Pregnant but Some People Don't Approve

Updated on August 01, 2013
T.D. asks from Roseville, CA
23 answers

Hi everyone. My husband and I are in our mid 30's and we just found out that I'm pregnant with our second child. Yay! I took time to convince my husband to have another child because he worries about us financially and adding on the cost of raising another child. We both have great careers and a great place to raise children. So we're excited! His parents are not. My mother in law asked me if I planned to stay home since I will have two kids now. My response is "no" and we have a few childcare options available. Our work schedule is flexible and my mother will be staying at our house 2-3 days a week to watch our kids.My in laws started to kind of ignored me and treat me different than before. I've known my in laws for nine years and I've never had any issues with them. They are great people and the best in laws ever..until now. They watch my 4 year old son 1-2 days a week while we're at work which works out great for us and give them my son time to bond with them. My son loves going there. This morning was my 3rd encounter with them since the news and I can't help but to be a little sad and mad at the same time. I don't understand why two people I admire and respect so much thinks that little of my husband and I and not respect us enough to think we can't handle another child. Do they think they will have to watch both of our kids? I don't know what the issue is. My husband has a sister 15 years older than him and he was raised an only child. When my son was born they used to say jokely that my son is all they need...I didn't mind then because I wasn't sure I wanted another child. But after a year of going back and forth and I think its important for my son to have a sibling. They don't want anything to be taken from my son. My son is spoiled by them. I talked to my sister in law and she told me to not let anyone get me down. Hopefully my in laws will come around and if they don't that's their problem. But I don't know if I can deal with it that way. I feel like I need to send my mother in law an email (we used to email each other all the time) to talk to them and tell them how I feel. And if they can't accept it I don't want to have any encounter with them, meaning my son will no longer go there 1-2 days a week. It breaks my heart to go this route but I dont' know how much longer I can stand being treated like this. Feeling ignored and a tension in the house. I understand why my sister in law won't talk to them for months at a time. I talked to my husband after our first encounter and he said to resume business as usual and don't let them bug me. They've been this way all their life and they won't change. When my husband and his parents are in disagreement with each other, they pretend to that everything is ok when they see each other and the issues are not addressed until months down the road. I didn't talk to him about this morning yet. I'm sorry...I'm all over the place....Any advice is appreciated. Thanks for reading.

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So What Happened?

I would like to thank every one of you for reading and taking the time to comment. I am grateful for your words and it has helped me back up and look at it from a different view. My husband and I talked last night and he said if it happens the next time I see his parents he will have a chat with them. Well this morning was the 4th encounter since the news and at the begining of the visit it started off quiet but then my MIL was back to her old self and asking about work, the weather and other things...We talked for about 15 minutes and everything was normal again. I've been praying about this so I hope this continues. If it doesn't at least I know my husband won't hesitate to speak with his parents to put my mind at ease. Actually, I just got off the phone with him and he said, "Oh I will hesitate but I will do it to protect you." LOL. Gotta love him...

Thank you again!!!!

Oh btw, I forgot to say that we do plan on talking to them about childcare and other issues they may have when the tension dies down a little. That way it would be more of a casual conversation versus a heated one.

Featured Answers


answers from New York on

I'm glad things are better but I dont know why you dont discuss childcare after baby. Now, so anyone who is worried can relax a little. It sounds like they were worried about caring for two young children and you didnt even bother to discuss it with them. Let them know they are under no obligation!

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answers from Washington DC on

i would guess that they absolutely think you're going to want them to watch both babies. if you haven't told them otherwise, it's a natural assumption, isn't it?
why not just tell them what your plans are, so they don't have to guess?
if money is an issue, they're almost certainly just worried about you.
talk to them.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

I think from what you are writing that you don't understand what they are upset about. Your husband needs to sit down with them and tell them what you are feeling from them. Then he needs to ask them to explain what is wrong. My guess is EITHER that they are afraid that they are going to have to watch two children. OR they are afraid you are going to find childcare for both kids and they won't see their grandson.

