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#1 of 16 Old 05-09-2005, 02:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We went to visit my MIL (and family) on the weekend. I don't bring any parenting topics up because we always disagree on them. I used to, but dh and I would get in fights on the way home because I wouldn't keep my opinons to my self. I nipped that attitude in the bud.
Anyway...
She brought up extended breastfeeding while we were there and made the comment that "she was at a baby shower and one of the moms whipped it out because her 4 year old asked to nurse and it was sooo disgusting"
Dh could tell I was pissed. His family knows that we are doing CLW so for her to say that is an intentional slap in my face and she knew it. I was really nice and explained to her that the benefits of breastfeeding never end, milk teeth are called that for a reason, the world wide age is around 7ish, that the only reason she sees it as gross is because her culture views breasts as a sexual object, etc... She would NOT listen. She would just keep saying "well, I just think it's wrong and disgusting" Dh finally piped up and told her that if she were raised thinking breastfeeding was normal (she was ff as was dh) then she wouldn't think that. He told her if she were raised believing that breasts were made for bf and nothing else and there was nothing sexual about breastfeeding then she wouldn't say what she's saying. She looked at him, rolled her eyes, and said "well, I still think it's wrong" :ignore
I just left the room. I couldn't handle it.
Dh and I talked on the way home from there (4 hour drive) and he didn't understand why it upset me so much. He said it's not like she's going to be having more children so why even try to educate her?
I told him that because she can't keep her mouth shut and she continues to spew this poison about breastfeeding around she will effect people. Like his 16 year old sister. I told him that the fact that they all know that we will be letting dd and any future children wean themselves and she continues to say those things is a complete and utter lack of respect for me and our parenting.
I told him that he has no idea how hard it is to have everyone tell you something that you are doing is disgusting, that it is sexually preverse, especially your family telling you these things.
He just got really quiet. He hasn't said anything about it since.
I have since bought dd a shirt that says "my mom is letting me decide when to wean" (or something to that effect) and the next time we go down there she will wear that shirt. If anybody brings it up I will politly say "this is not up for discussion with me"
Sorry if this whole post doesn't make sense. I just get so frustrated when people know exactly what I am doing and how much it means to me and then they sit there and make fun of it! It hurt me so much. I guess I just have to get a little bit more thick skinned.
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#2 of 16 Old 05-09-2005, 04:57 PM
 
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First

Secondly, can I have some clarification on what you mean by this:
Quote:
I was really nice and explained to her that the benefits of breastfeeding never end, milk teeth are called that for a reason, the world wide age is around 7ish,
Thirdly:
I would "request" (you could read that as "demand" and not be wrong ) that DP told MIL that there will be NO futher non-positive comments about bfeeding in your or your childrens presence. If she is willing to say this stuff to you--- what will she be saying to your child when they are old enough to fully understand her and still nursing?

Good luck!

Kay

 

 

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#3 of 16 Old 05-09-2005, 05:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Which part of it do you need me to claify on? I'm confused.

The thing is, dh won't say anything to her about it. She gets hurt and depressed very easily and when she thinks that she's let him down somehow she will be severly depressed for months. She on many different meds for many different things and her memory isn't very good. Plus, I've never been one to make dh do things for me. If she's going to say something to me or my child, she can bet on getting an earful back and she has on other topics many times. I just hate how people can be so rude about something. She doesn't even consider how I feel when she says that stuff. :
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#4 of 16 Old 05-10-2005, 12:09 AM
 
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I think you're handling it as well as can be expected. If I were you, I might call for a truce, stating that you disagree and the subject is closed. As for your 16 year old SIL, your good example speaks very loudly and might just be the anecdote to the negative stuff she hears from her mother.

