Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“My Boyfriend’s Mother Won’t Quit Bugging Us About Marriage and Babies”

A letter from the forums:

I am pissed at my boyfriend’s mother. I have been with her son for over two years now and she is pushing hard for a grandbaby. It came up again yesterday on Facebook when I commented on a friend’s baby’s picture. The friend then asked when my boyfriend and I would be having a baby (which rubbed me the wrong way as it is no one’s business). I made a joke about my dog being my baby and laughed it off because I’m not the type to rant on someone else’s wall about what is a seemingly innocent question. But then my boyfriend’s mom commented.

Basic summary of comment: “You guys are my only hope. Tim and Jane (my boyfriend’s brother and sis-in-law who are both over thirty and are doctors) are only worried about their careers!”

My blood boils — boils! — when I read this. To make it clear, I went to university for four years and then right into a two-year master’s program. I got a job the day my classes finished. But my career is basically meaningless to them. Mind you, this is only one incident, but my boyfriend’s mom and dad both have a long history of badgering me for marriage and babies, neither of which their son nor I are ready for. They have also implied many times that they expect me to stop working if I have a baby. They have also said that my boyfriend and I can easily move to the super secluded area they live in because my boyfriend would easily get a job there. Um, hello? What about me? I need to live in at least a small city to do what I do.

I am only 25. I don’t even want to get married before 30, let alone become a mother. I’m still torn about if I even really want to be one! I have tried everything with this woman to get her to stop bugging me — jokes, making clear statements that I am not getting married before 30, ignoring the comments, and changing the topic. My boyfriend has spoken to his parents about this. But they just won’t stop bringing it up.

How can I get them to butt out and stop making these off-hand comments that my career is worthless? — Get Out of my Uterus!

You’ve said it yourself — you’ve tried everything with this woman, from ignoring her to making jokes to explicitly stating your plan to WAIT to get married and have kids. Obviously, your boyfriend’s mother has an agenda and she’s not going to let YOU stop her from getting what she wants: grandbabies, grandbabies, GRANDBABIES! It would be nice to think that eventually your boyfriend’s mother will feel as hopeless about you making her a grandmother as she feels about her doctor daughter-in-law, but you can’t count on that for sure, and probably not for a couple more years anyway. So, since you can’t change HER, you have to change yourself.

Quit letting her get you so worked up. Who cares if she doesn’t respect you as a career woman? Does it make your career less meaningful? Does it make your earning power less? Do you feel less motivated to work? No! Her dumb comments have no bearing on your career, and they only affect you personally because you let them. So, stop.

How do you stop? Well, here are some things I do to deal with the people who make comments or behave in a way that annoys the shit out of me: I enjoy some wine when I’m around them; I vent about them/ make fun of them behind their backs with people who don’t know them; I limit my time with them; I hide them on social media; I block them from commenting on DW; and, finally, I humor them. If I were you and I wanted to humor your boyfriend’s mother, I’d probably start sending her wallet-size photos of your dog, along with links to wishlists on Amazon or a favorite pet store for the dog’s birthday or special occasions. On Grandparents Day (coming up!), I’d send her a card from the dog (complete with a doggy paw print signature). I might even make a Facebook page for the dog (but only friend “Grandma”) and start sending messages and making comments on “Grandma’s” page in the voice of the dog.

If your boyfriend’s mother is going to go ape-shit over the idea of being a grandmother, then go ape-shit on her right back. Annoyance isn’t a one-way street in France. It goes two ways and it runs from your house all the way to her house. So, hit the road, and give “Grandma” a taste of her annoying medicine.

141 comments… add one
  • avatar

    thatgirl August 28, 2013, 3:07 pm

    “Annoyance isn’t a one-way street in France”

    My new favorite mantra!!!

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  • avatar

    lets_be_honest August 28, 2013, 3:10 pm

    Haha, great advice. I said on the forums that I never understood why people get soooo offended over this. Love this advice!

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    • avatar

      Anon August 28, 2013, 3:28 pm

      I’ve never been offended by this, but I did have a rather awful experience once. I was having dinner with my mother and some friends of hers from out of town that I’d never met. My mother started going on and on about how much she wants to be a Grandma, and her friend looked at me and said “So, when is it going to happen? When are you going to have a baby?” It really caught me off guard and upset me, because I had just found out that I was (unexpectedly) pregnant, I was terrified, and my partner and I had not yet decided if we were going to continue the pregnancy.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 28, 2013, 3:40 pm

        Oh wow, yea, that’s an awful experience!

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    • avatar

      kerrycontrary August 28, 2013, 3:44 pm

      I just think it’s rude, and you’re allowed to be offended over something rude. But it’s probably not something to dwell on because that’s a waste of time and energy. So you just have to recognize that the person is being rude and uncouth, and then figure out how to handle their behavior.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 28, 2013, 4:03 pm

        I just view this as being harmless and they mean no harm. Some people think its cute even. Sure, its annoying, but to get actually angry? Yea, that’s a waste and so is being really nasty back to someone who had no intention of being nasty to you.
        I told the LW on the forum that I’ve been getting asked about marriage daily for years now. Sometimes it can be annoying, but usually its not. Its just what people do/ask.

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      • Miss MJ

        Miss MJ August 28, 2013, 4:14 pm

        Once or twice, okay, fine. But what this woman is doing is absolutely rude. Same as anyone who keeps on badgering someone about something that they are or are not doing is being rude. It’s really not this woman’s business when the LW is going to create a human life. And the LW’s timetable for making major life decisions has exactly nothing to do with what the LW’s BF’s mother wants, either. What if instead of babies, the mother was asking the LW and her BF in all seriousness when they were going to buy a fabulous beach house so that she could quit her job and go live with them because her dream is to live on the shore? That’s not exactly the same thing, but it’s kind of close in the sense that it’s an “I want something in my life, so when are you going to give it to me because what I want is all that matters here” kind of thing. And I’m totally biased, being in the “no kids” camp and having to deal with it all the time, but seriously, people, asking other people when they’re going to have kids and/or demanding that they give you grandchildren or nieces or nephews is rude. Please stop. It’s none of your business. And, if you’re asking the same person repeatedly, then you’re being an annoyance at best and an asshole at worst.

