Am I being too sensitive?

Avatar for queenie620
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Registered: 03-25-2003
Am I being too sensitive?
7
Mon, 04-21-2003 - 10:52pm
I apologize if this gets rediculously long. I didn't have the greatest Easter. It started out fine. We went to church with MIL and FIL, and had a nice meal prepared by MIL. MIL and FIL have a tendency to ask me the same question quite often: "So, what do you plan to do when you graduate?" and I give them the same answer every time: "Either work in a higher level position for my current company, or go to grad school." Then they say to me, "Well, if you're going to go to grad school you better do it NOW because it will be a lot more difficult if you do it later." I don't understand why they give me this unsolicited advice. This isn't the first time they have said this to me, and why would it be easier to be tens of thousands of dollars in debt NOW than it would be years from now when DH has a better job??? And why is this any of their business? If I go to grad school now I will HAVE to work to pay off the debt, so am I just not allowed to have children? I feel like that is what they are trying to say. Their daughter is going to be 29 and she is just now finishing her third year of college and she has a five year old and an eight year old, so why is that not a problem? I just don't get it.

So that whole conversation led to me sobbing and sobbing the entire car ride home. DH only made matters worse by telling me I was being illogical, and "they're just trying to help". Help with what? My schooling choices should be between me and DH. I wanted to wait to go to grad school AFTER I have children and when they beging school, so I can actually USE the degree I get without needing to put them in daycare. After A LOT of crying DH told me my plan is perfect, and if MIL and FIL don't like it, who cares? He told me I will be able to have everything I want and everything will work out perfectly. How perfect can everything be if MIL and FIL are constantly sticking their nose in our business, and telling me I'm doing things wrong?

In my heart I know that the only thing that truly should matter is how DH feels, regardless of what MIL and FIL think. But I just wish DH would say, "She won't be going to grad school right away because we're thinking of starting a family now, and it would be senseless for her to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a degree that couldn't be used right away." I know he doesn't want confrontation, but is this really too much to ask?

What do you think, ladies? Am I being too sensitive about this?

queenie

WTT #1 December 2003

Avatar for ammarahs_mom
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Registered: 03-25-2003
Tue, 04-22-2003 - 6:31am
Hey Queenie, I'm in a similar situation to you. I'm also WTT until December, and I'm finishing off college. I also get people (mostly my parents and friends) asking the same nosy questions. My inlaws live on the other side of the world so luckily they can't stick their noses in! lol. The thing that annoys me most is when my parents talk about all the things I can do when I finish college (career-wise) as though I'm never planning to have any more children. They tell me that I can do this and that because Ammarah will be a "big girl" by then and it won't affect her as much. It's like, hello, she might be a "big girl" by then, but if I have another child they're not going to be "big" for awhile. And then there are the people who say that I SHOULD do honors simply because my marks are high enough to qualify, even though I have absolutely no desire to do it because it's not necessary for my career area and frankly, I'd rather spend the year making money by working than raking up another several thousand dollars of debt. It's like saying that someone who is smart SHOULD go to Law school for that reason alone, when their interests may lie elsewhere and they may be unsuited to law school. When I tell people that I want more children they act really surprised, or they kind of poo-poo the idea like I'm being frivolous. I'm a married woman with one child already, what is so strange about the idea of having a second child? What, so my daughter is supposed to grow up a lonely only child and I'm supposed to leave my family unfinished?

So, as you can see, I can really relate to your situation (lol). Starting a family is a deeply personal decision and nobody should make it but you and your dh. Ignore the unsolicited advice of others. Perhaps you should mention that you'd like to have children. Perhaps the only reason why they're focusing on grad school and your career is because those are the only options you've mentioned so far. If you mention that you want to have children, they might butt out a little. And if they don't, you might want to find a tactful way of telling them that it is none of their business. Good luck!

Aisha WTT #2 December

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Registered: 03-19-2003
Tue, 04-22-2003 - 9:22am
I don't think you're being too sensitive! It's hard to have people telling you you're "wrong" even though they don't know the whole story--especially w/ in-laws. I bristled at my mil a bit on Easter b/c when DH was putting the kids in the car she said "I don't know if a third one is brave or crazy"--just a simple comment but it got me pretty fired up (internally, b/c externally I had a raging headache). I'm already pregnant, you know? And it's not like HER kids were angels! Anyway, I'm off track. If you really want to shut them up, tell them why you're planning to do what you're doing. They may honestly be looking at their daughter and seeing how hard she has it trying to be a parent and go to school, b/c it's not easy. Even when the kids are in school themselves, it's still tough and you feel guilty studying when you see so little of them. I've BTDT (except mine aren't in school yet). I stopped going to a "real" college to have babies and I wouldn't change a THING. I'm finishing up through an accredited distance program (for a "real" BS and a "real" BA) and the funny thing is that since we've decided to homeschool, finishing at a "real" school would have been a total waste of money. People questioned me, but that's them. I know it's tough, but stick to your guns. You know the rest of that speech, LOL. ((((HUGS))))

