A mom writes in looking for advice: Despite loving her mother-in-law most of the time, an awkward situation has come up. The mother-in-law repeatedly makes comments about how the OP’s first child needs to be a boy that looks like the father. Is the OP reading too much into this, or is there a way for her to handle this situation?
Over on the Mamas Uncut Facebook page, our robust community of moms is always having a conversation about topics that matter. We like to highlight those conversations from time to time. Important mom questions. Thoughtful mom answers. Let’s hear from the community!
A member of the community asks:
Hey all! I’m kind of in an awkward and confusing situation.
My mother in law is a wonderful person, however… there are a lot of things we disagree on. That being said, I always try my best to be nice and just brush the little things to the side. BUT…. this is really bothering me.
My husband and I are actively trying to get pregnant, and whenever we talk about it, I get excited about baby names, if it’ll be boy or a girl, etc. Every time that topic arises, she always makes it known she’d like me to have a boy that looks like my husband and then I can have a girl after.
Honestly, I couldn’t care less about the gender as long as my baby is happy and healthy. She always says she hopes the babies look like him, which I will definitely not be mad about obviously lol, but I want my kids to look like me too in some way. I know it sounds so immature to be frustrated about, but the way she says it and forces it makes me feel like 1. I’ll disappoint her/them if I don’t have a boy first and 2. If the baby looks more like me, will they not be as loving towards them?
Is this just all in my head?– Mamas Uncut Community Member
Let’s see what the community had to say.
Ignore Her Comments
“She sounds rude and insensitive. Ignore her ignorance! Or, speak up and turn it around on her…’If the baby looks like me will you be disappointed?!'”
“Just ignore her. Nothing that she’s saying is within your control. People see kids differently. My family sees my kids like me and I see them like their daddy. I’m sure she will love her grandchild regardless.”
“Just don’t have the baby conversation in front of her. Doesn’t matter what gender or looks as long as healthy. Doesn’t matter what the in-law thinks or says. It’s your business.”
Call Her Bluff
“Ask her, “So if the baby is a girl who looks just like me, what will you do?” Or, sarcastically, “Well, if it’s a girl who looks like me should we just abort or drown her or throw her off a bridge?” Or maybe, “Do you know how insensitive that sounds?” MIL sounds like she’s got this phrase on a loop and probably doesn’t even know how awful she’s being. Disrupt the habit and make her think about her remarks & ask her to substitute some other comment for her go-to.”
“One day you may have a grown son that’s planning to have a child… you may hope the same things. Your child will look how he looks…. humor her. Treat her like you would treat your mom. You’ll understand her better one day.”
“Just tell her that the gender of the baby does not matter because you will love the baby so much and that you will love the baby no matter what it looks like. You care most that the baby is healthy and you know he or she will be greatly loved. I am sure she will agree with that.”
“Tell her the pressure doesn’t help you and stress can prevent a healthy pregnancy, so either stop the nonsense or you’ll have to keep away from her.”
In the End, It Won’t Matter
“Literally none of that is in your control and she’ll love her grandbaby no matter what.”
“I understand your frustration but it’s most likely out of her excitement of just wanting to carry on her family you know?”
Lots of good advice! There are many ways to handle this. We agree that, in the end, the mother-in-law will be thrilled with her grandchild, no matter if it’s a boy who looks exactly like his daddy or a girl who doesn’t. Her excitement is awkward and a little bit rude, but given that she is otherwise a good mother-in-law, something tells us she’ll be okay in the end.
Of course, you could also try having an honest conversation with her. Letting her know those comments make you uncomfortable is not a terrible idea, especially if you have the kind of relationship where you can speak your mind.
We wish you the best of luck, mama!
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