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Establishing Boundaries with Parents - WWYD

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
DH's family (and some of mine) are somewhat (very) opinionated. I've been a little (okay, A LOT) anxious about having a child—even *before* we started TTC because of them.

We're planning to do a few things to keep them off our backs a little while.

First, we are telling people we aren't even looking at names until this baby is born. This is only half-true. We are coming up with a list of names and waiting to choose one until a day or two after our child is born. We don't want to tell anyone about the list, because we know *certain* people will make comments about it.

Second, we were going to keep the sex a surprise. This is going to be really *hard*. I wanted to ask the sonographer to not let us know, but my husband begged and promised we could keep it a secret. His friends are doing this, too (but his buddy still blabbed to him that it's a girl). I'm doing it bc I don't feel like getting overly sex-stereotypical clothes. I can't stand them—especially frilly pink dresses.

Is this unrealistic or silly to keep these things secret? I'm never great at keeping secrets, but I feel very protective about this and want us to have as much "breathing space" as possible for now so I can enjoy the pregnancy (as much as I can) and not get stressed out.

Finally, we are waiting to have family over until we've had time to bond with the baby (2-3 weeks). This will be really tricky.

DH's family lives out of state. They'll want to stay with us right after the baby's born, but after reading some word's from wise momma's here, I decided it'd be a bad idea. At first my husband was really adverse to this, but after talking with some friends who are experienced dads, he changed his mind.

Here's the problem... How do we pull off this last one without terribly hurting or offending our family?

I know my husband's parents may really get upset about it. They live in another state and already view me as someone who's taken their son away from them—even though he's moved away long before he met me. He's an only child, and they are retirees who don't ever get out. I do love them, but I've seen the way they look down on other people who do things different than them—especially my husband's cousin. She APs, and they totally trash her for it (ironically *never* her husband, I guess because my inlaws don't view child-rearing as a "man's job").

I hinted at having the two-three week break with my own mother. She did not like it. She said she *loved* having her mother and inlaws over, but she was in a very different situation as us. I was an OOPs baby, and she and Dad were just barely in college. They needed a lot more support.

She wants to come by for 3-hour visits right when we come home. The thing is I love my mom, and believe she could be helpful. She is a control freak, but backs off *a lot* when my husband is in the picture. I am not sure what to do about her. If she comes over, it may look like favoritism. I'm also concerned about whether or not she'll be in my space, but at the same time I would like to have her over.
post #2 of 23
I don't have a lot of advice, but I do sympathize. My family is also the pushy sort, though for the most part we maintain a good relationship. I have told them the gender and the name (Scarlet December) and haven't been met with oppostion. My biggest issue is labor and delivery. I'm getting fairly tired of all the advice being shoved down my throat, and I'm getting more than a little tired of everyone acting like the minute I go into labor it's a huge emergency. Now I'm an intelligent woman and I have no troubles listening to my obgyn either, whom I trust to tell me if sees any risks or complications coming up. I'm sorry that I'm not comfortable running to the hospital the first sign of waters or pain, but I'm just not. I'm into natural birthing, and I'm more comfortable laboring at home as soon as possible. I'm also not afraid of having the baby here at home, though it's not an ultimate goal...just not a fear either.

Also, I'm okay with people seeing the baby within reason when we come home, after all it will be the holiday season. But they'll be told boundaries pretty quickly. And I'm not happy with everyone seeming to think my labor and delivery room with be some rotating door. When I'm in pain and focusing I cannot entertain you and I'm probably not going to be up to you wanting to oogle me, touch all over me, and give me yet more advice.
post #3 of 23
About your baby name and gender concerns: LIE!!!
Seriously, lie through your teeth! Whatever you decide to do, between you and DH, tell EVERYONE ELSE that you *don't* know the gender and are waiting for the birth to find out. Many will be annoyed, but they won't be able to get angry with you for keeping a secret from them (as if it's their right to know ). And don't tell them your reasons either - give them a vague "not many surprises in life" or "we thought it would be fun to wait" kind of line.