        LW, stop being polite. Next time, tell her bluntly “Not any time soon, but I promise we will be sure to let you know when and if it happens. There’s no need to keep asking.”

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 28, 2013, 4:25 pm

        I guess, obviously, this just isn’t something that bugs me at all. And I know, all problems big or small are still problems, but really if this is your biggest issue with your MIL, I think you’re lucky. We’ve all heard the horror stories. So she wants grandkids. Big deal. She’s a lonely old lady. Smile it off (easier said than done!).

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      • avatar

        BreezyAM August 28, 2013, 5:51 pm

        But most people DO have kids. Yes some don’t, and when and whether is a personal choice. But most folks do in fact have kids, eventually, for better or worse. Most folks don’t buy a beach house.

        FTR I would ignore the woman utterly and entirely every time it came up. No reaction at all, as if she said exactly nothing since nothing has worked so far.

        I’m surprised boyfriend hasn’t blown up. Most guys I know get really PISSY when ANYONE advances their relationship further along than they personally are advancing it.

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      • katie

        katie August 28, 2013, 5:52 pm

        well most people are also straight, but that doesnt mean that making comments about gay people becoming straight are ok.

        thats terrible logic.

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      • avatar

        MMcG August 28, 2013, 6:32 pm

        Yeah I’m surprised the bf hasnt flipped I mean he hasnt even proposed yet. might not even want to… and his mom is skipping to like step 10 in their relationship.

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      • Miss MJ

        Miss MJ August 28, 2013, 6:37 pm

        Well, I said the beach house was not the most perfect example, but, the point was that the mother pressuring her son’s GF to have kids just because she wants a grandchild is fairly self-involved.

        And, really thinking it’s acceptable to ask people about something incredibly personal because “most people” do it isn’t probably the best way to go about things. That said, everyone does do it, but most people don’t badger people about it. It’s the badgering that is the real problem, although I’d never ask someone about when they plan to have kids.

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      • avatar

        Shandra August 28, 2013, 9:48 pm

        As someone who went through twelve pregnancies over 9 years to have 2 kids it is really rude. You _do not know_ what people are dealing with. I really hated it when people were kidding me about having kids when I was dealing with infertility.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 29, 2013, 9:24 am

        That’s a really good point, and I’m sorry you had to deal with that.

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    • Kate B.

      Kate B. August 28, 2013, 5:17 pm

      I get offended about it because it’s nobody’s business. I had to get my tubes tied to get my mother to stop. (Not the only reason, but a nice side effect.)

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  • avatar

    bethany August 28, 2013, 3:12 pm

    This is amazing:
    If your boyfriend’s mother is going to go ape-shit over the idea of being a grandmother, then go ape-shit on her right back. Annoyance isn’t a one-way street in France. It goes two ways and it runs from your house all the way to her house. So, hit the road, and give “Grandma” a taste of her annoying medicine.

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    • avatar

      MMcG August 28, 2013, 6:19 pm

      I commented on the forums and thought I had come up with some snarky comebacks… but this is why Wendy is a pro!

      And the more I’ve thought about this the more I think its different and so much worse than badgering about moving or marriage, which $ notwithstanding can happen to anyone (except homosexuals but that’s improving)… this is about a woman’s reproductive system and no one knows about a person’s medical history or if they can have kids. What if the “annoying” comments are being said to someone who is infertile, or has been raped/molested and aborted a child, or whose family has serious genetic abnormalities that they don’t want passed on, etc etc. I mean no woman should have to reveal those kinds of details to her bf’s mother (not even family yet!) and they shouldn’t have to put up with it either. this is why people should keep their mouths shut because you have no idea what background or experience is.

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  • Paki

    Paki August 28, 2013, 3:13 pm

    When I am ever asked that, by anyone, doesn’t matter who – I say, well not yet, but we sure are having fun practicing. That usually ends it right there.

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    • Diablo

      Diablo August 28, 2013, 3:19 pm

      This lady might start giving you advice on how to do it.

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      • Kate B.

        Kate B. August 28, 2013, 5:15 pm

        A co-worker’s MIL did that. She said they must be doing it wrong since it wasn’t working. Hopefully she didn’t provide visual aids.

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      • Miss MJ

        Miss MJ August 28, 2013, 5:18 pm

        My grandmother used to send ridiculously sexy lingerie to my aunt (her daughter-in-law) as “hints” that she wanted grandchildren ASAP.

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      • kare

        kare August 29, 2013, 11:00 am

        That’s horrifying.

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  • avatar

    FancyPants August 28, 2013, 3:21 pm

    My mother in law does this. My personal way of dealing with it is hiding everything on social networking, deleting emails that annoy me without responding, and when we’re together, just flat out ignoring her if she brings it up. She feels uncomfortable and senses that she’s being frozen out, so she has started dialling it back. I haven’t outright insulted her, I just refuse to be forced into conversations I’ve already expressed that I don’t care to be part off. She can talk about it to herself all she wants.

    I think the key here is whether your boyfriend is on the same page. When my MIL brings this stuff up around my husband, he politely but firmly reiterates that he feels this is a two person conversation and she is not one of those people. He supports my way of dealing with it. If your boyfriend doesn’t support you and stand up to her you should probably think hard about that.

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    • avatar

      Christy August 29, 2013, 8:45 am

      Yup, this is the way I would handle it too.

