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When my boyfriend’s mother first found out I was pregnant, she was not happy. She suggested abortion, and when we refused she said we should get married immediately or the baby would be a bastard. I forgave her because it could have just been shock. I’m now 25 weeks pregnant and living with my boyfriend. His mother cussed me out, saying that I only got pregnant to trap her son, that I shouldn’t have gotten pregnant, and that the baby will pay for my mistakes. She later apologized, but I didn’t accept it, and I don’t want her around the baby. My boyfriend disagrees and says his mother should be able to see the baby. Am I being irrational?
Yes, you are being irrational. Step back for a minute and consider the whole picture. You want to keep the baby from contact with his grandmother, a woman who lives close by and maintains a close relationship with the baby’s father. Even if this woman doesn’t like you, your demand is both foolish and impractical.
Do you really want to force your boyfriend – not your husband of 10 years, but a boyfriend who has yet to propose – to permanently choose between you and his mother before the baby is even born? Even if he chooses you, the tension will make life for all of you more difficult, and the issue will keep coming up over and over and over again until you resolve your differences with the man’s mother.
Instead of giving ultimatums, try accepting the fact that this woman is a part of your life and will remain so. Given that backdrop, you can attempt to build a better relationship with her. If the two of you can behave civilly toward each other, everyone in the family will benefit. And if you can’t behave civilly, then both of you will have to learn to coexist without killing each other.
Realize that while your boyfriend’s mother was extremely rude, she was also at least partially right. Few people use the word “bastard” in its original context these days, but the concept of illegitimacy still bothers a lot of people – including, apparently, your boyfriend’s mother. Her statement about the child’s status as a bastard is quite literally true. The woman may also be right that the baby will pay for your mistakes. Unfortunately, such things happen all the time when couples make a baby without giving enough thought to the 18-plus years that follow the act of conception. She may not admit it now, but I’m sure your boyfriend’s mother would love it if you proved that statement wrong.
Start the process by trying to give your child a strong future in a stable home. If the two of you plan to stay together for the long haul, then make a statement to that effect and get married. The very act of making such a commitment can strengthen a relationship and show other relatives that you are serious about trying to build a life together.
If your 5-year-old son came to you with his Christmas list and the only thing on there was a Barbie doll, would you get it for him?
Probably not. Sure, some boys can play with dolls and come away just fine. But while it has become fashionable to blur gender roles, parents do this at their own risk.
Regardless of your reasons for giving your son a Barbie, other boys will ridicule him for playing with it. Not “might,” but “will.” Childhood social interaction is tough enough without parents in effect picking fights for their children.
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