The thing I'd really want to protect against is having my child hear such comments. That's why I'd call for a truce. It's nice your husband spoke up!
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#5 of 16 Old 05-10-2005, 12:39 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathryn
Which part of it do you need me to claify on? I'm confused.
I have never seen seven years cited as a "world wide age." I guess I don't know what you mean? Is that the average you are citing (for weaning) or the upper end of what is considered biologically normal. Really just want the info.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathryn
The thing is, dh won't say anything to her about it. She gets hurt and depressed very easily and when she thinks that she's let him down somehow she will be severly depressed for months. She on many different meds for many different things and her memory isn't very good. Plus, I've never been one to make dh do things for me. If she's going to say something to me or my child, she can bet on getting an earful back and she has on other topics many times. I just hate how people can be so rude about something. She doesn't even consider how I feel when she says that stuff. :
I, personally, feel like DPs primary responsibility is to ME and our family (not his parents, but me & our children). Why does she get to say things to you that upset you? But, it sounds like you are handling that. I, personally, think it is better to come from DP because he SHOULD BE BACKING YOU UP. Otherwise, if it only comes from you you just get the situation where MIL thinks that "poor" DH is stuck with a psycho harpy if you kwim. I am really sorry she is being so rude. What would happen if you said, "No more"? And then if she does you pick up DC and leave. I don't consider DP to be supporting your (and I would think his) parenting choices, but that is your's to decide.

Good luck

 

 

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#6 of 16 Old 05-10-2005, 03:02 AM
 
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I have to say it sounds like you were being very noble with this woman. It is very hard sometimes to decide with MILs which battles to fight. ANd this is one of them. You are right! She is attacking your very parenting lifestyles and choices. Sounds like she is used to getting her way by everyone playing to her needs and wants because she is on so many meds.
The fact that she thinks it is perverted or wrong is so unnatural and she needs to be told so! Are you willing to take serious umbrage with the woman and will your husband support you? Sometimes we as mothers have to seriously be "badasses."
You'll be amazed at how you'll feel if you really tell her off.
I know with my Mother-in-Law sometimes I would be so aghast that someone could be so ignorant rude and mean that I was jnice because simmering below was anger. I think now it isimportant to let people know when you are really angry. Part of you may have thought of asking her why she thinks it's disgusting. It's just her feeling? C'mon she reveals how SHE feels about breastfeeding her children and possibly problems with her own sexuality. CRINGE! Can you imagine if you'd said, "Please don't impose the problems you have with your own sexuality on the well-being of my child and our relationship. What you are saying is depraved."
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#7 of 16 Old 05-10-2005, 03:45 AM
 
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I will go out on a limb here. Your MIL stated clearly that she found a woman feeding a four year old offensive. From what you have written, she did not appear to be making a personal attack on you and your parenting.
She was stating her feelings. That is sad for her but understandable for her generation. She felt uncomfortable and said so.

I don't really understand what the huge conflict was about. She is typical of so many women, young and old. We are the ones in the minority with our attachment parenting ways, we should hardly be surprised when people disagree with us or the principles we have adopted.

She may never change but your 16yr old SIL may well be influenced by your choices if you just quietly and resolutely get on with it and don't feel the need to justify yourself to anyone. You can be confident you are doing what's best for your child, you don't need to explain yourself or convince anyone else you are right, just do it! Maybe that's what your husband meant about expressing your opinions? There is a time for quietly standing up for your principles and a time for living them with confidence.

Now that I am a MIL myself, I would be the first to encourage you to forgive her and move on from this conflict. She must have done some things right, you are married to her son! She can't be all bad. Respect works both ways, and there can still be respect even if you disagree with her on things.
Try and see the good in her, for your husband's sake. She will always be his Mom. And who knows how long she will be around?

If she is really impossible to cope with, maybe you could send your husband and child on their own next time, maybe you could stay at a motel nearby and relax while they visit her? Just a suggestion of course.

Life is short, don't let this issue come between you and your husband.

before you know it, like me, you might be a MIL too! It happens sooner than you think!

