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MIL wants GC - not sure I can oblige!

(43 Posts)
forbiddenplanet Mon 20-Apr-15 14:10:54

Hello all
I usually post on Mumsnet (though I am not a mum yet - on which more below!) but don't want to ask this there as some posters seem to be quite critical of MILs and I would really appreciate getting a grandparent's POV on how to deal with this - sorry if this is long
MIL is very nice and we get on well but she is obviously quite keen to have GC and has begun dropping hints (with decreasing subtlety!) often in social situations which I find quite embarrassing and not really sure how to deal with
I am keen myself to have DC soon but DH does not feel ready yet. This sort of makes it worse as I feel I would not be defending my own decision not to have DC yet but his!
I have suggested that he have a conversation with his mum re his feelings about waiting to have DC but he is a very private person and does not feel comfortable with this - he says his family doesn't have those sorts of conversations
My question essentially is if you were MIL how would you want your DIL to handle this in a way that would cause minimum offence? So far I have laughed the comments off and/or changed the subject. I wouldn't want to embarrass her in front of her family/friends as she often makes these comments in front of people. Equally I don't want to promise her GC that we might not be having! Should I just tell her we are not having any yet as her son does not feel ready??
Thanks if you got to the end of this and any suggestions would be gratefully received!

ginny Mon 20-Apr-15 14:16:18

However much your MIL wants Grand children it is none of her business when /if you have them.

Personally if you don't feel you can tell her the real reason at the moment and your DH is not willing / able to , then I would just do as you are doing and ignore the hints or simply reply that you will have children when and if you are ready to.

jinglbellsfrocks Mon 20-Apr-15 14:17:28

Yes. Of course tell her, privately, that it is her son who wants to wait awhile. Why wouldn't you?

ginny Mon 20-Apr-15 14:19:46

Me again, actually I would have told my MIL to stop embarrassing me in front of people and if she did it again make the same reply 'when WE decide to.'

janerowena Mon 20-Apr-15 14:29:30

I think I would say, we aren't ready just yet. Which makes it clear to both that you are a team. I had similar problems but made it very clear to MiL that I wasn't ready - I just said, I don't want any! I did have two little accidents and love them dearly, but it did get her right off my back. grin

I don't actually understand the desire for GCs, I have them and love them but love my DCs far more. I don't mind if DS doesn't have any and was quite shocked when DD had hers so young. I just want my DCs to lead a life that makes them happy, whatever form it takes.

Mishap Mon 20-Apr-15 14:44:09

I can understand her wish to have GC - they are a great joy to us. But it is not her decision. We never at any point mentioned this to our children or put them under any pressure - we just cheered when the GC came along!

Can I just make a suggestion, that may be totally out of order? - if it is, apologies in advance. I am wondering if your MIL's tactless comments hit home as you are feeling disappointed that your DH wants to delay having children - in other words, is it a bit of a sore topic for you, and this is why her comments grate so?

annodomini Mon 20-Apr-15 14:53:57

Smile sweetly and tell her she'll be the first to know when you become pregant.

soontobe Mon 20-Apr-15 14:54:44

Does your DH say it is ok for you to tell her that he is not ready yet?

forbiddenplanet Mon 20-Apr-15 14:55:35

Thanks all for comments
mishap yes I think there is some truth in that, I am a bit disappointed TBH that he wants to wait a few years, a lot of my friends are having babies at the moment as well which is probably making me more sensitive to MIL comments
jinglbellsfrocks I think because of the above I am worried that she would realise that I am disappointed with the decision and therefore it would come across that I am undermining/criticising him to her which she would not like - I should probably just bite the bullet and do it though!

TerriBull Mon 20-Apr-15 14:58:40

It's a cheek really, because she is putting you in a difficult position and making you feel uncomfortable. I think I might take her on one side and quietly tell her that you feel you are being forced to betray a confidence, but for the the time being, her son is not ready for fatherhood.

I can understand some people's desire to become a grandparent, but it's not really their choice and I don't think it's fair to pile the pressure on. In any event if you were trying for a baby, without success, continual carping on about it from your MIL would only add to any anxieties on that score.

jinglbellsfrocks Mon 20-Apr-15 15:22:17

People get very heavy about family talks. I would tell her just so that she knows who it is that needs encouragement. She's his mum! The world won't end. hmm

jinglbellsfrocks Mon 20-Apr-15 15:23:34

I don't think she's "piling on" any pressure. It's normal. It's what would-be grans do.

