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I don't want to tell my family I'm pregnant (long)

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I feel so silly even entertaining this thought-train, but I'm stuck and I hope that someone has btdt and can help me find the way out.

I'm OVERJOYED to be pg. I was told (by multiple docs) that it was unlikely I would conceive w/o IVF. but, obviously, I did. WAY sooner than expected (and, perhaps that's where the nervousness starts). AND with twins.

I'm in my early 30s. I have a Masters degree. We own our home. I'm married. I've got two kids that are turning out pretty okay, if I do say so myself.
and, still, I'm scared to death to tell my family. (okay, not my family, so much as my mother).

My mother and I are fairly close, although it took years of personal growing and acceptance on both sides to get that way. We see the world differently and we're both outspoken and stubborn about it.

I just feel like she's going to be royally pissed. okay, actually, I know she will. At one point after DD's birth, I mentioned "next time" and she gave me the stern "I would seriously hope you're not ever planning on having more" talk. I should have stood up to her then, but I let it slide. Frequently, when DD was a newborn, she would say "could you imagine how terrible it would be if you had a toddler around?!?" Now that DD is a toddler, she says "could you imagine how terrible it would be dealing with her AND a newborn??" (FWIW, my DD is a seriously easygoing low-needs kiddo)

We're struggling financially ATM. That's going to be her biggest thing. (Honestly, it is MY biggest thing, too, but that's another post entirely). She was angry when I chose to leave my high-stress career after DD's birth... I had things lined up to start working pt again soon, but had to let it drop bc of the hyperemesis and she's already pissed about it and she didn't even know why. She wants me very much to go back to my career, and I don't intend to in the foreseeable future.

She also is of the "one boy, one girl= perfect family" camp and the "don't let the kids outnumber the parents" camp.

I have no doubt she will tell me to terminate the pregnancy- that's how strongly she feels and how outspoken she is.

She adores my kids, and she's a HUGE help in raising them, both financially and emotionally (I don't think I've ever bought an article of clothing for DD. ever.) But I certainly don't expect her help, tho I know she is the type who will help even if I don't ask. I guess, on some level, I feel really guilty adding to HER burden. I have no doubt she will love these babies to death and forgive and forget... eventually... it is just the beforehand I don't want to go thru...

I would love to keep my head in the sand about telling her... but I am OBVIOUSLY pregnant. I've been avoiding seeing her for weeks (sending the kids in from the car, calling instead of visiting, etc...) and that's starting to make me sad.

TBH, I entertain fantasies of telling her it was an accidental pg, but that seems SO ridiculous when it was an ART pg. Plus, the whole lying thing... It was actually a sad journey TTC, bc she experienced infertility and I and my bro are Clomid babies and I would have *loved* to share it w/ her.

The ultimate irony? I was a teen when I got pg w/ DS. and I'm MORE stressed about telling her about these babies than I was back then. ugh.

Anyway. Thank you if you've gotten thru this. It helped me to put it out there.
Any tips or words of wisdom would be great.
post #2 of 14
I can sympathize. I was very scared to tell my MIL and I got a pooch VERY early. I was doing the same thing about avoiding her and DH finally said we were telling to end the madness. She REALLY surprised me. She's worried since I had some health issues last time but she was really great about it.

Just go ahead and rip the bandaid off and tell her. You are an adult and you are not asking her to pay for your children. If she says something hurtful let her know that it hurts when she says something like that. Be firm but polite that you all are thrilled and can't wait for the babies!

But seriously just do it soon. Stressing about it is worse than getting it over with!! Hope it goes well!!
post #3 of 14
Wow. That sounds like a lot of stress.

I know we all have our issues, but from everything you're saying in the above post...all these things are your MOTHERS issues, and not yours. You obviously want more children and feel it's right for you and your family, you feel like even though there will be challenges that you are up to it.

I don't know what or when you should tell her. But I'm a mom, and even if I disagreed with my daughter's choices I would always want her to be honest with me.

Maybe you can open up a conversation with her simply about how you've reached a different conclusion on the appropriate size for you family, without even telling her you're pregnant yet. And discuss how you would prefer not to feel judged by her for holding a different opinion, and how her emotions have such a strong effect on you especially at times when you need as little stress as possible.

When I was pregnant with DD I freaked out and didn't want to tell my mom, because I didn't know what route I wanted to take - hospital or midwife or whatever. My mom had 11 kids, 9 1/2 of them at home with or without a midwife. And she has strong opinions about birthing.
It freaked me out, and when I finally told her about everything I told her I didn't want to feel judged for making different decisions than she did. She cried and said she wanted me to do what was best for us and she would never judge me.

