Woman Is Mortified To Learn Mother In Law Is Planning Surprise Circumcision For Her Newborn Son!
Circumcision is a practice that is still very common amongst the general population and whether it’s performed for medical or cultural reasons it should definitely be a choice the parents make for their son together.
Imagine then the fury one mum felt when she discovered her monster-in-law was planning a surprise bris for her son even though she knew they had already decided not to have one. The only reason the mum discovered the penis party plan was thanks to her sister in law who let it slip in conversation.
The couple are inter faith and decided they didn’t want to circumcise their son and made sure their families knew about it. Confused and frustrated, the mum wrote into Slate’s Care and Feeding advice column asking for help on how to handle her interfering Jewish mother-in-law. “It seems like a new level of crazy and violation,” she wrote.
“My fiancé was raised as a Reform Jew; I am a casual Christian,” she wrote. “We have mutually decided not to circumcise our forthcoming son. His family is, to put it lightly, up in arms about our not hosting a bris. (‘Because it’s a Jewish rite of passage!).”
“I’ve tried reasoning that I won’t be up for hosting 20-plus people seven days after giving birth; I’ve tried explaining that we just won’t be circumcising; I’ve tried making the argument that it’s not sterile for a random rabbi to cut our newborn on the dining room table,” she continued. “I’ve done everything short of saying ‘Because I don’t want to host a penis party to expose my son to the world.’”
The mother-in-law doesn’t seem to care what the couple want and was planning to bring a rabbi to the house to perform the bris. “I’m ready to fly off the handle,” said the mum.
“How do I confront her about this and, God forbid, deal with a ‘surprise bris’ if family and a rabbi show up at our door in a few months?” she asked.
We seriously cannot get our heads around the fact that her MIL planned to circumcise her grandson without the permission of his parents!! And you thought Marie from Everybody Loves Raymond was interfering. Next to this MIL she looks like Carol Brady!
Commenters wrote in with advice for the couple warning them to keep the baby far, far away from the penis cutter.
“Do not, do not, do not leave your son alone with your FMIL, ever. She has zero respect for your decisions, and she would not be the first person grandparent to go behind the parents’ back to get her way,” wrote one person.
“You need to flat-out directly tell her straight up that you don’t WANT to do it, period, end of story,” someone else wrote. “It doesn’t matter that she’ll be doing the setup, hosting, cleaning, whatever else duties, that she gets a rabbi with a medical degree from Johns Hopkins, etc, etc.”
Thankfully it seems a bris cannot be performed by a rabbi unless both parents have given the okay.
“As a reform Jew, I can’t think of a single rabbi who would support, condone, or participate in a ‘surprise’ bris!” one person wrote. “You might consider a baby naming ceremony at the temple and sponsor the oneg [snacks after Friday night services] as an opportunity to celebrate his heritage without having to sacrifice his foreskin.”
“Well, some of us have been telling people that parents have to talk to the mohel ahead of time. No mohel is going to show up at a bris without having had this discussion,” the person commented.
“So it’s highly highly unlikely (if not technically impossible) that this kid will actually get circumcised against the parents’ will,” someone else added. “So if we could all dial the ‘they’re coming to assault your baby!’ stuff down to ‘people are coming to your house to have some kind of event when you’re a week postpartum without your permission.’ I would still be livid. [Letter Writer’s] (fiancé) need to talk to his mom and make it clear that neither he nor the LW will let them in if they show up. And follow through if it comes to that.”
Advice columnist Nicole Ciffe meanwhile has told the mum that it’s her husband’s place to address the situation not hers. And we have to agree.
“Your fiancé has to have this talk,” she wrote. “He needs to look her in the eyes and say that this is what he wants as well.”
“You are blessed in your future sister-in-law being willing to narc on the ‘surprise!’ bris; perhaps she and you and your fiancé could plan a party, a month or so after you’re truly back on your feet, that will celebrate his side of the family and his Jewish heritage, minus any mild surgery,” she suggested.
Adding that perhaps holding a naming ceremony may help to ensure cultural traditions ae met. “I think that might do a lot to heal this relationship,” she continued.
“I do think she is behaving outrageously, but I also think, like so much outrageous behavior, it’s coming from a place of fear,” the columnist wrote. “That your family will be closer to your grandson, that your holidays will take precedence over the ones she raised your fiancé to celebrate, etc.”
Whatever the MIL’s reasons are, we think its totally cray cray to plan such a monumental event to take place without discussing it with your kids first! Do you agree?