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Being told how to behave/feel about pregnancy

(31 Posts)
LucyLucyLucy1 Tue 14-Feb-17 09:48:43

Ugh Mother in Law rant ahead...!

My husband called me into the kitchen when I got home from work last night and said we need a chat, my mum has been in tears today. She had asked if there was something wrong with the baby (currently 19 wks pg) because I'm not 'excited' and always respond with 'I'm fine thanks' when asked how I am. My pregnancy so far has been fine - terrible sickness in the first 3 months but aside from that I AM ACTUALLY FINE. I've got the tiniest bump/lunch bloat so for me it's not really real and to be honest I don't like talking about it too much because I don't want to be defined by my pregnancy. I'm not a gushy person so it's not my style to be OTT about being pregnant. My MIL doesn't work at the moment so I feel like she has a lot of time on her hands to think about nothing (I know that's mean to say). She also projects whatever you tell her onto anyone else who will listen. At the weekend I had my husbands uncle say "I've heard you're finding it really tough" nope just bored of people asking if I'm excited. Over the last week or two I have been thinking about the baby and our future and of course it's exciting but stupid basic comments like this just set me back. How dare she dictate that I am not excited enough, what the hell does she want me to say?!? There is nothing to bloody say!! It's so backward in 2017 to tell another woman how they should behave and effectively bitch about it to whoever they can get to listen. I can't change who I am or how I feel and I think it's so wrong to suggest that's what I do. It makes me so angry. Am I being unreasonable? I just think it's out of order. I've got a lot going on at the mo - house being rebuilt/big charity event at the weekend i organised plus full time busy work. Any advice and thoughts much appreciated. My mum suggested I throw love at the situation and so have invited her to go for lunch on sat to get her involved and put on a fake soppy pregnant smile. I just wish she would be more understanding and not get upset because I don't fit in her box of how a pregnant woman should be! Not looking forward to Saturday 🙁

FenellaMaxwellsPony Tue 14-Feb-17 09:51:46

I'm due any day. It gets worse - once you have the full bump everyone starts including their unsolicited parenting advice, even people who don't have any bloody kids! Just remain absolutely neutral - if you start getting worked up about it now, you will burst a blood vessel by 9 months. I'm now overdue and ready to kill over the constant stream of texts and calls asking if I've had it yet, but unfortunately there's not a lot you can do.

Lunalovepud Tue 14-Feb-17 09:59:00


Your DH should be dealing with this on your behalf - he can explain the situation to his DM and tell her that her comments are not helpful.

Take DH when you go to lunch so he can deal with any of comments. It's his family - he will be able to sort them out! wink

KatnissMellark Tue 14-Feb-17 09:59:55

Your DH should not even be passing these comments on, he should just be telling her to mind her own business! You will get excited when the time is right for you. Personally after five years of trying, four rounds of IVF, losing a baby and being plagued by bleeding this pregnancy I am only just (at 35w) starting to believe this might actually happen, and would still say I am not yet excited. Pregnancy is different for everyone, some people are naive and effusive (I wish I was!), others are more reserved and some are just plain terrified. Have a word with your DH.

specialsubject Tue 14-Feb-17 10:03:09

Jump.on this now. Tell her that yes, this is a wanted baby and you are pleased about it, and will give it your best when it arrives. , but right now it is just a bump and not interesting. And you will always have your own identity and never be one of those 'as a mother...' Types.

So please could she get a life?

buckyou Tue 14-Feb-17 10:12:54

Not being unreasonable. Your MIL is being a silly cow. My MIL was similar. My DD is 19 months now and she doesn't really give a shit!

LucyLucyLucy1 Tue 14-Feb-17 10:14:27

Oh how I love these replies. Thank you for making me feel better and crack a smile! She is just a basic bitch with nothing else better to think about - how dare she say is something wrong with the baby! Silly cow! I know it's going to be a long game so I have to pick my battles. Xx

raviolidreaming Tue 14-Feb-17 10:19:04

What Fanella said from me too.

I certainly wouldn't be taking her to lunch and trying to put on a performance for her! Cancel it and blame pregnancy symptoms - that'll be a win win!

