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Joint Family:Insecured abt my kid
2003-12-03
Name: Vaishali Nayak Dear Friends,

Mine is an inter-caste marriage. I have problem with my FIL. I feel he is interfering in the way i want to raise my one-year old kid. Moreover he is reluctant to give my kid to me even though my kid is crying. He is very egoistic and thinks that he can handle everything alone and so can manage my kid without me. I have become very insecured and i am scared that he will snatch my kid from me. Moreover he has dominated my husband and i feel he may dominate my kid too. My husband is very understanding but he is very shy to tell anything to my FIL. Pls help to remove my insecurity.
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2004-01-05
#1
Name: saheli
Subject:  hi
Vaishali,
Just try this solution. It worked for me coz my FIL is a patient of high blood pressure and both my in-laws have very strict routine. So they could'nt handle the baby whole day.
Even now like yesterday my SIL was here. She has 2 boys of her own. One is as old as my son. But from day one, instead of her own kids, she tries to run after my kids. She got away with it when my kids were babies. But now my kids say no to her. Yesterday when she came I was laying the table for my kids dinner. She immediately came and pushed me and started feeding my daughter. My daughter wants to feed herself and inspite of my telling her that she took the spoon from her and was making attempts to feed her. Seeing this even my MIL also came and they both tried very hard to feed her. My daughter pushed them away and called me and got off the chair. In this forceful attempt to feed her, they ruined her dinner. When my SIL could'nt control her, she pushed me and started feeding my son. My son pushed her away and said he wanted mommy to feed him. She pouted her face and went back and sat down.
I am just telling u this to tell u that I go through this on day to day basis. THis rejection and insult. But if u believe in ur heart that this is ur child and no one can take him away from you then u can make ur child ur own. I worked so hard at that. I gave up everything to be with my son. My son used to be with a baby sitter coz I am working. I have incurred the wrath of my in-laws and husband in law(thats how I address husbands) by doing that but I still went for it. So after picking him from work, I used to take him somewhere instead of bringing him home directly. I use to go to stores, roam aimlessly just playing with him. So try to do the same. Give up ur comfort and make this ur pooja to be with ur son. Thats how I considered it. Try going out with him saying ur taking him to a friend's place who has same age kid. Just lie and take him somewhere. Play with him, get him toys and do everything possible to entertain him. Eventually he will realize u are his mommy. Involve ur self in some activity with him. If u r in States, they have these Gymboree or Little Gym play school classes. Try to enroll him for those on the weekend. No body will stop u from doing that. U can say its for his healthy development. They even take babies for all these classes.
I have a cross cultural marriage and am paying a heavy price for this mistake. My husband does'nt support me in anything but I am fighting my own battles. Only saving grace is that my kids adore me. They are crazy about me and my in-laws cannot tolerate that. Its their obsession to take my kids away from me. I have given up a lot in life. I have lowered my self esteem and killed my spirit but I have decided on one thing that I will never give up - my kids and that I did'nt.
Try the first idea and if that does'nt work then try these solutions.
Good Luck and I know what you are going through.......
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2004-01-06
#2
Name: Vaishali
Subject:  Agreed
Yes, i will follow ur suggestion. Well,it's not good on ur SIL's part to behave that way. My FIL is following the same thing but i have become very strict now as he takes advantage of shyness of people. I used to be very shy to same something to him so used to do whatever my in-laws used to say. We have intercaste marriage and have different mother-tongues. My in-laws(before marriage itself) insisted that i should learn their mother-tongue(even though they all r thorough in my mother-tongue). They said that they want me to learn as their village relatives cannot communicate apart from their mother-tongue. I agreed and learn it whole-heartedly but then they started telling me that i should talk to my husband in their mother-tongue. We used to communicate in English or Marathi(my mother-tongue) from before itself i mean when we were just friends just because i got married to him it is necessary to talk to him in his mother-tongue. I disagreed to them and they started saying that ur children will also talk in marathi and so so. I was upset on that. If a girl gets married to boy of different culture and language she has to change to that but for guy it is like he need not to do that.Strange...

