I Hate When My In-Laws Tell Me My Baby Doesn’t Look Like Me

People
2 months ago

Navigating comments about your child’s appearance can be emotionally challenging, especially when those remarks begin to take a toll on your self-esteem and sense of connection with your little one. One mother recently shared how she’s dealing with this situation and how her in-laws are making things worse.

It all started when a baby girl was born

This was something I never expected. While I was pregnant, I was excited and hopeful and even daydreamed about having a little boy that looked like a mini version of my husband.

Fast forward to my daughter being born, and she was a seemingly carbon copy of me.... When she was a newborn everyone told me how she was my twin, and she had my nose and my eyes and my cheeks and joked that I had made a “solo baby” I guess I kinda liked it. It was sorta validating, I guess? Like some sort of small acknowledgment or physical representation of all the hard work, I had done to bring her into this world.

But her in-laws made it difficult for her from day one

loved that she looked like me, and I loved it even more cause my in-laws hated it so much. And honestly, I think this is probably where my insecurities come from, and what it really boils down to...is that my in-laws, from day one, acted very entitled to my daughter. Treated her like she was their baby and I was just something in the way. They were always looking for reasons to put me down and to make me feel irrelevant.

I think if it wasn’t for her looking so much like me, they would have convinced themselves that they, along with my husband, had made a baby together. They seemed to think if they could pinpoint enough traits and characteristics that came from (not my husband or their very own son) but apparently first and foremost straight from their very own genes, that it gave them more of a claim to my baby and they felt it entitled them to her. It was like a constant battle that she was “more” theirs cause she had a sneeze like my FIL’s brother, or her toes came from my MIL’s father, or her energy came from my FIL. It seemed out of desperation to take some sort of control or ownership over her.

Now the baby looks like her father

My FIL literally looked me dead in the eyes and made a disgusted face when other family members mentioned she looked identical to me or had my nose or whatever. And my MIL would chime in saying that her granddaughter actually looked more like her as a baby. They could never let me have it.

But now she’s a year old, and she’s starting to look more like my husband, and people keep telling me how she looks nothing like me and is his clone. And my in-laws are smug and are already telling me that they “told me so” and that my daughter is “100 percent all them” and “is all their family.” And I don’t know, it kinda makes me want to throw up and breaks my heart at the same time.

And the mother doesn’t know what to do

And, of course, I love my daughter no matter what she looks like (that goes without saying). She’s cute and beautiful, and I wouldn’t have her looking any other way other than herself, but I just can’t help but feel so sad and insecure. How do I deal with this feeling?

People shared their insights

  • "I don’t ever tell people who their baby looks like. If they ask me directly, I say, “Oh, I’m so bad at knowing who the baby looks like! But she is adorable! What do YOU think?” Or whatever they think, I just agree with-“Oh yes, she DOES have your eyes and your husband‘s mouth, you’re totally right!” julet1815 / Reddit
  • “You should talk to your husband and just tell him it’s hurtful and disrespectful to be dismissed in such a petty way. Obviously, she isn’t all his family. That’s not how making a kid works! Perhaps Grandma needs a biology lesson. But your little one is going to want to be just like you, I bet!” worriedelephants / Reddit
  • “It’s odd your in-laws are so obsessed and basically territorial over it, but it’s totally normal to want to look like your children and it’s understandable why you feel hurt by their odd obsession and comments about it. Children go through phases constantly throughout infancy and toddlerhood, kids where their looks change and they seemingly switch who they resemble more... I’m sure it will happen back and forth a few more times before she’s older.” BlueberryDuvet / Reddit
  • “Your baby loves you the best. She loves your smell, your voice, and the way you hold her more than anyone else. Your in-laws know this. It’s why they have to keep asserting their connection to her. You, on the other hand, have nothing to prove. Besides, if they aren’t treating you with respect, all you have to do is see them less often. If they are so obsessed with your kid, they’ll get the hint really quick.” hecandbella / Reddit

Remember that you are an important part of your child’s life, and your love and care go beyond physical resemblances. It’s okay to feel hurt, but finding healthy ways to cope and communicate can contribute to a more positive family dynamic. If the situation becomes too overwhelming, consider seeking professional advice, such as counseling or therapy, to help you navigate through these feelings.

Preview photo credit beanybum / Reddit

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