Mother in law I being too sensitive?

Just a little advice and perspective needed mother in law has made unwanted comments about grandchildren for a number of years now, the usual I guess..'when will I be a grandma' / 'I'm the only one of my friends without grandchildren' etc. It's been upsetting, annoying, frustrating etc, I'm sure lots of us have had to endure it but before beiny diagnosed with endometriosis and starting IVF we've always been able to grin & bear it. However once we started fertility treatment my husband has had to have a word with her a couple of times because despite knowing what we were facing, the comments still came, infrequently but even so.

Things did get better the further we got into treatment and the more failures we had, we thought she'd finally realised we're not deliberately trying to deny her grandchildren and that it's actually really hard for us. Not so..just recently she made another comment about a friend of hers (the same age) becoming a grandmother for the 4th time, whilst she, with a son in his 40's still doesn't even have one.

She said this with other family members around and I don't think anyone could believe she'd actually said it, even though she knows we've had 3 failed cycles last year. Not wanting to spoil the occasion we were gathered for, I just replied that we were doing our best but I think it was obvious to everyone the comment had upset me.

However she just brushed it off and carried on talking and I was left feeling silly and that I was over reacting (not with other family members) I think she probably thinks I'm being too sensitive and you start to question whether you are or not.

What do you think ladies? Any advice on how to deal with this situation would be much appreciated too, I don't want to cause rifts in the family but there's only so much we can take xx

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  • Hiya, I have similar issues with my mother in law.. accept her comments are usually on Facebook so not only all her friends and family can see but also mine as she usually tags me! I get things like 'oh there's a spare room in your house I wonder when you are going to fill it' and other not so subtle comments. It makes me feel like I'm such a failure and unfortunately like you I have to just shrug them off. I get messages of disbelief from my own friends and family with them wondering how she can be so heartless. Unfortunately it seems like some people struggle to put themselves in our situation so say things without thinking. The best I can say is try not to take them to heart as I'm sure she doesn't mean to upset you deliberately xx

  • I can't believe you have to tolerate that hope, that really is going too far, you must be very patient. Don't forget you can approve all things that people tag you in on facebook, might be worth doing that πŸ˜• Xx

  • That's a good idea, I might do that thanks :) good luck in your journey too xx

  • I actually never used to have to approve myself being tagged on fb until my mother in law friended me - now nothing goes on my timeline without me approving it - a much safer and less stressful state of affairs although to be fair to her she has been lovely about our IVF journey

  • Oh I can relate! Sometimes I don't know whether to laugh or cry!

    Unfortunately my MIL is a 'blurter' and so is prone to just saying things without thinking about them first. She is not an unkind person, but is not particularly empathetic. I'll never forget being at their home the day after my beloved cat was hit by a car and killed, and she wanted to know why I was so depressed!!

    On the subject of children, I have often had to hear how she fell pregnant instantly, both times. Sadly, she has NO inkling of what my husband and I have been through. I know she adores her sons, wants the best for them and would not be malicious on purpose, but I really do have to grit my teeth, count to ten and pretend I haven't heard her. Sorry to not have better advice for you, because my approach is a bit pathetic and non-confrontational. Sometimes leopards just cannot change their spots.

    I am sorry that insensitive, ill-formed comments from your MIL are confounding your do not need the extra distress and if only they understood, they would remain silent.

  • She probably doesn't mean any harm but I do think she is being insensitive and I would also be upset xxx

  • You've got every right to be upset, fertility treatment is so hard you don't need insensitive remarks especially in front of others but she sounds like she didn't think before she spoke. It's hard not to take it personally. She probably needs another reminder from your hubby. Probably other family members have also experienced her saying unhelpful things and felt empathy for you. My MIL knows all about our failures and ceasing treatment and has been sensitive generally but she told me "Christmas is all about kids really". I replied "I like Christmas too". I doubt she even realised this sentiment expressed by many could have upset me.

  • must be a mother in law thing. my says comments but i get the well least ive got two grandchildren from my daughter shame for my son. she says it to the point where i said to my husband she might as well said go find a new wife that can do. where as she doesnt say it to her other daughter who has problems with fertility . just aimed at me.

    at christmas i got im very upset thst you didnt suprise us with being pregnant and that you wasnt lying when u said it hadnt worked in september.

    i just grin and bear it. other days i go oh im not going your mums today just want to stay home. i think they dont realise how hurtful it can be sometimes.