Anyway, i will surely follow ur advise. Thanks for the same
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2003-12-29
#3
Name: saheli
Subject:  Disagree
Vaishali,
All this is crap that its a woman's job to adjust to inlaws etc. If people have to live together then everybody has to adjust.
Somethings u can't change but for this insecurity about ur kid. Just give this up. I have gone through this with my FIL. He used to do the same to my son. He and my SIL would never let me hold him even if he was crying for milk or mommy. I can tell you this that it became an obsession with me to not let him hold the baby because of this fear that he won't let me hold him.
And then I found a solution. I use to give the baby to him and then never take him even if he cried or spoilt the diaper. Then the old man use to call me to hold the baby. THis is the best solution. If he feels he can manage the child then let him to do that for a day. He will get so exhausted that eventually he will give him away to u. Old people get nervous when a baby cries a lot and they themselves need proper naps and they want to sit and eat peacefully. My son ruined all those things for him and then finally whenever he saw me, he used to give the baby to me immediately.
Don't worry , he can never take ur child away from u. Nobody in the world can.Once the baby is a little older, he will know mommy. ANd you can fulfill his needs whereas ur FIL cannot. Its u who can take him to school, birthday parites and other activities. How much strength will ur FIL have to do all this with the baby.
Once the child is 3 years old, he realises who his parents are.
So let ur FIL handle the baby and don't go to the baby at all one day. He will immediately give the baby to u.
Few years from now u will laugh at all this. My son is 3 1/2 and my daughter almost 2 and they are so attached to me even though my FIL tried a lot to take him away. But actually he is not doing with that intention but for the mother it feels that way.
You are the MOM for ur kid and thats an ETERNAL TRUTH.. So nobody has the courage to take him away.
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2003-12-30
#4
Name: Vaishali
Subject:  Thanks
Dear Saheli,

Thanks a lot for sharing ur experience with me.

Well, yes i will try the method which u suggested. But as far as i know him i know even though i do that he will not give my baby to me he will give it to my mother-in-law and wants that they both should handle the baby and we(my husband and myself) should go to work and bring money to the house. That's what i hate upon. He is very cunning by nature i know that very well.

Thanks for ur advise. I will try ur solution.
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2003-12-29
#5
Name: saheli
Subject:  Disagree
Vaishali,
All this is crap that its a woman's job to adjust to inlaws etc. If people have to live together then everybody has to adjust.
Somethings u can't change but for this insecurity about ur kid. Just give this up. I have gone through this with my FIL. He used to do the same to my son. He and my SIL would never let me hold him even if he was crying for milk or mommy. I can tell you this that it became an obsession with me to not let him hold the baby because of this fear that he won't let me hold him.
And then I found a solution. I use to give the baby to him and then never take him even if he cried or spoilt the diaper. Then the old man use to call me to hold the baby. THis is the best solution. If he feels he can manage the child then let him to do that for a day. He will get so exhausted that eventually he will give him away to u. Old people get nervous when a baby cries a lot and they themselves need proper naps and they want to sit and eat peacefully. My son ruined all those things for him and then finally whenever he saw me, he used to give the baby to me immediately.
Don't worry , he can never take ur child away from u. Nobody in the world can.Once the baby is a little older, he will know mommy. ANd you can fulfill his needs whereas ur FIL cannot. Its u who can take him to school, birthday parites and other activities. How much strength will ur FIL have to do all this with the baby.
Once the child is 3 years old, he realises who his parents are.
So let ur FIL handle the baby and don't go to the baby at all one day. He will immediately give the baby to u.
Few years from now u will laugh at all this. My son is 3 1/2 and my daughter almost 2 and they are so attached to me even though my FIL tried a lot to take him away. But actually he is not doing with that intention but for the mother it feels that way.
You are the MOM for ur kid and thats an ETERNAL TRUTH.. So nobody has the courage to take him away.
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2003-12-16
#6
Name: Vaishali
Subject:  Agreed
Well, parents can guide and express their opinions in their married children's life but taking decisions without consulting them is very harsh.

It was nice to talk to u regarding my problem and i feel very much relieved now.

