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Parenting differences


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#1 Wacky Wobbler

Posted 13 January 2013 - 08:20 AM

DH and I have a 10 wk old boy. We had been trying for five years to have a baby before we had DS. In that time we discussed how we would like to raise any children we have.

We decided we would like to use cloth nappies, like the sound of BLW (although we don't need to worry about that for a while), we don't like the idea of letting DS cry and he wouldn't be christened and so on.

Lately DH has been doing the opposite to what we had discussed/put in place. When I asked him why he told me that he had been discussing things with his Mum who doesn't always agree with what we are doing.

She thinks I'm a bit of a new age hippy and. Calls me starlight sun bright  rolleyes.gif

I don't mind if DH has a different way of doing things but am a bit annoyed his Mum is putting her two cents in.

How do I go about bringing this up with him.

We needed to use a donor to have DS and I want DH to have an equal say in how we raise DS but I want it o be his own ideas, not someone elses. MIL has made it very clear she thinks it is weird some of the things we are doing, which she has every right to think. Nothing we are doing is causing DS harm so I can't see a problem with it.

Also both DH and I decided from day one that we would tell DS we needed to use a donor, both sets of parents know this is our plan. MIl has told us that she doesn't think it is a good idea. She also told DH that we need to stop telling people we had to do IVF (not sure why as neither DH or myself are embarrassed by this). Both my parents and sister know we used a donor and DH had planned to tell his siblings the same until MIL told him not to.

It is starting to cause some problems between us all.

WWYD in this situation?

#2 melaine

Posted 13 January 2013 - 08:31 AM

I think you need to focus on the bigger issue which to me is your MILs opinions on IVF/using a donor.

She is out of line disagreeing with your choices about other stuff, agreed, but I'd let him figure that out himself.

However, he needs to stand up to her about the IVF/donor issue. That is a big decision that you as a couple have discussed and decided on and she doesn't get a say in it.

I think if you mix that issue in with discussions about baby led weaning and controlled crying then you are downplaying the importance of the issue.

I'd pick a time when you were both relaxed and able to concentrate on a discussion about it and ask him what he thinks about his mum's opinions on telling your son and other people. Good luck.

#3 Feral_Pooks

Posted 13 January 2013 - 09:05 AM

Being a new parent is a huge adjustment and it's normal to look to our own parents for advice and support in that time. Your DH may be lacking the critical eye to her advice at this time because of emotional reasons. Perhaps it's a good idea to go out for lunch or a coffee or something, and talk about the ways in which you are both noticing the impact of your own childhoods, and opinions of your families now, influencing your parenting. I think gently leading him to reflect on this, himself, is a good start.

I would gently say how you had noticed he had been responding really strongly to influences from his family, which is perfectly normal and understandable, but that you feel you both need to discuss and agree to changes from your initial decisions before making a change, whereever the idea for the change has come from.

Personally, I wouldn't be freaking about the IVF stuff just yet, as there is so much time for this to change back. I think getting some confidence around parenting needs to come first, your DH needs time to bond and adjust to parenthood. I feel that if he feels torn between what you want, and what his mum wants, he might not feel confident in developing his own approach.

Is there an "exception"- something he does really well, that isn't in keeping with his mother's opinions (even better if it is something you haven't really pushed him to do, either)? Maybe use this as a starting point, really heap praise on him for it and explain how it makes you and but feel so safe, secure, happy, etc.

#4 Cat People

Posted 13 January 2013 - 09:11 AM

That must be incredibly hard for your partner.  His mother telling him to hide how your child was conceived implies there's something to be ashamed about.  I would say that has really knocked his confidence.  Did you guys have some counselling when you used ivf/donor?  Perhaps get in touch with your counsellor if you did.

#5 Holidayromp

Posted 13 January 2013 - 09:56 AM

QUOTE (Sassy Girl @ 13/01/2013, 10:22 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Tell him to tell her that she had a chance to raise her family now it's your turn to do it how you want to. In other words tell him to tell her to butt out and that he has to support your decisions not hers.


This.  MIL is out of line.  Nip in the bud before it becomes a huge problem.  MIL are a pain in the a*se at the best of times and this one sounds like a real beaut in the making if you don't do something about it.

#6 Tesseract

Posted 13 January 2013 - 10:17 AM

The crying, BLW stuff is pretty normal new parent adjustment. My MIL and mum thought we were mad for not letting baby cry and not feeding purées, and DH did find it hard to stand by our decisions in the face of new parent sleep deprivation. You guys can figure that stuff out, all new parents do, as long as your DH and you can communicate reasonably enough and your MIL isn't too crazy lol.

The donor/IVF stuff is a completely different kettle of fish. You and your DH need to be completely on the same page and present a united front. If you guys feel that your DH needs to tell his siblings then he should tell them, I can only imagine that the longer it goes on the more of a shock and a "big secret" it will be. This may be what MIL is wanting because it sounds like she doesn't want people to know DS was donor conceived because deep down she worries that this makes her not his "real" grandma. Her feelings need to be acknowledged and dealt with, but they must not be the deciding factor in how you two proceed. The idea of telling your siblings but not his is farcical, it will come out eventually and it is better it comes from you. His siblings will be devastated if they were kept in the dark about something your siblings knew, and the whole thing adds to this atmosphere of shame that is completely inappropriate and not what you guys want for your family.

