Well, I’m a MOB and a Nana to 6 and this really bothers me for you! She is no longer seeing you or FI as people, she is seeing the means to the end she wants – grandkids.
I come from a family where boundaries can be quite the issue and had to move a few hundred miles away as a young bride myself to set strong ones around me and my family.
Yes, some of “my stuff” is in my head right now as I write this, but wisdom comes from experience. It is up to you to decide if this is wise or a bad idea. This is what “I” would do:
1. You and FI sit down and talk to her respectfully, and calmly – not when she has mentioned this again. Don’t have your defenses up or you will get too emotional and that can lead to losing control of the situation. Tell her that you both want to be seen as individuals and not grandbaby makers.
2. Let her know you will not have this discussion again. If she won’t respect that, leave, or end the call. EVERY TIME. Don’t get in a huff, just tell her, “we have already said this is a closed topic/discussion” and end the call or visit.
3. Let her know that it will be many many years (don’t tell her how many or you will be on countdown in her head) before you are ready for children and you are going to enjoy your lives as a couple. Ask her to honor that and to be happy for you.
ALL of those things can done in a very loving manner if you plan it out and execute it when you are not upset.
4. ABOVE ALL – “really” consider how close you want to live to her. Once that baby is born those boundaries will be out the door and you will have to build knew ones. It is a lot tougher once a grandbaby is involved. I feel like she sees a grandchild as a prize by the way you write about her.
My first DD married 8 years ago so I have been on various boards for about 9 years and met and made many friends. I learn far more from the young brides than I could teach them. Why? They discuss what it is like when parents don’t respect boundaries and privacy. I never really thought about it, and many well-meaning parents don’t. It has just been awhile since we were young newlyweds who wanted our parents to back off and we have forgotten that.
My self-imposed rules with my girls are:
1. stay out of their business unless there is something really really bad that will come out of it (like legal or financial stuff). So far, haven’t had to break that one. I HAVE kept my mouth shut a time or two about things I didn’t agree with, but not my life, not my issue.
2. Never, ever stop by unexpectedly. I may ask if I can stop by at such and such a time, but I never surprise them, and if they are busy when I want to stop by, we make alternate plans.
3. Their kids, their rules. Whatever rules they have at home, they have at Nana’s. This way things are consistent for them and my kids know I respect how they rear their children.
Result? I’m welcome in their lives, they like to spend time with us, and have us over.
I learned most of those boundaries from you younger girls…thanks!