Granted, my mom is different than yours. But if she is a mother at all, there should be an element of wanting what's best for her children, and I'm sure that's part of what her strong opinions are stemming from. If you can present to her that "best" really IS a matter of opinion in the long run, and it's OK for you to differ - you don't for a minute regret bringing new lives into the world, into your family, and you love them already so strongly and can't imagine NOT having them...

I don't know.

It just seems like there should be a way to reason.

Aaaaaaaaaaaand....obviously you should know even if no one else says it...your mother's problems are not your problems. Loving your mother is really your only responsibility in the matter, and it's possible to separate the two I think.
post #4 of 14
I had my son tell my mom over the phone one evening. Then I didn't answer her morning call the next day.

I did answer after 24 hours, and she must have gotten all of her negativity out with her trash-talking best friend. She was able to be nice about it.

I was SO worried, just like you. Same deal. Already have one boy and one girl. My mom had one of each, and felt it was the right thing to do. It took her a while to warm up to DD, because she thought I should have left 6 years in between just like she did.

Also, because dd is breastfed and attached. Last summer my mom kept saying " oh, she likes me now, she didn't use to" ... as if a tiny nursing baby had been hurting her feelings. Ridiculous!!

Grandmas are sometimes wacked this generation. Why can't they just be happy for us???? For my mom, it is because she is worried that kids are too much work for me (her baby). It still sucks, though.

Good luck!!!
post #5 of 14

One of the most important things I have learned in life is that it's okay to let other people's problems be THEIR problems. You must be elated that you're expecting twins. If you tell your mother and she can't share in that joy right now, that's okay. You have every right to be excited and happy and it's not your fault if she takes awhile to come around. If she says hurtful comments you can tell her the conversation is over for now and either walk away or hang up the phone.
post #6 of 14
Originally Posted by Lauren82 View Post

One of the most important things I have learned in life is that it's okay to let other people's problems be THEIR problems. You must be elated that you're expecting twins. If you tell your mother and she can't share in that joy right now, that's okay. You have every right to be excited and happy and it's not your fault if she takes awhile to come around. If she says hurtful comments you can tell her the conversation is over for now and either walk away or hang up the phone.
I'm sorry you're going through this, and expecting such a negative reaction. I hope it doesn't take her long to come around.
post #7 of 14
i took the weenie way out and sent a text message. told mom to call when dad cooled off. turned out to be totally unnecessary, but i had the same fears. i'm only just now teaching. ds's birth kinda blocked that career path for a couple of years and i'm only part-time with no guarantee for 2nd semester. figured they'd be like "again?! what about your job? how you going to be hired for full now?"
and i didn't want to steal my sister's thunder with an actual announcement. she just had her fourth at home a couple of weeks ago.

anyhow, the point is they surprised me with their response. but i also let them know and backed out of their space. maybe they were ticked, maybe they weren't. either way, peace reigns now. i think they're entitled to their reaction, it impacts them. but i'm entitled to be shielded from it.
post #8 of 14

I could have written your post almost verbatim, except for the ART. I actually conceived last Nov. and miscarried, I felt like my family all gave a huge sigh of relief. So when I conceived again 6 weeks later I really didn't want to tell them for fear of their negative reaction. I also had my oldest when I was teen and felt this time was harder to announce than his pregnancy.

My son (15) ratted me out to my grandma (she's like my mom) when I was around 14ish weeks, I think? Maybe I was closer to 16. I don't recall. Anyway... She didn't bring it up and neither did I until I was somewhere around 26ish weeks. It was better that way. I didn't have to hide it anymore and she got to deal with whatever negative thoughts/feelings before we discussed it.

I've always previously announced as soon as I got a positive hpt so this was definitely out of character for me. I wouldn't change what I did this time around, I totally agree with PP that it's her (their) problem... not yours. Revel in your own excitement, eventually your mom will, too.
post #9 of 14
I'm sorry you are going through this. I can totally relate. I have gotten one congratulations from my side of the family. Apparently babies 1 and 2 are much more worthy of celebration than baby 8. Can you imagine? As if this baby is any less a beautiful human being than any of my previous seven? My mom pretended to take it well at first, and about three days later came at me from left field with, "I just don't understand. I just don't understand. You MUST have been trying. You don't seem surprised. I just don't think your children are a priority for you." So I let her know, "First of all, Mom, my sex life is none of your business. You don't understand because you never lived out a deep openness to life in your marriage. I will never be surprised to find out I'm pregnant." I let her get her rant off her chest and she hasn't done it since. And this, from someone who sees all children as blessings...who is very pro-life...but doesn't care to see her daughter bring her eighth baby into the world, has to have time to let it settle in before notifying friends and relatives b/c of what they will say (as if I give a flying F what others say about our family size).

