Thursday, October 13, 2011

Peace Offering - Help!

OK so I've been VERY good about not specifying family members but I can't dance around this one any more.  I will start that every family member- my sisters, my parents, my aunts/uncles, and cousins, as well as DH's family members at some point has said something that was hurtful.  My family I have been able to call them on it however because DH's family is (yet is not) my family I have not been able to be as direct.

Creating our family with the help of adoption is not the first time my mother-in-law has been uncomfortable or unable to relate to me.  When we got married she just didn't seem to get into it.  Our wedding was in a church but it wasn't "traditional" in terms of brides maids, showers, and big reception.  At the time I told myself she was distant and uninvolved because she didn't want to step on toes because she was the mother of the groom; though she proved me wrong when my brother-in-law got married (her youngest son).  I think its that she is uncomfortable with anything out of the norm.  I'm not sure if its because it makes her uncomfortable or she is worried about what she is going to have to say to others.  For our wedding I'm sure her family asked her questions about why only immediate family was invited and now with the adoption I assume she is asked questions as well (assumings she has told people).  I get it.  It was uncomfortable telling people we just couldn't extend our wedding invite list beyond immediate family and now with the adoption people have said lots of dumb things to me regarding how we are starting our family.  I am sure people have asked her about becoming a grandmother when both of her sons are now married (one of them for over 4 years).  I'm making assumptions.  Who knows but I've never asked her.

So this week I told DH that I was going to go shopping for nursery furniture with her.  In part because there is better shopping in their area since its near Boston but also because I hope its a way for us to get a chance to talk.  I want to tell her desperately that she hurt my feelings when she wasn't excited for our adoption news but rather told us to try fertility treatments.  I want to tell her that she continues to hurt my feelings when the topic of our adoptions transitions into a conversation about what her teenaged nephew has done wrong most recently (he is adopted).  I want to tell her that her lack of acknowledgment hurts.  I know if I dont' tell her now the hurt isn't going to stop and when my brother-in-law and his wife become pregnant and she showers them with excitement its going to hurt even more.  People say that when the baby arrives her feelings will change however it doesn't change the hurt.  I am going to need to teach my child how to love their grandmother.  If I dont love her how can I do that?

So this is where I ask for help- Anyone had this conversation?  How did it turn out?  Was it before/after baby arrived?  Did it help or hurt the situation?


  1. I've never had to have this conversation. Not because my MIL doesn't say hurtful things, but because I could say to her, "Hitler was the most evil man who ever lived" and she would say, "I don't know, he had a nice mustache." The point being, she would disagree with me about anything.

    You have to talk to her. Adoptive Families magazine may have some advice. If you haven't checked out their forums, you definitely should.

    BTW: I found you on the last OA Roundtable. I live in CA now, but we lived in NH for 6 years. We'd love to move back to New England. :)

  2. As you know my situation with my MIL... They were over for dinner last night and they havent seen V in over 2 months. That hurts! By talking to them and getting there skewed reasons of why they have not seen her (its our fault of course) it was nice just to get it on the table.

    I think by telling her your feelings you will feel better and hopefully she will understand!


  3. Thanks guys! This really isn't like me however I worry that her disappointment in our infertility will show in how she treats me and my baby. Kids are smart. My grandma (my dads mom) loved me but didn't care for my mother I finally asked my mom about it the other day how she managed to play nice even though it was clear she could never do right.

    @chittisterchildren thanks for following I can't wait for your little girl to arrive!!!