Dear Lulu Jeh: My husband is the only son in his family and his mother is pressuring us to have a child. But I don’t want to have kids. She won’t shut up! — Baby Boom
Oof, BB. Repeat after me: “I do not need to pop out babies to please my mother-in-law.” Now say that again three times. And maybe throw back a shot of whisky, because I’m about to get serious.
You are the ONLY person in the world who gets to decide whether or not you will procreate. Good on you for not being as self-absorbed as the rest of the adult population — we’re all over here snapping selfies nonstop and dying to have little mini-me’s running around. Frankly, the world’s choking to death and about to capsize under the 7 BILLION people who already live here, so you’re doing the rest of us a favor.
The reason you’re not having kids is your own personal business, and I won’t make assumptions. Except one: You and your hubby are on the same page on this one, right? If you aren’t, then you probably shoulda mentioned that like five years ago…. But let’s assume you are in agreement. You’ve gotta shut this behavior down. ASAP. If your MIL thinks there is even a glimmer of a wink of a sliver of hope, then she will never, ever stop.
It’s not an unusual situation. I mean, having kids is pretty much a requirement in Chinese culture. Not to mention that your MIL is getting older and thinking about what’s next. She would probably take comfort knowing that you two have a blossoming family, and her son will lead a “fulfilling” life, continue the legacy, etc, etc. But having little ankle nippers is not for her to decide. It’s your body and your life.
The best thing you can do for your sanity, and hers, is to have a difficult conversation that explains your firm stance in the baby department. Your MIL doesn’t have to agree with you, but she does have to stop this breeding pleading business if you’re going to have a healthy relationship.
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