Author Topic: "It's such a shame your baby isn't a boy"  (Read 16128 times)

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Syrse

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"It's such a shame your baby isn't a boy"
« on: October 12, 2012, 04:52:52 PM »
Seems all I ever ask on these boards is baby related, sorry about that  :)

I gave birth last Saturday to a beautiful baby girl.
Now my husband is from a very large family: his grandmother, who is a really sweet person, had 9 kids. Of those 9, most of the boys ended up getting daughters, with the exception of a few. So while she has a lot of descendants, only three of her male grandchildren carry her husbands name. And of those three, my husband is the oldest.

When we went over to her place to tell her we were pregnant, the first thing she said to me was "and if it could only be a boy, that would mean the world to me." I bit my tongue, and she hastily added "but of course a girl would be lovely as well!"
Now I can see why this would be important to her, so I didn't make a fuss.

After the delivery my husband called her and told her it was a girl. I didn't hear the conversation, but he told me that she said it was a shame it wasn't a boy. Again, I tried not to let it get to me, after all she didn't say it right to my face this time.

A day later, she came to visit us at the hospital. Our baby was staying in the locked off area because of an infection, so only us as parents, and grandparents under supervision were allowed in. She seemed very happy, so my husband asked her if she wanted to go in and hold her. She sits down, and I hand her the baby (no worries there, she raised 9 of her own after all).
And the first, the very first thing out of her mouth is "and now all you need is a brother, don't you?"

... seriously? That's the very first thing you have to say when you're holding your newest great-grandchild? That she's not good enough?

It's upsetting me, but I really don't know how to respond to it. My husband understands where I'm coming from, but the general family consensus seems to be 'she doesn't mean it in a bad way, hers is a different generation, don't let it get to you'.

Part of me just really wants to go "oh no, we're done, one child is enough" the next time she brings up the brother bit again, but I suppose that would be e-Hell stuff  >:D

But yeah, what's a polite but firm way of putting an end to this before baby gets old enough to understand the undercurrent here? I can see where she had a preference, but I really do not want her voicing that in front of my kid. She has made her point, and now I would really like for her to shut up about it.

booklover03

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Re: "It's such a shame your baby isn't a boy"
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2012, 04:59:18 PM »
I wish I knew what to tell you, but I'm bad at giving etiquette advice (which is why I'm here  :)). I just wanted to say congrats on your baby girl!


bonyk

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Re: "It's such a shame your baby isn't a boy"
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2012, 05:03:08 PM »
"Nothing about her is a shame; she's perfect," or "She doesn't need a thing; she's perfect just as she is," stated as a fact.  If she responds, "Oh, but I so hoped for a boy!," you could reply, "But instead you go this perfect bundle of joy!  Lucky you!"

If she keeps it up, you may want to consider an ultimatum about spending time with her, but I think you can probably "retrain" her.

Calypso

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Re: "It's such a shame your baby isn't a boy"
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2012, 05:07:38 PM »
Congratulations!

 You could say this with a smile, but still completely seriously "Grandma, we love you a lot, but if you ever, ever say that again when Baby can hear it....well, there's a reason why people talk about 'Mama Bears.' "


jmarvellous

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Re: "It's such a shame your baby isn't a boy"
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2012, 05:10:52 PM »
"Aw, I wish you enjoyed your great granddaughter as much as we do."

"How would you feel if someone were disappointed in you for not carrying on the (her maiden name) name? I hardly think that's fair."

"We plan to raise her to be a modern woman. She could pass on your name after all!"

Or the classic, strong statement, "We love her, no matter what."

"Be as disappointed as you like, but please keep it to yourself."

And congratulations!

Hmmmmm

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Re: "It's such a shame your baby isn't a boy"
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2012, 05:16:01 PM »
I sort of agree with your DH's family.  It would become a family joke for us.  I'd end up joking with something like "we can check into sex change surgery if a boy is so important to you." or "well, you need to have a discussion with DH's sperm to make sure they cooperate next time.". But if joking isn't appropriate in his family,  then a simple " we are very happy to have a girl.  Why are you so concerned with us having a boy?" might jog her into realizing how hurtful this is to you.


