guess I'm a little afraid of the answer). I would hope to God it's not my grandfather who I have always been very close to. She has a great relationship with him as well. I know that doesn't necessarily mean anything.
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#9 of 28 Old 12-05-2003, 10:22 PM
 
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What a great site (the intact pictures)!!!
I am sorry but your mother has issues! My parents didn't seem to really mind that we chose not to circ our ds. I know they probably think we're crazy because we don't just follow everybody else. I agree that my ds's intact penis looks MUCH bigger than my circ'd nephew's penis. In fact, my nephew stands over my ds when his diaper is being changed. I wonder if he knows that it's different. They are only 3.5 months apart.
I never thought about the gp trying to retract but that is a good point. I don't figure I ever told my parents not to retract ds's. Of course they weren't pro-circ. I wouldn't leave your ds with them if you don't trust them. JMO.
Why would she want to be in the delivery room if she's not going to accept your ds as how he is born?: He isn't born with the "wrong" penis...
GOOD LUCK.
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#10 of 28 Old 12-06-2003, 05:17 PM
 
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"Trauma demands repetition."

Her past sexual abuse explains everything.

Please be gentle and forgiving with her. Don't lose respect for her; understand that she has very deep scars and wounds that are influencing her attitude towards circumcision.

That said, don't leave your son alone with her until her attitude towards his peins has changed. Your first responsibility is to protect your child.
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#11 of 28 Old 12-08-2003, 12:52 PM
 
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Yikes,
I dared to go there and the second picture that follows this statement is horrifying:
"Circumcision disrupts the outer blood vessels of the shaft: "
How awful.

As for your mother, it's none of her business, regardless of what she's been through.
(I know women who have been abused who use that as an excuse to not breastfeed, and I know others who are determined to breastfeed so that their abuser cannot harm their baby 'second-hand.')

Whatever happened to her is terrible, but cannot justify her wanting to inflict such violence on a newborn child's genitals.

She knows the facts, apparently.
Just tell her it's not up for discussion and do not discuss it.
And if she can't drop it, suggest she try counseling.
It sounds like she needs some help with quite a few issues, and perhaps the birth of an intact grandson may cause other things to surface as well. . .
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#12 of 28 Old 12-09-2003, 02:34 PM
 
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It actually wasn't discussed AT ALL before Roland was born. Kevin & I knew we weren't going to, and my family assumed we would. I had changed Roland infront of my grandma, and she didn't say anything to me. The next time the whole family was together, I suddenly had an audience when I changed Rolands' diaper. My cousin told me I should have him circ'ed because thats DIRTY! I just told her I was confident we could teach him about cleanliness. They kept at me though, and started telling me some horror story about an uncirc'ed person. Right in the middle of the story, Roland let out a loud wail, so I took the opportunity to say "Don't worry, Roland, Mommy and Daddy won't let anyone hurt your penis!" and we walked away. That stopped them in their tracks. They knew they weren't getting anywhere.

There are so many times as a parent, where you have to advocate for your children. My family has given me ALOT of practise at speaking my mind, and standing up for whats' right for my children.

~Teresa, raising DS (Jan. 02) and DD1 (Jun. 04) and DD2 (Dec. 11) with DH.

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#13 of 28 Old 12-09-2003, 08:55 PM
 
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Welcome! Isn't it great to be around people with similar ideas (and hearts!)? I love this site too. :heart

I just have to second the "taking away part of the penis makes it bigger???" shock.

Can you show her a video of a circ in progress? Follow it with a "I will not allow this to happen to my child." Maybe she'll agree that it's barbaric and simply wrong, or at least understand why you don't want it done and back off.

Good luck! =)
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#14 of 28 Old 12-16-2003, 01:44 AM
 
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I have two boys that are fully intact. My family is Jewish. They are mad. But my mother had my brothers done at a hospital. Not as a ceremony. And I found out that when it's done religiously they give the baby drops of wine until they pass out - better huh : But at least they give the poor babies something. And they also do not take off as much foreskin.

I told my family it was necessary then - but now we have hygiene - soap and clean water. They will be fine. My family is not happy - but for the most part they have kept their mouths shut around me and my kids -

I am sorry for you. But my family freaks out because my kids co-sleep and nurse until "they" want to stop. I just tell them that this week we co-sleep, nurse & have there penises intact - next week I will send them off to collage and mutilate their bodies for no reason. I am the first in my family for everything. It's fun you will like it.

I have been asked by my family what I will tell my boys when they go to school and see other boys - And my reply is - your mom was educated & those boys moms had the tops of their penis cut off - your penis is the way theirs is supposed to look. That usually puts an end to it. And I think the boys will appreciate & agree.


You will come across this often as a mother - and you do what feels right in your heart. You will be fine and so will your son.
Good luck,
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#15 of 28 Old 12-16-2003, 03:08 AM
 
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The "when other boys see him in the lockerroom..." arguement always strikes me as so odd. Why is it the assumtion that ALL the other boys WILL be circumsized? For all they know, a kid could end up being the only circumsized boy, and be asked "What the hell happened to you?"!!! The statistics in recent years here (British Columbia), show that about 26% of boys are being circumsized... my son will be part of the MAJORITY.