#7 password123

Posted 13 January 2013 - 10:30 AM

QUOTE (Madame Catty @ 13/01/2013, 10:11 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
That must be incredibly hard for your partner.  His mother telling him to hide how your child was conceived implies there's something to be ashamed about.  I would say that has really knocked his confidence.  Did you guys have some counselling when you used ivf/donor?  Perhaps get in touch with your counsellor if you did.


I agree with this.
There is nothing to be ashamed of and she needs to get that. DH and I are proud about ivf. It would be no different if we needed a donor. Science is a marvellous thing!


#8 password123

Posted 13 January 2013 - 10:31 AM

QUOTE (Sassy Girl @ 13/01/2013, 10:22 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Tell him to tell her that she had a chance to raise her family now it's your turn to do it how you want to. In other words tell him to tell her to butt out and that he has to support your decisions not hers.

This too.

#9 Domestic Goddess

Posted 13 January 2013 - 12:45 PM

Counseling was the first thing that popped up in my mind. Not for your DH though. More for your MIL.

I dunno, I am just spit balling here. But about the cloth nappies, ask her what she used when your DH was little? Ask her what they did with introducing solids 200 years ago?
Im no "hippy", but I do care about the environment AND saving money and therefore I started using MCN's.
She should but out. Like a PP said, she has had her chance to raise kids, now she should leave it upto you and your DH.

Have you tried to talk to your DH and/or MIL about this? Told him that she had her chance with him and that its nice to give advice, but it does not always have to be taken?

#10 strawberrycakes

Posted 13 January 2013 - 01:30 PM

QUOTE
She also told DH that we need to stop telling people we had to do IVF (not sure why as neither DH or myself are embarrassed by this).
  DH & I conceived our DD via IVF/ICSI, DH, myself & my family have no issues with making it publicly known however my MIL is the opposite & thinks we shouldn't tell people because in her words "it's just too personal".

When MIL has been asked when DH & I will give her another grandchild she just tells them she doesn't know or we have chosen not to have more children rather rhan just saying that although we'd like more kids we unfortuantley are unable to conceive natually.  DH & I then get questions & 'helpful' advice from her friends when we see them about how much better it is for children to grow up with siblings. we have no issue telling the truth & then everything justs gets awkward & MIL has even upped DH for embarrassing her by telling people that DD is from IVF.

I find it so offensive that she has such an issue with it, especially since she & FIL tried 8 years for children before being told that adoption was their only option. They adopted BIL then very fortunatley went on to have 3 children naturally.

OP I think you need to talk to your DH & tell him that he needs to tell his Mum to back off.  I know it's hard but just ignore her advise.

#11 Romeo Void

Posted 13 January 2013 - 02:09 PM

QUOTE (Tesseract @ 13/01/2013, 11:17 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The donor/IVF stuff is a completely different kettle of fish. You and your DH need to be completely on the same page and present a united front. If you guys feel that your DH needs to tell his siblings then he should tell them, I can only imagine that the longer it goes on the more of a shock and a "big secret" it will be. This may be what MIL is wanting because it sounds like she doesn't want people to know DS was donor conceived because deep down she worries that this makes her not his "real" grandma. Her feelings need to be acknowledged and dealt with, but they must not be the deciding factor in how you two proceed. The idea of telling your siblings but not his is farcical, it will come out eventually and it is better it comes from you. His siblings will be devastated if they were kept in the dark about something your siblings knew, and the whole thing adds to this atmosphere of shame that is completely inappropriate and not what you guys want for your family.


I agree with this.  I think your MIL is not really thinking of the impact of the 'secret' stuff on your child, she's thinking of herself.  My DD is donor/donor conceived and I understand the desire to keep it quiet...but over riding that is the strong feeling having everything out in the open and how much easier it will be for her to live with it knowing it's just part of our shared family story.  I also agree with whoever suggested maybe MIL could benefit from some counseling.  Most clinics have counselors who are very well versed in donor issues, bet they could help.

#12 kidwrangler

Posted 13 January 2013 - 02:38 PM

It's strange how grandchildren arriving can really create strain with PILs, but the fact that your MIL already disrespects you to your DH with your 'nickname' shows that the problem might go a little deeper still.

Unfortunately, this can really come between your relationship if you are not careful. Your DH needs to realise that it is time to move on from being a little boy in his family, and become a father for his new family unit. His Mum is now extended family, and his priority needs to shift to you and bub.

He needs to demand respect for you, for both of your beliefs and find a way to continue to get along with his Mum. I know it might be hard, but he needs to have a long hard think about how to go about it and work on changing the way things are currently.

I understand MCNs, BLW, attachment parenting etc might seem 'hippy' to some older generations (not all fortunately), but it is pretty much mainstream these days. Times have changed and so have belief systems with that.

Perhaps, you just need to stop allowing her to have an opinion for the time being, by not getting into conversations about how your child is going to be raised. No chat, just if she needs to know (because she's offered to change a nappy etc) then tell her how it is done, not this is the option you have chosen IYKWIM? On the other hand, be open to accept her pov, as some people see change as being a criticism on the way they parented so they get a bit defensive about how they think it should be.

I am sorry your MIL is trying to attach secrecy and shame to your baby already in terms of the IVF and donor. If your DH is happy to share the info, then he needs to man up and do it. Secrets wreck and hurt families. All for the sake of one quick honest conversation. Again, it doesn't have to be a big drama. Just like your parenting choices, it is just the way it is.

Hug your bub, hug your DH, enjoy your hard fought for new family and hopefully find the way to gently let him see that he has a new role in life as your family's champion original.gif




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