Mother of a light skin and dark skin son - MIL favors light son

KatieMorris - posted on 07/30/2016 ( 6 moms have responded )

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I have two boys, the first is very fair skinned like his father (who is mixed) and the my second son has more color like me (toffee complexion). I am African American and my husband is mixed so he is very fair (mother is mixed with black and white and so is his father. Sadly my MIL treats my fair son (3 years old) a lot better than my darker son (15 months). We live 500 miles away so we visit them every 8 weeks or so and when we used to visit when we only had DS1 she used to always make a huge commotion about DS1. She would get excited and scream at every sight of him. She used to want to point out features of his that she has and would always say that the baby looked like her son and her side (which annoyed the hell out of me). Now that we have DS2 she wants no parts of him. My husband thinks DS2 looks like him in a different complexion, she quickly tries to correct him and say no or goes silent. She tries to imply that DS2 looks like me but would never dare say DS1 looks anything like me. She does not get excited about DS2 at all and rarely posts his pictures on her FB where she posts my DS1 all the freakin time. I never knew someone would base their love and affection of their grandchild on complexion and looks. Am I the only one who thinks this is strange?

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KatieMorris - posted on 07/30/2016

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No FIL not around. They divorced 12 years ago. It is such a tough situation,

KatieMorris - posted on 07/30/2016

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I thought at first she was just excited to see her first grandchild. But after having DS2 I now know that she was actually excited that he was light and in her opinion cute. She kept saying thank God for him. So I was really thinking she was just excited to finally have a grandchild. Now that I see she has no excitement for this one, I can tell she was thanking God that the baby came out closer to their complexion and not mine.
And it's easier said "wont be visiting her anymore" than done. It is his mother, the person who gave him life and she is single (mostly alone) so to cut of ties would be very hard because the DH loves her dearly. Although her actions and words are extremely untactful she is sadly his mother. It is a hard situation to approach because it is a feeling we get. I can see a smile come over her when looking at DS1. She still buys them both gifts when we come visit so she is not doing anything outright to show her favoritism. But I can tell she is into one grandson over the other which is just sad. She is a very vain person and a narcissist to say the least. I am not sure how to approach the situation because you can not MAKE someone feel something they don't. It is sad that her love and affection is based on looks. My DH did bring it up to her and she said she just knows DS1 more that's all. But we shall see, if anything the boys will pick up on it as they get older and not want to be around her at all.

I am obviously not a fan of hers and lost the little respect I did have for her.

Dove - posted on 07/30/2016

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If this was my family... we wouldn't be visiting her anymore. At least not for quite a while. I don't 'get' people that focus that much on looks that it's a constant commenting thing and that would have annoyed me enough even w/ just DS1....

Sarah - posted on 07/30/2016

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How hurtful and very shallow on her part! If my MIL did this to my kids, I'd be furious and I'd speak up. Or, have your husband call her out on her attitude. Is your FIL still around? If so, what does he say?

KatieMorris - posted on 07/30/2016

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I think she associates "light" with beauty and believes light skinned people are better looking than those that are dark skin. I just don't know how features can determine how you treat your own grandchildren...

Sarah - posted on 07/30/2016

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Strange and hurtful. Has your husband ever considered confronting her about it directly? If not, at at least two of you can post pictures of your own and rave about how beautiful both of your sons are!
I don't know how I'd handle this when it actually happens; If it is worth trying to make her see both boys are equally handsome, or even make a joke out of it? Like tell her "yes, poor guy looks like dad, thank goodness he got mom's brains! And DS2 wow, he is the lucky one he got mama's looks and smarts"
Why do you think she does this? Was she very sensitive of her skin color as a child? Do you think she wants your kids to look more "mixed, white or whatever" sorry if that is in anyway offensive, not my intent.

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