How do you tactfully, politely tell a LOVED ONE to not attend your birth?*UPDATE* - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 55 Old 05-01-2008, 05:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My mother to be exact.

Last time around, she was a nightmare, to put it bluntly. She was the influence behind getting an epidural and never once supported me having a natural birth.

Well I'll be giving birth in October and she is expecting me to invite her again (this time it's at a birth center).

How does one tactfully, politely tell a loved one to not attend their birth?

I only want people who support my decision for a natural birth...And that will be my husband and his mother who has given birth naturally 12 times.

Thoughts?

*UPDATE*

Ok, so basically, I had a very interesting conversation with my mother a few days ago...I am still very shocked and perplexed by it and advice is much wanted right now.

In a nutshell: First you must realize about my mother- she is the opposite of direct and straightforward. A very passive, indirect person. So I was very shocked at how straightforward she was being with me...

So I told her on a phone call the other day that I really needed her help to spend the night here at home to watch my toddler while I'm at the birth center.

The conversation went something like that afterwards:

Mom- "I absolutely will not! I am going to be there in the birth room whether you like it or not"

Me, shocked- "Uh....But this is the best way you can help me! I trust you above anyone else to watch my son"
(thanks again to whichever mom on here gave me the advice to say that by the way- she was flattered for a second)

Mom- "I am going to rub your back while you're in labor and be there, ok?"

Me- "But you really don't have to. I need someone to watch William"

Mom- "Your dad can do it. I'm going to be in the birth room with you."

Finally, I was brave and straightforward with her, shaking while I said it though because I was nervous to confront her but I said...

Me- "I really only want people there who will support my decision for a natural childbirth and last time you encouraged me to get an epidural"

She brought up the point that since birth centers don't offer them, she can't very well tell me to get one again.

But when I suggested that she might yell at me to go to the hospital to get one, she snapped and said, "Well what would YOU do if you had a daughter in severe pain!?"

:

That's the jist. I don't really know what to do- my husband absolutely does not want her there because he doesn't trust her that she'll actually support my choice for natural labor...

My mother in law doesn't know what she thinks...

And I don't know what I think either...

-Caitrin

Me whistling.gif Wife / SAHM / Musician/ Actress/ Queen of this castle. Progeny: William (January 2007), Tristan (November 2008) and expecting Lukas stork-boy.gif due January 2012!!  lactivist.gif femalesling.GIFwaterbirth.jpg dishes.gif

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#2 of 55 Old 05-01-2008, 05:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Celticqueen View Post
My mother to be exact.

Last time around, she was a nightmare, to put it bluntly. She was the influence behind getting an epidural and never once supported me having a natural birth.

Well I'll be giving birth in October and she is expecting me to invite her again (this time it's at a birth center).

How does one tactfully, politely tell a loved one to not attend their birth?

I only want people who support my decision for a natural birth...And that will be my husband and his mother who has given birth naturally 12 times.

Thoughts?

Anyone else had to reject someone you love?

-Caitrin
Oh, and my mother also makes fun of birth centers, midwives and doulas so you can see the conflict between us...

It's hard because she expects to be invited because she's my mom, but I know she will be screaming "Take my daughter to the hospital so she can have an epidural!" or something along those lines...

Sigh.

-Caitrin

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#3 of 55 Old 05-01-2008, 05:09 PM
 
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I told my mom that I'd decided that DS#2's birth would be between DP and myself.

Didn't go over too well.

Of course, since you are inviting your SO's mom...it makes things a bit trickier.

Personally, I'd tell her that you could really appreciate her help AFTER the birth.

And under no circumstances call her when you go into labor.
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#4 of 55 Old 05-01-2008, 05:44 PM
 
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Two routes:

One, be upfront. Tell her that you love her very much, but this is a very important time for you and need people that are 100% supportive of your birth choices. You would love to call her after the birth when you are settled, but you don't think she could give you the support you need for natural childbirth.

Two, just don't say anything. Let her think that she will be there and then just don't call her when you go into labor and head to the birth center. It just happened so fast!

Only you know what approach would work best!

Midwifery Student and Mama to 2 daughters and 3 sons.     
ribboncesarean.gif vbac.gifhomebirth.jpg I have given birth a variety of ways and I am thankful for what each one has taught me.