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    • avatar

      zombeyonce August 29, 2013, 11:23 am

      To me, this is a much more mature way of handling it than trying to win by out-annoying her. I hope Wendy was joking about the Facebook for the dog thing, because that sounds like a terrible idea.

      Your way seems not just more mature, but more effective. I would never want to be super annoying out of spite, as it seems like a waste of time and a way to make you look immature and pretty bad in front of not only your potential future in-laws, but also your boyfriend.

      All your solutions are great, and I would add one more (that your partner needs to be on board with): tell her that you aren’t going to have this conversation any more and if she tried to have it again when you’re around, leave after reminding her you aren’t interested in that topic. After a few times (or maybe just once), she should really start to tone it down.

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  • iwannatalktosampson

    iwannatalktosampson August 28, 2013, 3:21 pm

    I feel like we’ve answered this question so many times on DW. Just get over it. Do what you can. We’ve come up with a thousand witty comebacks including suggesting the mother in law witness you practicing. People really do love to create problems. Get a hobby.

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest August 28, 2013, 3:25 pm

      wIs. This is exactly how I feel.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson August 28, 2013, 3:28 pm

        Have you really gotten so lazy that I’m now just I? No longer IWTTS. I’m insulted.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 28, 2013, 3:43 pm

        Whatever.

        wFYs

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray August 28, 2013, 3:48 pm

        haha FY

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson August 28, 2013, 4:04 pm

        I hated that skank.

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      • avatar

        Trixy Minx August 28, 2013, 4:44 pm

        Wait who is fy?

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 28, 2013, 4:46 pm

        forever young, iwanna’s old name on here.

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      • Classic

        Classic August 28, 2013, 10:15 pm

        She used to be grayscale, like me. Now she is like a colorful sunset.

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  • avatar

    Addie Pray August 28, 2013, 3:22 pm

    I want to know more about whom Wendy has blocked from DW!

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    • theattack

      theattack August 28, 2013, 3:24 pm

      She blocked me for a month once.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 28, 2013, 3:25 pm

        NO WAY!! Tell the story!

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      • theattack

        theattack August 28, 2013, 3:49 pm

        It was back last February ish where there was a discussion about 80s babies and baby boomers. I don’t remember what happened exactly, but I said something in a careless way that I guess upset Wendy. I really don’t remember what it was at all. But I apologized and begged for her to let me back in, and she eventually did. I’ve tried to be nicer since then.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray August 28, 2013, 3:53 pm

        oh the 80s babies discussions were fun (for me, as a 70s baby) … to date, i think 80s babies and weddings have been the only topics that get us REALLY riled up.

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      • Diablo

        Diablo August 28, 2013, 4:06 pm

        This makes me paranoid. If someone as sweet and supportive as you can be blocked, how can BGM and me still be here? For token gender balance?

        I did once apologize privately to Wendy for being an a-hole in the forums. I think she cuts me slack because I’m a fellow ginger.

        If you don’t hear from me for the next month, you’ll know what happened.

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      • theattack

        theattack August 28, 2013, 4:34 pm

        Aww, thanks! Today I’m getting a compliment for being supportive, which gives a nice balance to almost being punched by a client yesterday for being supportive.

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      • Diablo

        Diablo August 28, 2013, 4:54 pm

        Maybe Wendy felt like punching you for being supportive.

        Anyway, can Wendy just block anybody she feels like? She acts like she owns the site.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray August 28, 2013, 6:22 pm

        haha, silly wendy.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark August 28, 2013, 6:33 pm

        Um, because we both never resort to name-calling personal attacks…

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      • Diablo

        Diablo August 28, 2013, 6:46 pm

        I often attack myself. But then, I did get nailed for narcissism on that test.

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      • theattack

        the attack August 28, 2013, 8:51 pm

        Yeah, I don’t either, BGM, but nice try.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl August 29, 2013, 8:21 am

        There are people who have name-called/personally attacked and weren’t blocked, just saying.

        FTR I’m taking a voluntary break from commenting.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 29, 2013, 9:23 am

        Boo!

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      • avatar

        jlyfsh August 29, 2013, 10:33 am

        You’re right there are a few commenters that have made personal attacks and called people names and are still commenting. More often than not it is the tone and content of a comment that stings more. I mean it takes little effort to call each other names, right? Throwing an ‘asshole’ or you’re acting like a ‘bitch’ is easy. Actually offending someone is harder. There are a few commenters who manage to do that. And it almost seem like they kind of enjoy it or at least it seems that way in their tone. Or perhaps that’s just their personality. But, they too are still commenting.

        The great thing is we’re all adults and we take breaks when we need to. There were a few people who felt the need to take a break earlier in the year after a thread about the Asian themed party forum where certain people actually couldn’t fathom why it would be offensive.

        And ftr I wasn’t blocked either. DW just became not a fun place to go for me.

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      • Dear Wendy

        Wendy August 29, 2013, 12:24 pm

        Yes, when people feel attacked here, they can take a break. Except me. I can’t — at least not for too long before I risk losing what I’ve built here. So the number one way people can get blocked is by attacking or offending ME. That’s not to say I don’t block people for other reasons, but I take into account people’s overall contribution before I block them from commenting.

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      • avatar

        jlyfsh August 29, 2013, 12:31 pm

        Sorry Wendy I wasn’t commenting on your policy! I realize now it might have come across that way.

        I think it’s easy to feel attacked when you’re in a setting that you feel ‘comfortable’ in and sometimes we just need to remember to walk away. I’m sorry you can’t but glad you keep posting even when dealing with the crazies! 🙂

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      • avatar

        kerrycontrary August 28, 2013, 3:27 pm

        omgz really? What happened!

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray August 28, 2013, 3:50 pm

        i remember. see, theattack said everyone should stop drinking red wine and start drinking white wine. blasphemy.

