We don't want kids, get that through your head! (On dealing with a baby crazy MIL)

I had a father-in-law who couldn’t WAIT to have grandchildren. Since we had no intention of having any, I figured we were in for years of well-intended harrassment. Less than a year after I was married, we went back to his home to attend the funeral of FIL’s mother.

At the funeral reception, FIL came up to me and my husband and told a dolorous story of how he was playing poker with his buddies the other day, looked around the table, and realized he was the only poker player who wasn’t a grandfather yet. This statement was followed by a meaningful look at me.

So I looked back sweetly, and said “but Dad, we haven’t figured out how to do it yet!”

To his credit, he appreciated the gutsiness of that remark, and managed a chortle.

And after that, he never again brought up having children.

PS - 15 years later, we had a kid. If we’d been subject to constant pressure on the subject, I for one never would have had a kid, just to be contrary.

The more resilient of the parents/inlaws will not bat an eye as they start talking about adoption instead.

Weird how well-to do ladies never consider they could easily offer their services as babysitters. It’s not like no-one wants a babysitter. :slight_smile:

And the best part is, they are wealthy enough to agree with less pay, in exchange for the freedom of only having to sit when they like and only for kids&parents they like.

Tell her you’re trying but the doctor said you’re barren. :wink:

I don’t know why people get their bowels in an uproar over other people’s birthing rights. Tell her to volunteer in the neonatal unit of a local hospital. My sister did this for years. You get to hold babies, feed and change them, sing to them…it’s the perfect baby fix for someone who needs to nurture.

Aren’t there billions of children in the world she could be making easter baskets for?

When my wife met my parents for the very first time, my father said this:

“Hello, I’m Rick’s dad, you can call me Dad. Are you pregnant yet?”

Then when we got married he refused to shave or cut his hair until she got pregnant. He looked like a homeless man. People were offering him loose change. My mother was embarassed to be seen with him. I thought it was hilarious.

We had a baby.

There may be nothing you can do about it - at least not to COMPLETELY stop them - but don’t get too angry at them if you can help it. It’s instinct to want to see your line continued, and grandchildren bring enormous joy to grandparents so they naturally want some of that action.

I know it’s irritating, but it’s just genetics driving them to bug you about it so don’t be too hard on them.

stand your ground, geek, and tell hubby to step up to the plate, already! he should be backing this joint decision between you two to the wall. not waffling.

it’s great that you and the MIL get along, but there are limits to how far she gets to stick her nose in your personal business, for goodness sakes - and you may have to be the one who has to set them.

keep deflecting ithe issue with humor - for now - but if she cranks it up, you may have to resort to thumbscrews or something. **whynot ** has some excellent suggestions that will translate well into the child/no child topic.

thank god my family minds it’s own business. i’m only just beginning to realize this late in my life that i’ve been very fortunate about that.

best of luck.

My family has never bothered me about kids, and I’m glad for it. I’m 24 and in a serious relationship - not my first, either - so I figure I’m at an age where they would be bothering me a lot if they wanted to.

But my mother bothers me about any number of other things. She’s been saying for about five years that my hair is too short, for example. I mostly deal with it through profanity and insults, which isn’t really a method I would recommend. It just works in my family - maybe she recognizes that she deserves it sometimes.

(very slight hijack) WhyNot, I am in the same situation as you. I don’t want a house either. Just a week ago someone jumped down my throat about it, saying I was throwing my rent away.

My line is “the cost of a house is a LOT higher than the mortgage.” That usually gets them to at least shut up and think about it.

As for what to tell the OP’s MIL, WhyNot has already nailed it. She’s the groupthink, why do we even bother to post? :smiley: One Polite conversation and then never agree to discuss it again. One thing though: don’t ever whine or get angry. Just be firm and kind.

I’m not married or even close to it, and my mother has, on very rare occasions made the grandparents noises at me, but recognizes that even if I got married (unlikely) and had kids (snowball’s chance in hell), they would live several thousand miles from her.

She restrains herself from making the grandparent noises at my sister-in-law, which is good, because near as I can tell, my sister-in-law would like to have kids and my brother is resisting.

This MIL doesn’t want to care for the widdle baby - she just wants to shop for it.

A few years after our son was born we started trying again but had no luck. We went to fertility specialists and had a couple early miscarriages.

In the meantime my SILs were popping out kids like crazy. So my MIL makes the sensitive comment, “When will you two get down to having another kid? You don’t want your son to be an only child, do you? You know, the dodo died out because it would only lay one egg!” She knew we had been seeing doctors and had had losses but she kept bringing it up.

