I’m not sure what forum this post belongs to so I just went with the general discussion area.
So I got in off the waitlist at my top choice medical school. Over the years, my mother-in-law has asked my status on medical school and shown some interest. At times, she would have a very negative and pessismistic view of my chosen career - not so much saying medicine is bad, but saying that we cannot move or in any way inconvenience her son, my husband, because “someone has to be the stable one in the family.” She would constantly suggest other careers for me…like one time, when she was insulting my niece and I stated that I like children, she suggested that I should be a teacher.
Anyhow, last night I told her that I was accepted off the waiting list…and she responded as if I told her I had been hit by a bus. She was sighing and huff-puffing as she were in pain. Any opportunity she gets to try to dissuade me, she takes…she has a story about so-and-so’s daughter, who happesn to be my husband’s ex-girlfriend, is not happy with her residency program…or another person’s son who decided not to be pre-med and that should somehow serve as a warning to me. So when I told her about the medical school acceptance, she works as a phlebotomist and told me that the medical students come in to donate blood and bring a book to read…and I said, “yes, it’s not going to be easy.” And she kept emphasizing that it was NOT going to be easy at all. And that she really just wished that her son didn’t have to move…and what about residency…fellowship and beyond?!?
The kicker, get ready, is when she said “Let’s hope these four years go by fast…that’s IF you make it past the first year.” Is that a normal statement you would make to a family member who achieved their longtime goal of getting into medical school!?!
Let me say that I don’t believe that she is actually negative towards medicine, but that she resents that I am doing anything that does not cater completely to her son. It’s like I am an appendage of her son’s - to her, I exist merely to make him happy…and if, god forbid, I have my own dreams and desires that is a MAJOR wrench in her plans for her son.
Obviously, my issues with my mother-in-law go far deeper than the negative and very unsupportive comments about my medical school acceptance, so I suppose I should not be surprised. But I still can’t believe someone would say this…
I’m not sure what forum this post belongs to so I just went with the general discussion area.
Sometimes succeeding in your goals upsets people who want you to be beholden to them, or to someone else. When you get your MD you will likely become more powerful in social, political and economic terms than she is. (And perhaps, more than her son?) She sounds like the sort of person who will be made very unhappy with this prospect.
Make sure that your husband isn’t transmitting these ideas to her, though. If the mom-in-law is just freelancing on the dragging-you-down tip, that’s OK; if she’s reflecting her son’s private views, that’s something you need to work on with your husband. If he isn’t bursting with pride right now, you need to sit down and talk seriously.
Going to medical school–especially as an older student when people already had other ideas about who you were and what you were capable of–kind of blows people’s minds. Often this is in a positive way, but sometimes it is frankly negative. This won’t kill you–so I think it’ll make you stronger. This will give you all the more incentive to excel–every time you do well, you’ll be socking it to the naysayer(s).
In re: the other thread, I really think that your husband should try his hardest to make the MD school work for you–if for no other reasons, for the financial gains the pair of you will reap as a result. But also because I think it’s clearly the better choice. This isn’t choosing between two similar options; it’s choosing between an option you really don’t want to take, and an option you’ve been dreaming of. If you have to take the worse option for other peoples’ sakes, there are some other things going on in your family that you need to work on–preferably before being forced into this decision.
good luck, and congratulations–
First of all… Congratulations!!
It sounds like your MIL wanted to be a doctor herself and never attempted it.
It sucks that you have to deal with it but don’t let it influence your goal of becoming a doctor. You’ve made it in, now get the job done and move on with your ‘doctor’ life.
- joewright Said:
Hi Joe, Thanks for your response. My husband is an attorney at a big law firm and is actually happy with his profession and successful, if I might say so myself. Problem is that I, too, was an attorney working at a big law firm making a handsome salary. I, truthfully, think my mother-in-law doesn't want her son to be inconvenienced in any way...i.e. taking a gamble with his work and try to work out an arrangement to work out two offices, commuting and having two apartments and home bases, and having a wife that is not there to serve him. FYI I'm not and have never been particularly domesticated and DO not serve my husband...but my mother-in-law seems to think that people should serve her son, who is the KING as she calls him.