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#5 of 55 Old 05-01-2008, 05:53 PM
 
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I don't know if there's any way you can do it that is guaranteed, or even extremely likely, to avoid any conflict with your mother if she is hell-bent on attending.

So I think I'd adjust your goals here. Your goal is not to placate your mother or make her happy or not ruffle her feathers. Your goal is to protect yourself and set healthy boundaries. You are not attacking or denying your mother in any way, so no need to feel guilty or defensive.

"Mom, I've decided this time I'll be at the birthing center with just me and DH (and other kid, whoever). We'll give you a call when the baby's born! And I'd love for you to come over and stay for (one night or whatever) on (the baby's third day or whatever you want). That would be a really big help and support to me."

"What do you mean, you don't want me there??"

"I've decided I'm more comfortable having it just me and DH this time." (Repeat as needed. Don't get defensive or get drawn into the drama).

"I'm your MOTHER! You need me there!" / "How could you do this to me?" / "etc" -> your cue to realize this is your mother's issue and not your own. Repeat above as needed.

Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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#6 of 55 Old 05-01-2008, 06:08 PM
 
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Excellent replies above. My first thought was tell her, "Mom, you're not invited." : Be very polite and very firm. Then don't discuss it. Period.

Stacy - mom to Lily 5-20-06 , Angel, stillborn @ 25 wks 12-17-07 , and Cami 4-21-09.
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#7 of 55 Old 05-01-2008, 06:18 PM
 
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I like milkydoula's and laohaire's options. And if she dosn't know already, DON'T tell her that your MIL will be there.

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#8 of 55 Old 05-01-2008, 06:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by laohaire View Post
I don't know if there's any way you can do it that is guaranteed, or even extremely likely, to avoid any conflict with your mother if she is hell-bent on attending.

So I think I'd adjust your goals here. Your goal is not to placate your mother or make her happy or not ruffle her feathers. Your goal is to protect yourself and set healthy boundaries. You are not attacking or denying your mother in any way, so no need to feel guilty or defensive.

"Mom, I've decided this time I'll be at the birthing center with just me and DH (and other kid, whoever). We'll give you a call when the baby's born! And I'd love for you to come over and stay for (one night or whatever) on (the baby's third day or whatever you want). That would be a really big help and support to me."

"What do you mean, you don't want me there??"

"I've decided I'm more comfortable having it just me and DH this time." (Repeat as needed. Don't get defensive or get drawn into the drama).

"I'm your MOTHER! You need me there!" / "How could you do this to me?" / "etc" -> your cue to realize this is your mother's issue and not your own. Repeat above as needed.
I love this post - covers it all!
I'm telling my mom that this time it will just be me and dh (she understands, and will keep my two other kids and come see the baby afterwards).
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#9 of 55 Old 05-01-2008, 06:27 PM
 
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Can you have her watch your other child while you're having the baby? Perhaps that would make her feel included without having to tell her "You can't come".

BTW, I totally understand the feeling. My mother was at my second birth just long enough to drop off lunch for us -- she did not stop talking once the whole time she was there, and in my head I was chanting "shut up shut up shut up shut up SHUT UP!".

Jill, wife to J, mama to O (10/03), MK (7/05), angel1.gif(7/09), A (5/4/10), and ***4***8***12***16***20***24***28***32***36***stork-suprise.gif** 

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#10 of 55 Old 05-01-2008, 06:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I like milkydoula's and laohaire's options. And if she dosn't know already, DON'T tell her that your MIL will be there.
But what if she asks if my MIL will be there???

-Caitrin

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#11 of 55 Old 05-01-2008, 06:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Can you have her watch your other child while you're having the baby? Perhaps that would make her feel included without having to tell her "You can't come".

BTW, I totally understand the feeling. My mother was at my second birth just long enough to drop off lunch for us -- she did not stop talking once the whole time she was there, and in my head I was chanting "shut up shut up shut up shut up SHUT UP!".
You know what...I hadn't even thought about that until now.

Thank you!

I just realized something major here...I live 2 hours south of both families...

And since I really don't want my son there for the 3 days I'll be postpardum...I'm going to need someone to stay down here at our home to take care of William for those days since it would be impractical to have someone come all the way down to get him only to bring him all the way north...

Maybe if I approached her and said, "Hey mom! I don't know if you were wanting to attend this next birth but I really need someone to stay here a few days to watch William while I stay at the birth center...Could you?"

