I am struggling a bit with my own mother who does not seem to understand how damaging her comments are to me (and how they are alienating us). I am wondering if others have struggled with a mother who does not seem to accept her grandchild?
Krista - posted on 01/28/2012
Your daughter sounds gorgeous, and it's a crying shame that your mother is too caught up in her own prejudices to see that.
I would just say to her, "Well, seeing as my daughter's appearance bothers you so much, perhaps we can alleviate that by not seeing you so often."
She's going to have to decide what's more important to her: family, or her prejudices.
Deborah - posted on 01/28/2012
I think I have to agree with Sharon...if your mom is racist enough to say your daughter would be better off without a father, she is never going to accept your little girl as anything but a 'bi-racial' child.
It may hurt, but you could turn the tactics back on her, a 'dose of her own medicine' so to speak. Start criticizing her on any little thing you can notice, if her hair is turning gray, if her outfit is a little 'old' or unflattering, if her house is dirty.... if she starts to feel insulted, tell her that since she treats you that way, you thought that is how she wanted to be treated.
I really don't know if that will work or not but I've never known a racist person to change or accept what they don't understand, as in your love for your adorable-sounding daughter and your husband. I grew up not really knowing my grandmother (when I was little, I lived across the country, by the time I could have a relationship with her, she had re-married and was rarely home for me to go visit...) and I turned out alright. It made me sad not to know her on a more personal level, but your daughter does not need that kind of judgmental and negative influence in her life, especially from someone like her grandmother.
~I think pudgy cheeks are adorable too, my daughter had a really chubby face as a baby :)
You can't make your Mum accept your daughter or your daughter's Dad, but you can love your daughter and her father and show the world how happy you all are together. You can tell your Mum how hurtful her behaviour is but you still can't change how she acts towards you and your lovely family. Even though she is your Mother, I would distance yourself and your family from her as long as she continues with the racist comments because they are damaging to your little girl, and damaging to your family unit. Best of luck to you :-)
Lisa - posted on 01/27/2012
To answer the questions and provide a bit more information. My husband has brown skin (he is of Indian decent but is often categorized as either african-american or latino by others). Our daughter has light brown skin and I think is the most beautiful and perfect girl in the whole world. My mom has never liked my husband--she has tried to separate us again and again. In fact after Elle was born she said we would be better off if he was dead. So obviously she has problems but I have found she also makes comments about Elle's appearance in terms of comparing her to others (her best friend has the perfect granddaughter who looks like a gerber baby with blonde hair and blue eyes--according to my mom). I don't think having blonde hair and blue eyes makes anyone perfect--but don't get me started. I never thought my mom was racist but the comments are nuts and I feel very protective of my daughter. She always critiqued me on everything as well so I'm not sure if skin tone/coloring is just one more thing she is going to critique (she also thinks my baby has huge cheeks...I think her chubby cheeks are adorable). I hope that info helps to explain?
Deborah - posted on 01/27/2012
I agree with sherri, Need a little more information. Who is she alienating? Just you and your daughter? How about the 'dad' situation? Together? not? Married? I've met people who struggle to introduce a child into the extended family if the child is born out of wedlock.....
My mom told me I should give my son up for adoption, later she claimed to 'not remember' saying it, until a few months ago when she finally 'fessed up' and apologized profusely. Our relationship was VERY rocky after that comment, and she still isn't as 'crazy' about him as she was about my daughter. It's hard, and I think (hope) it will change as he gets older and more 'adult interactive'.
I"m a stubborn person, so her comment only made me more determined to be a good mother to both my children. Her attitude this time around is very different, she's excited about my third child, but I think I will always carry that resentment towards her. I admire people who make the right decision and give their children up for adoption if they are incapable of caring for the child, but that is something I just cannot do. My children are the two (almost 3) things in the world that are MINE. No one can take away or change the fact that I am their mother. I don't judge others, it is just something I can't do...So her comment hurt me very deeply.
That was really a one-time thing with my mom, she has said one other hurtful comment to me (When I had my second son she told me I"m a "True Mother"... as if I wasn't a 'true' mother after I had my daughter? Really? Two is harder, so I kind of understand what she meant, but it still hurt. She didn't mean for it to though so that doesn't apply here).
From the nature of your question I don't think this is an isolated incident, so I'll need to know more if you want specific advice for your situation...
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