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      • avatar

        ktfran August 28, 2013, 4:31 pm

        so, am i ok because i drank rose last night? It wasn’t white….

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      • theattack

        theattack August 28, 2013, 4:36 pm

        NOPE! NOT OKAY, KTFRAN!!

        (just kidding, I hate white wine. Red and rose are awesome)

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle August 28, 2013, 3:34 pm

        Oh wait, do I vaguely remember this?? I forget why, though.

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      • Dear Wendy

        Wendy August 28, 2013, 3:37 pm

        I don’t think it was a month. Maybe a few days?

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      • theattack

        theattack August 28, 2013, 3:50 pm

        Oh believe me, it was a full month! Longest month of my life. haha

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray August 28, 2013, 4:00 pm

        i bet. i would die. frankly, after what i pulled last week, i think my days in time out are overdue.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray August 28, 2013, 3:47 pm

        Sometimes she tells me to “slow down I’m commenting too quickly” (paraphrasing)…. Ha. You guys ever get that message or am I the only one who tries to leave multiple comments right away?

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      • avatar

        bethany August 28, 2013, 3:51 pm

        Hahaha!!! You’re like a child 🙂

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray August 28, 2013, 3:55 pm

        i know you are but what am i

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray August 28, 2013, 4:05 pm

        that reminds me, when you guys were little did you do that joke thing where you mummbled on your breath, really quickly “homos say what,” so that people could not hear what you said and would ask “what?” and then you would say, “HAHA, YOU’RE A HOMO, YOU SAID ‘WHAT’!”? <— I remember that was all the rage on the play ground in elementary school. Pretty sure no one knew what "homo" meant. Also, kids are just dumb.

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      • Diablo

        Diablo August 28, 2013, 4:07 pm

        That’s right up there with “I just made you say underwear.”

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      • othy

        othy August 28, 2013, 4:30 pm

        Yes, but “I just made you say underwear” was immortalized in song by the Barenakedladies. Beat that, “homos say what” 🙂

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      • Diablo

        Diablo August 28, 2013, 4:58 pm

        BTW, we Canadians disclaim responsibility for that damn band. It’s hard enough living down Justin Effing Bieber.

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      • avatar

        MissDre August 28, 2013, 5:32 pm

        I wish he’d jump off a cliff.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle August 28, 2013, 4:12 pm

        I have no recollection of this, but I do remember “Are you PT?” & you could only say yes or no, without asking what it was. The catch or “joke” or whatever was that you were fucked either way, because if you said “yes”, the asker would be all, “YOU’RE A PREGNANT TEEN, WHATTTT” & if you said no, they’d be like, “EWWWW, YOU’RE NOT POTTY TRAINED??”

        Wtf, children!!

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  • avatar

    mirage14 August 28, 2013, 3:23 pm

    This is why I refuse to have the “adults” in my family – aunts, uncles, parents, etc – as friends on Facebook. It takes interfering with your life to a whole new level. I actually unfriended an aunt after I found out she was telling my mother things about my ex and myself – nothing bad, but my mom would know things that I knew I hadn’t told her, and it turns out my aunt was basically stalking my FB page and telling my mother things that were being said back and forth about group plans, conversations, etc.

    It sounds like this woman is overly involved in her children’s lives and probably experiencing empty nest to some degree. The best thing you can do really at this point is to ignore the comments, as hard as that may be, and either hide or delete her from social media if you feel comfortable doing that.

    Live your life the way you want – its no one’s decision except you and your boyfriend’s if you want to get married or even want to consider having children. It is really hard to block out family opinions, especially when said family is so in your face about it. If and when you and your boyfriend decide marriage is right for the both of you, I think its a time to sit down and decide right from that moment how involved you would like your families to be involved in the wedding process and how much information either of you is comfortable with spilling about family plans, etc. From that point on, you two really have to be a united front and it may take your boyfriend having a really serious conversation with his mother to chill on the baby topic.

    On the flip side, you can’t fault this woman for wanting to have grandkids. She sees her chance from your boyfriend’s older sibling slipping away, in her eyes, and she’s probably frantically trying to reorganize her dream of grandchildren and placing the pressure on you and your boyfriend. I doubt she realizes how much it bothers you and how her comments about you staying home insults you, but I also doubt she sees that as an insult. I’m a few years older than you, and I have plenty of friends who’s mothers were stay at home – I think we are hitting the tail end of the “Stay at home mom” generation being so widespread, but you that thought process of “mom stays home with kids” is still very ingrained in many cultures and there’s nothing wrong with it, but it also shouldn’t be pushed on you either.

    Ultimately I think you should continue to have your boyfriend to explain to his mother how it makes you feel, but make sure its done respectfully. If she is your future mother in law, you don’t want the situation now to create a negative relationship down the road. She needs to respect your opinions and choices but you also need to respect her opinions and choices. In the end, if taking a respectful route doesn’t change the situation, you may have to really take a look at your relationship and if you know your boyfriend is going to be in your life long term and you both seriously see marriage in the future, something more drastic may need to happen to get his mom to back off.

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    • avatar

      kerrycontrary August 28, 2013, 3:28 pm

      “This is why I refuse to have the “adults” in my family – aunts, uncles, parents, etc – as friends on Facebook. ” YESSS. For those with overly nosy family members, or mothers prone to bouts of anxiety, this is a must. I am friends with my siblings on facebook but I won’t be friends with anyone else from my family. I know if I posted a status that said “when it rains it pours” my mother would immediately call me and be convinced I was going to commit suicide (not exaggerating even though I’ve had no history or depression). She just can’t be privy to every part of my life.

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      • avatar

        mirage14 August 28, 2013, 3:33 pm

        exactly! I have tight privacy settings on my Facebook to begin with and what I don’t need is someone seeing an offhanded, sarcastic comment and calling my parents saying I’m depressed or something. Older generations don’t really understand a lot of the finer points of social media to begin with, and having them on Facebook or other sites can just go really badly.