Lunalovepud Tue 14-Feb-17 10:22:49

Don't even pick your battles - this is a DH problem. wink

You have my absolute sympathy - my PILs are a nightmare and despite telling me how much they understand morning sickness etc, were still trying to get me to eat smoked salmon (boak) and telling me not to take any drugs despite the fact I couldn't get out of bed /off the sofa. Luckily DH fields this kind of bullshit for me so I can just sit back and laugh at the sheer nerve of them. wink

Whatsername17 Tue 14-Feb-17 10:29:04

You need to be direct with her. Next time she starts, look her straight in the eye and say that you are very happy to be expecting a baby but you are a pivate person and she needs to stop telling you how to behave and just accept that you are doing well. I had the same issue with my mil. I lost my second baby at 13 weeks. When we got pregnant again we told parents in a very matter of fact way. Infact, I think I said ' I'm pregnant again, I'm terrified and I don't want to talk about it.'. Mil kept telling me that I 'needed' to enjoy this pregnancy and I just told her that what I needed was to take one day at a time and deal with it the way I felt was best. My mil is actually really lovely so I know it came from a well meant place. Still, it want what I needed.

ErneyAndAgnes Tue 14-Feb-17 10:43:45

This would drive me mad too- YANBU. But having said that you don't want to make the situation worse by upsetting her, you don't need that stress! I love what your mum has suggested- kill her with kindness, take her out, make her feel included and explain to her exactly what you've told us: that you're just not that gushy type of person, and you will be excited but its still a bit early for all that. She's probably just super excited- is it her first grandchild?- and wants to talk about baby stuff with you. Or politely tell her you aren't really feeling like talking about it that much at the moment. OR get your DH to deal with her if you just can't face it- she's his mother after all.

Good luck with it whatever you choose to do, MILs can be hard work!

LucyLucyLucy1 Tue 14-Feb-17 10:57:43

Thank you for your replies, this is making me feel a lot better. I felt so down this morning, it's so shit being told you should change how you are, I feel like a black cloak is trying to cover my spark. Usually I don't take any shit like this but hormones appear to be softening me!! I think it should just be us two on Sat-she loves an audience so if it's husband too she will play up. I'll try to appeal to her woman to woman. My husbands bro has just had a baby and she said that she's frightened to send me pics of the baby! I have no idea why!! He's a lovely little boy and I'm genuinely interested considering I'll have one soon. They live 200 miles away (clever) but my sis in law is quite "wet" and is all about feeling #blessed which just makes me laugh out loud! I'm clearly not fitting the mould that she has set and I won't ever 💁🏼

Sunshinegirl82 Tue 14-Feb-17 11:09:23

I was incredibly anxious during my pregnancy so found it very difficult to talk about actually having a baby at the end of it all. A lot of people found this strange. I just wanted to batten down and get through the weeks! People thought I hadn't bonded with the baby etc. It just wasn't really real for me until he was here. He is now 7 months and I adore him, he's my world, there is no problem with our bond.

I find all this hand wringing from other people a bit selfish to be honest, it makes it all about them and it should be all about you. I don't think you should have to play a part. At the lunch I'd explain that DH has mentioned her concerns, there is nothing wrong with the baby and you are looking forward to being a mum but you are a low key person and don't feel comfortable sharing every feeling you have. I'd tell her she shouldn't read anything negative into any of this. I'd then be tempted to change the subject a bit, perhaps to talking about sil baby? Still baby talk but a bit less close to home? Good luck!

Sunshinegirl82 Tue 14-Feb-17 11:12:31

Just to add, I'd be wary of putting on a smile etc as I'd be worried you'd then have to keep it up for the next 21 weeks as any reverting to your normal would once again cause concerns!

Viviennemary Tue 14-Feb-17 11:13:28

She was very out of order asking if there was anything wrong with the baby. And your husband should not be passing it on. Say something like look I've got another 21 weeks of this can we give it a rest. (But in a nice way)

Sparklyuggs Tue 14-Feb-17 11:16:47

Your MIL sounds like a nightmare. I hate people who are on social media every 5 seconds with a new bump photo/purchase, I'm excited for them but don't need hourly updates. You're entitled to feel excited in your own way and if you feel fine, you feel fine.

One approach for an MIL with a lot of time on her hands could be to ask her to knit/make a baby blanket, or research some baby items? A friend got a spreadsheet rating all the carseats in the main shops with all the features....Batty but kept her DM busy and feeling like she was involved.

raviolidreaming Tue 14-Feb-17 13:07:32

Maybe it's because I'm overdue and grumpy, but I really can't get on board with the advice to explain yourself / proactively address her concerns. Tell your DH he is more than able to speak with his own mother and that you won't be modifying your behaviour or approach to suit someone else.

user1484843368 Tue 14-Feb-17 17:50:22

I feel for you LucyLucyLucy1 that is not the sort of comment you need at all. You are not alone as to how you feel at all, I'm not gushy or excited, just sick (first trimester still) and miserable.

