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Do any of you who are traditional but with NO parents have issues with your parents' failure to accept the way you live your life?  I don't just mean what Mass you go to -- I mean lifestyle stuff.  Like number of children.  Desire for a large family.  Being family centered.  That kind of thing.

We have that issue with my in laws at the moment.

So, my DH and I met with his parents and sister today, letting them know about my infertility issues and our adoption plans.  We went in suspecting that they would mention in vitro and such, since they support it and helped a family member through it, including financially.  In the end, they all liked the idea.  However, they had some odd objections.

The main thing came from my mother-in-law, who was harping on our ages -- not maturity or anything like that, just wanted us to live a little, "take things one thing at a time," and be at least 30, ideally 35.  She said that we shouldn't even think about this until we have purchased a home.  Now, we don't want to apply or anything until then, but she objected to the fact that our desire and plans for a family are the deciding factor in WHICH home we choose.  To us, lifestyle should decide the home -- a couple like us who want children and large dogs should not purchase a high-rise condo in the city, for example.  Factors that relate to how we want to live our lives in the future matter -- otherwise it's a foolish purchase.  That's how my parents bought their first home (during engagement, from the developer) -- they wanted rooms for future children and a yard for Mom's dog.

I asked what we're supposed to do, i.e. what she thinks we should be doing with our lives.  She said that my husband should get promoted before we start a family.  I pointed out that he just did.  She then said that I should go back to school first and finish college.  I left for a reason with no intention to return, but every once in a while she brings it up -- however, it isn't "are you going to go back to school?" so much as "when are you going back to school?" or "what about going back to school?"  The reasons I left school are many, but the main thing came down to the fact that I wasn't happy in school and our goal was for me to stay at home anyway.  There were also factors early in our marriage that made me not free enough with my time to attend class.

I guess it's shocking to me to hear this from a woman who married at 20 and had her first baby at 21.  She doesn't know anything about being a first time mom after 35, all she knows is that it's easier financially.  And then there's the unspoken implication that she thinks people should contracept until they're 30 or older. 

My in-laws as well as some of my husband's aunts and uncles often say they had children too young -- they say this in front of the kids.  All of them were in their 20s and married.  I've been told that we are lucky we don't have children yet.  As a traditionalist, I don't count that as luck.  Sure, I'm okay with how things are -- with our path and with the opportunity to help orphans in this way (and I do believe it's for a reason).  I just don't believe that children are this horrid life ending curse.  And I sure as heck think that remarks like that should never be said around young people -- especially your own children, about their own birth.  Not that they should be said at all, of course.

How do you all deal with these issues -- with the family members who don't get it?  With the people who say things like that in front of children?  My heart breaks every time.  The separation of the primary aim of marriage from the sacrament itself in the minds of so many cafeteria Catholics confuses me.  What do you all say when they question your choices?
Ignore them and teach by example. 
Doesn't the process of adoption often take years?
(06-13-2011, 05:39 AM)OCLittleFlower Wrote: [ -> ]Do any of you who are traditional but with NO parents have issues with your parents' failure to accept the way you live your life?  I don't just mean what Mass you go to -- I mean lifestyle stuff.  Like number of children.  Desire for a large family.  Being family centered.  That kind of thing.

We have that issue with my in laws at the moment.

So, my DH and I met with his parents and sister today, letting them know about my infertility issues and our adoption plans.  We went in suspecting that they would mention in vitro and such, since they support it and helped a family member through it, including financially.  In the end, they all liked the idea.  However, they had some odd objections.

The main thing came from my mother-in-law, who was harping on our ages -- not maturity or anything like that, just wanted us to live a little, "take things one thing at a time," and be at least 30, ideally 35.  She said that we shouldn't even think about this until we have purchased a home.  Now, we don't want to apply or anything until then, but she objected to the fact that our desire and plans for a family are the deciding factor in WHICH home we choose.  To us, lifestyle should decide the home -- a couple like us who want children and large dogs should not purchase a high-rise condo in the city, for example.  Factors that relate to how we want to live our lives in the future matter -- otherwise it's a foolish purchase.  That's how my parents bought their first home (during engagement, from the developer) -- they wanted rooms for future children and a yard for Mom's dog.

I asked what we're supposed to do, i.e. what she thinks we should be doing with our lives.  She said that my husband should get promoted before we start a family.  I pointed out that he just did.  She then said that I should go back to school first and finish college.  I left for a reason with no intention to return, but every once in a while she brings it up -- however, it isn't "are you going to go back to school?" so much as "when are you going back to school?" or "what about going back to school?"  The reasons I left school are many, but the main thing came down to the fact that I wasn't happy in school and our goal was for me to stay at home anyway.  There were also factors early in our marriage that made me not free enough with my time to attend class.