As for the name(s) - just keep saying, over and over, "we haven't settled on any yet" or "we're going to wait until we meet the baby to choose a name" or "DH and I agreed not to discuss names with anyone else, and I can't break my promise to him".

As for the visits, just remember, it's YOUR home & YOUR baby, so YOU get to be selfish. Everyone else will get over it eventually. They don't have a right to see the baby whenever they want. Just tell them it's important that you and your husband have your private bonding time with the baby and you'll be sure to call them to come over as soon as you're ready for company. Then take your phone off the hook and leave a message on the machine saying you'll get back to everyone when you're done babymooning.

post #4 of 23
It's a very wise idea not to have your IL's stay with you. You just need to say that your MW will still be expecting you to rest often, you might still be figuring out bfing, your new family just needs their space. Give them names and numbers of some local hotels. The problem is, you are are more then likely not coming to pull of parenting your child without offending your parents/IL's, it's the nature of the beast. You do do things differently, not what they expected, and it can lead to hurt feelings. What is key though is to be upfront or direct with what you what. "While you staying with us just will not work for us, we would love you for to come over between the hours of 9-12 and then again when DH gets home."

This all can be very difficult because it's family, you do want to please them, not cause hard feelings, but the bottom line is (and this is really what you need to remember) is that YOUR family comes first now. You don't know how you will feel, what you will be up to, you would feel great and want people over, or not. It's is always easier to invite someone over sooner then it is to uninvite them. Good luck, and you are right that this is the time to set boundaries because it only gets worse. There is the birth, baby's first x-mas, holidays, b-day's, gifts, it goes on and on.
post #5 of 23
Last time with my MIL I used the "I don't know when I'll have the baby, so we can't possibly buy plane tickets until the baby is actually here". And since none of us can afford to buy tickets and walk on the plane the next day, we "had" to wait two weeks because of the fares being cheaper with 14-day advance purchase. So, unless you live within driving distance, it's a great excuse. Also, lie about your due date. Tell everyone within earshot that your care provider changed your due date to two weeks later than s/he originally thought.

As far as favoritism goes -- it's YOUR family, YOUR baby, YOU get to have people there who are helpful to you. So if you want your mother there for a couple hours to do laundry and dishes, that's yoru business. And who says you have to tell your ILs who you have at your house, and when?
post #6 of 23
We've been having to set limits since we got married 6 years ago, so some things are settled (MIL knows that I have no problems saying no, kicking her out, or not answering the phone), but...

As far as everyone (even the internet) knows, "we wanted to find out the sex, but the baby kept it's legs together during the ultrasound!" And because people have asked, "we're happy to wait and see, so we won't be having any more ultrasounds unless there's a problem."

Also, we have not shared a single name opinion or idea. With anyone. My in-laws asked more than once early on, and we haven't given them (or anyone else) a single clue except to say that the baby won't have a family name. Once they realized that just asking would cause us to clam up, they stopped asking.

If you and your husband are on the same page, you can keep that all secret. If we did happen to know the baby's sex , we might buy a few things that were gender-specific and just keep them hidden at all times.

We won't have the same visit issue, because my inlaws live next door (don't ask), but we will be happy to restrict visiting time if it becomes intrusive.

You can keep things private, and it can definitely make things more peaceful!
post #7 of 23
Originally Posted by pantufla View Post
As far as favoritism goes -- it's YOUR family, YOUR baby, YOU get to have people there who are helpful to you. So if you want your mother there for a couple hours to do laundry and dishes, that's yoru business. And who says you have to tell your ILs who you have at your house, and when?
What she said, but I know its hard. I'm in FL, my parents are in MD, and Huz's are in CA, so they're all anticipating a trip here once baby arrives. We'll see. So far I've been telling my mom & MIL that it would really be better for them to come a couple weeks later because 1) cost of airfare; 2) will have food made for a couple weeks and need cooking/cleaning help later; 3) want time alone to get used to BFing; 4) better that they don't come at the same time because then they'll have more individual time with me/baby; 5) most of all, I'll want/need them more when Huz goes back to work (I'm telling them he's taking 2 weeks, but I really have no idea). If you would like your mom there, tell the ILs (or have your Huz do it) that you're comfortable BFing infront of her but not them....