My mom told me her doctor said it was about 50/50 when she was pregnant (27 years ago)

~Teresa, raising DS (Jan. 02) and DD1 (Jun. 04) and DD2 (Dec. 11) with DH.

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#16 of 28 Old 12-16-2003, 04:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you everyone for your replies and stories.

Can I also add I'm having problems with my sister. She's harder to deal with than my mom because she's a registered nurse and sure she knows everything. Her basis for circ is because she has taken care of elderly and she said the uncirc men get horrible infections. I never know what to say back to her because while I don't doubt it's true... if you don't wash your genitals, yeah they probably will get infected! It's no reason to harm my son.

She also thinks baby boys feel no pain during circ... and she thinks the foreskin should be forcibly retracted. I have no idea who taught her this crap, she just graduated from nursing school last May. I dread the day she has a baby boy because I know she would circ him and I could NEVER look her in the eye again after that. ugh.

It's so hard to argue with her because she knows so much medical terminology and anyway, if we got into an argument who would my family believe? Her, I'm sure, since she's a nurse.

Anyway I do understand what you are saying about my mom. I always thought she might have issues with sex because of past things she's done or said. I thought it might be connected with her hate for uncirc penises, but wasn't sure. I know I should have compassion, but it's so hard when she wants to harm my child. It hurts to know my baby won't be good enough for her. Then again, maybe once he is born it won't be such an issue.

Emily
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#17 of 28 Old 12-16-2003, 05:15 PM
 
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Another reason to homebirth.

No ultrasounds.

Nobody knows the sex of the baby.

You won't be in a hospital, and lay midwives do not circ.

I know its too late, but for anyone reading this while pg, why not just not bring up the subject?

If someone has to ask, you can tell them, no, we won't be mutilating the genitals of our baby, whether it is a boy or a girl. Speak firmly and clearly and if they persist, leave the room or the house.

And BTW, my 93 yo old grandmother in the nursing home had repeat UTIs. It's not just the men. It can happen to anyone that old with an almost non-functioning immune system! Should we mutilate our dd's genitals at birth so that when they are 92 they won't get some kind of genital/urinary infection? Ha! it is to laugh.
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#18 of 28 Old 12-16-2003, 06:19 PM
 
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Hi Elf
Anyone with basic common sense will realize that your sister being an expert on medical terminology does not make her a true medical proffessional.Her beliefs about circ prove that.I,m amazed that some people think they know everything when they graduate medical school.I understand that your mother has past issues to deal with but with your sister there is no excuse.I would love to argue with her myself because I love to humble people on high horses.Dont worry about who is whose side.The most important people in your child,s life will always be you as well as his father.He can do without the others if their ignorance can poison him emotionally.You have my support as well as everyone else on this board.
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#19 of 28 Old 12-16-2003, 09:04 PM
 
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Hello everyone,
I hope that by the time my boys are in school (if I send them) that more parents will be better educated.

As I said before My family Is Jewish and they are not happy - and I was going to have my son circ, but I was on the phone with a friend who had just had her newborn son curc. and I was watching Oprah ( yeah I know and eating bonbons) lol her show was about female circ. (mutilation) and they were showing one being done. Not in person but you could hear the poor little girl screaming and before I could change the channel she said that is what her son sounded like when she was in the hallway. That is when I decided to get educated.

I went on line and typed in circ. and searched. What I found was amazing - Among many disturbing things I found the most disturbing for the baby was that the baby blacks out from the pain. I was always told that they fall asleep - I assumed fall asleep from drugs or whatever - I don't know what I thought but not that. Plus in this country doctors do not have to be certified - there is no tests - a doc. just decides he wants to perform them and he starts. They are not taught in school. That’s why everyone looks different. At least Rebis are trained. And at the time I researched a doc. had messed up a baby penis so bad it had to be removed.

Go online and find your own medical proof. Hand them the info and walk away. If you have the facts to back it up, they have nothing but their opinion. And know the AAP say it's not necessary anymore. (not that that means much anymore)

My neighbor made the appointment and went - but was so upset at the appointment her ped. said you know it's not necessary - but she would do it if it were her son. She got up and left.

Your instincts are right - now find the proof to support it.

neesie1971
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#20 of 28 Old 12-25-2003, 10:11 PM
 
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My mom left my brother intact,so no problems with her.My dh came from a muslim family,so they are cut happy for religious/social/medical reasons(anything they can come up with).Dh is ok with not cutting,but he doesn't like to rock the boat when it comes to his family.It will be interesting to see what he (and they do) when my son reaches cutting age.Ofcourse I will never let it be done,and am teaching my kids to be intactavists.

