Etiquette School is in session! > "I'm afraid that won't be possible."

No, I'm not going to have children

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My husband was his mother's only child (his father went through several marriages and had kids in almost all of them).

After we had our first daughter, his mother said "So I'm going to get a bunch of grandkids, right? I want a dozen."

DH: "Well mom, I guess that means you'd better get busy, 'cause Jones and I can't do that for you."

Funny thing was, she a way. She married a man who had several grown children who already had children, so she inherited a bunch of step-grandkids.

Obviously, this won't work for everyone, but a light reply you don't mind repeating on occasion might be in order?

Depending on your relationship, of course--

I second Lynn's idea of the Serious Conversation about the way her fixation on the topic is causing problems in your relationship with her. If you haven't already done so, lay it out for her just what her constant comments and barbs are doing and how negative it is. As above, don't make it about kids--make it about the way she is treating you. Then tell her that if she keeps bringing up the topic of kids, you will not discuss it.

Thereafter, when (not if) she makes comments again, do "this conversation is over." 

By refusing to let her go on and on about kids, you will save *your* sanity. Hopefully, she will also get the clue that talking about kids = minimal contact with you, and she will start to adjust her behavior. It will take time and repetition.

Diane AKA Traska:
"Ma, it's my womb, not yours.  You need to respect that boundary."

Seriously... if she knew she wanted grandkids this badly, she should have ensured a relief pitcher in case the starter couldn't put one over the plate.  (That might include adoption... er, drafting a reliever... but hey, it's not your duty to procreate.)

Outdoor Girl:
I'd give her one last warning:  'Mom, we have had this conversation a number of times.  I/we are never going to have children.  If you bring it up again, I/we will hang-up, leave, or ask you to leave.  Every time.'

And follow through.  Every time.  Don't even say anything.  Just hang-up or gather up your stuff and walk out the door.  Or if she is visiting you, gather up her stuff, hand it to her and hold the front door open.


--- Quote from: MiniLauren on May 10, 2012, 09:12:05 AM ---Our relationship has REALLY been affected by this, to the point that neither my boyfriend or I can stand spending time with her.  Pointed barbs, comments about kids and what not simply pepper conversations.  If it was a non-family member, I would simply cut them out of my life.  But this is my mother.  Has anyone ever experienced anything like this and remedied the situation?  Any suggestions would be wonderful...after more than 2 years, I'm tearing my hair out...

--- End quote ---

Remedied? Unfortunately, no.  I moved across the country from my parents when I met DH.  For 15 years every single phone call never ended without at least one whine about 'giving her grandbabies'.  Not about whether I could afford them (couldn't), or wanted them (didn't), but about HER need for me to validate her choice to start having kids very young.  My brother has two kids - that wasn't good enough for her, even though she tried to raise them too before my SIL shut her down.  She wanted MY grandbabies.  Always about what she wanted.  It's been three years since my mother has called me or contacted me in any way.  Once she finally figured out (when I was closing on 40) that I wasn't going to have kids to make her happy, she lost any interest in me at all.  She won't call me, doesn't care.  My dad won't call me because he's a doormat and always goes along with whatever mom wants.

I know perfectly well that in the last 17 years they would have come to visit me if I'd announced I was pregnant.  But since I didn't have anything they wanted, they can't be bothered with me.  And that's THEIR problem now.  My life is hard enough without begging for my parents' approval and blessing, or even attention, and believe me, I'd have to beg for it. 

There may be no easy solution if your mother is that set on you reproducing for her obsessive desire for a do-over.  Like others have said, all you can do is shut down the conversation whenever she drags it into the murky waters of 'give me grandbabies!', and it may come to a point where you have to stop associating with her entirely.  She may not ever give up, I'm afraid.  All you can do is draw your line and shut her down whenever she crosses it.  I don't see her suddenly waking up and realizing how unfair she's being, because it's not a rational thing with her.  She wants what she wants and if you don't provide it there will be tantrums and whining.

I'm so sorry.


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