        Way back in the days of MySpace, I had written a blog post after a relative died. My super nosy parents – I was in college btw, so its not like I was 15 and they needed to be checking my internet activity – somehow came across the MySpace page and blog and it was like the biggest blow up of all time because I had used the blog to vent about the death and some other things. I learned my lesson after that and any social media page I have has high privacy settings now.

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        kerrycontrary August 28, 2013, 3:39 pm

        I agree that older generations may not understand the finer points of social media. I bet the mother’s comment on the picture was partly due to that. Sometimes I find that older people can over-share on facebook, or they write overly sentimental things, or they over-express themselves. So you could say something lighthearted like “I’m excited to get married” and they comment “Jan, i can’t wait to see the day you get married you have grown into a beautiful young woman. I remember changing your diapers and cleaning up your spit up, now you are all grown up”. Which is sweet…but awkward for you and your 300 facebook friends to see.

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      • othy

        othy August 28, 2013, 4:32 pm

        My aunt started going into great detail about why she couldn’t run after having kids. Awkwardest public Facebook conversation ever.

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      • avatar

        HmC August 28, 2013, 7:01 pm

        My dad writes email letters to people on their FB walls and then ends with his name, as if that’s not obvious.

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        BreezyAM August 28, 2013, 5:59 pm

        I friend them but I put them on severely restricted, and they only see what I post publicly and photos because otherwise they get into ridiculous fights with my lefty progressive friends and then get pissed I don’t defend them or tell my friend off or unfriend them. I’m like excuse you, you’re the asshat who jumped into the conversation. So I just prohibit it now from even happening.

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    • avatar

      HmC August 28, 2013, 6:58 pm

      I feel where you’re coming from mirage, but I have to say I don’t think looking at information you voluntarily put ON THE INTERNET is stalking. If you don’t want basically the entire world to know something, don’t put it on facebook. I mean seriously, what is the upside? Why does the internet need to know so much about you? I feel like a lot of people now live in this world where if it’s not online it’s like it didn’t happen, and I totally do not get that (not saying that’s what you believe, just ranting against that in general). If I don’t want my boss, mother, and future children to know something, I don’t voluntarily splash it up on the internet period. Then I don’t have to bother with any unfriending/blocking/restricting nonsense at all and my online profiles are drama free. Simple.

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  • avatar

    bethany August 28, 2013, 3:30 pm

    The other weekend my Aunt told me (in all seriousness) that if I put my cat down, I’d have more money to support a baby.

    I had no words, so I just looked at her and walked out of the room.

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    • iwannatalktosampson

      iwannatalktosampson August 28, 2013, 3:31 pm

      That’s awesome. You should have told her if you put her down you might have some inheritance to support a baby too.

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      • avatar

        MissDre August 28, 2013, 3:38 pm

        Agree with IWTTS. Anybody who talks shit about my cats are NOT my friends.

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      • becboo84

        BecBoo84 August 28, 2013, 4:19 pm

        Best comeback ever!

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        ktfran August 28, 2013, 4:32 pm

        oh my god. that’s awesome.

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    • bittergaymark

      bittergaymark August 28, 2013, 6:35 pm

      AND your place would be hairball free to boot!! 😉

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      • avatar

        bethany August 29, 2013, 9:24 am

        And Flea Free at the moment, too. Uugh. These fleas are DRIVING ME CRAZY!

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    • avatar

      MMcG August 28, 2013, 6:56 pm

      @bethany. “Thats so sweet your worried about my future and financial situation. You can make your contribution to bethanys savings account. I take cash, money orders or paypal direct.”

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      • avatar

        bethany August 29, 2013, 9:24 am

        She’s hard core Catholic and thinks that if I want it badly enough, God will provide for me. Uugh.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 29, 2013, 9:26 am

        You obviously don’t want money that much. All it really takes for me to earn a good living is to pray. I just sit at church and pray, pray, pray and then BAM, I get to my car and its filled with cash!

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      • avatar

        bethany August 29, 2013, 9:47 am

        Yeah, I keep watering the money tree in the back yard, but it won’t grow! 🙁

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    kerrycontrary August 28, 2013, 3:31 pm

    As a practical solution, you can make the privacy settings for your boyfriend’s mother strict so she can’t see your comments. Or you could unfriend her and tell her exactly why you did it. The point is that you can’t change people just because you want them to act differently (and I totally agree her behavior is inappropriate). So you just need to accept her the way she is and start having fun with it. The good news is that the woman has good intentions. She likes you, she wants you with her son in the longterm, and she even likes both of you so much that she wants you near by. So try to focus on how much she clearly cares for her son and you, even if she’s going about it in a really obnoxious way.

    I totally get annoyed with the “why can’t you move home” questions as well. But I just say ‘there’s no jobs’ and end the conversation there.

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest August 28, 2013, 3:51 pm

      My siblings have tried that reply. My reply is that’s ok! Live here for freeee! They never do. Kerry, will you move home and live with me? My siblings won’t because “[i’m] annoying” apparently 🙁

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      • avatar

        kerrycontrary August 28, 2013, 4:05 pm

        If you pay my student loan bills and give me food I will!!!

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 28, 2013, 4:28 pm

        See, why can’t my sister be more like you? Come on over! Peter is setting up the guest room right now! What do you want for dinner?

        (wow, I’m so going to be this MIL)

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    • avatar

      Christy August 29, 2013, 8:51 am

      Kerry, I live 45 minutes from my parents (and like 20 minutes from my dad’s work) and they’re convinced I live on the other side of the world.

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    • avatar

      temperance August 30, 2013, 12:41 am

      Ugh. So I’ve used that response (and it’s TRUE) and my mother, who still says websites are “double-u, double-u dot” somehow manages to find shitty jobs that are kind of in my field to prove that I just don’t want to be near her.