Before you jump to conclusions, have your husband really sit down with them. You should NOT be withholding your son from them. That's uncalled for in this circumstance. If I were your husband, I'd have a real problem with you acting like this.

I'm not trying to come down hard on you, but this passive-agressiveness will affect your son and that's not fair to him. Your son is important and you need to put aside some of your hurt feelings for him.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

You say that you don't know what the issue is. Use your words to ASK THEM. That is how you will find out. People tend to process changes through the lens of how it will affect them. Understand that, and open up the dialogue.

PS. Just look at how you are processing it through YOUR feelings, even to the point of threatening to keep your son from them.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

You need to talk to him. If there's a problem, he'll need to talk to them. They may think that they will have to watch 2 children, and since they are older it may feel too much to them. And since they don't actually TALK about their feelings, they're possibly making assumptions and things are getting uncomfortable.

You may also be feeling hormonal and more sensitive than usual, so try to remember that as well. Don't jump to worst case scenario. Don't let them bug you. Let your son enjoy them. Let them get used to the idea.

Talk about the child care that your baby will have so they KNOW they don't have added responsibilities coming to them. Be polite - cutting things of won't make things better.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I suspect they are worried you will expect them to watch two children. While I am sure they love their grand child, they are likely looking forward to the time he goes to school and they can have their own time back. They really have already raised their own children. Now they may see this as a never ending (or at least another 4-5 years) child care commitment. No extended travel, no really being retired and doing what they want to do.

They are entitled to their own opinion about the child they are dedicating a substantial amount of time to having a sibling. They don't get to decide, but they may feel strongly about it anyway. They may worry about what will happen to their grandson if the new baby has special needs. That is life changing for everyone involved. They may worry that he will simply have less time and attention - and this will in fact be true. They may worry that there will not be the money for two to go to college and for you and DH to fully enjoy your own retirement.

It may also just take them a little time to adjust to the news. Have you discussed it with them? Asked them what their concerns and fears are? You need to talk to them - in person of course.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

It sounds like she thinks you're expecting her to watch the new baby, too.

Are you?

If so, this is an assumption you should not make. Sometimes, grandparents, depending on their age, ability, and health conditions are just not up for newborn detail. It's nothing against the baby. It doesn't mean she won't love the baby or won't want to visit or watch the baby occasionally.

Rather, it may be that two is more than she can handle on a REGULAR basis. Caring for an infant and a preschooler on a regular basis would limit what she can do with your 4 y/o and for her herself. For instance, on days she's watching your son now, she can still run a few errands easily, take him to the park or other child activities, or even get a few of her own household tasks done while at home. With a newborn, even a quick stop for a few groceries on the way home from the park can be difficult. I can't imagine my own mom trying to lug a baby carrier or pull a stroller out of a trunk at this point in her life. While us moms do it all the time, for your MIL, trying to do laundry, make lunches, clean up, feed and diaper a baby, tend to nap times, and entertain a 4 y/o may be more that she can reasonably do at this point.

There will be limits on what she can do with your four year-old as well. If she's used to taking your son to the park, or pool, or story time, things will have to change a bit to accommodate the baby's schedule.

You said you told her that you had "options" for childcare, but did you SPECIFY what those options are? Until you do, she probably thinks you're automatically assuming that she is one of those options, and that probably has her upset.

I can recall after deciding to stay at home with my son, another mom "friend" who decided to divorce her husband to "pursue greener pastures" assumed that I'd take her son home from preschool and care for him while she worked. Um no. No way. I made a conscious decision to stay home to take care of my baby and my family. I was not interested in providing daycare and had to tell her that specifically. I was especially annoyed because she automatically ASSUMED I wasn't doing anything else!

If you have your other childcare options in line, TELL her what they are so there is no more assuming. She'll probably be relieved!

If she's still acting differently after you tell her, I'd just let it go and let her get used to the idea that you're adding to your family. She sounds like a good grandma and a nice person, so give her the benefit of the doubt.

Good luck and congratulations on your pregnancy!

J. F.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boca Raton on

I agree very much with 8KidsDad on this issue, and please insist that you all are a package deal. Don't ever let them drive a wedge between your children.