Jones

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Re: "It's such a shame your baby isn't a boy"
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2012, 05:23:59 PM »
Snarky me would start calling GMIL "Grandfather". If being a female is so shameful, it would be an honor to her, no?


Iris

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Re: "It's such a shame your baby isn't a boy"
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2012, 05:38:21 PM »
"Nothing about her is a shame; she's perfect," or "She doesn't need a thing; she's perfect just as she is," stated as a fact.  If she responds, "Oh, but I so hoped for a boy!," you could reply, "But instead you go this perfect bundle of joy!  Lucky you!"

If she keeps it up, you may want to consider an ultimatum about spending time with her, but I think you can probably "retrain" her.

I like bonyk's suggestions. I would also add that if she isn't picking up the hint after the first time or two I would add the action of taking the baby out of her arms as you say them. Not in a mean or obvious or grabby way, just smile, deliver your line and pick up baby for comfort.

I might also remind her that it's 2012 and women can KEEP their names these days, doncherknkow?

But most of all: Congratulations!
"Can't do anything with children, can you?" the woman said.

Poirot thought you could, but forebore to say so.

CharlieBraun

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Re: "It's such a shame your baby isn't a boy"
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2012, 06:12:12 PM »
Congratulations on the bundle of love that entered your life!  Be ready for poopaggeddon in your future!

"Mrs. Wilson (note: not granny or grandma,) I think we would prefer that our child not refer to know that you are her grandmother, as her existence is a disappointment to you."

Too nuclear?  Don't care.

"Mrs. Wilson, we've checked out the costs for sex-reassignment surgery.  It runs about $50K, but since she can't have it until later in life, let's have you put aside the lump sum of $25K now so the full value will be there if and when she wants it."

Too snarky?  Don't care.

"Granny, I think it's time that we end your interaction with our beautiful daughter.  We love her with the factory installed options."
"We ate the pies."

kherbert05

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Re: "It's such a shame your baby isn't a boy"
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2012, 06:23:38 PM »
I wouldn't hint your husband should tell her "We love our healthy baby girl. Drop the she should have been a boy stuff."
Don't Teach Them For Your Past. Teach Them For Their Future

Shoo

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Re: "It's such a shame your baby isn't a boy"
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2012, 06:49:20 PM »
I wouldn't hint your husband should tell her "We love our healthy baby girl. Drop the she should have been a boy stuff."

I agree.  I think it's a mistake to beat around the bush.  This is a woman who is saying something really stupid, and hurtful.  Somebody needs to lower the boom. 

sweetonsno

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Re: "It's such a shame your baby isn't a boy"
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2012, 07:00:34 PM »
My inclination would not be eHell-approved. I vote for asking hubby to have a word with her and then, if it doesn't work, starting in with scaling back on interactions.

I also vote for reminding her that women are allowed to keep their names. I fully intend to do so myself.

Winterlight

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Re: "It's such a shame your baby isn't a boy"
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2012, 07:47:59 PM »
I wouldn't hint your husband should tell her "We love our healthy baby girl. Drop the she should have been a boy stuff."

This. She says it because she's being allowed to get away with saying it.
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
Caroline Lake Ingalls

LeveeWoman

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Re: "It's such a shame your baby isn't a boy"
« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2012, 07:51:02 PM »
I'd be tempted to point to my husband and say that it's his "input" that  determned the s*x of the baby.

gramma dishes

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Re: "It's such a shame your baby isn't a boy"
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2012, 08:05:40 PM »
You know, you have the right words right there.  Just look at her very solemnly and say them:

... seriously? That's the very first thing you have to say when you're holding your newest great-grandchild? That she's not good enough?

I would then immediately remove the baby from her arms and say "We won't allow her to hear that kind of nonsense.  Please don't ever say anything like that to her again."

I'm sure she really doesn't mean it that way, but what she's saying is incredibly offensive.  It is long past time that someone needs to TELL HER she's being offensive!  Most grandmothers and great grandmothers would be grateful and over the moon overjoyed that the baby is alive and  beautiful and normal and healthy.