- joewright Said:
Make sure that your husband isn't transmitting these ideas to her, though. If the mom-in-law is just freelancing on the dragging-you-down tip, that's OK; if she's reflecting her son's private views, that's something you need to work on with your husband. If he isn't bursting with pride right now, you need to sit down and talk seriously.
- joewright Said:
In re: the other thread, I really think that your husband should try his hardest to make the MD school work for you--if for no other reasons, for the financial gains the pair of you will reap as a result. But also because I think it's clearly the better choice. This isn't choosing between two similar options; it's choosing between an option you really don't want to take, and an option you've been dreaming of. If you have to take the worse option for other peoples' sakes, there are some other things going on in your family that you need to work on--preferably before being forced into this decision.
So again, thanks for your response and I apologize for the fervent, almost stepford, defense of the hubby, but he really is supportive and his mother is a case of her own.
Don’t forget this is mommy’s precious little baby.
Not to outdo you but my dear ole mom is my biggest “supporter”. Super negative reinforcement, doubt, skepticism, unbelief…then once I accomplish whatever it is I’m getting “support” for I get the “I knew you could do it! See how I’m able to bring it out of you! It’s incredible how I was able to help!”
So I say this to say that support and negativity come from everywhere and anywhere. Accept that and the pain might not be so bad.
First, let me say, CONGRATULATIONS!!! Next, I agree with Geo, if your mother-in-law didn’t want to be a doctor and didn’t make it, there was a dream of hers lurking somewhere in the background that she didn’t get to fulfill, so she’s bitter and angry at you because you are making yours come true. Don’t worry about her, as long as your husband and family are supportive of what you are doing, it will be OK!!
- croooz Said:
Say, is it possible that we three share the same mom? I swear reading this thread, I keep wondering - how in the hell do these two people know my mom?
Seems like you guys “share” my mom as well!
Not to be nit-picky, but she is not MY mom. Since we were engaged, she’s beeen after me to call her “Mom” - her son-in-law and other daughter-in-law too, but I have refused.
Interestingly, my mother-in-law called me yesterday to find out when I was moving, because she would like to come down and “help” me move.
Yet, when my husband came home from work yesterday with some fear and apprehension that our plan would not work out…he wasn’t suggesting that I not go…but he seems less confident about our plan. Instinctively, I asked, “Did you speak with your mother today?” Sure enough, she got him. She really is a snake…and apparently scared my husband by spewing her negativity and doubt. We’ve recovered and come up with a Plan B, if Plan A doesn’t work…but the woman just likes to cause trouble.
Actually she is your mom. You married her son so presto changeo she’s yo momma. You not only marry the man you also marry his momma. Sorry.
She’s not my momma! Plugging my ears…I can’t hear you! Not listening!
Yeah but you can still read…
SHE’S YO MOMMA!
For the first time in my life, I think I have to say that my Mom, a negative jewish mother if there ever was one (did you ever see a sitcom about a dysfunctional jewish family in NY? My mother was their queen) was from the start fully supportive when I said I was going to try to go to med school. When I said it to her, she ask “will they take someone your age?” I said yes, and she said “it that what you want to be.” She passed away less than a month after attending my first OPM conference in 2003.
Now as for my non-supportive, computer-sabatoging, soon-to-be ex-wife, don’t get me started! On the other hand I didn’t have any mother-in-law problems. Her mother was 8,000 miles away and didn’t speak english. Actually, I am not entirely sure if she knew we were married.
Family support is so important to your success. For your sake I hope that your family has to move for you to attend medical school. I sympathize with you.
If your husband is supportive, maybe you could talk him into intervening for you. But know this, medical school is your personal goal and yours alone. If the family isn’t supportive, you may have to amputate them from your life.
Take care and good luck
I totally understand. I didn’t get into medical school this year but managed to earn my bachelor’s. Both my mother and father have said some of the most hurtful things I have ever heard to me in spite of my recent graduation. But I know once I do get accepted to medical school, it will be an entirely different story…
It’s best not to expect anything to change once you get accepted to medical school. Probably best to prepare for the worst. My friend expected the same as you what he got was a rude awakening in that now he’s accused of thinking he’s hot stuff.
This is why I say that physicians are in a damned if they do and damned if they don’t. For nontrads we’re also damned if we become doctors and damned if we don’t.