Sarah

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Avatar for pitzerja
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Registered: 03-25-2003
Tue, 04-22-2003 - 10:48am
Well, here are my 2 cents... I am a very sensitive person and take everything everyone says to heart. I am 32 years old and am just now learning to take other peoples advice, criticism, and opinions more lightly. You need to follow your heart and do what is right for you and your DH, not for his parents nor anyone else. I know how hard this is to do, but *try* to let there comments roll right on past you. They probably think they are being helpful even when they are driving you crazy. If you can, tell them what decisions you've made with regard to starting a family and school and your career. These things may or may not change, but that doesn't matter, they are your choices and you are entitled to them.

Sending you big hugs, I know how frustrating this can be!!!

JenP - WTT#2, Sept 2003

Avatar for natbie
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-22-2003 - 11:26am
Queenie~

Do your inlaws know you and dh are planning on starting a family soon? If not, maybe they *were* just trying to offer helpful advice? Believe me, I know how very frustrating unsolicited in-law opinions can be. About a year ago, I mentioned to MIL that I really wanted to have a baby, and she told me that it would *behoove* me to wait until dh is out of grad school because otherwise I would get stuck with all the work of the baby. I was fuming at the time. I was mad at dh for not telling her to butt out. I was mad at MIL for being so nosy and crossing the line between helpful and intrusive.... And was angry the whole car ride home and have literally spent the last year making sure that MIL knows we are planning on starting a family very soon. Dh has only just applied to schools, and he's 31, so we've decided that waiting until he's done with school isn't a viable option for us. He will be attending school part-time while staying at his current job and while I'm sure it will be difficult at times, I really feel like we'll be able to make it work. So, don't let your in-laws make you feel like you're doing something stupid or yr plan is bad. A lot of my cold feet before we ttc was spawned by MILs comments and my feeling that maybe she was right and I shouldn't be so darned impatient. Only I was impatient. And dh didn't want to wait. So...

Now, having said that, I do have to say that my MIL has taken some getting used to. Over the years, I've realized that she really does mean well and oftentimes has NO clue that she's being upsetting. I know she will be thrilled once we are finally pg. She really does think she's being helpful and sharing her wisdom on life and everything else. I *try* very hard to remember this when she says things like that, which happens often enough. As frustrating and upsetting as it can be, I know it's not deliberate and it's only one person's opinion.

Hang in there! HTH!

Natalie ttc#1

Avatar for jengill43
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-22-2003 - 12:56pm
Queenie, what is it about MILs??

My MIL sounds a lot like Natalie's -- makes comments that infuriate me but she really doesn't know she's being rude/nosy/pushy all at once and actually means well.

Natalie asks a valid question -- if your inlaws don't know of your children plans, or that you even want children, then you're being too hard on MIL. If they DO know ... well, that's another problem --

You & DH have to do what's right for you & DH.

My DH won't ever say anything to MIL either, mainly b/c he avoids confrontation -- that's likely all DH was doing. It sounds like your DH supports you & you guys have a plan that sounds right for you.

Like Sarah said, stick by your guns.

Jen

WTT #1 8/04

Avatar for jagraham323
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Registered: 03-25-2003
Tue, 04-22-2003 - 1:49pm
You're not being too sensitive. The other ladies gave you some great advice. There are always going to be people who don't see things the way you do, but when it comes to baby-making, the only opinions that matter are yours and DH's.

I'm sorry she ruined your holiday.

Hugs,

Jenny

Avatar for queenie620
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Registered: 03-25-2003
Tue, 04-22-2003 - 10:39pm
Thank you so much for your advice, Aisha. I'm so happy I'm not the only one going through this! Sometimes I feel like I am. I don't blame you for a wanting a second child (I want two as well), and I think it is great that your going to school too. Wouldn't it be great if family members would stop giving us unsolicited advice when me become adults! I don't think that should be too much to ask. I will just try to ignore MIL and FIL. I keep telling myself what DH says: "They mean well." Thank you again.

queenie