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark August 28, 2013, 3:34 pm

    If THIS makes your blood boil, it must have a boiling point of room temperature…

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  • avatar

    Lucy August 28, 2013, 3:38 pm

    A couple ideas I have used with people like this:

    Add your bf’s mom to “Restricted” on FB: defriending without the drama.

    When she brings it up in person, just look at her without responding. Don’t argue with her, or remind her you’ve asked her not to bring it up, or change the subject. Just let her incredibly inappropriate words hang in the air until she squirms. This works best if your boyfriend plays along.

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  • Fabelle

    Fabelle August 28, 2013, 3:39 pm

    hahahaha, WWS. I loved this.

    To add— it helps to sort of detach sometimes, & see the absurdity? Instead of FEELING everything when your sort-of-MIL makes these comments, & then rolling around in that anger, try to float above it? And laugh? Because come on, if that whole Facebook exchange was posted on STFUannoyingMILs.com, you’d laugh 😉

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest August 28, 2013, 3:59 pm

      Is that a real website?

      Reply Link
      • Fabelle

        Fabelle August 28, 2013, 4:03 pm

        Nope, haha. I made it up. But it should be!

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 28, 2013, 4:32 pm

        My bf’s mom texted me last night, after I told her I got home from work late and was super busy, to remember to bring his suit to the dry cleaners and remind him to get a haircut. (does she not have his #?) He though it was funny that I was ticked. Now he’s been texting me all day messages like this: hunny, you forgot to lay out my socks.
        darling, i found the socks all by myself, but you clearly forgot to iron them. haha.

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      • avatar

        MMcG August 28, 2013, 6:27 pm

        You’re so much nicer and tolerant than I am!
        Shit like that text would be like nails on a chalkboard…

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 28, 2013, 4:35 pm

        Oh, did you see the tweetings entitled “nsa pick up lines?” Hilarious!

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      • avatar

        MMcG August 28, 2013, 6:25 pm

        Seriously that needs to be a website… I know there are similar ones but lets get that going!

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  • avatar

    j2 August 28, 2013, 3:46 pm

    She could suggest that his mother do IVF for “Tim and Jane” and then she could bear her OWN grandkid. They are both doctors, after all ….

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  • avatar

    Leslie August 28, 2013, 3:53 pm

    WWS! My mother AND my boyfriend’s mom make comments about us having children all the time! I learned that I can’t control what they want, think or say but I can control how I react to it. Basically I just let it roll off of my back. Don’t expect to change your feelings overnight but just keep working on it. Each time she says something, remember that you’re ok. Your choice is what’s important to YOU and your boyfriend. You can do it.

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  • avatar

    TortoiseBear August 28, 2013, 4:09 pm

    Ugh the whole “when are you having babies???” issue: why are people so nosy? Seriously, why.

    LW, just start responding that whenever you and your BF decide to start having unprotected sex, you’ll be sure to let her know.

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  • mylaray

    mylaray August 28, 2013, 4:33 pm

    While I agree it’s incredibly rude for someone to ask when you’re having kids and badgering you for it, I think being annoying right back is a little too immature. While it certainly may be entertaining to do those things, I think the first time it happens, there should be a firm conversation on why saying those things are rude and unwanted, and that that discussion will no longer be tolerated, and if it happens again, ignore, ignore, ignore. And kill people with kindness. I don’t think it’s worth all the negative energy in getting riled up about it. Just distance and remove people like that as much as possible.

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    • avatar

      Zepp August 29, 2013, 7:52 am

      I think a firm conversation telling the mother she is “rude” and her comments “will no longer be tolerated” is a WHOLE lot more negative than the joking dog-grandchildren stuff. That’s super negative energy right there, as possessed to playfully making a point.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 29, 2013, 9:22 am

        Totally agree with this.

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  • TaraMonster

    TaraMonster August 28, 2013, 3:36 pm

    I dunno, I get the impression here that while the LW finds the comments annoying, what she’s primarily bothered by is the implication that her career is worthless and that’s why it’s all on her to have the babies, (because obviously someone with an unimportant career can just can all that work and stay home popping out kids so grandma can buy cute onesies).

    And that would royally piss me off if I were in her shoes. Wendy’s advice stands, though. Because you really can’t change another person’s behavior. You just have to learn to roll with it (or in this case, annoy her back, which is a FANTASTIC idea!). I’ve complained on here a few times about a friend of mine who is incredibly negative on FB and also makes inappropriate comments in real life all the time. She once told me she didn’t agree with my “lifestyle” and when I pushed her to clarify, it turns out my “lifestyle” was living in Manhattan in a schmancy apartment with my *gasp* black (now ex) boyfriend. FOR REAL! I’m rarely shocked into silence, but I had nothing. And this was at our annual Christmas gathering with my friends from childhood. Later, a few of my friends said they were surprised I didn’t slap her. Well. That’s not the worst thing she’s said to me in the 20+ years we’ve been friends and slapping people at Christmas isn’t cool, even if they’re being a dick.

    A couple of weeks ago, I got to my breaking point. I hid her on FB (and her bratty little sister too). And I don’t regret it. Though I kind of wish I’d had the brilliant idea to send her NYC postcards with pictures of me and my ex all over them to flaunt my “lifestyle” in her face. Lol.

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    • avatar

      kerrycontrary August 28, 2013, 3:40 pm

      Why would you be friends with someone like that for 20 yrs? Or has just recently become a royal bitch?

      Reply Link
      • TaraMonster

        TaraMonster August 28, 2013, 4:10 pm

        I’ve been friends with her since I was 8 years old, her family built me a room in their basement when I was technically homeless, fed me, took me on vacation with them when I was a kid. Her mother was dying of cancer at the time, and on and on. I grew up with her, and yes she’s always been a bitch. This particular time she was just way more obvious about it. And it was the beginning of me phasing her out of my life.