Also, as the former DIL who put some hurtful things in writing to her former MIL - take it from me - DO NOT PUT ANYTHING NEGATIVE IN WRITING. I don't care how justified your feelings are. Discuss them in person or over the telephone, if you must. But do not write them down for posterity. Believe me the words will be out there for the rest of time.

Draw a good boundary line here and be kind without being a push-over. Good luck.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Wausau on

" Do they think they will have to watch both of our kids?"

That would be the first thing I'd wonder about in their shoes. Could be they don't want the job and don't know how to tell you. Or maybe they absolutely want to take on both kids and are worried that you won't let them.

You need to bring up the topic with them and make sure they know that this decision is entirely up to them - no guilt, no expectations.

Put your hurt feelings aside for now, because you don't even know if you have a legitimate reason to feel hurt. You're being pregnancy-hormonal. :-D

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

Yes, I also agree that they could be concerned about having to watch two children going forward. Whatever you do, don't email. The written word can be misconstrued and people assign all types meaning and tone of voice that were never intended in the first place. You and your husband should talk to them face-to-face and see if there are any true concerns there in regards to childcare. If they insist that there aren't, then move on and realize that our parents and in-laws will never be happy about all of our choices we make in our lives. Just like we aren't with theirs, right? Most of us have the ability to keep those personal thoughts/concerns to ourselves, though. Your in-laws may not fall into this category and if that's the case, you will just have to ignore it. If it gets worse, have your husband deal with it. Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I would just ask them if something is the matter or if they are upset about something. Just tell them that since you shared your happy news, something seems off. Just be concerned. No reason to let this all fester. Just ask. And good luck. Hopefully something else is wrong.

Best of luck and congrats!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Dollars to doughnuts they think you will expect them to watch both kids and might feel it's too much for them.

I would just ask them politely what the problem is. You can say "I've noticed a bit of tension or the silent treatment since we broke the news about the pregnancy. I don't understand, and would appreciate if you could fill me in on why you seem upset about it". Hopefully they're honest and this can be resolved.

If it's about the babysitting, tell them they're not obligated and will only watch both kids on their own terms if at all.

If they just feel that one was enough for you, that's their problem not yours. They don't get to make that decision for you. They had the family they wanted, now you are having the family you want. Case closed!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

It just sounds like they aren't up for watching two kids.

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answers from Los Angeles on

Don't send an email. Just ask person next time you see them. "Hey... I'm sensing you guys are still having trouble getting used to the idea of a sibling for little Jake. Anything going through your minds that you want to talk about?". If they deny "oh, well, I've felt a little bit of distance ever since the announcement. It almost feels as though you disapprove. Are you sure there isn't anything we need to get out in the open?". Then see what they come up with. If nothing, I'd let it go after that. It kind of politely forces the issue, and if nothing else let's them know that they aren't hiding their opinions very well and they should either get it out or put a lid on it.

I wouldn't email though. Don't give them time to get offended, stew over it, or plan a lame denial. Just hit them with the question head on when you see them in person. You'll get a more honest conversation that way.

Also, keep in mind you could be transferring a little bit here. Like, reading things into their reaction and behavior that you are self conscious about to begin with. You may have had your own doubts or worries about a second child, but you've got yourself convinced its all good because, well, it better be its happening for real now. So now those doubts are being viewed and magnified in your in-laws lukewarm reaction. Part of that may be your perception and not 100% what they are genuinely putting out there.

That said, your perception is your reality and it is definitely worth calling them out on their reaction and finding out what's up. Nicely and innocently of course. Not accusatorily.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Just say "HEY! Are you mad at me about something? It feels like you are". Then see what they say.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I'm also guessing that they're not down with committing to watch TWO kids.
In passing, make it clear that you have childcare covered for BOTH of your kids! I'll bet their attitude changes.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Maybe they're afraid they will have to babysit two children?

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answers from Dallas on

First, your hormones make you sensitive.

Never address things by the written word that you are free to do by talking. Things get misconstrued. Don't email.

