My Mother-in-law Wants Me To Have A Baby To Fix Her Depression, Help!

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Dear Duchess,

My mother-in-law has always had depression. It’s been managed through medication, and therapy. A decade ago, they found a combination that worked, and this has kept her from being depressed since. My husband and I have been together since our teens, and decide then that we both wanted to be child-free. My husband worked for a period of time with autistic child, and this further solidified his stance.

A few months ago, my mother-in-law sank into a massive bout of depression. This has required doctor visits all the time. Naturally, with my husband worried that he’ll [lose] his mother to suicide, he’s been unstable since.Yesterday, at a visit at their house, my mother-in-law said what has caused her to go into this bout – she wants to be a grandmother. Β She said all the neighborhood friends are grandmas, she loves babies and she’s getting old (70s). She offered us a huge sum of money if we had a baby, and begged us since my husband is her only child and her only shot.

On the way home, my husband was very quiet. Today, he sprung this on me – he wants us to start trying for a baby. So this comes as a shock, I was under the impression that he liked our lifestyle as much as me, and wanted to keep it that way.I suggested maybe putting his mother in some volunteer daycare to take her baby wanting urges out on other people’s premeditated and wanted children. He thinks that will just make her more depressed. I suggested getting her a third cat (we got her a second after the depression started, since cats always have made her feel better) since she treats the current two like infants. She can brag about being a β€œcat mom” to her grandma friend.

Besides the sheer fact we’ve (or maybe just me now) [want to be] child-free, I’d also never just have one kid. I think children do better in sibling groups, and I could never deny a child having siblings (I know I liked my experience, and husband is an only child and he was always lonely). So now I have to have three children, and dedicate 18 years/person, and wreak my body to appease my mother-in-law? How do I stop this madness?



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