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2003-12-14
#7
Name: Vaishali
Subject:  Thanks a lot
Thanks a lot and i agree to whatever you said except one thing A/c opening form. Frankly, i would not have liked if my father would have entered his own name as guardian of my son without asking us. see, after marriage to some extent one more family gets formed and some decisons are left with that family. i would have said nothing if my father-in-law would had done it if it would have been his a/c what he did was he himself started entering the details like first holder(my husband's name),second holder(my name),what type of a/c should be opened, what category of a/c should be, who should be mandateholder(in which he wrote his own name) etc etc. he did this without asking us and gave us the form to sign. These decisions r left on us aren't they? it's ok if it is minor, then we need to take the decisions but for us he should not have done so. But u rightly said that we generally interpret what others must have thought and so so and keep crying on that. I am very much thankful to ur wife for saying \";no one will snatch my baby from me\";. I agree to her and has made me more confident. My husband is very supportive and understands me but he is little bit dominated by my in-laws but he is very matured person.
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2003-12-15
#8
Name: juvinile
Subject:  reply
Vaishali,
I had misunderstood the acc example. I think what you said is right. I thought he is opening his own acc. Anyway, Ideally it should be that once the children get married the parents should consider their retirement in their children's family life. But the problem is when they dont realize this. And it is worse when the son has been obedient all the time till the time he got married. And suddenly when wife is not as obedient as the son it is considered to be bad.
For the son being obeditent, there can be two reasons. one is that he is too fearful of his parents, which normally doesnt happen in present times. Second is that He doesnt care what is decided and what is not decided and he gives affirmation for everything that is done by his parents. The problem arises when he thinks that his wife will have the same views as his and agrees to his parents after marriage. Thus wife feels neglected. We understand that this is wrong. The parents should get retired. but not every parent understands this. I dont have the solution to make them accept their retirement. I have tried to explain this to my mother (she is equivalent of your FIL in my family). Though she understand everything, but she cried a lot on that day. She is unable to accept that her words wont carry any weight in her home now. This usually is when the parent has made a lot of sacrifices for the home and has been a decision taker all through his life. Actually the problem lies in the son and other family members who have always acceded to the wishes of one person. But I guess such a situtation cannot change in one day or one month. It will take quite a long time. To break the monotony of 30 years is not easy. isnt it? Am I making sense? I hope my views about your problem have given you some courage to tackle it. If you have some time I would like to share your ideas and whether the discussed strategy is working for you or not? Fortunately you dont have any sisters in law or some other family members to "trouble" you. Ok, All the best.
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2003-12-14
#9
Name: Vaishali
Subject:  Agreed
Yes, i agree to your viewpoints to a great extent. I know very well that my in-laws love me very much and just like myself, they cannot tell me some things freely as they can tell their daughters. My MIL is free and adjusting but my FIL wants me to do whatever he wants just because his kids and wife followed what he said. But i was brought up in such a environment where i need not be say 'yes' to each and everything what my parents said. I could express my opinions but i do so in my husband's house they think i am trying to fault in them. Anyway, can't change their behaviour but i very well accept that they love me and care for me a lot.
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2003-12-14
#10
Name: juvinile
Subject:  reply
Vaishali,

Thanks for agreeing. Actually your agreeing to my views means that what I and my wife think about this issue is quite right. you didnt mention your discussing the things with your husband, You should do that too. Take MIL in confidence with love and requests. And most important thing is this. many times it happens (on both sides) that we tend to think the others interpretation of some statement in our own way, which might not necessarily be correct. Taking for example your stinking jug example. If you think about that argument not in your and FIL context, but just like any other normal unbiased incident, you will feel that it was just an srgument. you said jug stinks and FIL said water stinks. isnt it? But happened was that, you thought -"FIL is saying this because he thinks I ...." and FIL in turn must have thought " She says this because she thinks I ...". Both of you pained yourself without actually knowing the truth. Perhaps you wont agree to this since my wife too doesnt agree.
Ok about the a/c opeing example. See consider this: Your own Father takes your son and goes the bank and opens acc on his name and makes your son as nominee and himself as guardian. Now would you be angry on your father as to "who is he to make himself guardian of my son??" Most probably no. It is not actually your fault. And you would not have actually taken offence on this sort of example. It is because you had lots of bad feeling stored that came out for this example. It is a cummulative thing as I said last time. So dont think complicated, try to think simple. I know you would say "tali ek haath se nahi bajti". But you are much more capable of change that an 60 yr old person. isnt it? Aim to make everything peaceful in your family. So be open and think simple. And you know that they do love you at least as a daughter in law. And I would like to tell you what my wife says about your acc opening example. She says whatever he does he cannot snatch away your son from you. mother child bond is too strong and resistant for that. Thanks for reading. If you have any comments to add or some advice for me in return please mention. Thanks a lot.
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2003-12-09
#11
Name: juvinile
Subject:  reply
hi vaishali,