As for the elderly men having more infections-well in nursing homes it can be common,but hey what do you expect with people getting poor nutrition,2 baths a week,and wearing diapers.The foreskin is not the cause of the infections for these people.

Take care and happy holidays.Hope the leave you alone.Intact is healthy and NORMAL.That simple.
Sara
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#21 of 28 Old 12-28-2003, 01:49 AM
 
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They are not willing to listen so don't argue, don't discuss, just past the bean dip.

My grandfather was circ'ed as an adult in the Navy. I also later found out it was after he had ghonorra (SP). The thinking of his time was circ would prevent STD's.

I personally am a bitch. If my mom made that comment about the penises looking so small I would ask her what her intrest is in little boys penises. Does she have something in common with Michael Jackson? I would ask her why does she desire baby boys penis' to be big does she have a fetish that you really done want to know about but the state should? or Why is she looking at little boys in a sexual manner.

Talking about little boys penis being "big" and "small" is perverted in my opinion.

As for the sister, ask her if you should remove his toes also. Elderly are known to get horrible infections, especially diabetic. Or/and get a copy of the AAP's guide line and tell her she needs to be educted better.

But IMO, this should become pass the bean dip conversation.
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#22 of 28 Old 12-29-2003, 01:48 AM
 
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I have to wonder just how often a man was circumcised for having contracted a sexually transmitted disease . . .
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#23 of 28 Old 12-31-2003, 12:52 PM
 
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It sounds more like a punishment than a cure, doesn't it?



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#24 of 28 Old 12-31-2003, 11:02 PM
 
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Yep.

That's What I Was Kinda Thinking . . .
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#25 of 28 Old 01-01-2004, 12:33 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by house elf
Her basis for circ is because she has taken care of elderly and she said the uncirc men get horrible infections.
Then by her logic we should perform mastectomies on all baby girls because by the time they're old 1 in 9 will have or have had breast cancer, so let's be proactive.

Ugh.

You need to learn to block them out. Seriously. There's no reasoning with these folks, and all you'll do is go blue in the face from trying to. Set limits, and stand your ground. DOn't let ANYONE who is so convinced that circing/retracting is important EVER change his diaper or babysit for him until he's, oh, 7 or so. Seriously. And don't take any of their promises not to retract at face value, because they'll be lying--they're convinced they're right and your mom is on some crusade. Are you going to put her feelings before your son's health?

It sounds like you know what you need to do--you just need moral support to deal with your family. Here's your support! s It's very, very hard to stand up to them. You might have to do the broken record thing if/when they harp on you. Don't give in on anything, and if you set a limit--hold it.
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#26 of 28 Old 01-01-2004, 02:33 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by house elf
Her basis for circ is because she has taken care of elderly and she said the uncirc men get horrible infections. I never know what to say back to her because while I don't doubt it's true... if you don't wash your genitals, yeah they probably will get infected! It's no reason to harm my son.
I have a friend who was once very pro circ but is now very anti circ. In the beginning, she used this story on me describing an elderly man who was circumcised on the consent of his children because the nursing home workers didn't want to clean him and the doctor advised it.

I asked her if she would have consented to the circumcision if it was her father and she replied that she probably would have. I then asked her if it were her mother that the nursing home and doctor wanted to cut on because they were too lazy to clean her and she was dumbstruck. Of course she wouldn't! And all of a sudden, she realized how incredibly dumb that story was and how incredibly discriminatory towards men that was. That was one of several turning points for her and now she is rabidly against circumcision.



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#27 of 28 Old 01-01-2004, 02:44 AM
 
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I'm sorry your family is so unsupportive:-( It defintately hit the fan in our family when I mentioned we were not going to circ if we had a boy with #1. My mother actually didn't realize that it was a CHOICE! She thought it was routine or something. After I told her, blah blah blah, about the cons of circ she was down with it, however, my MIL was not. She had the "boys in the locker room" defense as well. PUH-LEAZE!!!! I wish ya'll could have been flies on the wall when she, my SIL, and I had it out about circ' one day. I, for the most part, do not get worked up about other people's parenting choices (to each their own, right?), however, I feel strongly against routine circ and anyone who chooses to so so and most importantly who is fully aware of the "pros and cons" .....I just don't get it. My SIL said she didn't want to circ her three boys but she let her husband make the choice...AHHHHH!!! My younger BIL thought it was weird at first not to circ, but I gave him some literature to read and now he wants his foreskin back!! LOL!! He tells all of his friends about it and they all swear never to circ their future little boys:-) Mission Accomplished.

My advice to you........your family will get over it. I am not going to get down on your mother, but she has some serious issues.

TIA!

There are three things I learned about life. It goes on. -Longfellow

 

stillheart.gifRIP DH DJ Delicious but mucho gracias for our children and all I have learnedstillheart.gif

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#28 of 28 Old 01-01-2004, 12:29 PM
 
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My mother tried SO hard to convince me to circ. my youngest and she got really upset when she found out I didn't have it done. But I told her our pediatrician said it wasn't necessary and she let it go after that.
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