Your inlaws sound very set in their ways. As long as you don't do something they don't approve of, you are golden. This is the first you have drastically stepped out of line. Now is your chance to decide how big a deal you are going to make of it.

You can have a fit and yank your other son away.
You can let him continue there and find other accommodations for both kids when the baby is born.
You can address their feelings. You can not change them.
You can assure them that they won't be pushed to babysit both.
You can limit your time with them.

They might come around when they see their grandchild.
They may not and may resent every "problem" this child presents and blame you.
You Weren't raised with this kind of passive aggressive dynamic so, of course, you H is comfortable with it. Doesnt make it right. Whatever happens, do what's best for your family and this new baby. Sorry that you can't count on their acceptance.

I've heard it said, you don't have kids till you have two kids. It changes the dynamics of everything but oh, what a blessing!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

I can see why you might feel sensitive about this. Just give it time to marinate. It will be okay. They'll come around.

I agree with your husband. Resume business as usual. It's only been 3 times that you've seen them since the announcement. Give them a little time to process the fact that your 4yo isn't going to be the only.

Also, make it clear that they aren't going to be expected to watch both at once, and that you're very appreciative of all the time they spend with your 4yo.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

My guess is that they assume that you expect them to watch both kids. Have your husband call them immediately to assure them that you have other plans and that you don't expect them to watch both kids. Other than that, don't worry about it. Don't make threats or ultimatums or make some big declaration. Let your husband handle his own family.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I agree that they either are worried they will have to watch 2 kids and don't feel up to it (especially a newborn) and especially that you may be just assuming they are open to it and up to it. Or, they may feel you are taking their grandson away from them (since you told them you have childcare options). It sounds like they raised 2 kids very separately - they may feel that's the "right way" or else that they have to justify doing it the way they did. You feel your child needs a sibling, and maybe they feel that's a challenge to the way they did it.

They may feel that paid childcare is inferior to loving grandparents. Sometimes grandparents have visions of leaving their estate to their grandchildren and they "budget" about being able to send one child to a great college, etc. The idea of "sharing" that with another child almost seems like disloyalty.

It also sounds like they are not people who are used to talking about things - your husband may have figured out the best way to deal with them, which is to let things just chug along for awhile. He's right that you can't change them.

I understand your feelings, and I'm sure they are made worse by the fact that you are hormonal (you say you're "all over the place" and have thoughts racing about what changes are in store for your family, even if they are all positive).

They will, no doubt, enjoy the new baby at least after the first smile and babble!

For your own wellbeing, I'd take the high road for now and ignore the fact that they are ignoring you. Either focus on other things, be amused by their craziness, or be thrilled that your husband emerged from their upbringing by being relatively normal! In the short run, it may help if they take your son 1-2 days a week to give you a break, cover when you're in the hospital, and let you be on the baby's schedule while keeping your son in a routine. If they don't come around when the baby is here, and if there's terrible favoritism going on, you can still address it by limiting contact. But don't go that route now - it's too soon, and right now nothing they do has any effect on your son. Your SIL seems to have their number - just ignore them for a while, focus on enjoying your pregnancy, and the heck with the inlaws for the time being.



answers from San Francisco on

I had couple of thoughts.

First, I think maybe your MIL is thinking that she will be expected to now watch two children and it doesn't sound like she's that excited about that. If that is what you are planning, then just give her time to get used to the idea. If that is not what you are planning, just casually let her know that by making a casual comment about whatever plans you are making for child care.

Second, she may be thinking that she won't love the second as much as the first. Nothing will change that but the birth of the second. As soon as she sees him/her, her heart will melt and all these comments and negative thoughts and feelings she's having will dissolve and she will be a great grandmother to this child as well.

Overall, I think you just need to give them time to process the news and their roles in this new baby's life.



answers from Chicago on

My mother was a giant grump when I told her I was pregnant with my third. All she could think of was the added stress this might cause her. They don't babysit that often, so I'm not sure what the bug deal was...but, in any case, they adore their newest grandchild. I am sure your in-laws will adjust to the idea and see how great another grandchild will be.

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