Tegan Mon 20-Apr-15 15:24:05

I think men find the thought of fatherhood far more frightening than people realise and the more responsible a person the man is the more scared of the prospect he often is; plus, of course they don't have hormones overriding any fears they have [at least not the same hormones]. I was in a similar position and evenually, in private, pointed out to my son that his partner did have a body clock and it was ticking away. Whether that made a difference or whether there were already plans in progress I don't know, but he is now a proud father. What I will say is that I LOATHE [that had to be in capitals!!!] people who put other people on the spot in front of others. There is no excuse for that and I can still remember times when that happened to me nearly 50 years ago and cringe inwardly at how embarrassed I felt at the time. Not only that but, for all she knows, you may want children but can't have them and don't want to talk about it. In summary I think your partner needs a nudge and your MIL [nice as she appears to be] needs to learn about good manners and discretion. Good luck with both of them flowers.

soontobe Mon 20-Apr-15 15:26:53

I agree completely with Tegan.

ninathenana Mon 20-Apr-15 15:29:33

How would anyone's MiL know that the reasons she hasn't got DGC is not medical?
This doesn't appear to be the case for you but she doesn't know that. She is being very thoughtless.
As others have said it's a decision for you and your DH to make together

ninathenana Mon 20-Apr-15 15:31:52

crossed posts *Tegan sorry

Tegan Mon 20-Apr-15 15:38:39

At least we agree nina! [and no typos in yours...]

jinglbellsfrocks Mon 20-Apr-15 15:38:56

ninathenana surely they would talk wouldn't they? Wouldn't the son have told his mum?

Tegan Mon 20-Apr-15 15:43:18

Not always. I've also known several people that have had one child and then can't have any more and get sick of comments about 'when are you having another'. One friend actually confided in me because she said I was the only person who didn't ask her about it. I also knew someone who couldn't have children and didn't tell her own mother till she was in her twenties sad.

sara4 Mon 20-Apr-15 16:09:56

Do all her friends have grandchildren? If so she probably wants to join their club. BUT that is no excuse to make you feel uncomfortable especially in public. Does your DH know how you feel and could you decide on a united front for next time this happens? I don't see why you should have to deal with her on your own. Being a grandmother in 2015 is not like it was when our generation were young mums. My mother in law asked us WHY we were having our first baby, but she did make herself a 'grannies boast' book'.

forbiddenplanet Mon 20-Apr-15 16:36:25

Hi all
No no medical issues (well not that I know of)
Tegan it's as you say, DH has always been v mature and responsible as long as I've known him - not remotely laddish - in a way I had thought this meant he would be ready earlier. He is worried he would not be a good father as he is not at all confident around babies/small children. I think he is overthinking it TBH.
jinglbellsfrocks it's a bit unfortunate that both DH and I are incredibly socially awkward! Sometimes I wonder how we ever had a conversation ended up married
sara4 what is a granny's boast book? confused

thatbags Mon 20-Apr-15 18:07:47

You ask: "Should I just tell her we are not having any yet as her son does not feel ready??"

My answer to that is "Yes". It's the simple truth. If she doesn't like it, that's her problem, not yours, and you can refer her to her son who may talk to her more about it or may tell her to mind her own business.

Good luck.

harrigran Mon 20-Apr-15 18:10:36

I never asked about GC and when they were going to produce them, not my business at all. I assumed children were on the agenda because they arranged their wedding saying that they would not have children out of wedlock.
DD does not have children, her choice, and that is fine with me.

loopylou Mon 20-Apr-15 18:14:58

My MIL was the opposite- told every Tom, Dick and Harry that she didn't want GCs and was thoroughly obnoxious throughout my pregnancy and after sad
It wasn't helped by my having a DD first - she then told everyone that she hated baby girls!!
MILs can be wonderful (like DS's) too, thank goodness!

loopylou Mon 20-Apr-15 18:16:06

Incidentally I never once asked DS about GCs, it was totally their decision IMO.