Tuesday, November 04, 2008

insecurity

ok, tiny vent...

My mother refers to my kids as her babies. Every day she asks "how are my babies?".

Is it silly that this bothers me?

I wonder if it would bother me if we had not gone the route we did to conceive them. I think there's a little insecure place in the back of my head that feels like she's saying that they aren't really mine, that every day she is rubbing it in and reminding me that they aren't really mine.

I corrected her once and I think she got offended. I said "you know they're actually my babies, don't you?". and she said "what makes you think that?" and I said "oh, I don't know, giving birth to them maybe". And that was a mistake because now I think she says it more often just to try to get a reaction out of me. I guess she just thinks it's funny, and it probably never occurs to her that it raises this insecurity in me every day, and reminds me every day that in some way they aren't actually "mine".

Should I tell her how it makes me feel? or should I just let it go?

9 comments:

Bea said...

I say if you can let it go, let it go. But if it's an ongoing thing that just won't stop playing on your mind no matter what you do, definitely say something. Reason being, I'm taking it as an innocent enough jibe from her perspective, so no need to take issue "automatically". (If she's saying it to deliberately insinuate anything, I would say to confront.)

Bea

My Reality said...

I don't think she means it as anything other than grandmotherly. I don't think she sees the babies as anything but yours. My aunt does this to my cousin, and her children were conceived the first month she tried for all of them, and it drives her nuts, too.

beagle said...

This is really tough for an outsider to advise, because as Bea also said, we don't know her intent. Do you feel like she is trying to rub it in? What was her attitude towards the donor aspect all along and so on.

If it's going to eat at you, say something. But try to do it on a day when you feel as secure as possible about things

(When I confronted my parents I was sleep deprived and fragile and that made the whole thing unravel on both sides. I'd hate to see that for you. The mending was hard work and fell to me!)

Good Luck!

serenity said...

I agree with the pps - it's really hard to say what her intent is. My mother sometimes slips and calls Baby O "my baby" and I have a similar reaction. And I know she means nothing more than being grandmotherly.

So if you CAN let it go? I would. But only because I'd hate to read too much into something that's said innocently.

Course, if she is saying it to get a rise out of you, I'd be honest with her. Nice, but honest.

Stephanie said...

My mom says the same thing. She has even called her self mom to him before. I didn't like it.

Jaimie said...

If she were doing it on purpose it would be cruel. If you really think she could be that hurtful you need to say something. I have a lot of experience with a not so nice mom, but I doubt my mom could be that cruel. Unintentionally hurtful, but cruel, no.

Do you think she would be any different if you had adopted a baby? I know both of my son's grandmas call him "my boy." I doubt she means anything by it.

Somewhat Ordinary said...

No, I don't think you are silly at all. When I was pregnant my mom use to ask me all the time how "her baby" was. I told her it bothered me and she tried to stop and now when she says it she will correct herself. I don't think there is any ill intent on my mom's side. However, since Baby M was born my FIL has been calling him "my M" and my MIL calls him "Bob's M" that REALLY bothers me. Especially because when he comes to visit he is more interested in watching the news and complaing about politics than playing or holding my son. I've made remarks about it several times hoping they would get the hint that it bothers me only I think it backfired and they do it more now they know that it bothers me.

cat said...

The relationship between mothers and daughters are always so complicated. Mine and my moms certainly is and they seem to know just how to press those insecurity buttons. Maybe it is safer just to let is be - gives her less ammunition.

Karen said...

My guess? She's not trying to be hurtful or cruel. She doesn't realize it's raising an insecurity within you. My guess is that she's being grandmotherly and cute. And that yes, she did enjoy getting a rise out of you, but never realized the connection for YOU in the insecurity related to the way you conceived these babies. I'll bet she never thinks about the conception, she only thinks about the fact that these are HER grandchildren.

That being said, if it really does bother you and it really doesn't stop bringing up this insecurity, try calmly explaining to her, at a time when she HASN'T just said it, "hey by the way, you know when you say XYZ, I know it seems really trivial, but I get really insecure, because..."

Then try to let it go. She'll probably continue to slip up, because she's gotten into the habit of referring to them this way, but it's unlikely that she'll be doing so in a vindictive fashion.