(Closed) My mother won't accept my decision not to have kids

posted 4 years ago in No Kids
Post # 2
10217 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

This is entirely her problem, don’t make it yours.

Why is NC not an option?  If she really is a narcissist, that’s always the best resolution.

Do not engage on the topic.  Any words that come out of your mouth around the baby issue are gasoline on a raging brushfire. 

If you really must speak to her, change the subject quickly.  If she goes back to it, end the conversation, at that moment.  Mom learns:  every time she brings up babies, your attention is instantly withdrawn.

Post # 3
1819 posts
Buzzing bee

I would put serious boundaries in place with her. Let her know, one last time in no uncertain terms, you AND your husband have made this decision together and you will not have further conversations about this with her. If she brings it up, you will stop the discussion, and if she persists, you will leave. Let her know you do not want to cut her out of your life, yet will not put up with these comments and questions. Make it clear that if she doesn’t bring it up, you two can talk about all sorts of other things. That topic is off limits. She doesn’t have to understand it to respect your boundary.

Post # 4
3129 posts
Sugar bee

Do not JADE.  (Justify, argue, defend, explain),

”we have made the de ision that works for us as a family. Have some bean dip.”  

Post # 7
1701 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

Ok I have a kid, but I saw your post.  What your mom is doing is wrong and borderline emotionally abusive.  I would tell her that her comments are hurtful and untrue, and that this, frankly, is not her decision at all.  I can understand her being disappointed about this, but it is not okay for her to constantly punish you for not doing what she wants you to do.  I think you need to come out and tell her that if she can not keep her nasty thoughts to herself, that you will have to limit the time you spend with her.  Which would be a shame, since the two of you could have had fun preparing for your sister’s upcoming baby together.

She is not entitled to a grandchild from you.  There are also 10,000 other reasons why you might not have a child.  I know people with infertility, people who are single, people in same sex relationships, people who are on chemotherapy, people who don’t have the means to support a child, people who didn’t meet their partner until later in life, people who need certain meds or have a medical condition, people who don’t want to pass on a genetic disorder, etc etc.  CFBC is only one of many reasons people don’t end up having a kid.  Maybe this is harder for her to understand because she feels she has the power to change your mind, but she needs to understand that she actually does not have that power.

Post # 8
2130 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2019 - Chateau Lake Louise

So I am not CFBC, since I had my daughter many years ago, but I have a lot of friends who are, and we’ve talked a lot about the subject. In my experience most people who push others to have children are those who haven’t particularly enjoyed the experience. They feel like EVERYONE needs to have children to validate their own decision. That the “suffering” they endured is only justified if it is an unavoidable cultural obligation. Happy people don’t try to bully other people into life-changing choices.

So, this is her baggage and really has nothing to do with you. I’m sure as the child of a narcissist you are well aware of this pattern.

With the people I know who have faced this kind of pressure, the best approach has been a multi-faceted one. You make your position plain, then you refuse to address the subject ever again.

Though you have told her already how you feel, it may be helpful to make the declaration one more time in a very particular way, and make it so unequivocal, she can’t act like you haven’t made yourself totally clear.

I would address it in person with both of your parents. If dad is an enabler, he can be her sounding board if she wants to continue to complain about your choice. Text makes it too easy for her to freak out. If she has to look you in the eye, maybe she’ll be shamed into behaving herself.

Also, make sure you do it with DH; don’t let her get away with acting like it isn’t a choice you made together. Present a united front. That way she can’t legitimately argue you are depriving your husband of the experience of fatherhood because he can make it clear, he doesn’t want that for himself.

During that conversation let her vent a bit – acknowledge her “disappointment.” Even if you don’t think it’s genuine, or it has an ultimately selfish origin, just say “I understand you are sad, but I’m sure you agree that children deserve parents who are totally excited and committed to having them. Since we aren’t, we feel this is the best choice.” Don’t point out your sister has had grandchildren she can enjoy, because the truth is she isn’t entitled to grandchildren, and it’s beside the point. Your sister made the choice that was right for her, and you are doing the same for yourself.

Then refuse to talk about it ever again. Ignore her whenever possible. If you get to the point where you can’t ignore it, say “Mom, DH and I have told you our position. You need to respect this boundary and stop bringing it up.” If she doesn’t stop after that, cut her off until she can.

Ultimately, people who keep pushing you on ANY subject, after you have established a clear boundary do not respect you sufficiently and are subject to dismissal; regardless of the relationship or subject.

She may claim she’s just saying these things because she loves you, but ultimately she is trying to bully you by means of emotional blackmail. I can’t think of a worse reason to have children, OR a circumstance where such behavior is acceptable. Stay strong, hold your ground, and know you are making the right choice for you.

Post # 9
2538 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

I would cut my mom out of my life for shit like this seriously. Even if you were to change your mind and have kids, I wouldn’t let them be a part of this narcissists life. You don’t owe anyone an explanation for your life decisions. I would refuse to discuss this topic with your mother from now on…in any way shape or form.

Post # 10
8515 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Oh bee, I’m so sorry. My mom is also a master manipulator and expert at emotional blackmail, imposing her views on how one should live life on me, etc. And all behind a front of “but I’m only saying this because I love and care about you / but I’m only trying to help you from making mistakes you’ll regret” etc.

You’ve gotten great advice from PPs. Be strong, keep telling yourself that this is your life and your decision. Your mom isn’t the one that has to live with the consequences of your decisions, it’s you. Whenever I’m in the throes of it with my mom, I just have to give myself a pep talk over and over again that I’m not a little kid anymore and the kind of power she has over to me to make me feel guilty has got to end. As for how I deal with my mom, I used to argue and get defensive, but it’s absolutely pointless with her. So when she says any of her ridiculous things, I just don’t engage anymore.

Wishing you the very best!

Post # 11
6584 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

If you don’t want to go no contact, then only respond when she is rational and pleasant. We do this with my alcoholic Brother-In-Law. If he sends a ranting abusive message=no response. If he sends a cordial, general text= then you get a text back.

Post # 12
761 posts
Busy bee

I agree with just not responding anytime she is acting irrational. Also never try to justify your reasoning, nothing you say will make a difference. Just don’t engage in the topic.

Post # 14
3 posts

OP – I feel for you I have exactly the same problem. My mother wouldn’t stop nagging how I’m getting old and it is my DUTY to have kids and how selfish I am for not wanting to. She never even bothered to ask what are teh reasons behind my decision, because she is sure that there is no reason good enough and that life is pointless without kids. She also sends me to guilt trips such as ” is this why we worked so hard all of our lives and sacrificed so much so you?” – I’m speechless…

Having kids is a serious decision. One should be sure to want them and to be able to make the needed sacrifices that come with it without regrets or second thoughts. And I believe it is so much more selfish to have kids for the wrong reasons rather than to take an informed and responsible decision not to. 

My mom drives me insane and we had a few fights about it, yet I can’t cut her off my life. Where I come from it’s rather normal for parents to put their noses in the business od their kids and to give advice about everything and being rather direct – it’s really awful. My BF who is a foreigner is completely shocked about it. 

Does she get upset when you talk about it? My mother usually cries a lot (and she has 2 grandkids already!!) 

Maybe try to ask her if she wants you to be happy and why doesn’t she trust your decisions. There is no easy way to discuss this, but definitely tell her texting is not the way. If you are close enough you can share with her your reasons or part fo them, but in any case it is up her and if she refuses to accept it, that is her problem. As much as it would make you feel bad if she doesn’t understand, you should remember that you did what you could and that’s it

Good luck! 

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