After her making many similar comments like this, one night I turned to her and said, “If you want us to have another kid then I guess you’ll have to carry it as a surrogate. Do you want me to get the turkey baster or should we just go in the bedroom?” She got red-faced and outraged but then realized just how insensitive she had been.

Plenty of needy babies in the world!

On the other hand, my mother came *this close * to giving my husband and I a bassinet as a wedding gift. Subtle, she ain’t. And she’s got 6 grandkids under the age of 6 already. Fortunately for me, my siblings have been obligingly producing a kid every 9 - 12 months for about 6 years now. It’s keeping my mother off my back.

I want kids eventually and in my own time, not because my mother has decided it’s time for me to reproduce.

I love my father, but he was raised to think that children are your shot at immortality. At one point, he cornered my sister (neither of us plan on having kids) and the conversation included a comment about how she was committing genetic suicide. I never got that line, but he did once start a conversation with my SO’s mother, trying to get her to pressure us to have kids. There were even offers to provide money to help raise a child, if that was the issue. (It’s not, we do quite well)

I hit the roof when I heard that. My mind was racing a mile a minute. I wanted to pick up the phone and shout at him that having kids because he wanted to be a grandfather was about the stupidest reason I could think of.

What I did was wait until they visited, and my SO wasn’t around. I sat them down in the living room, and told them I had heard about my father’s conversation with my SO’s mother. I informed them that the decision to have or not have kids would be made by me and my SO. They got to have zero input into it. Zero. I then told them that this was the end of ALL discussion on the topic. Not with me, not with my SO, not with his mother. I think I repeated that for about 5 minutes. He at least looked embarrassed by the end. (Ok, it wasn’t quite that calm. I probably had steam coming out my ears, and I was so stressed about it that I was about to puke.)

That was about 5 years ago. The topic has been raised maybe twice since then, and both time I simply said “Remember our conversation? This is not up for discussion.”

My mother-in-law greeted me for the first time with the words “Hi! I’m Lucie, where are my grandkids?”
I was 21, and we’d been dating for three months.
I managed to stammer out something along the lines of “uh, don’t you want us to get married first?” to which she replied “Nope! They can be bastards, I just want grandkids”

Fortunately, we live in another province, and I have a sister-in-law who is much more forward than I. Once it got really bad, I let K fight all the battles until such time as Lucie really did have a grandkid. And now she has three. (our little girl and her two cousins) Now she just demands pictures on a daily basis.

I’m lucky. My parents don’t seem to give a flying fuck whether I have kids or not. And my in-laws have a couple of grandkids already, so they’re not preoccupied with it. It’s the people in my non-family life that press me. Why must every one have four or five fucking kids? I work with at least 3 young women 26 or younger) that each have 3 or more children. Is the drive to continue the species that strong? This ain’t 4500 BC, ferchrissakes.


You and WhyNot should be applauded. More people need some common sense slapped into them with the whole house buying issue. People with a grasp on reality can weigh the pro/cons of homeownership along with the true costs and make an educated decision. People who are clueless jump into the home buying market, sign the first subprime mortgage they can find, get foreclosed upon and then cry about how everyone else told them it was the right thing to do and how affordable it would be.

I haven’t gotten the “I need grandbabies” speech from anyone yet, luckily enough, but my future MIL seems to think she’s being subtle about religion with me. To sum it up: she converted to Orthodox Christianity and thinks it’s the bees knees. I’m not Orthodox, and the fiance is equally uninterested in church at this point. To appease her nagging about me coming to see a service, I went the last time I visited. Now, every few weeks, I’ll get some sort of email with information on the Orthodox church, regardless of whether I want it or not. If I get an inquiry as to my interest in the church in person, I’m going to have to say something. Is “I have no interest in conversion at this time and, in the future, if I do, that will be the only appropriate time for discussion of the matter” too blunt?

My late FIL asked my SIL when she revealed she was pregnant with her second daughter “Congratulations! Are you going to try for a boy next time?”
Crickets chirping, my MIL gave him the Look of Death and he didn’t say another word the rest of the day.

This is weird because my mother never encouraged any of us to have kids. In fact the opposite. She didn’t say not to, but she’d say “are you sure”? Not that she doesn’t love her grandkids but she wouldn’t have cared if any of us did. She wasn’t into the whole babysitting, let me buy cutsie outfits kind of thing.

I’m the same way. If my son does, fine but if he doesn’t fine too. But I seriously hope he doesn’t for a long time.

As far as this situation, this is really something your husband is going to have to handle. It’s his Mom. If it comes from you, you’ll probably be portrayed as the bad guy.