As for names, I don't share with the family/friends but tell them I'm "always open to suggestions."

And as far as the sex goes I would just lie. Tell them the baby didn't cooperate, or that it wasn't clear, or whatever.

Good luck!!
post #8 of 23
I'm due in November and we had the same concerns. We haven't discussed the names with anyone. We told people that we actually don't have our choices narrowed down and that we're waiting to meet the baby. When people ask what names we're thinking of, we just say that we're keeping them under wraps, because we don't want someone to get attached to a name that might not belong to our baby.

As for the sex of the baby, we weren't going to find out. However, the tech told us that she thought it was a girl. There were no girl parts on the screen. Now, we have not purchased more than 2 girl items. However, we told our whole family that we don't know, which in reality we don't. We let people know that we didn't even want an u/s so we certainly wouldn't be finding out the sex.

As for visits, all of our family on both side live 17 hours away. It takes some advance planning to get here. We said we want at least a week (which has magically morphed down to 5 days, like Baby is born on Monday, you can come Saturday). My mother wasn't thrilled. However, my point was women who birth in the hospital get to recover for 3 days with limited visiting hours. I expect the same priviledges in my home. If they lived 30 minutes away, they could stop by for half an hour, but when you travel 17 hours, you expect to spend hours with us, and I won't be up to it. Just to make sure that no one hops on the next available flight (but who can afford that anymore), we will most likely not be announcing the birth for a day or two after the baby is born.
post #9 of 23
Welcome to parenting! You will probably always have to struggle with decisions like these if your family is involved. The good thing is, it is worth it for your kids (IMO) to have their grandparents and other family around!

So keep in mind that Grandparents feel VERY attached to their grandkids. Do you have any neices or nephews, specifically of your siblings kids? Its like that only much more intense (I imagine) for grandparents. So while you need to know your limits on what you can handle, you may wnat to consider letting them around some even if it isn't ideal for you. Is there anyone else they can stay with in town? A hotel? If the family is making shorter visits you can always use some of that time to take a shower, take a nap, whatever. Let DH hang out with the inlaws during some of their visit, and shorten the time you have to deal with them. You can respectfully let them know that you need some space when the baby arrives, that things are not negotiable about the baby and how you are raising them, and if they start pushing you can suddenly become too worn out and need them to end their visit! Then you can let your Mom know the same, and if she respects it, hey - she gets to stay!

We knew the sex with DS but didn't tell. People drove us nuts about it the whole pregnancy, especially grandparents. I would just tell people you aren't finding out. Then you two can find out and not tell anyone, and it will be much easier on you!

As for names, I think your plan is fine. Of course you will be listening and looking for ideas during the pregnancy. But you can just let people know you aren't naming the lo until they arrive and you get to know them. So when people tell you a name, you can just say we'll have to see when we meet them!

Good luck!

post #10 of 23
I don't know where it is written in "Grandma's Handbook" that grandmas can come and go as they please, as if this were their own child. It's like the respect for the new parents goes completely out the window when a baby is born (or even before birth). As an example, when we were deciding on a name for our soon-to-be born babe, my MIL actually said, "Well, I have to like it too."

I don't have parents, so they won't be an issue. But DH's mom is ready and waiting for a call at the earliest sign of labor. She actually believes we're going to call her when I'm in labor. She thinks we're going to call her immediately after birth. She also thinks we're having the baby at a birth center, not at home. We're letting her think whatever she wants. We know when we're going to call her...when we're ready.

It's not that I don't appreciate family. I just think they take it for granted that a new baby is a "family item" to be seen as soon as possible. As I said before, there is often no respect for the mom & dad's (or partner's) wishes after birth. They don't consider that mom has been through however many hours of labor and that dad (or other partner) has been there supporting her all those hours.

Part of the reason I don't want visitors right away is that I'm a new mama. I have never nursed before. I have never been solely responsible for a little life like I will be. I don't need added pressure of "You should do it this way" or "Why don't you just give her a bottle?"