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    • avatar

      MissDre August 28, 2013, 3:43 pm

      I feel you on that one. My aunt made a nasty comment once about how she’d just DIE if her daughter married a black man because she doesn’t want Zebras for grandchildren. I don’t speak to my aunt at all but sometimes I think it would be fun in the future to send her an announcement when I do have a baby, with a picture of my own beautiful little “zebra”.

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      • othy

        othy August 28, 2013, 4:37 pm

        Makes my grandma-in-laws seem downright sane. When Mr. Othy’s cousin married a black man, Grandma was looking at pictures of him and his family and said “He’s not that dark, he must have a little white in him somewhere”. Queue the nodding from everyone in the room over the age of 50 and the cringing from everyone under the age of 50 who was there. Ah, family 🙁

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      • avatar

        MissDre August 28, 2013, 4:41 pm

        My Grandma is actually totally ok with me marrying a black man, but I don’t think she’d ever forgive me if I married an Indian man (she’s weird, I have no idea why she doesn’t like Indians). I just think it’s crazy in general that anybody would be against an interracial relationship. I don’t get it.

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      • TaraMonster

        TaraMonster August 28, 2013, 5:13 pm

        I guess I’d strike out with your grandma too bc my current boyfriend is Indian!

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      • avatar

        MissDre August 28, 2013, 5:35 pm

        My first boyfriend was Indian. She wasn’t happy about that. LoL.

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    • avatar

      bethany August 28, 2013, 3:53 pm

      fuck that bitch. really.

      Reply Link
    • Diablo

      Diablo August 28, 2013, 4:00 pm

      Manhattan!? Really!? Ugh, I can see her point.

      (Sensitive readers: apply sarcasm font.)

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  • avatar

    AKchic August 28, 2013, 4:38 pm

    I get the opposite of this. The “when are you going to stop?” comments. From more than just my parents, but also random strangers. Most of my friends know better. A few are such good friends that I will accept their joking (because it is so rare), but c’mon – women know themselves better than people they’ve known for less than 5 years, doncha think?

    As I told my stepdad – when people start paying for my health care, my rent, or generally my life, then they can have a say in what I do. Right now, the occasional baby-sitting (and really, once every 6-8 weeks isn’t much, especially when they BEG to take the kids more often) doesn’t count as raising my kids.

    But, we have no plans (as of right now) to add to the litter.

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  • Kate B.

    Kate B. August 28, 2013, 5:22 pm

    I absolutely love the doggie Facebook page idea. Humor is the best defense. They should make sure the dog sends birthday and holiday presents, too.

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  • avatar

    Jubietta August 28, 2013, 6:16 pm

    I dated my spouse for almost 9 years before we married and we got the nosey questions for a long time. On the wedding front, we just started to say, “We’re getting married July 3rd, but we don’t know what year.” It not only worked for shutting down the questions about marriage, but it cut off the “baby” question before it could even come up. I considered it a nice way of conveying that we had been discussing the future between ourselves in a positive way and that we’d let people know when we were ready.

    It helps if you also put off a “don’t F$#@ with me” vibe in regards to making your own decsions in general… And it sounds like the LW is good at self-determination if her education says anything about her.

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  • avatar

    NavyWife August 28, 2013, 6:31 pm

    I used to get the same kind of comments from my MIL (I’m currently pregnant, so they’ve stopped:) My husband is kind of the “golden child” in his family/among their friends and anything we do is BIG NEWS in their small town. My husband’s sister is finally getting married this year (after 2 years of living with her BF before they got engaged…the horror!) but she is likely years away from having kids, so all hope was resting on me. I hoped the wedding planning would take some of the spotlight off of us, but alas, it has not…the first grandchild trumps all. So I just try to take the comments in stride–and secretly roll my eyes and thank the Navy we can’t live nearby!

    I think the dog getting a facebook page would be hilarious. My parents love having a “granddog” and our lab gets cards and presents for every holiday. Maybe your MIL will appreciate the humor and back off a bit.

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  • avatar

    jbk886 August 28, 2013, 6:45 pm

    Reproductive technology is good enough nowadays that it’s entirely possible grandma-to-be could just birth another infant herself. Problem solved.

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  • avatar

    HmC August 28, 2013, 6:51 pm

    Aaaaannnddd this is why I’m not facebook friends with my fiance’s mom. Only half joking.

    Really though, Wendy’s right, at a certain point you really can’t control how other people behave, so best to focus on yourself. Also not sure if you’ve tried already, but I feel like parents are kind of the responsibility of the child significant other- has your boyfriend asked her to stop? If that still doesn’t work, just ignore and focus on the positives in your life. When you really think about it, mothers of boyfriends/husbands can be guilty of much worse than hounding for grand babies.

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  • avatar

    MMcG August 28, 2013, 7:02 pm

    I feel like everyone saying “it could be worse” isn’t really helpful. I mean there’s always something worse… just because this woman isn’t actively poisoning her (that dear prudence anyone!?!) Doesnt mean it’s not ok. LW should be able to be insulted and mad when she wants to… plus it sounds like she’s trying in person (way nicer than I would have been) and is looking for some support and a place to vent and being told “she just wants grandbabies whats wrong with that” is almost gaslighting. Like we’re explaining to her why she isn’t entitled to be pissed.

    Be pissed and WWS 😉

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    • avatar

      HmC August 28, 2013, 7:06 pm

      I think there’s a difference between telling her she’s not allowed to be mad and trying to explain a possible motivation behind the woman’s behavior that might help to make her feel less angry. Also yes, of course, things could almost always be worse. But in the grand scheme of things this problem really isn’t that pressing. It’s all about how you frame it in your own mind really. My future mother in law has done similar things to me (asking about babies) and it didn’t occur to me to be mad. The woman wants grand babies, why should that offend me? As Tara explained above, I think what this LW is describing is a feeling that the mother doesn’t respect her career. Which sucks. But what can you do to force someone to respect your career? Not much.