; )

Lynn



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#8 of 16 Old 05-10-2005, 12:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiredX2
I have never seen seven years cited as a "world wide age." I guess I don't know what you mean? Is that the average you are citing (for weaning) or the upper end of what is considered biologically normal. Really just want the info.
I don't have the actual paper info in front of me, but there's a few other moms on here I know have it. It states that 7 is the average age of weaning around the world.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TiredX2
I, personally, feel like DPs primary responsibility is to ME and our family (not his parents, but me & our children). Why does she get to say things to you that upset you? But, it sounds like you are handling that. I, personally, think it is better to come from DP because he SHOULD BE BACKING YOU UP. Otherwise, if it only comes from you you just get the situation where MIL thinks that "poor" DH is stuck with a psycho harpy if you kwim. I am really sorry she is being so rude. What would happen if you said, "No more"? And then if she does you pick up DC and leave. I don't consider DP to be supporting your (and I would think his) parenting choices, but that is your's to decide.

Good luck
I don't know what would happen if I just up and left. Dh would probably come talk to me, talk to his mom, and try to get us to work it out. He wouldn't want to be leaving on a bad note like that. I do think if she brings it up again he will tell her to knock it off. He didn't realize at the time of the conversation that she was hurting my feelings and not just pissing me off. He said he would've shut her up if he knew I was actually offended by what she was saying.
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#9 of 16 Old 05-10-2005, 12:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Queencaledonia
Can you imagine if you'd said, "Please don't impose the problems you have with your own sexuality on the well-being of my child and our relationship. What you are saying is depraved."
Thank you for your post. I just laughed at this part though. I imagined what would happen and it made me feel a little better.
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#10 of 16 Old 05-10-2005, 12:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spin462002
I will go out on a limb here. Your MIL stated clearly that she found a woman feeding a four year old offensive. From what you have written, she did not appear to be making a personal attack on you and your parenting.
She was stating her feelings. That is sad for her but understandable for her generation. She felt uncomfortable and said so.
Yes, she said she found a women feeding a 4 year old disgusting , but she continued to say that 4 years old is way too old and it is sexually preverse, etc. That is a personal attack on me because she knew before hand that we are doing CLW. She could say, "I feel uncomfortable around older breastfeeding children" and that would've been fine. I would've reassured her that it's normal, but she probably won't ever see dd bfing at that age anyway since it's usually a bedtime, naptime, or "I'm hurt" thing by then (with most children). But she didn't say she was uncomfortable with it. She said it was outright disgusting and preverted and shouldn't be done.
Just because she feels that way doesn't mean she needs to let me know or anyone else. There is such a thing as keeping comments to herself and this is one of the times she should've done it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spin462002
I don't really understand what the huge conflict was about. She is typical of so many women, young and old. We are the ones in the minority with our attachment parenting ways, we should hardly be surprised when people disagree with us or the principles we have adopted.
I don't care if she disagrees with me, but she doesn't have to be rude and disrespectful about it. I'm not at all surprised that she doesn't know better, but she is influencing a 17 year old that will become a mom within the next 10 years or so. She is making her daughter believe that it is wrong and she shouldn't be doing that. BTW, just because we're in the minority now doesn't mean we will forever be. We will if we don't cause conflicts because nothing got changed by being quiet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spin462002
She may never change but your 16yr old SIL may well be influenced by your choices if you just quietly and resolutely get on with it and don't feel the need to justify yourself to anyone. You can be confident you are doing what's best for your child, you don't need to explain yourself or convince anyone else you are right, just do it! Maybe that's what your husband meant about expressing your opinions? There is a time for quietly standing up for your principles and a time for living them with confidence.
And I will continue to do what I am with confidence, but when someone is bringing stuff up just to attack me, I will defend myself.
My SIL is coming to live with us next year so I will be able to lead by example then.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spin462002
Now that I am a MIL myself, I would be the first to encourage you to forgive her and move on from this conflict. She must have done some things right, you are married to her son! She can't be all bad. Respect works both ways, and there can still be respect even if you disagree with her on things.
Try and see the good in her, for your husband's sake. She will always be his Mom. And who knows how long she will be around?
If she is really impossible to cope with, maybe you could send your husband and child on their own next time, maybe you could stay at a motel nearby and relax while they visit her? Just a suggestion of course.
Life is short, don't let this issue come between you and your husband.
before you know it, like me, you might be a MIL too! It happens sooner than you think!
; )
Lynn
Don't get me wrong, I love the woman, but she didn't do a that great of a job raising her son. He is good in spite of her and he even says so. He said he grew up ignoring her most of the time.
It's impossible to just nod my head, smile, and go on my way because she will continue to bring it up over and over and over and over again. This is not the first time and will not be the last. She has done this with many other topics.