My MIL is going to be coming to stay with us a few days about 2 weeks after the birth. She asked what she is going to do. I said, "I'd appreciate if you'd cook, clean, and watch the baby while I shower. But I am the mama and I will be looking after Amelia the majority of the time." I wanted her to understand that she isn't there to watch the baby. She is there to help her son and me get our lives back in order after he goes back to work. I don't know how to be nicer about it, but she has to realize that, although this is grandbaby #1, this is our child, not hers. (She already disagrees with pretty much everything I'm planning to do as a parent, but whatever. )

The bottom line is that you have to do what is right for you, your husband, and baby. If you feel that you would like time alone, that is what it should be. I know that I want time alone, but not weeks. I just need a day. Then again, we'll re-evaluate after birth. I might change my mind. You might change your mind. Give yourself the opportunity to experience birth and after how you want to. No one says you can't change you mind; but I would definitely state some ground rules up front. It sounds especially necessary with your mom. She already has some preconceived notion that you would definitely want her there because that is what she wanted. I would make sure she is aware of what you really want. Tell her you love her and you appreciate everything she is going to do for you, but you have your own wants and idea. As for DH's family -- that's tough. This is where he has to be strong and not back down. If you are both on the same page, he has to tell them how it is.

I wish you the best of luck. I hope everything goes okay for you. Just give yourself the opportunity to experience your birth and after how you and DH want. Don't be pressured into having visitors to pacify others. I know, easier said than done. Sometimes, you just have to be if they don't get the message when you're being nice about it. And I'm a pretty nice person.
post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
Wow! You all have given me a lot to think about. Thank you!

We're going to lie our butts off about the sonogram findings. It's really the best thing to do. I made the mistake early on (when we first told everyone) of mentioning that I wanted the sex to be a surprise (foot in mouth). If we tell people that we decided not to find out, I will get blamed, but saying the baby won't cooperate will be something people can't stick on me.

The name thing won't be hard to do (if I can keep my mouth shut—something my husband will hold me to). We'll just tell people we aren't thinking about it until after the baby is born, and that's partially true. We do have one first name we like for a girl (haven't found any we both like for boys) but really, we want to pick out 3-5 and wait til the kid is born and out for a couple days before deciding. My MIL was very spontaneous when she chose my husband's name so I think this will go over very well.

I'm still not totally sure how we are going to handle things with my husband's folks coming here after the birth. They live 5 hours away, but I know they'd drive here at the drop of a hat. I think I'm going to let my husband sort it out. While he's a little too non-confrontational sometimes (to the point he can let his folks treat him like a child still and walk all over me), he knows how to use "evasive tactics" with them enough we can keep them out of here for a couple weeks. Tactics will be mentioning that our midwife suggests it for both my own health (so I can establish BFing) and for the baby (having too many people in the house can be overwhelming).

My mom also suggested we simply make it clear to my inlaws *when* they can come down so they know they are definitely invited and will get to be here. I'll let DH do all the talking.

When they do come here, I'm going to try to give them the benefit of the doubt. We don't always get along, but they have surprised me before, and while they are very conservative their views do change.

And I think I will let my mom come here early on. I'm not sure how much, but I think short visits will be okay. She lives closer, and she has also BF'd so I feel more comfortable with her being around. But I'm going to make it very clear (in a nice way) that she (and my stepfather) will need to respect our space (when we need it)—as well as our parenting choices.

I believe they will. My SF is really mellow and is extra well-behaved when hanging out with my husband. Mom can be very bossy, but I've noticed she mellowed out with my sister after she had her son. I think she will do the same for me (I hope).
post #12 of 23
I'm in a similar situation. I don't think there's anything wrong with keeping sex/names secret.
I also think people should respect the wishes of new parents, whether that means coming right away, or waiting.
I just flat out told my MIL that my mom was coming a week after the birth for a couple of weeks, and she was welcome after that for a short stay (I stressed "short") She kept trying to argue, saying I would need the help, etc. but I just said my husband would be help enough, and that we needed time to ourselves to bond with the baby.
She doesn't like it, but she's not coming until later either, which is what I really care about. She should count herself lucky-I don't want my in laws here at all, but I'm giving in because my husband feels bad about leaving her out.
Just stay strong, and keep repeating that you and your husband just need the time.
As far as your mom having favoritism-well, you know what, that's the way it is all around the world. The mother's mother is the one who comes to help the majority of the time, not the father's mother. Girls need their mothers at a time like this-I've grown so much closer to my own mom through this pregnancy.
post #13 of 23
Wow I didn't realize this was so common, it makes me feel better

