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The Infertile Frenemie: Your Mother-in-Law
a blog by Jenn Nixon, July 5, 2013
Mother-in-Laws are annoying when you’re infertile. Maybe yours isn’t and to that I say you are a lucky suck-up. I know very few women who actually adore their MIL, most of my friends find something irritating about the female who claims their significant-other as offspring.
My Mother-in-Law is the kind of MIL who likes to purposely make absurd comments so I will be as uncomfortable as possible. She actually told me that when my husband was a little boy, she knew by the size of his downtown friend that, “he would make a women very happy one day.”
WTF. Am I supposed to thank her?
After years of trying to procreate, my MIL constantly harasses me with:
“When are you going to make me a Grandmother?”
“All my friends have grandbabies, where is mine?”
She once dropped off a gift on our doorstep that contained baby items for a boy. We weren’t even pregnant!
MILs are an Infertiles greatest enemy. They have no filter and refuse to believe that the obstacle in baby-making has anything to do with their own child, the other half of the conception tango. My MIL actually suggested that our infertility had been caused by the three tattoos I had gotten when I was younger. According to her, the ink had seeped into my womb rendering me barren. Now obviously the fact that millions of inked women have become Mothers is neither here nor there to her.
When there was a possibility that gestational surrogacy might be our best option for success, my MIL offered to carry our baby for us. I didn’t want to crush her dreams but I was pretty sure a uterus was a vital necessity for this particular feat. She must have forgotten that the hysterectomy she had 5 years ago included the removal of her baby oven. Just a minor detail.
Many Infertiles I know, haven’t even shared their conception status with their Mother-in-Law. I cannot imagine how much worse it must be to have to deal with a woman who thinks you are purposely trying to keep her from realizing her lifelong dream of becoming a Grandmother. At least mine is aware of our fertility obstacles, not like that has kept her from toning down the crazy but I suppose she could be worse.
The one thing I have learned from my dealings with the MIL is to just ignore everything she says. No matter how absolutely absurd her suggestions, pleas, or pieces of advice may be, I just change the subject and reserve the right to laugh about it later. My husband needs me to keep the peace; otherwise he will have to face her wrath, so I remain neutral for his sake. It isn’t always easy to handle but I can assure you that making fun of her with my friends over margaritas is much more enjoyable than coming up with a snarky come-back to sting her with.
It doesn’t matter whether I am infertile, pregnant, or the Mother of her grandchild, my MIL will find a way to agitate me for the remainder of my days. I hope you have a nicer MIL than I do, if not, we should get together for happy hour.