How to explain to my MIL my opinions about children...

Raye - posted on 03/09/2015 ( 8 moms have responded )

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My mother-in-law just doesn't get that my decision not to give birth is not because I dislike children. I just didn't want one coming out of my body. I have no problems with kids. I feel it has been a blessing that I didn't have kids of my own, because I am able to devote my time and energy toward my husband and his two precious kids. We get along great. I love them and they love me.

So, here's an example of what she does: We were on a family vacation, and I woke up and sat down to breakfast at the table with the two that are now my step-kids and three of their cousins. She made a comment something like... "Well how does it feel? You don't like kids but you just ate breakfast with five of them." I tried explaining again, but she didn't get it. Because she kept making these kind of comments, before I married her son I wrote her an e-mail trying to spell it out for her. She said then that she knows I love them and she understood. She hadn't mentioned for a while so I had hoped that we were over that, but obviously she still doesn't understand. On Friday she made another comment about how well I get along with the kids, and how much I do for them is just amazing considering I didn't even want children. I keep trying to explain I just didn't want them coming out of my body, but she just doesn't get the distinction.

The first paragraph of this post is very close to what I wrote to her. So you tell me if I'm not explaining it clearly. Is it so hard to understand that I can actually like/love children even though I didn't want to give birth to any?

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Trisha - posted on 03/09/2015

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I think you are explaining it fine. I think she is just having a problem distinguishing the difference herself. I doubt she will ever truly understand. "Wanting children" appears to mean actually being a biological mother for her, and that's gotta hurt a bit, but I think I would just take it as an annoying MIL trait (cause there are always many) and move on. lol.

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Gena - posted on 03/10/2015

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You are telling her in a way that she should be able to understand. Just because someone does not want to or cant have biological children doesnt mean they dont love children. I think there is always something a MIL nags about. Mine worked on my nerves when i was pregnant and she ALWAYS compared my belly to my SIL's big bump she had. And she always said i have such a small bump in a very annoying way. Till my husband said its no wonder,my SIL must only eat a hamburger and she looks like she is 9months pregnant. Just try not to take it personal when she makes such comments about children.

Raye - posted on 03/09/2015

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Humor is fine, Dove.

My husband started to explain again, but I just shook my head. I don't like that she has that false impression of me, but she's not going to get it. There's been plenty of times where she means well, but ends up pissing people off. I guess it is like a lot of other MIL's out there, though.

Dove - posted on 03/09/2015

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You are explaining it just fine. Will your husband diplomatically tell her to piss off? lol If not... duct tape. It's not just a parenting tool. ;)

lol Sorry... I don't have the 'correct' response to help w/ your situation... so I went w/ humor. ♥

Raye - posted on 03/09/2015

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BTW, if I was ever going to have kids, I would have wanted them with my current husband. I love him so much. But even that has not changed my mind to actually pursue having a child. I'm happy being able to care for his children. Still don't need one of my own.

Raye - posted on 03/09/2015

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I'm 39. I had my tubes tied three years ago because I was sick of taking the pill and I finally convinced my doctor (after 20+ years) that I didn't want to ever give birth. When we were dating, I told my husband that I wasn't able to have kids, and if he wanted any more children he better start looking elsewhere. lol. But he's content that we're not going to have any together.

I have told my MIL that my biological clock was broken, that I just didn't have that drive to have kids, that I didn't feel that a woman is defined by whether she has born kids, and several other ways of saying that I just never wanted kids of my own. I always said that I was capable of loving children, and tried to explain how deeply I'm committed to her son and his kids, that I love them and am happy to have them in my life, and I've proven it through my actions. She says she can see that I love them. So, I don't see why she can't just leave it at that.

Jodi - posted on 03/09/2015

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I don't know how old you are Raye (and you don't have to say), but if you are reasonably young, maybe she feels you will change your mind (although let's face it, her nagging at you about it isn't helping.

Maybe rather than using the phrase "I just don't want them coming out of my body", use the concept of how lucky you are to have 2 beautiful children already and that you AND YOUR HUSBAND don't feel the need to change that (although really it isn't any of her business). You want to give all of your commitment and love to the two you already have.

I will admit, it is difficult for a woman who has children to understand why a woman wouldn't want her own, but as a person who never wanted kids until she realised she was pregnant at 28 years old, I do understand to an extent. It wasn't until I actually gave birth to my son that I realised this having a child thing was okay. 17 years later, I wouldn't change a thing. But that doesn't mean I don't understand what you are feeling. Stick with it if that is your choice.

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