i would give you some suggestion if you can try. You say your fil is egoist. But at the same time you are also not that humble. What I mean is that you cannot order your fil to do things your way? right? but you can request him. lovingly. ask him please dad let me do this. there is a big generation gap and a big communication gap between you two. and unless you try to remove that this feeling of hatred will remain there. imagine his point of view. he must have done a lot of things in his life and which would have proven correct. it is difficult for him to understand that the way he does things are wrong (in your way). So instead of being afraid of him or giving him pretentous respect, try to give him love and open communication. Drop your ego for a while and request him for some thing. I am sure things will work out. I have seen this as practical example. that is why i am suggesting you this. And once there is open communcation between you two, things will be perfectly fine.
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2003-12-11
#12
Name: juvinile
Subject:  reply
Dear Vaishali,
I am actually understanding all your points, since my wife feels exactly the same as you. Important thing is that your husband should be very cooperative. in the sense that he should not doubt you and you should not breach his trust. Whenever you are angry you can talk to him about the issues, this way you will first feel relaxed and then you can think coolly about the problem. Otherwise what happens is that you store the ill things in your heart and it has a cummulative effect. So first thing is that dont keep on adding the bad things in your heart. Another thing is that please dont tell such incidents to your parents or anyone on your parents side, because what happens is that they will always have a soft corner for you no matter what and they might give you such advises which wont be beneficial for your whole family. Be open to your husband is the key.
I agree to what you said that it is quite natural that your cannot be as close to your in laws as you are with your parents and it is vice versa. But see, because of some irreversible events like this marriage and your association with your in laws, it would be better to make this relation better and close than to worry why this relation does exist at all.right?
We all know that marriage is nothing but a huge load of responsibilities. and especially on the part of women. One such big responsibility is to make the family atmosphere open and free of all diplomacies. So it is only you who can do this. As your examples depict, your in laws are not too bad. So there is a bright chance of betterment.
See imagine you are 55 yrs old and you have a son who is 25, you have raised your child with all love and caring and not you want to adopt a girl who is also 25 yrs of age. Do you think you will have the same love for her as your son? most probably no, unless you are some saint kind of a person. at least not from the start. It has to take time isnt it? But for that you will have to be like a child before them isnt it? you have to revive their parental love for you. I hope I am making sense.
But what you are doing is like an "Adarsh Bahu" where you will always remain like that. You have to express opinions, express anger, make requests like any other child in home. I mean you have to create a sense of love not like a bahu, but like a daughter.
Now you would ask why dont they do the same ie be like your own parents. That is unfortunate in my opinion. But I am sure if you take this initiative they will reciprocate, this has started happening in our family. For example what happened in our home was that i and my wife both were to leave from home to two different destinations. My mother packed some oranges for me during journey and nothiing for my wife. Obviously this is partiality. Earlier if such a thing had happened my wife would have taken very offense of this and her and my life miserable by thinking over and over again. My mother wouldnt have know about this, she didnt even realise that she had done some thing wrong. or may be she had some different reason for doing this. But now in present times. my wife asked my mother, mummy why did you do partiality between your son and your daughter? she realized her mistake and all three are burden free. Such things happen, but obviously my parents should be slightly open about this issue. I guess your in laws are also slightly towards good side.
Am I making sense? Can you try this a few times and then tell me if it worked in your case? Remember open communication is they key.
I am ready to discuss this issue endlessly.




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2003-12-10
#13
Name: Vaishali
Subject:  Agreed
Dear juvinile,

I agree to you to some extent. See, it is natural that u cannot be free with your in-laws or anyone else like ur parents. Even if u say anything to ur parent they will take in positive way. But while telling to anyone else especially in-laws we have to be little bit careful. My FIL is good-hearted and caring i know but there are somethings in which i don't like to interfere and even if i politely tell him he will taunt me with something. Like minor things e.g we have plastic water jug in our house and that day while drinking water i noticed that it was having plastic stink so i reported to my FIL that we need to replace it but i think he took it in wrong way. Since he keeps replacing water in it, he thought that i am telling him that plastic jug is not washed properly that's why it is stinking so he started telling my MIL in front of me purposely that not the jug but water is stinking. later on even my husband said that jug is stinking but he is not ready to agree. One more e.g i will give u, when we wanted to open an ICICI a/c he without telling us, filled the form and keeping my son's name as nominee put his own name as guardian without asking us. Tell me, who has the right to decided who will be the guardian our kids after us?
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2003-12-10
#14
Name: juvinile
Subject:  reply
vaishali, there you get me wrong. I am not saying that you have to make them happy at any cost. What I am saying is that you have to get closer to them, which does not necessarily mean making them happy. I mean you have to make an open and warm communication. For example, suppose you dont like some habit of theirs. To make them happy you would encourage them doing that, but you yourself will be not happy then, so what i suggest is to say, please please please dad dont do this. as if you are requesting someone on whom you have right, like your own father. i hope you are getting me. this way all the diplomacy is gone and everything is transparent. his ego also remains and your work is also done. and next time they themselves will fell closer to you. i am sure. please tell me if you understood my point, otherwise i shall try to explain more. or you can come up with some example, so that we can discuss at length. thanks for reading.
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2003-12-10
#15
Name: Vaishali
Subject:  tried ur suggestion
Dear juvinile,

Thanks for your advise. But whatever u have suggested i have already tried. From before marriage itself whatever they said i agreed wholeheartedly. I have no regrets for that. I wanted my FIL and MIL to be happy. But in case of my kid i would not like anyone to interfere for their own pleasure. He justs wants to show off things abt his greatness but in that he makes my son cry. I was upset abt that. Anyway i will follow ur advise and try to make him happy as much i can.
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