So I get it. MIL took the news badly last time, and DH hasn't had the guts to call her this time. I'm just over 11 weeks now. FIL will likely not be surprised at all. He's pretty laid back about that sort of stuff. If we weren't seeing family in November, we might not have told anybody until very late, but it's unavoidable. It really comes down to the fact that this is *your* marriage, and she has no business interjecting her unsolicited negative opinions into this area of your life. Goodness...If my mother even dared to suggest that I kill my unborn baby (), I'd have to ask her why this one earned a death sentence that none of my others did, and then I'd tell her that I hoped she enjoyed the time she had with her grandchildren because she wouldn't be seeing them again. You don't love only the first couple and then suggest killing off the subsequent ones. You either regard them as all intrinsically beautiful and worthy of love and acceptance, or you don't see any that way.

We read this article recently, written by the daughter of the author of The Color Purple. Her mother disowned her when she got pregnant, so anti-childbearing was her attitude. Here's the article. It's feminism gone awry, a feminism which is intrinsically against that which makes us female.
post #10 of 14
i felt the same way with this pregnancy. It was SO hard to tell my mom. She worries over everything, and when we talk on the phone I can hear in her voice how much she's worried and disapproves. (this is my third, we had no health insurance when I concieved, DH's job is very stressful at the moment, financial issues, do I ever want a career, etc) And like Comfycozy, my mother said almost the same exact thing, "I don't understand how someone so smart can be so stupid about birth control, you must have been trying."
Celebrate your twins and hopefully your mother (and mine!) will come around. You're not alone in the boat.
post #11 of 14
I still haven't told my parents. I sympathize. Everyone else knows, but I can't bring myself to tell them

Mom yelled at me when we told her we were having our 2nd. They've never treated our 2nd the same as our 1st. Showed up empty handed at the hospital, not even a card, didn't buy a single thing for him, whereas they spoiled ds1.

She's told me several times since then that she doesn't think we should have any more children. I've told her we want one more. She tells me that after having a child like ds2, that she'd never have another. I told her he's a great kid, and hasn't changed my mind about having another.

We were talking on the phone when I was 6wks pregnant and out of the blue she brings it up again. "You really shouldn't have any more children." *sigh*

So I'm 13 weeks and they still don't know. We're thrilled, overjoyed...and I don't want them to ruin it.
post #12 of 14
I was also afraid to tell my mom, so I had my 3.5 year old son do it

My mom cares for our children 2 days a week while DH works. I was afraid that she would feel that 3 children are far more than she can deal with since she only had 2 and felt that was hard at times. She took it much better than I expected. We assured her that if 3 were too many for her that either a) we'd put the oldest in preschool on those 2 days or b) my DH would quit working altogether and just stay home. Having a plan and knowing that everything is going to be okay, no matter the situation, made her much happier about it.

Good luck and lots of hugs. I agree with the others as well. It's her issue, not yours. Let her have her reaction, but let her own it. You don't have to.
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Sigh. Thank you, wise mamas, for all your advice.
You're right- it is her issue, not mine. I just need to figure out how to feel that in my heart, kwim?

I've called her a few times this week, and actually saw her tonight (thanks to hyperemesis, I don't look obviously pg this week ) and I just can't work up the courage to say something.

I think, in part, it is bc I'm so darn sick that I have a hard time even remembering what day it is, let alone being able to unravel how I feel about telling her... I'm hoping that I'll start feeling better and that will make it easier for me.
post #14 of 14
Hey there, I just found this post and wanted to add my two cents. A lot of what you said really resonated with me, but without going into all those particulars just now, I wanted to tel you that twice when we've announced baby news, we've done it via a little gimmick of some sort -- you know, a cute little message snail mailed to everyone in the family, or a timely poem read aloud that led into our big reveal ... and I know others have done cute/funny e-mails, t-shirts, etc. ... So what I'm getting at is, perhaps part of keeping your mom's issues at arm's length could be removing yourself physically from her when she hears the news. That would allow you to be your authentically excited selves about it (which, remember, can be contagious in a good way) as well as allow her to work out any negative knee-jerk reactions before she actually speaks with you. We actually never thought of doing it this way as a way to avoid confrontation, but now that I think about it, that's a possible side benefit. Good luck.
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