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      • katie

        katie August 28, 2013, 8:47 pm

        i also think there is a difference between more normal banter/how’s your life going kind of questions about having kids, and then a super intrusive not-MIL who treats you as a walking uterus. i think the people here who are like “oh whatever it could be worse” are coming at it from the more normal banter side of things.

        i personally have only been offended once from a comment about having kids, but i do get it a lot too. and i do get it from my not-MIL. but, she also doesnt treat me as a walking uterus, which is my impression of this situation. it is all in how you frame it in your head, but overall its all how people frame the question to you as well.

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  • avatar

    CattyGoLightly August 28, 2013, 8:21 pm

    Ohhhhh, my boyfriend’s mother AND my mother are all up on our nuts about this stuff too! I am also 25, and I’m just sort of like “Really? This is what you’re concerned about right now?”

    I mean, I think I’m an adult and it’s an accomplishment when my car is clean and doesn’t have a bunch of trash in it.. what makes them think I am ready for a child?

    I wish I knew what to tell you… I only escaped it because we moved across the country.

    Ask her again, firmly but nicely, to please stop asking. That helped with my mom, at the very least. Now she only brings it up every few times we talk.

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest August 28, 2013, 8:30 pm

      Points for “all up on our nuts”

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    • katie

      katie August 28, 2013, 8:49 pm

      aw shit that means i only have a year-ish before im going to start getting it hard.

      ive really been relishing this time where no one really expects me to have a kid (not YET), and i am super duper dreading when that switch flips and everyone feels that im ready for it. ugh.

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      • avatar

        Lyra August 28, 2013, 9:10 pm

        And once everyone feels you’re ready for it, don’t make the mistake of saying that one day you’d maybe like to have a kid because then everyone starts talking about how nice MULTIPLE kids are and how everyone should have siblings. It’s taken me years to decide that I want one kid, years in the future, and even the idea of that makes me slightly panicky, and now my mother and MIL seem to think that a gaggle of kids is on the table.

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      • katie

        katie August 28, 2013, 9:34 pm

        haha, give a mouse a cookie, right? jeez!

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      • avatar

        Christy August 29, 2013, 8:55 am

        Wait, do we have two Lyras? Have we ruined everything? The Lyra formerly known as L, you have to switch back! Too confusing!

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  • avatar

    BreezyAM August 28, 2013, 11:05 pm

    Wait.

    LW, are you annoyed because you actually do want to get all white dressed and forever with BF and he’s saying nothing and here his mama is all saying these comments, which she probably means as lighthearted casual banter? I am not saying this IS the case. I’m just wondering if that’s why you’re all butt hurt over a silly FB comment. Yes I know there’s more but that is what precipitated this letter. I just think if I was peeved enough at that to write in to my DW friends, it would be because underneath it all I was thinking “what the fuck we have been together two fuckin years your mom is all up in my uterus and yes we’ve talked about sensible timelines and shit but it’s not like we’re 19 and I have to put up with your fucking parents talking shit and yet you still ain’t put a ring on it.”

    There is nothing wrong with thinking that, or not thinking that. Just throwing it out there.

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  • avatar

    pamplemousse August 28, 2013, 11:34 pm

    I think this might be the best Dear Wendy response I’ve ever read. Thank you, Wendy. I was saved from the experience of the LW when my older brother unexpectedly gave my mother 2 grandchildren, but your suggestions are also awesome for difficult co-workers and annoying “friends-of-friends.”

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  • avatar

    Zepp August 29, 2013, 7:49 am

    HAHAHAH this is hilarious. and will probably work really well!

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  • avatar

    Bunnycsp August 29, 2013, 9:18 am

    I have been thinking that this is actually a huge compliment. This woman looks at you as a great partner and part of the family. That is great. My mother in law told my husband that she didn’t see us working out a month before we were married.

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    • avatar

      temperance August 30, 2013, 12:49 am

      See, I don’t see it that way at all. Her BF’s mom is just likely latching on to her as the only hope for GRANDBABIES GRANDBABIES GRANDBABIES.

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  • avatar

    Lo August 29, 2013, 9:55 am

    LW, lighten the bleep up. When you get to a certain age, this is just what people are going to do. When my boyfriend and I were dating all I ever heard was “when are you going to get married” and now that we’re engaged its “when will you be having kids.” This is just people talking and you are 100% in control of your reaction. How about instead of your “blood boiling” when you read a Facebook comment like that, you think “I’m lucky that my boyfriend’s mother already views me as a member of the family and likes me enough to want to have children with her son.”

    I love the quote “Your outlook on life is a direct reflection on how much you like yourself” and something in the tone of your letter makes me wonder what’s going on in your world right now to cause such an overreaction to what is essentially a harmless comment. Do you not picture yourself getting married to your boyfriend? Is there something else making you feel self-conscious around these people? Worth exploring….

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  • avatar

    tbrucemom August 29, 2013, 4:19 pm

    I don’t think she should be pestering her about kids since they’re not even married, but after people have been together a while they usually get asked when are you getting married fairly often. She could actually consider it a compliment that the BF’s mother likes her enough to want her to marry her son. You also have to understand that older generations put more value into marriage and children than to a woman’s career. It’s just the way some of them think. It isn’t meant to be insulting it’s just how they lived. The BF’s mother could not like her and that would be a LOT worse.

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  • avatar

    temperance August 30, 2013, 12:55 am

    My mother does this, albeit in a more aggressive and abusive way than your BF’s annoying mother. I handle it by cutting her off when she gets obnoxious and cutting her off from me, communications-wise.

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