My DH is from Holland and my ILs speak minimal English, I speak Dutch as good as their English, so we basically just speak our own language to each other and we understand enough. FIL speaks German and I am fluent so sometimes we communicate like that.

My MIL is really opinionated, and freakishly like me so we butt heads a lot. It can be hard because I want to tell her no delicately but the language barrier makes it impossible. They misinterpret my intentions a lot, and I hate it (and vice versa). A lot of times she just wants to be helpful but it sounds like she is telling me how to run my own home. Fortunately my SIL has 2 kids (MIL was a preschool teacher so she really does know everything about kids) and they have fought through the battle already, MIL has learned to back off thank god it wasn't through me!

When we got married a year ago DHs family (sister's family and parents) came ans stayed with us for 3.5 weeks (2 weeks was after the wedding). I think they saw what a strain it was for me to host and to run around doing wedding stuff. Not to mention after the wedding my DH and I just wanted to be alone (we ended up making out in the car!). They live so far away we can't ask them to come for a shorter amount of time. So this time they offered to stay in a hotel. DH and I are going to look for an apartment for them that we can rent for the month because it is cheaper. That way they can come and go as they please and we will have time to have our own family time. I think it is going to work out fine.

Best of luck to you all, I don't know how to ask ILs to back off (even in my native language) and was already worried about it before I got pregnant. DH NEVER stands up for me to them, which is even worse because he won't even translate, he just freezes up. I am so thankful that they offered to stay someplace else. WEW!
post #14 of 23
Sometimes a baby changes the family dynamic for the better. Not always, of course, but sometimes parents and in-laws suddenly see you as more in charge, more capable, etc. They also see you as the gatekeeper to their grandchild, so they need to stay on your good side. And generally after you give birth, people, even obnoxious relatives, are pretty helpful and understanding. My relationship with my parents and in-laws has definitely changed for the better since having a child. And my family has surprised me with their generosity and deference. I think there's usually an acceptance of the idea of "your child, your rules." I think it's great that you're planning ahead for some space after the baby's born, but try to give your family the benefit of the doubt, too. As for the name/gender....we didn't tell anyone the name with either pregnancy, and everyone has been fine with it. My mother jokes about it and tries to guess, but everyone has respected our right to keep it quiet until the baby's born.

Also, you're going to get yucky gender-specific clothes and gifts, and you're going to get gifts that you never would have chosen for yourself, but it's ok. Sometimes you'll end up actually liking something you never thought you would. Or sometimes you'll take a photo of your kid wearing the weird denim jumpsuit that grandma sent, and then you'll toss it straight into the garbage. Just try to go with the flow.
post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 
While doing some reading this AM about introducing babies into a pet-household (we have 3 cats and 3 dogs), I found another *super legit* reason not to have people stay with us for a while.

It'd be much a harder adjustment for the pets—particularly the cats (they can be so sensitive to new changes). So, this is probably going to be our strongest argument as to why we won't have the in-laws down right away.

And it's really awesome, because it's likely my ILs will probably be a lot more understanding when we mention this. They own 5 cats of their own (who they are *very* dedicated to) and know how hard it is for a cat to adjust to newcomers and changes.

After we bring it up to them, maybe they'll be more open stay at a hotel or a nice inn. My folks may even offer to let them stay with them.
post #16 of 23
I totally second the whole "hotel" idea. They can come, but actually IN the house is a bit much (and often not comfortable for them- newborns cry in the night and need diaper changes, you will be in the bathroom a lot, there will be no cleaning or cooking for a while...).

