Monday, August 16, 2010

How To React When Your Daughter Tells You She's Pregnant

(with apologies to my faithful followers who enjoy the recipes, because I have none today ...)

This is what I would send to my mother, if I had the guts to do so.  But it's probably not advisable, anyway.

Dear Mom,

When your daughter calls you on her way home from a great appointment at the Ob/gyn office, and you ask her what's new, and she says she's pregnant, don't just say, "I'm very happy for you" in a flat tone of voice that sounds like you're talking with a complete stranger.  She is, after all, your daughter.

Don't say "I guess your body was ready this time," as if there was something she could have done about her body the last times.  Same with "good luck" at the end and "I hope it all goes well."  Yes, we know that not every birth is a guarantee.  Thank you, we know that quite well.  But in this case, right now, during this phone call, you're supposed to feel and respond in joy.

Don't say, "I guess you haven't had an ultrasound yet," as if you know.  You didn't ask how far along she is.  Instead, ask, so she doesn't have to volunteer that she's 16 weeks along halfway through the conversation, making her feel as if she's forcing this information on you. 

Don't ask her if she's happy.  Tell her how happy you are, not just for her, but for you, too.  After all, you're going to be a grandparent again.  This should make you feel excited.

Don't tell her that she should be taking prenatal vitamins.  First, she is on her way home from the ob/gyn, who probably prescribed whatever she needed.  Second, she has been taking prenatal vitamins for the past three years in an effort to make her body hospitable, should it see fit to conceive and keep an embryo.

Sound excited.  Sound even more excited than her friends, whom she hardly ever sees, and who noticed the baby bump during her trip to California, sounded.

Act interested.  You could ask about the due date, or the sex, and you could ask how she's feeling.  You could ask if she needs anything.  You could ask her when you can celebrate with her by meeting for lunch.

After all, she is calling you first.  Before her boss, her other in-laws, before most of her friends (except the ones who happen to live in the blogging world.).  Treasure that gift.  Don't minimize it by saying that you figured it's none of your business.

Your Daughter
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  1. Ugh. You knew it wasn't going to be pleasant. Don't you just hate it when people lower themselves to meet your expectations?

    Anyway, I AM THRILLED with your pregnancy. I may not be your mum and we me not be able to meet up for lunch, but I think it's wonderful. I hope you're feeling well, I hope you had good news at the OBGYN, and I hope you're feeling more comofrtable with the pregnancy. I wish you all the best!

  2. Are you serious? Is that how it went? I am so so sorry. Your mom does win the prize for this one. That is beyond classic. My mo couldn't even top that one.

    Hang in there. YOU are a better mother for it, and luckily you have lots of cheerleaders around you to try and compensate a little (although it totally sucks and nothing can make up for not having a compassionate mom).

    I wonder what it is like to have on of those mothers that cries over such good news.

  3. Oh no.. that sounds like a tough day when instead it should have all been about sharing happy news and getting excited with your mom over the baby! I am so sorry this is how it went... unfortunately we cannot expect parents to change.. they are who they are.. it's just so disappointing at times.

    I didn't know you were pregnant so here goes my woooooohoooooo!!! How exciting!! Your baby is going to love all the treats and lovely food you make you will have a little assistant to help you make cooking even more fun!! So happy for you!

  4. I'm so sorry. That is just all shades of rotten - and something you just didn't need.

    For what it's worth, we in blogland are THRILLED for you. Always.

  5. *HUGS*

    If you recall, I tried to be thrilled for you and you wouldn't allow it.

  6. Oh, I am so very sorry. A big hug. I do understand, my mother is the same. As TasIVFer said, the Australian contingent would be happy to do lunch and celebrate with you anytime :)

    Am so very glad everything is progressing well.

    Thank you for your kind comment recently - if you want to reach me my email address is conceivablefuture at gmail dot com.

  7. My mother is so very much like that - she would say it's because she's an incessant worrier, which isn't really helpful! Anyway, I'm so excited for you! So, very excited!

  8. Aw, rotten that your mom didn't react in the way you wanted her to, in the way that she should have. HUGS. I hope the happiness of a great OB appointment helped dull some of the disappointment of your mom's reaction.

  9. Thanks, everyone, for all of your supportive comments and hugs, and for making up for the missing cheers! It's good to know that I'm not the only one with an imperfect relationship.

    Andie and TasIVFer, when (because someday I will go) I'm in Australia, I will buy both of YOU lunch. inBetween, my mother-in-law oomes closer to crying over good news ... she's a little over the top, though. JeCaThRe, you're absolutely right! I think I'm better now. :) Megan, I will cheer you on and whoop and holler for you, even if I'm worrying! :)

  10. I feel you on the taking prenatals for years and I'm sorry your mom doesn't get the joy she should be feeling. But I feel joy for you and that's all that matters (selfish grin).

  11. I'm sorry your mom couldn't find it in herself to have a more positive, "normal" grandma reaction, that really sucks. But congrats on the baby!!

  12. Congrats on your pregnancy! That's so excited! I'll hoot and hollar for you, since your mom didnt. I'm sorry that was kind of a bummer!

  13. I am so sorry she reacted that way. My mother reacted spectacularly badly to the news of my second pregnancy. We hardly spoke at all the entire pregnancy because of it. I am glad that you managed to have lunch with her after this. Mothers really have a way of making you feel wonderful...or really, really crap.

  14. I'd like to add that if your daughter calls to tell you that she LOST a pregnancy, it's probably not the nicest thing in the world to say, "Well, you probably didn't need to have a baby right now anyway".



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