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Discussion Starter #1
We are childfree and LOVE it... we've only been married a little over a year, are very much in the "honeymoon" stage, I'm 30 and my husband is 33, so obviously there is no reason to go rushing out and having babies - but my MIL has other ideas. :(

We don't see them often but my MIL & FIL came to stay with us for 10 days over Easter. They slept in our living room and we were pretty much together constantly so MIL had plenty of time to have her little chats with me. Well it turns out that she thinks it's time for us to have children.

What the heck is WRONG with me that I can not tell her that we don't want to have kids???

I literally just sit there listening and sort of nodding in a non-committal way. I never come out and say "actually, MIL, the truth is that your son and I don't want to have children at all. So you are kind of wasting your breath." Nope. I just sit there and smile at her distantly. Sometimes I make noises about the economic crisis and not knowing which part of the country we'll end up settling down in for at least another 4 years. Usually I just kind of mumble. She never does this when my husband is around, by the way.

I wish I could grow a spine and tell her the truth - even though I know, deep down, that it's absolutely none of her darned business either way, and she has no "right to know" - but wouldn't my life be simpler if I didn't have to play this dumb game whenever we see them? Which, granted, is infrequently, but still.

I'm more afraid of her reaction than anything. I kind of get the feeling that she is trying really hard to like me against her better judgment (my husband and I got married quickly and she didn't even meet me until after we were already married). I think I'm afraid that if she knew we didn't want to have children, she would just decide that she doesn't like me and that would be the end of it. She's a really nice person but she's NOT interested in hearing about "alternative life paths" or whatever you call not having 2.5 kids and a mortgage these days.

Anyone else get hassled by the in-laws (or their own parents) about the grandchildren issue? And HOW do you handle it?
 

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That's a toughie and I feel for you. I guess you will have to decide either to tell her the truth or keep acting like you have been. Eventually she will drop the subject but do you wan to go through 10 years of it? It isn't any of her business but she is probably excited to be a grandmother. What does your hubby say about the whole situation. Maybe he could tell her.
 

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I am a little shocked she's so pushy about it...for all she knows you are unable to have kids! Could you ask hubby to lay it on the line for her since it makes you so uncomfortable and its his mother? It really isn't her business but it sounds like she has no intentions of letting it go. Telling her the truth would be best for all, including her. No justication Is needed from you two, but honesty would clear this all up and you would enjoy their visits more instead of dreading all the baby talk.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
DH doesn't really say anything about it - because I haven't told him that it bothers me. He's out of town for work but when he comes back, I think I will bring it up and just see what he thinks, since he knows her so well and I really don't know her at all. It could be as simple as she thinks that's what good MILs talk about. Right? ha.

But yeah, I suppose he could say something to her - even writing that makes me nervous, I really AM worried about her reaction. That's my problem - I'm insecure about my relationship with her. I have this idea that she only likes me because of my potential grandchildren factory capabilities. We never really got to know each other. She's Greek (we live in Greece) and I'm American and no matter how happy I make her son, she's now the one stuck with the foreign daughter-in-law who kind of came out of nowhere.

In front of DH she is very sly about it. For example, the following conversation took place when DH was there:

MIL: blah blah blah babies...
Me: How do people afford babies these days? Blah blah blah Greek financial crisis
MIL: Oh, no, now don't say that!! Families are always willing to help, and babies aren't that expensive....
Me: Quickly changing subject...

I have thought about LYING to her and saying "you know, I really wish we could have a child, but we might have some infertility issues..." That would invite seriously bad karma and I don't want to lie to her. But I have thought about it. Not seriously, but still. It has crossed my mind as the wussy way out.
 

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The fact is that this is a decision between you and your husband. I would just say, that right now you two would prefer not to have children. Then just don't talk about it anymore.
 

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If you think it would cause issues, I would just mention to her that the your husband and you have decided to wait several years before you all even think about having the "children" discussion. Then, go into a discussion about a pretty name that you heard or ran across and try to morph it into some other discussion.
 

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Taking notes on what kind of MIL NOT to be! LOL!

Actually I would never ask these kinds of questions of my sons and DIL's. I can't stand control freaks. :yucky:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Oh these are good suggestions!! Thanks ladies. Luckily, she is actually a polite person, so I know that if I said something she would drop it. I just need to get over my own insecurities about my relationship with her. We have absolutely NOTHING in common except we both love DH.
 

