family ties

family-ties.jpg

My Mum is so excited about becoming a grandparent that it’s actually comical.  Though she vaguely knows we are TTC, we certainly haven’t shared the gritty details with her.  She’s bossy and way too demanding to be entrusted with that kind of information.  Very early on, after I gave her an icy response re our TTC plans, she offered to stop asking about future kid with the assurance that I would let her know when there was actually something to know. Problem is, so much time has lapsed since those early conversations that she’s getting impatient. Hell, so am I! But now, every time we speak (which is several times a week) she manages to throw in a very loaded ‘any news?’ It’s sweet, but it’s so much pressure.  Part of me wants to bare my every TTC anxiety to her but I know letting her in like that would be a mistake. She’d be bound to give me unsolicited, insensitive advice like ‘patience is a virtue’ – advice like that, from a Capricorn to an Aries would only fuel my frustration and leave me wishing I’d never said anything.  Not sharing all this with my Mama though –  it’s a bit strange.  (Mums partner, in case you’re interested, is a fairly non-committal kinda, laid back guy. He’s got a few homophobic prejudices but essentially, he’s pretty alright. If Mum’s happy, he’s happy.)  When I finally get knocked up and break the news to her, she will squeal. I can hear it already.

My Dad, on the other hand, is completely in the dark about all of this.  I’m worried. I have no desire to tell him at all. Ever.  I have a friend who never told her traditional Chinese mother that she was accidentally pregnant and planning on having the baby as a single mother. She just let her mother work it out.  That child is now 9 and is the apple of his grandmothers eye. To this day she has never asked my friend about her sons father or his Latin American looks. It’s strange but it works for them. Anyway, I digress.  My Dad has been ordinary, if not absent, my entire life.  He lives an hour away, comes to the city weekly, and yet we only see him 2 or 3 times a year. We probably only speak 1 or 2 more times than that. His wife is reactionary and conservative. She still makes comments to me about having a husband. I honestly have no idea what my Dad’ll think about me having a baby, though I suspect he’ll be pretty into having a grandchild. His wife, however, will not be backwards about coming forwards, I’m sure. She’ll feel entitled to her opinions and obliged to share them with us.  Like I said, I’m worried. Should I be telling them now, before I’m pregnant? Or should I tell them when I’m 8 months pregnant? I feel sick just thinking about it. Input welcome?

…meanwhile, poor Ducks is worried that her family won’t recognise her as an equal parent. It’s all so complex. But that is a discussion for another day.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “family ties

  1. The whole father thing sounds so familiar to me (as does the mother and stepfather thing wierdly…). So my mum was really excited when we told her I was pregnant, but didn’t tell her anything at all beyond vague ‘one day’ statements while we were TTC. My stepfather was a bit bemused and had a lot of questions but is otherwise supportive.

    We haven’t told my father yet. And I’m 11 weeks now. Going to have to do it soon but I’m scared! He’s a conservative catholic and I just don’t know how he’s going to react – he has only just forgiven me for having a child without marrying the father (and she’s 8 tomorrow! he adores her btw) and still has major difficulties with my ‘lifestyle’… he even asked me once if LB and I couldn’t just be friends? We’re lucky that he is currently in China so we can be evasive and tell him by email (like I came out to him while he was in Africa – I’m such a wimp!).

    So my advice would be to not get too upset about it all, not to waste to much energy stressing about it. Tell them when you think you can deal with the reaction. But I’d probably wait until it’s a fait accompli – as I have obviously done!

    Good luck with the whole family thing – is never fun!

  2. My parents are supportive in general but this will be mind boggling for them. I haven’t said anything. Because I think it may take a long time, I’m not planning to. I think that when I am actually pregnant, I will tell. They can relate to a pregnancy and an impending grandchild better than I think they could relate to this TTC process. It was a big deal for me when my mom visited a few weeks ago not to hid any of the TTC books on our shelves, if she saw them, she saw them. If not, I don’t know. But that’s as close as I’ve come to tipping my hand. I think she thinks we’re going to adopt (which we might). My sister knows, and I sometimes use her to share info with my parents (wimp that I am). She can be trusted to tell what I want, when I want/be an ally.

  3. Having your mum be so interested is frustrating and full of pressure, but at least she’s excited! In time I’m sure she’ll be a wonderful support. As for your dad, I wouldn’t make an irregular call just to tell him you’re ttc. If he is not someone that you would want involved if you god-forbid miscarry, I’d wait until after the first trimester to tell him. Most of my family is super conservative and I think I’ll only be able to break the news when the pregnancy is a (nearly) sure thing. I don’t envy you the scenario. Hopefully everyone is supportive and excited for you and knows when to keep their dirty conservative mouths shut. oxox

  4. I think I would wait. I did. But then after I miscarried it kinda sucked and now everyone knows we are trying and are always asking how it’s going. Sweet but annoying.

  5. My family are really close and knew every detail of us ttc…actually lost of the people in our lives did (excluding work people)!
    Pcat’s family were lovely to us when we first told them we were going to try for babies…then they tried to talk us out of it…suggested we have more than the compulsary sessions with psychologist (i think they thought that if we had more sessions the psychologist would eventually see that we were crazy and should not have babies). We didn’t tell Pcat’s family the ins and outs of the insems (although it was only 2 cycles). Pcat didn’t really expect them to react the way they did she just assumed they would be accepting..as the pregnancy progressed her family seemed to have more and more issue with me being the bio mum (my theory is they thought i was taking the oppurtunity away from Pcat-despite her being infertile and a gyno gave her a less than 5% chance of getting pregnant and staying pregnant to term). By the time Piggy was born they were distant and aloof and failed to recognise Pcat as a mother. They would talk to me about the baby and baby related stuff and couldn’t see Pcat as a parent. The differences between the bio and non-bio grandchildren were plainly obvious and eventually it all blew up in a horrendous fight and 2 years later we haven’t spoken since.

    My point is (sorry it took so long to get there) that I don’t think you can predict how people are going to react. My advice is do what you feel comfortable with. If you want to tell, you tell. If you feel better not dealing with it then leave it. Although for me, being pregnant is a hormonal time of being insecure and unsure, having family members openly say you shouldn’t be preggers hurt a little more than it would if not pregnant.

    If you end up ttc for a very long time (you won’t) having unsupportive family could make the journey harder…then again having big fights when bub is in belly could be much worse than pre preggers because they are talking about a real human that already exists that you love more than life itself…

    not sure if i am helping or venting!?

    good luck with what ever you decide.

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