A letter from the forums:
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.