  • Thanks ladies for your reassurance, I'm so sorry to hear so many of you also have this problem, as if infertility isn't hard enough. I know she wouldn't mean to hurt me but to me it's obvious that anyone going through fertility treatment is going to be hurt by comments like these. I guess not everyone has the empathy though, I think I sometimes expect the same from others as how I would be because to me it's obvious. It really is true that unless you've been through something like this, you just can't completely comprehend. Lots of love to you all xx

  • Its grt u have a suppotive hubby that will stand by you and is willing to fight ur corner thats what i call perfect hubby.your a lucky girl. Ithink ur mother in law has a bad habbit and some habbits are just hard ro break. Honestly just ignore her. Dont take tension becuz of her it will be one last thing to worry about . She should understand really but if shes doesnt then thats up to her. You have more better things to worry about u dont need all this. When u start ignoreing her she might back off. I hope things work out for you.xx

  • Thanks bibi, I am very lucky to have that, don't know what I'd do without his support. Thanks for your advice & wishes xx

  • Aaargh!! I can't believe that she says these things knowing what you are going through!! You are not being too sensitive at all. I personally would remove yourself from situations where she is around until she can show some empathy and understanding towards your situation. There is no excuse for her behaviour at all; this is NOT about HER. Oooh I'm so angry! Sending you so much love xxxxxxxx

  • Thanks Jenny! Good to know it's not just me being unreasonable, I was also v.angry and feel quite resentful towards her right now. It was my birthday last week and she wrote in my card 'lunch is on me when you get back' (we've been away) so now I'm thinking, what can I say to get out of that as I REALLY don't want to go. Maybe it's time to be completely honest but I suspect she'll turn it on me and be telling people I'm overreacting or I'm so obsessed with wanting a baby I'm alienating people, feel like I can't win 😩 We'll see! Thanks for your support xx

  • That's unbearably! She does't understand how's feeling the woman who wants to have a baby but can't. Of course she didn't face because she gave a life to your hb. I had similar situation, we were trying for a baby 5 years and no results. Few cycles of ivf with OE and DE but God didn't want to give us a child and i always heard blamings from my mother in law. we changed 2 clinics and stopped thinking about baby but the friend of my mother told us that it is not a time to give up. and I decided to give the last chance for us. we found our peace of happiness . And yes, we've got want we wanted and I stoped to listen to his mother

    so i wanted to say, everything will be ok and you will cope with it. just believe in your husband and yourself/.


  • Thanks Teressa, glad everything turned out well for you & thanks for your wishes for us too xx

  • U r not being insensitive at all! Sadly I think this is v MIL is generally lovely but the day after i had a failed egg collection she turned up with a brochure for kids playhouses asking me to help her choose one for their other sons child!!!

    I know it's v hard & u r being so good biting your tongue but I think hubbie may have to have another word.she needs to sssshhhh or keep her distance while you guys are going through this.

    That said, I keep everything crossed for you that you have your child one day soon xxx

  • Hi Hun thanks for your reply & sorry for the delay I have been away. It's good to know it's not just me thinking I'm being too sensitive, sorry you have to put up with this type of thing too. Thanks for your wishes 😘

  • I feel your pain, only it's my mother that's the problem. Older sister had 2 and younger had 1 so what's wrong with you! and by the way they've had boys so can you have a girl please?! hmmmmm. Yes you had every right to be upset, angry and maybe throw a plate or two.

    You're not being over sensitive, they're being thoughtless. That said, I'm sure if she truly understood the sadness that's inside, they wouldn't say the things they do, but unfortunately they can't help themselves.

    Just know you're not alone. xx

  • Thanks so much for your post sofia, it's lovely to know I'm not alone although I'd never wish these things on anyone else.

    I'm so sorry to have to deal with that from your own mum, that must be really hard especially when being compared to siblings. You've definitely come to the right place for support and understanding, the ladies on here are lovely and truly can sympathise with everything you'll feel on your journey. Lots of luck to you Hun xxx

  • Hi Georgina!

    You're not alone. It takes a lot of courage to put up a straight face when faced with such comments. My mother-in-law indirectly makes me feel I'm useless, but I take it lightly because if a woman hasn't had problems getting pregnant, she can't feel the pain of a childless woman. I forgive her because I think she is ignorant and knows not what she says. Good luck and hang in there.

  • Hi Georgina78 unfortunately hun what we all are going through don't seem to to even cross people's minds for a minute, even the people i.e. MIL who know what your going through don't actually get it! I've had to add an ivf group on my sisters Facebook just so she sees what it entails, my mum on the other hand just seems to think it will be my turn this year lol πŸ˜‚ she don't think about the more likely chance of it may not be to! #Lazymindedpeople xx

  • Aw thank you for your reply Tw1986 it's hard enough being on this rollercoaster without having to deal with people (who should know better!) isn't it. I guess they just can't get it but I honestly find it baffling because surely it's obvious it's a very difficult place to be, I guess not though! I've actually retreated from contact with her somewhat which has helped, we just have to do what's right for us at the moment don't we xx

  • Thank you for your reply praxides, I will try to channel your attitude, I know she probably isn't trying to deliberately hurt me, it still does though doesn't it! I haven't seen her as much so that's helped although I wish it didn't have to come to that. Sorry you have to deal with it too xx

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