Sunshinegirl82 I loved your post. I am 11+5 and feel so ill, plus anxious about the baby actually being OK and my extreme lack of maternal instincts.

Thank you for starting this thread LucyLucyLucy1 as by reading the support for you I also feel better.

I've found that people are suddenly so interested in me now I'm expecting, my boss is completely different like I've joined some exclusive club. Plus own parents couldn't have cared less about what I was up to before but now I get daily 'how's the sickness messages, how are you feeling, why aren't you more excited, blah blah'... answer - it sucks and I'm grumpy next question.

I'm not going to give you advice on the MIL, families are weird, they are all different. My dearly departed MIL was awesome and not at all like that, however my mother - nightmare - and I can't manager her at all, so I'll just wish you good luck with MIL!

AuntieStella Tue 14-Feb-17 17:55:31

One skill that really helps is to learn to smile and nod.

All sorts of people say dickbrained things to pregnant women (and it doesn't stop with childbirth) and learning to let it just wash over you is a really useful skill. Because sometimes it's a normal person who just has an appalling foot-in-mouth moment and it's right to cut them some slack. Using the same skills to avoid non-stop rows with your MIL might be the less stressful option.

TestingTestingWonTooFree Tue 14-Feb-17 18:09:10

I agree that DH was wrong to tell you. He should have set her straight. Do you think he agrees?

I'm not capable of maintaining excitement for more than about 20 minutes, 40 weeks is out of the question. You'd need to be full of yourself to be thrilled with the wonder of creating life for the whole of the pregnancy. I've got a life to be getting on with!

kikibo Tue 14-Feb-17 21:23:47

Well, if it's any consolation, I'm the same. I'm about 14 weeks (?, you see I'm so on top of this, I don't even follow that very closely...) and yesterday, visiting my hubby in hospital, friend asks, 'And how is the baby.' Me, 'Well, I suppose it's fine, it never talks at me. I regularly talk to it, but it never talks back...' I mean, question was well-meant, but it's also a silly question, because I can't look inside myself and at the moment I can't even feel it move (yet), so how am I supposed to be able to know how things are? I mean, I have a modest bump now, so I can tell it's grown, but other than that, I can't really say until Monday when I've got an appointment at the gynaecologist and probably a scan.

Out of caution, I didn't dare to be excited or happy before this time, because you never know what happens. Besides, I was feeling too rough for that to be wonderful and exciting, really.

Fortunately I don't have a MIL anymore, so she can't bug me about this (although I doubt she would have done at that), but if she were, there would be a few more sarcastic/ironic replies, I can tell you. In such situations I sometimes wonder who is the mum-to-be, really.

Glitterbubble Wed 15-Feb-17 00:34:39

I'm only early stages yet, so no one knows except me and DH. But I expect I'll quickly be able to to relate to this thread, knowing what my MIL is like!!

#blessed tipped me over the edge LOL!! grin

IrregularCommentary Wed 15-Feb-17 00:43:35

I was introduced to people by my MIL as, "and this is my baby granddaughter (pointing at bump)" from about 25 weeks.

Literally people I'd never met, and who invariably looked confused and embarrassed.

Ignore or it'll drive you mad by the time you have the baby!

Seahawk80 Wed 15-Feb-17 08:40:06

I know how you feel. I'm really happy to be pregnant after trying for 6 months but after lots of early bleeding, a stressful 12 week scan and cvs and a friend whos baby was stillborn I am quite anxious and struggle to be super excited and believe that all will be ok. I also don't want to be defined by being pregnant / a mum. My MIL is lovely but very wet. This is their first grandchild and they are ridiculously excited. I feel so much pressure - like I'm carrying the heir to the throne! I'm like I'm still the same person - I'm not just a vessel! Good luck with the lunch - I hope you can make her see sense.

ComicSans Wed 15-Feb-17 08:51:07

She's a pain in the ass, and no, as pps have said, your DH should be telling her to back off, not passing on her instructions for how excited you're supposed to be, for Jesus' sake.

For what it's worth, I have been pregnant once (planned and very happy about it, generally physically straightforward, apart from morning sickness) and to be honest, I didn't give it a whole lot of thought. I was doing an international weekly commute, in a demanding job, trying to get projects finished before I went on leave, and while I was happy to be pregnant, it wasn't something I thought about a great deal for months at a time unless I was at scans/antenatal classes, pregnancy yoga, and I would have taken grave exception to anything who had an issue with that.

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