I guess it's shocking to me to hear this from a woman who married at 20 and had her first baby at 21.  She doesn't know anything about being a first time mom after 35, all she knows is that it's easier financially.  And then there's the unspoken implication that she thinks people should contracept until they're 30 or older. 

My in-laws as well as some of my husband's aunts and uncles often say they had children too young -- they say this in front of the kids.  All of them were in their 20s and married.  I've been told that we are lucky we don't have children yet.  As a traditionalist, I don't count that as luck.  Sure, I'm okay with how things are -- with our path and with the opportunity to help orphans in this way (and I do believe it's for a reason).  I just don't believe that children are this horrid life ending curse.  And I sure as heck think that remarks like that should never be said around young people -- especially your own children, about their own birth.  Not that they should be said at all, of course.

How do you all deal with these issues -- with the family members who don't get it?  With the people who say things like that in front of children?  My heart breaks every time.  The separation of the primary aim of marriage from the sacrament itself in the minds of so many cafeteria Catholics confuses me.  What do you all say when they question your choices?

Your main question is about Trads with NO parents, but really, your "real" question seems to be about boundaries.

One thing your mother-in-law must be made to realize is that you are not her, and she is not you.  You need to tell her, respectfully, of course, that you left college on purpose, and that you have no intention, desire, or obligation to go back, and you won't.  You can even say, "It doesn't matter how often you bring it up, I am not going to do it."  Then when she brings it up again, ignore her.  Smile at her, and don't respond.  Then talk about something else.  Do this every time, and if she says, "Why aren't you responding to what I just said?" tell her, "I did -- I told you  (on this date) that no matter how many times you brought it up, I was not going to do it."  Smile and go on with the other subject.

I hope when the parents say that they were too young when they had their children, that they mean (and that the children understand) that they wish they had done a better job as parents.  If what they mean is, "I had them and resent the fact I couldn't have fun" then they need to shut up, because even adult children have feelings.  In fact, I would probably say something like that:  "I hope you mean that you wish you had been more mature and responsible so that you could have been a better parent to your children?" 

Children are NOT this big burden.  It's only the guilt of parents who are always away at work that has created this idea.  The guilt-ridden parents try to assuage their guilt by hovering (they're not called "helicopter parents" for nothing), buying them truckloads of crap that they then either have to haul around or find storage for, they blow every cold/sniffles up into a national event because the day care center won't keep them when they're sick, and then the parents have to miss work, and the boss gets pissed, and then they work themselves up over that, because how else will they pay for all the useless crap for Junior, and on and on and on.
(06-13-2011, 09:20 AM)Someone1776 Wrote: [ -> ]Doesn't the process of adoption often take years?

Yep.

Her main point was that we shouldn't even THINK about it until after we've picked a house and moved in and the whole deal.  My point back was that when buying a house, the first question the agent asks you is what your life is like now and what you want it to be like.  They asked us about kids, pets, entertaining, etc, etc.  And yes, our plans do rule out some homes, but much better that than buying a house that ends up limiting what we can do with our life.  For example, a two bedroom house would be a problem if we were placed with a sibling group with some boys and some girls.  The home we have an offer on at the moment has 3 bedrooms, a loft (could be office or homeschooling room), a fenced yard, and is in a nice neighborhood with walking paths and play structures.

My mother-in-law thinks we shouldn't even tell our real estate agent that we want a dog, because that isn't "taking one thing at a time" and "will cause too much stress and pressure."  But that's why we want a fenced yard.  Yay for logic fail.
HolySouls --

Thank you.  I have a hard time being that forward with people.  I always try too hard to be nice and then after the fact I think off all the things I could have said.  My husband always says I care too much about what people think, and he's right, I'm sure.

I did tell her that I'm not going back to school.  I didn't say anything about how it didn't matter how much she brought it up, but I did shut down her offer of money to pay to finish -- which bugged me, because she didn't offer any money to help with what WE want to do.