-Caitrin

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#12 of 55 Old 05-01-2008, 06:36 PM
 
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But what if she asks if my MIL will be there???

-Caitrin
Mmm...good question. Good idea to prepared. Well, some would say lie, but that could backfire. If you're comfortable, maybe something like "I only want people supportive of my choices there." It's hard, because it could cause big dissention in the family and some moms (or MILs) are REALLY good at drama. Man I wish I could think of some more evasive answers but my mind isn't working right now.

ETA: Ahh, JillC had a great idea! Maybe that would work!

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#13 of 55 Old 05-01-2008, 06:40 PM
 
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I don't know if there's any way you can do it that is guaranteed, or even extremely likely, to avoid any conflict with your mother if she is hell-bent on attending.

So I think I'd adjust your goals here. Your goal is not to placate your mother or make her happy or not ruffle her feathers. Your goal is to protect yourself and set healthy boundaries. You are not attacking or denying your mother in any way, so no need to feel guilty or defensive.

"Mom, I've decided this time I'll be at the birthing center with just me and DH (and other kid, whoever). We'll give you a call when the baby's born! And I'd love for you to come over and stay for (one night or whatever) on (the baby's third day or whatever you want). That would be a really big help and support to me."

"What do you mean, you don't want me there??"

"I've decided I'm more comfortable having it just me and DH this time." (Repeat as needed. Don't get defensive or get drawn into the drama).

"I'm your MOTHER! You need me there!" / "How could you do this to me?" / "etc" -> your cue to realize this is your mother's issue and not your own. Repeat above as needed.
This is what I would have tried to say, only it would not have sounded as good! Excellent suggestions!

GL mama, remember this is YOUR BIRTH and you're in charge. It may be hard to basically tell your mom to take a flying leap, but it's time to be Mama Bear and defend your sacred space.
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#14 of 55 Old 05-01-2008, 07:11 PM
 
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"I love you. But I cannot have you at my birth.

To put it bluntly, you were the influence behind getting an epidural and never once supported me having a natural birth.

And I refuse to go through that again. If you care for me at all you will not ask to be there this time."
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#15 of 55 Old 05-01-2008, 07:50 PM
 
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My mom's job this time is to care for my toddler. It's a very important job, one she'll be best at it.

ANd, it makes me happy.
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#16 of 55 Old 05-01-2008, 10:02 PM
 
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I would simply tell her you did not appreciate her non-supportive attitude of your choices during the last birth and as much as you love her, you want it completely your way this time. She might say she will support you just to be allowed to attend, but just say you are not willing to take that chance because she is your mother and in the heat of the moment she might forget her promise out her love and desire to make the pain go away. This way, your are letting her know you understand her actions were done out of concern and maybe this will lessen the blow of rejection.
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Maybe if I approached her and said, "Hey mom! I don't know if you were wanting to attend this next birth but I really need someone to stay here a few days to watch William while I stay at the birth center...Could you?"
I think you're just walking right into having her invite HERSELF to the birth if you word it this way. I say ask her to watch your son and if/when she says that she was planning to be at the birth, THEN you can go into the dialogue that laohaire posted above.

Wife to a great DH, SAHM to 3 great kids
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#18 of 55 Old 05-01-2008, 11:39 PM
 
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Maybe if I approached her and said, "Hey mom! I don't know if you were wanting to attend this next birth but I really need someone to stay here a few days to watch William while I stay at the birth center...Could you?"

-Caitrin
No. Say "Hey mom! I really need someone to stay here a few days to watch William while I stay at the birth center...Could you?" instead.

Don't give her the option of saying she'd rather be at the birth.
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#19 of 55 Old 05-01-2008, 11:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I would simply tell her you did not appreciate her non-supportive attitude of your choices during the last birth and as much as you love her, you want it completely your way this time. She might say she will support you just to be allowed to attend, but just say you are not willing to take that chance because she is your mother and in the heat of the moment she might forget her promise out her love and desire to make the pain go away. This way, your are letting her know you understand her actions were done out of concern and maybe this will lessen the blow of rejection.
That's a good idea!

-Caitrin

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#20 of 55 Old 05-01-2008, 11:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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No..
Yes Mam!

Actually, that's a good point...because if I don't give her the option, she's less likely to object!!

