Last week, I wrote a blog about when a partner is not supportive during pregnancy. Today, I read in our forums that one of our members is having problems with family and friends not being supportive, so I decided to address that issue separately.
Sometimes it helps to keep in mind that family and friends always seem to have something to say. It starts almost as soon as you meet someone and it starts looking serious. Then they want to know when you are getting engaged. Eventually, you get engaged and they want to know when you will get married. You get married and it becomes, “When will you have a baby?”
Sometimes they stop here, but often the nosiest do not. Their advice or comments often reflect their own beliefs or life choices. If they have smaller families, they may think you can stop at one, or at most, two. Why have more? Um, there are a lot of reasons!
If you have more than two, the congratulations tend to become less enthusiastic. With my third, we got soft and muted “congratulations”, a few “were you trying” and more “are you trying for the boy” than I care to count. By the fourth baby, it was out of control. Most had a comment on the number of children we would have and others just congratulated us, but it was not nearly as enthusiastic as it was for the first or second baby.
It can really hurt when friends aren’t supportive. After all, our friends are the ones who are supposed to be there for us in good times and tough times, right? For the same reasons, it hurts when family members can’t muster up the joy to feel happy for us.
How you handle this will depend on several factors, including your personality and the nature of the relationships. Some may come around in time. This is especially true for grandparents and other close family members. Once the baby is here, they will love it, particularly if their concerns were based on finances.
Other relationships you may ultimately decide are too toxic and you may let them go. There is nothing wrong with this. If you are feeling constantly judged, is this person really a friend? Only you can answer that question. This person isn’t your partner, or even a family member. You don’t have to convince them you are doing the right thing or wait for them to come around and accept your family.
If this is the case, spend some time cultivating new friendships. Meet mommy friends through play groups, at baby music or gym classes or even at the local park. Once you fill your life with friends who love and accept you and all your children, you will stop dwelling on the opinions of less positive people in your life.