And sadly they seem to be talking about wishing they had more fun -- I've heard some of them say they wish they'd traveled more.  Which I don't get because they all have small families and will be young enough as empty nesters to still travel.  In fact, a lot of them do travel with their children now that they are older.  But some of the families that say this still have kids high school age and younger.  One of the aunts that said it has an 11-year-old son, and I pray he's never heard her say it.  >:(

But yes, they are all two income families, with crazy workloads.  My mother-in-law finds it downright strange that I'll be home with the kids.  They'd rather have their Mercedes, I guess.  I'd rather have the time with my children because no amount of money makes up for time.
While I don't have any in-laws yet, I do have half of my family that's not Catholic.  I somehow doubt that any of them would bother trying to interfere with any hypothetical decisions I would make with my hypothetical wife because they aren't that close to me, with the exception of one, but that one has slowly started thinking a bit more like the Catholics, even if he's not Catholic.  One of my parents did have trouble with in-laws that wanted to not-so-subtly discourage certain things, like a large family and so on.  It's pretty much the mindset of the world that one has to have a good job (and the spouse, too), have a large house (one bedroom per potential child) and plenty of money to spend on luxuries before starting a family.  This is a mindset that limits the family even if the couple does want more children, because they believe themselves to be limited by finances, housing, and so on.  By the time they can achieve "readiness" they likely couldn't have a large family if they tried.

I think that it's virtually impossible to change the opinions of those who think this way and it's probably almost as difficult to get them to quit forcing them upon on you.  They really do think that they are doing you a favor by encouraging these things - small family, start late, go to college (no matter what), both work jobs, use a daycare center, and so on.  Sometimes I think perhaps a nod of the head and a smile and then going on as you planned is the best (except in cases of them encouraging something that is morally wrong - then speak up!) because they just won't get your reasoning.  Perhaps in time, but likely not so much from what you say but more from what you do and how you handle everything.  I think that was the best way with my one parent's relation with the in-laws.  They eventually realized that the large® family wasn't a burden, the small house wasn't that much of an inconvenience, and that we were all happy with how it was. 
(06-13-2011, 03:35 PM)OCLittleFlower Wrote: [ -> ]
(06-13-2011, 09:20 AM)Someone1776 Wrote: [ -> ]Doesn't the process of adoption often take years?

Yep.

Her main point was that we shouldn't even THINK about it until after we've picked a house and moved in and the whole deal.  My point back was that when buying a house, the first question the agent asks you is what your life is like now and what you want it to be like.  They asked us about kids, pets, entertaining, etc, etc.  And yes, our plans do rule out some homes, but much better that than buying a house that ends up limiting what we can do with our life.  For example, a two bedroom house would be a problem if we were placed with a sibling group with some boys and some girls.  The home we have an offer on at the moment has 3 bedrooms, a loft (could be office or homeschooling room), a fenced yard, and is in a nice neighborhood with walking paths and play structures.

My mother-in-law thinks we shouldn't even tell our real estate agent that we want a dog, because that isn't "taking one thing at a time" and "will cause too much stress and pressure."  But that's why we want a fenced yard.  Yay for logic fail.

I just brought up the time it takes to adopt to perhaps suggest from a practical standpoint it doesn't make sense to wait.
(06-13-2011, 04:58 PM)Someone1776 Wrote: [ -> ]
(06-13-2011, 03:35 PM)OCLittleFlower Wrote: [ -> ]
(06-13-2011, 09:20 AM)Someone1776 Wrote: [ -> ]Doesn't the process of adoption often take years?

Yep.

Her main point was that we shouldn't even THINK about it until after we've picked a house and moved in and the whole deal.  My point back was that when buying a house, the first question the agent asks you is what your life is like now and what you want it to be like.  They asked us about kids, pets, entertaining, etc, etc.  And yes, our plans do rule out some homes, but much better that than buying a house that ends up limiting what we can do with our life.  For example, a two bedroom house would be a problem if we were placed with a sibling group with some boys and some girls.  The home we have an offer on at the moment has 3 bedrooms, a loft (could be office or homeschooling room), a fenced yard, and is in a nice neighborhood with walking paths and play structures.

My mother-in-law thinks we shouldn't even tell our real estate agent that we want a dog, because that isn't "taking one thing at a time" and "will cause too much stress and pressure."  But that's why we want a fenced yard.  Yay for logic fail.

I just brought up the time it takes to adopt to perhaps suggest from a practical standpoint it doesn't make sense to wait.

Yeah, no, I hear you and I agree. My mother-in-law doesn't because she thinks parents should be 30-40 with first kid.
Curt Jester-

Thanks.

Yeah, we mostly smile and nod and do whatever.  The only thing that will totally set me off like no one's business is if they are rude to our children or don't treat them well or something.  And, since they do think that it's a great idea in general, I doubt that they would reject the kids because they don't like our timing.  They are loving toward children and actually the only time they loosen up and seem to really enjoy themselves is around their young nieces and nephews.  Apparently, when they were closer to pre-school age, my father-in-law would give his nephews piggy back rides and let them climb all over him and stuff -- and I really hope that when he is a grandfather some of that joy will come back.  :)
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