And it is being honest...I really do need someone to watch the little guy. Mom's gotta have a break for a few days (aka me)!

-Caitrin

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#21 of 55 Old 05-01-2008, 11:45 PM
 
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I love the idea of being polite and tactful, but for my Mom, I am going the silent route.

I am just not telling her anything other than, "Hey, baby was born yesterday, you can come and see now."

Any misspellings or grammatical errors in the above statement are intentional;
they are placed there for the amusement of those who like to point them out.
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#22 of 55 Old 05-01-2008, 11:47 PM
 
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Yes Mam!

Actually, that's a good point...because if I don't give her the option, she's less likely to object!!

And it is being honest...I really do need someone to watch the little guy. Mom's gotta have a break for a few days (aka me)!

-Caitrin
Glad I could help.

However,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luv2Skydive View Post
I would simply tell her you did not appreciate her non-supportive attitude of your choices during the last birth and as much as you love her, you want it completely your way this time. She might say she will support you just to be allowed to attend, but just say you are not willing to take that chance because she is your mother and in the heat of the moment she might forget her promise out her love and desire to make the pain go away. This way, your are letting her know you understand her actions were done out of concern and maybe this will lessen the blow of rejection.
is how I really feel!
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#23 of 55 Old 05-01-2008, 11:50 PM
 
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The babysitter idea is a great one. Another option is to tell her your due date is about 3 weeks later than it actually is. Then encourage her to take a much-needed vacation right around your *actual* due date. "Have fun, Mom - once the baby gets here you won't want to leave!" "Well, look at that - the baby came early! Sorry you weren't here!"

I'm mostly kidding but if it worked it would be awesome. I'm not a big fan of scheduled c-sections, but in this case I might consider it.
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#24 of 55 Old 05-02-2008, 11:26 AM
 
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Personaly I wouldn't tell her when you go in labor. She doens't need to know. You can call her immediatly afterwards to meet her grandchild.

Thea, wife to Daniel Homeschooling Momma to 4 beautiful, engergetic children.
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#25 of 55 Old 05-02-2008, 11:37 AM
 
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I love the idea of being polite and tactful, but for my Mom, I am going the silent route.

I am just not telling her anything other than, "Hey, baby was born yesterday, you can come and see now."
i am doing this with my mil because she informed my midwife she was going to be here so i could yell at someone. she doesn't realise if she wasn't at the first one i wouldn't have needed to yell at all. so she will find out after baby is born.
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#26 of 55 Old 05-02-2008, 12:12 PM
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in my case, this is our first. a lot of people have tried to invite themselves or someone else to the birth (because we are UCing usually a 'friend' who is some kind of medical professional).

in each case, we simply say "no, you are not invited." and that is it. it is not up for discussion and we provide no explaination of who is and is not invited and why.

it may not be "polite or tactful" to some people, but i need to have the birth the way i need to have it, and that might require not being tactful occassionally.
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#27 of 55 Old 05-03-2008, 02:15 AM
 
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Maybe just let the nurses escort her out
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#28 of 55 Old 05-03-2008, 06:10 PM
 
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I would totally give her the role of watching your first child. "Mom, I really need you to watch him, knowing he is in your care will allow me not to worry about him when I am in labor." Make her feel like you really need her to do this job and there is no one else you want caring for dc when you are giving birth.

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#29 of 55 Old 05-03-2008, 06:23 PM
 
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I like milkydoula's and laohaire's options. And if she dosn't know already, DON'T tell her that your MIL will be there.
Agreed. Let her know that based on your experience last time you have decided you want it to be a quiet birthing time with you and your husband. Don't call her until after the labor is over.
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#30 of 55 Old 05-03-2008, 06:24 PM
 
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It's been a really long time since I've read it, but you might want to skim through Becoming a Grandmother by Sheila Kitzinger and, if it sounds good to you, give it to her as a Mother's Day present? I remember it having a lot of stuff about how your daughter's birth is not a judgment of yours, about how you need to let your daughter be the mother and assume a grandmother role instead, stuff like that. I felt like it really broke the ice for me to be able to tell my mom things like, "I feel like when I am in labor I am going to feel very private. If you were here, I wouldn't feel as uninhibited about making noises and things, and it would make things more difficult for me. I want you to be here after the birth though, will you please make reservations for a week or more after my due date?"
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