How to deal with an overbearing family during pregnancy?

Overbearing family

Having a baby is a wonderful and joyous experience not just for the expecting parents but for the family around too. So the grandparents and siblings all now want to be a part of this happy event, which is lovely sure. But then sometimes all this does get a little too overbearing.

In India, every occasion is a family occasion, right from weddings to birthdays. And pregnancies. As soon as you have a positive result on the home pregnancy test, you are surrounded by the family list of do’s and don’ts. Every person has an experience to share.

Before you know it, you have grandparents or siblings picking out probable names for the baby, discussing how the baby should be raised – from whether she should co-sleep or have a crib, whether she should be breastfed or not, etc. As if pregnancy was not overwhelming enough all this seems to get to you.

Most people right now would react to your voicing your concerns and opinions by blaming it all on the hormones. Yeah right.

The point most people miss is – it is YOUR baby, and your husband’s. The people who have the first right to say or do anything are you two. The rest will have to wait to be asked their opinions.

Tips to fend off unwanted pregnancy advice

  • You have got to tell people what you feel, no one is going to know unless you do
  • Be polite and firm when expressing your wishes and opinions, it is your baby after all
  • Do not let anyone guilt you into doing anything when it comes to the baby
  • Reassure everybody that you love them and realise that they want the best for you, but you will ask them for help/ advice when you need it
  • Explain to your husband that he should be supportive of you in this phase. This does not mean you are putting him in a spot but then as the mother you do have your own wishes and expectations.
  • Listen. First of all listen to their advice. No matter how old fashioned it may sound, it did work for someone. Right? You don’t have to implement it, but just listen and acknowledge. There is no point in hurting someone by outright rejection of smaller things.
  • Express your wishes and be firm about them, so that they are not chalked up to raging hormones.
  • “Blame the doctor”. If nothing else works, and you don’t agree some of the advice doled out by the relatives, just blame the doctor and get away with it. Tell your relatives that the doctor has advised differently and you’d like to follow the doctor’s advice

Of course, everyone has only the welfare of you and your child in mind. But still at times, it can get stifling and you would want some peace and quiet, to be able to take at least two steps without someone jumping at you with some advice. And you want to be able to do this without hurting or offending them, because no matter how crazy they get, they are your family and you love them all.

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