I have to say, my in-laws surprised the HECK out of me. They lived 6 hours away and wanted to come for the birth (as did my parents). I said sure (then gave explicit instructions to DH as to how to protect my space if I needed it). My MIL is very oppinionated as well and I often had to work hard during our visits and was not sure what would happen, but was OK with trying as I knew that things wouldn't ever get too out of hand. Well, she totally knew when to come and go. She totally backed off during labor and all, she wanted to hold the baby after he was born, but was totally respectful about letting that be when I was ready. I ended up having a c-section and I really needed someone to help about 2 weeks after. My parents had to work and go home. DH had to go back to work. MIL was it. I tell you, the woman dropped everything at her home, cooked, cleaned, held the baby so I could sleep... she was totally awesome and I couldn't have done it without her. Here I had her pegged as self centered and oppinionated and someone I had to "manage" and she turned out to be such an amazing help and so good to me and we actually shared a lot of giggles and silly smiles and lots of baby gazing those days she helped me. She knew what it was to be a mother, and I had just not seen her in that light.

I think often parents and ILs just want to be part of it. If you can give them a way to do that in a situation that is comfortable for you, that is really key. You will find that having someone who LOVES this baby watch him/her while you are in the shower during those first weeks is really a blessing. As much as you know you will need time together to bond and get the hang of things, you might also find that help is appreciated. The family can pick up dinner, throw in a load of laundry, etc. As much as you are anticipating and dreaming of doing everything for your baby, someone else to help change that spit-up onesie is really nice. And ya know? They might really WANT to because it makes them feel that they helped.

The other thing was too was that those first few weeks, I was hormonal and messy and tired and sometimes overwhelmed, but I was also in love with my new baby. And to look at him sleeping and to look around me and see 5 adults there with silly smiles watching my baby sleep... it was good. To hand him over to someone who was just honored and so happy they were goofy to hold him while I used the bathroom... There are not really words. You get that baby and you want to protect him/her and you want the world to love him/her like you do. And the reality is that not everyone will. And you realize quickly that those few other people in the world that DO love him/her like that are very special.

So, I guess what I am saying is- if your ILs or family is not toxic, if they are not going to try to take over or whatever, and if you can find a way to give them a part of this in a way that is comfortable for you, it is a great way to enter into a new relationship as them as grandparents, not just ILs. They might surprise you.

My advice would be to be clear "I'm not cooking. I'm not cleaning. And I could really use some help with those things..." and "I'm going to bed now." and doing things like taking the baby in with you and shutting your bedroom door. Things like that.

And as for the sex and name- LIE. Lie. Yup. People are weird about names. And they are very personal. We did not tell our first son's name until after he was born for this reason. After they are born and named, there is no room to push for "your" name, and there is no reason to put down the name. We're doing this for our second son too, but my dad guessed it! Thankfully, he said it was a great name . Everyone else doesn't know and won't! We just said "It's a surprise..." and went NO FURTHER.
post #17 of 23
my situation was exactly the same with DD, and we let the ILs run all over us -- bring us meals ... and then stay to eat them! come for a "visit" and then never leave, even when i had retreated as a hormonal mess to the bedroom. (my ILs lived 5 minutes from the hospital we delivered at).

the second time around we were more purposeful about giving them opportunities to be involved - on our terms. certainly gender and naming is totally your territory, but i think your mom is wise in encouraging you to tell them when they *can* visit. my sister had to even say - "you can come 3 weeks after the baby is born and only stay 3 hours each day." whatever your boundaries are, it's okay to set them. as you *appear* generous with them, hopefully they'll respond with a little respect in return. and if they don't you have limits you can enforce. they can look forward to their visit -- and you can brace yourself for it!!

the very best of good luck to you and DH!!
post #18 of 23
How close does your mom live?

I totallt agree with the hotel idea - even for your mom and stepdad. That way, you have guaranteed space, and your ILs can't claim foul.

It's way, way, way too hard to have house guests with a newborn.

My ILs are close, but this will be our second baby and their 6th grandchild. I'm sure they'll be at the hospital - but even with out any discussion, with our first, DH knew not to call until a couple hours AFTER the baby was born, and they showed up well after that, after dinner time, and baby was born in the morning. I was fine with that, though they did overstay their welcome (Uh, yeah! That announcement about visiting hours being over? It really DOES apply to you, too!).

