Mothering Forum banner

How to Discuss Family Planning with Future Grandparents

949 Views 8 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  greenebeene
Hey all!

I need a bit of advice about how to approach this topic with my parents and in-laws.

My process is a long one. I have been 'family planning' for 3 years. That is, three years ago i began to work on myself and research what i would need for fertility, pregnancy, birth, and early childhood/motherhood. I have learned a lot, and kept most of this study on the down-low.

The reason for this is because a lot of the work was and is largely private--working through emotional issues and blocks, determining whether i want to be a parent and then, once that's determined, how i want to parent. So, there was no need to involve anyone.

Now that I have a good working plan of what i would like to do, how i want to prepare to concieve, how i want to go through my pregnancy and birth process, and also when i would like to TTC, i want to begin to introduce some of these topics to family members who could be very supportive (future grandparents).

My ILs have been 'chomping at the bit' to have grandkids for a couple of years now. we've had guilt trips and all of that stuff, and we've been able to fend it off pretty well. Over the last three years, i explained that we are considering having children, whether or not we can or want to, etc, and asked them not to pressure us either way. It was very difficult on my MIL.

My mother, on the other hand, has been crazy supportive about us not having children 'until we're ready, if at all.' my mother says she is happy with whatever decision we make. in fact, she's more supportive of us NOT having children as far as i can tell.

So, here are my fears. On the one hand, i want to tell mom and MIL that i'm starting on this process of preparing to concieve. For me, this process is a one-year transition into a pregnancy and lactation diet that is following the guidelines that i've studied through various information (ayurvedic, etc). This means cutting out certain foods and adding in others. IN addition to this, it includes a great deal of study and preparation for unassisted pregnancy and unassisted childbirth. I want to introduce these ideas before i'm pregnant so that we can hash out all the social-scariness of them, and i can be forthright about why i'm choosing this method and how i am planning for support (medical) if i should need it.

what i would like is for my family to be very supportive of the whole thing. What i fear is that my ILs will start going crazy thinking that it's "any minute now" and be disappointed that we aren't moving faster. They're very critical and judgemental people (anything that someone does thta's outside of their frame of reference is bad and AP, UP/UC, EC, HS/US, etc are all WAY out of their frame of reference), and i do not think they're going to take well to the information.

I believe that my mother will be indifferent or even disappointed in me for doing this whole parent-thing.

How do i approach this with my family? should i bring it up casually (if it comes up) or do i go to visit them with this as a specific topic to bring up? how do i open a dialogue so that i am inclusive of them in this phase in my life, without opening myself up to extreme criticism and judgement?

or am i just being overreactive?
See less See more
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
In all honesty, I don't think you should bring it up at all. I really don't. If you invite them into the process, you will be inviting their opinions into the process. The odds against you changing their minds about anything are almost overwhelming. You will be adding stress into your life that is going to be counterproductive when it comes to getting pregnant, and it is going to continue.

If you can say "OK, we're going to transition towards me trying to get pregnant in a year. I trust I can come to you whenever I need advice," and they'll respect that (read: not offer unsolicited advice), then go for it. But it doesn't sound as if that is the case. So figure out how much you are willing to put up with, and go from there.
here's the thing.

i'm not willing to keep them out of the loop. i want to provide the opportunity for them to be supportive, which i think is really important. so, i want to find the balance between not telling them anything (except, we're going to get pregnant in 2008 or after) and expecting too much of them.
I also would not include them at this point. Partly, because 'we are going to get pregnant' may never happen, but also because I think there would be more pressure than support.

I think these things are always beautiful and mysterious and too much information can be, well, too much.
TTC can be physically and emotionally draining - especially since you never know what can happen. Although it was very easy to conceive our first, we're having difficulties conceiving our 2nd (early m/c, inability to conceive, etc.) and the family pressures are overwhelming. I invite you to visit the TTC forum to see the daily struggles of women struggling with this. The best laid plans can wind up with some unexpected circumstances.

That said - I don't think I would really discuss it with them, because like OP that will invite their opinions into the process... and do you really want that added stress in an already emotional time (whether you realize it or not?)

Just my 2 cents.
You know, I tend to agree that parents getting involved would mean more pressure either way for you two. Emotional support is always good as long as it IS support and not pressure. It's also harder to conceive when there are people expecting you to be pregnant at any given moment. Besides wouldn't it make a nice surprise for the future grandparents?
I am going to agree that getting soo many people involved in your TTC, pregnancy, and birth plans may cause more harm than good. I will tell you from first hand exp that I researched and planned and even had my family on board for my midwife attended homebirth. Then I was in labor and (I didn't overhear the conversation first hand) my grand(mother) called back after visiting me and told my midwife and my DP that it was taking too long and that they had better take me to the hospital and if they didn't and anything happened to me there would be hell to pay. (Professional midwives can not attend home births in md so she was facing legal ramifications) This changed the whole mood of my birth and I was promptly shuffled off to the hospital within a couple of hours. Sooo I didn't get my ideal birth and to the best of my knowledge my only "complication" was interferance. Which I thought I didn't have to worry about. Just some food for thought.
I think the decision if, when, and how to have a child (or not) is a very personal decision, to be made by the parents and the parents alone. Other people's support/opinions/approval/pressure/desires/etc. don't have a place in the process.

Likewise, I don't think it will be helpful to anyone for your sex life to be an open book to the family, which it will be, since that's what conceiving a child comes down to, in actuality.

If, heaven forbid, getting pregnant isn't as easy as you hope, you will have enough struggles without worrying about other people's dissapointment. Getting everyone involved from the beginning will make the process much more painful than necessary, since you will be managing everyone else's feelings. You will have plenty to worry about with just managing the feelings of you and your partner.

When it comes down to it, no matter how close you are to the rest of the family, you are making a new family unit of you, your partner, and the baby. This is a good time to find out and start excercising where you want the boundary between your little family and the larger family to be.

It sounds like you are already decided that this will be a lengthy process requiring much emotional support. Maybe you are over-thinking this whole thing. Not to be flip, but, now that you have decided you are ready, have you tried simply having unprotected sex? It's a tried and true method that doesn't require much thought, time, or a family meeting. You might be pleasantly surprised at the quick results. (Pardon my light tone if you already know medical reasons that will make this difficult.)
See less See more
Oh yeah, and if they ask when you plan on having children, the right answer is "When the time's right." Or maybe, "Probably in the next couple of years." End of discussion.
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.