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I have thought about LYING to her and saying "you know, I really wish we could have a child, but we might have some infertility issues..." That would invite seriously bad karma and I don't want to lie to her. But I have thought about it. Not seriously, but still. It has crossed my mind as the wussy way out.
And of course that bad karma would be that you would instantly get pregnant with twins....
 

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I'd like to add that when you have this heartfelt discussion with her that you touch her hand or arm - have some physical contact - and then make the non discussion short and sweet. While I agree that your DH should be the one to deliver the info, may not happen. Please let us know what happens.

No, my inlaws never questioned or pushed..
 
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Your dh needs to have that discussion with her so she will also get that this is decision too!! It is usually said that whenever there is a discussion about something as important as this it should be the child of that parent who needs to have the discussion.
 

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Taking notes on what kind of MIL NOT to be! LOL!

Actually I would never ask these kinds of questions of my sons and DIL's. I can't stand control freaks. :yucky:
I have the best mil and have taken notes from her and also would NEVER have that discussion with dil and I have 2 and shortly will have a third one. I have never liked people butting into my business and would not ever do it to other people.
 

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We have been through multiple counselors and they all said the same thing "let DH handle his own mother".

This is not a topic for you and her to discuss. There are some sneaky and underhanded maneuvers going on with her cornering you w/o your DH. Talk to her about flower, the pork roast, maybe even candles but NOT babies, finances, religion, fights...
 
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It may be a cultural issue as well- I assume you are an American living in Greece? Perhaps in Greece this is a natural role for the MIL to play, while in the states it's rude and pushy. My MIL was Hungarian and we ran into some cultural clashes here and there (and she was another one- 'oh, look how cute your 2 week old baby boy is...almost time to start on that girl we're hoping for!'). I always found a gentle yet firm honest statement would quiet her down- for a visit or two!
 
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Families can be quite different in how they discuss matters & accept choices. My relationship w/MIL has changed quite a bit recently (not related to our childfree choice). However, she'd be thrilled for us to "change our minds". Perhaps we'll slip up or something... "cause that other couple was childfree, but now love having one".

Maybe I take certain comments too seriously. It does bother me that she hasn't accepted our decision. DH feels we've been quite clear on the subject for years. We do not want kids & that's that. Most no longer ask since we've been married for 18 years.
 
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It's good you decided against lying to her about it. That would open up a whole new can of worms. She'd probably start pressing you about getting infertility treatments or adopting a baby.
 
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I think its best that your dh sit down with his parents and have a heartfelt talk with them explaining that the 2 of you have decided to remain child free. If she doesn't know and know one is saying anything she probably expects to have grandchildren. She may not intentionally mean to be pushy but just excited at the prospect of grandchildren. I know I long to someday have grandchildren and neither of my 2 are even dating. Both are finishing college. My daughter teases me when I see a baby and says "there she goes again getting that grandma look in her eyes." I hope your dh talks to them soon so you all can get passed this and go on with your lives. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
It may be a cultural issue as well- I assume you are an American living in Greece? Perhaps in Greece this is a natural role for the MIL to play, while in the states it's rude and pushy. My MIL was Hungarian and we ran into some cultural clashes here and there (and she was another one- 'oh, look how cute your 2 week old baby boy is...almost time to start on that girl we're hoping for!'). I always found a gentle yet firm honest statement would quiet her down- for a visit or two!
Khaski - yep, you got it - I'm 100% American, and she doesn't even speak a single word of English LOL!! The weird thing is that the birthrate in the US is far higher than it is in Greece. In the US it's more than 2 children per couple, whereas in Greece it's fewer than 2 children per couple - and people get married later too - but these are more recent demographic developments, like in the last 20 years, so she's not "used to" that I suppose. She does sometimes make the comments about how cute those baby shoes are or whatever... I do think a lot of it is just enthusiasm. She had two kids, both boys, and there's always that glimmer of hope that she could end up with a grandDAUGHTER.

.... I really want to have a great MIL / DIL relationship but how to do so when we have nothing in common?

I asked DH the other day something along the lines of "do you think your mom would be really disappointed if we told her we don't want to have kids?" He said "she probably wouldn't be YET, because she'd probably assume we would change our minds... but eventually yes." Meaning, she would just choose not to believe it hahaha.
 
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