Anyways, you never know what you're going to feel up to, or not up to. I think having the ILs come out 2-3 weeks after baby is born for a few days would be good - you'll be more adjusted to newborn life, nursing, you'll be well on the road to recovery from the birth (barring any big problems, of course). Especially if you think they are the types you have to play hostess for, and entertain.

Try this - tell them 2-3 weeks after baby is born, you'll really NEED their help. Dh will be back to work, and your mom can't stay that long. You'll NEED them then, and they'll get to spend one on one time with baby. Most likely, that'll appeal to them.
post #19 of 23
hmmmm. all the lying. is it the best way?

its not just about the baby's birth or me not being sensitive. i've struggled with a lot of 'what to tell the family' issues and i think i've finally just had it.

the family needs to see you and dh as you are. you need to stop any games or tiptoeing (being polite and respectful are always nice.) it will be sooooo much harder once the baby is born and your sleep deprived. this is your chance! you are a momma and your finally going to look more grown up in their eyes..... you have everything going for you right now.

be firm, have dh talk to his fam if it helps. glorify the relatives who are ap'ing their kids and let your opinion and praise be known. these family things are always creeping up and you don't need to waste your energy now or later on 'how to get out of just telling them the way it is'. let them know the real you. : it will make everything so much more enjoyable. you won't have to be defensive. it will be a great reflection of how comfortable you are in your role. it is confidence.
post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by coalifetime View Post
hmmmm. all the lying. is it the best way?

its not just about the baby's birth or me not being sensitive. i've struggled with a lot of 'what to tell the family' issues and i think i've finally just had it.

the family needs to see you and dh as you are. you need to stop any games or tiptoeing (being polite and respectful are always nice.) it will be sooooo much harder once the baby is born and your sleep deprived. this is your chance! you are a momma and your finally going to look more grown up in their eyes..... you have everything going for you right now.

be firm, have dh talk to his fam if it helps. glorify the relatives who are ap'ing their kids and let your opinion and praise be known. these family things are always creeping up and you don't need to waste your energy now or later on 'how to get out of just telling them the way it is'. let them know the real you. : it will make everything so much more enjoyable. you won't have to be defensive. it will be a great reflection of how comfortable you are in your role. it is confidence.
Thank you for the awesome pep talk. I know we have nothing to be ashamed of, and that being assertive will is a huge part of gaining respect with other people.

Our parents will be exposed to our parenting choices. They already know a few of them—like our decision to go to a birthing center instead of a hospital.

There will be *plenty* of a chance for them seeing the rest of it after the kid is born. When that time comes around, we'll have some information printed out. If they want to read it, that's great. If not, they get to have their say *once.* Then we'll say something like, "Thank you for your concern. We'll take it under consideration. This is now a closed topic."

Quite frankly, a lot of this stuff is *none* of their business. While I don't plan to hide it (especially after the baby is born), they really don't need to know it right now either.

The last thing I need during this pregnancy is stress. I have lost two prior pregnancies, and I have enough worries about this pregnancy without some people trying to bully me into changing my mind or attempting to make me feel like I'm making poor parenting decisions.

We also don't need to be arguing about our parenting choices with our folks the first couple weeks while we are trying to learn to be new parents—especially *not* when I'm trying to breastfeed and start a new sleeping schedule.

Those are not times we will have the energy, interest, or presence of mind to be defending our views, brushing off criticisms, and/or attempting to educate our parents. Even if we *weren't* doing AP, we'd still feel this way.

Don't get me wrong: I am a firm believer in honesty and standing up for myself—almost to a fault. I usually don't keep my mouth shut when I should and have a confrontational side (my father is an attorney, what can you expect?). But, lately, I'm starting to realize this isn't always a good, healthy thing. The world is not so black and white.

This all isn't about game-playing. This is about protecting my and my family's interest—both my future family (our feelings and our mental health—things that will impact our child) and my parents/ILs (their feelings and relationship with us). We will have both, but it will take a little consideration and strategy ahead of time.
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