My dh is welcome to visit her by himself, but without our dd. I will not leave my dd, ever.

I also would never talk about the things my son-in-law or d-in-law would do the way she talks about what I'm doing. It's utter disrespect for me.
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#11 of 16 Old 05-10-2005, 04:19 PM
 
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Disagreement is okay, when respectful, and when it's anyone's business. This doesn't sound respectful. And unless she's seeking information or a very rational discussion, it's none of her business.

Of course, this is none of my business, except it being a public forum and all.
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#12 of 16 Old 05-10-2005, 04:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Saudades
Of course, this is none of my business, except it being a public forum and all.
:LOL
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#13 of 16 Old 05-10-2005, 04:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathryn
Thank you for your post. I just laughed at this part though. I imagined what would happen and it made me feel a little better.
Dear Kathryn,
I'm so glad you were able to laugh. I just wanted to point out how outrageous what she said to you was. You know if you said something she considered outrageous what would happen, or at least you prob. think you can predict it. While it's good to be able to forgive, with MILs or anyone else where there is a jockeying for power Queen Bee thing going on you have to really lay down that you are the Mom - not her! Sometimes our moms and mils both need this reminder.

So what if there's a tiff. This is worse than her acting like a hypochondriac child, when she attacks your parenting, it's also an attack on the bond you have with your child and husband, trying to place her authority on you/ That is simply not acceptable! : It's only going to get more interesting as your child grows older. It shows a complete lack of disrespect for you. And now we come to a big core of dealing with the MIL: not wanting to be called disrespectful. HA! SHe already thinks of you whatever she does. You know you're a great individual. Your bond with your son is probably something she never had.

Sadly she may have tried to a bond with her children probably through control and manipulation. As for people who say she must of done something right, you're married to her son, some parents only provide biological material for their kids, really.

Once your MIL realizes that no matter what she says you're the Mom, and you hold true to your values, she will have to get over it. Hopefully. You certainly don't want someone around your child who is so twisted as to call YOU a sexual pervert! :

Sheesh!
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#14 of 16 Old 05-12-2005, 04:04 PM
 
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How sad. Personally, I think it would be healthy to let your dh (and hopefully you'll have his support) and then his mother know that she is not to say anything derogatory in front of your child(ren), and that if she does, you and the child(ren) will leave. End of visit. Period.
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#15 of 16 Old 05-12-2005, 04:17 PM
 
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Trystan has several breastfeeding advocacy shirts that he routinely wears - one of the best is "It's MY boobie, and I'll wean when I want to!". He has another that says, "Yes, I AM still nursing, get over it!"
LOL
The boobie one I ordered in a small... it's a youth size 5/6!
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#16 of 16 Old 05-12-2005, 04:59 PM
 
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I agree with you that her saying those things, knowing your intentions to CLW, is showing a total lack of respect for you and your parenting.

What I would probably do:

Next time I went to her house, I'd sit down with her and very calmly and politely explain how her comments insulted and angered you. Let her know that you think she's being disrespectful to you and your choices, and you would really appreciate it if she refrained from such comments in the future, as you don't want yourself and your child exposed to such negativity. Explain once again (and perhaps back up what you're saying with some handouts you prepare for her) the benefits of nursing an "older" child. Then smile and say, "I'm glad we had this discussion and you understand my concerns," and leave it at that.

If she does it again, I would excuse myself from the room, and if anybody asked why, I'd definitely let them know.

It sucks that your MIL isn't being supportive or even trying to understand. I hope you can come to a resolution so you don't have to feel that stress and anger every time you visit with her.
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