Not being a cynic or discouraging but I know more than a few nontrad docs who expected things to change and nothing did. I’m not expecting much except having extended family members I haven’t sen in forever calling for scripts and “hook-ups”.
I find it troubling that your HUSBAND has not cut them off at the KNEES, his parents his job…
The fact that he has NOT tells me he is satisfied playing good cop and letting his mommy do the dirty work of busting your B__ls, while he get to stay clean
i am going through a similar situation…for the past 5 years, i have depended on my MIL to watch my kids while i worked full-time and went to college full-time…i just finished my undergrad last week (yay!) and am set to start my post-bacc this week…
i made the decision to attempt medicine, with the hopes that i could still depend on my MIL to help with the kids (by the time i’d start med school, they would be in school full-time anyway)…
now i have my FIL telling me that:
- i’m making a mistake by attempting med school
- i should focus on raising my children
- i had a dysfunctional childhood and had to struggle, and why on earth would i want to struggle again as an adult
- if i become a doctor, his son (my husband) will become lazy and will expect me to support him, and he will lose all motivation in life
- that my children will suffer if i do medicine because i will hardly be around for them
he is hitting sensitive spots, which i have already thought through, and that i already struggle with, but, i also came from a family of overachievers, and my husband tells me that his parents always discouraged him and his siblings from having high goals in life, saying they would never be able to do it, etc…my husband tells me that his dad is just playing a psychological game with me to see if i’m really driven and motivated to do this, or not…he wants to plant seeds of doubt to see if i’ll cave in or not…
i really want to do this, but, yes, my children’s upbringing concerns me, and if i don’t have the support of my in-laws, then i start to worry that maybe this isn’t the right time to pursue my dream…
my FIL is now telling my MIL that she shouldn’t help me with the kids if i choose to study medicine, because she is getting old, too, now, and that they should look forward to retirement free of any burden of their kids (or grandkids), so, now she is telling me not to pursue medicine, either
and the other biggest factor that concerns me is finances…my husband can’t support us on just his income, and i donâ€™t know if financial aid will be enough to help usâ€¦â€¦i’m probably even more stressed about this right now b/c he has been unemployed since january, and in times like these, it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel…
school starts in 3 days, and i’m still contemplating on whether i should drop now, and pursue this at a later time (i can’t even afford to buy books right now)…i’m being pulled in two different directions right now…
i did copy a quote from another post i saw last week…
“Obstacles are things a man sees when he takes his eyes off his goal” - a mantra i need to keep repeating
My mil has been very unsupportive over the last 13+ years…over many different topics. For years I was polite and tried not to step on toes despite her negativity and rude comments.
The last time she came to visit though I let her have it after a particularly upsetting exchange. Being honest with her was very difficult for me, and she didn’t respond the way that I would have ideally liked…but…I did feel like I took back some of the power that I was letting her have over me. She has never been considerate of my feelings…why was I bending over backwards for years?
MIL starts harping about the med school/residency thing? I vote that you just say “thank you for your concern. This is a decision that we have made together and we are very happy about” and then take it from there…if she insults you, there is no reason that you can’t say “that is rude. why would you say that”
Noor, a couple of questions for you - keep in mind I’m indulging in a little bit of devil’s advocate questioning here:
– it sounds like your MIL and FIL aren’t on the same wavelength as you when it comes to values and positive messages. Is it OK w/ you that your MIL is so integral to your kids’ upbringing? Might she not be giving them those negative messages as well?
– ARE you possibly taking your in-laws for granted when you look ahead toward med school?
– DO you want them so involved in your family’s life, indefinitely?
And then, an observation from the other side of the parenting fence: I gotta tell ya that even if I hadn’t come up with a good career to launch at age 51, if I had grandkids, I sure as hell would not want to be the main daily caretaker of them now. Raising one set of kids is enough. I certainly know lots of families where grandparents are really important in the day-to-day upbringing of their grandchildren, and I admire them for it, but as for me - nope. I like my freedom and my empty nest.
So even though your FIL’s comments may be couched in that weird negativity that is apparently an entrenched habit, he may also be voicing a real concern about his wife’s getting “stuck” doing something that neither of them wants to do any more.
Just my somewhat hedonistic .02, since for twenty years I was a pretty intense Mom…