People talk about how it ‘takes a village’ when it comes to raising a baby and it really can feel that way a lot of the time. A support system of enthusiastic family members, helpful friends and supporting coworkers can make all the difference. However, on occasion that village can be a little over opinionated, judgemental (usually unintentionally) and a little bit too ‘hands on’ when it comes to your personal business.
Your body and your baby belongs to you. Not your (usually) well-meaning mother in law or your best friend who is just adamant that homemade, organic, prepared by angels baby food is the only thing your child should ever ingest.
When baby is born these opinions will come out in full-force, however it’s likely you’ll still get your fair share of unwanted opinions during your pregnancy too. We’ve put together our top tips on how to deal with those nosy Nancy’s, without losing your cool or ruffling too many feathers…
As soon as those two blue lines appear, your relationship with your partner has changed, whether you realise it to begin with or not. Suddenly there is another person in your relationship: your baby.
This baby is equally both of yours, therefore if it’s someone else opinion to take into consideration, it is of course theirs. However your body, is still just that, yours. You are the one who has to make the sacrifices (oh coffee, how you’ll be missed) so if you want to binge eat Ben & Jerry’s at midnight, even if your partner is against it, Mama, you do you. Talking to your partner about how their actions are making you feel is the first and most important step in easing tensions.
If your partner is being insistent about the dos’ and dont’s of pregnancy, maybe getting them involved in other ways will help them still feel just as important in the baby growing part of this adventure, without feeling the need to be so unintentionally bossy.
- Encourage them to feel your babies movements, this will help them bond with baby.
- Make them join in with your new healthy lifestyle too. Cutting down on alcohol and giving up smoking isn’t too much to ask!
- Bring your partner to all your doctors appointments. Hearing and seeing that little heartbeat on the monitor is something neither of you will ever forget.
This is a difficult one. Nobody wants things to be icy with the in-laws so you may feel like you have to tip-toe around them. From baby names to the appropriate amount of weight you should be gaining, those oh so important family members may be getting more and more opinionated.
Unsolicited advice from the grandparents-to-be can be maddening, and it’s likely it’ll only get worse once baby arrives. So now is the time to form your plan of action and set the tone. You’re in charge mama, not them. Again, discussing this with your partner is super important, you’re a team and you need to back each other up, no matter what.
Let the grandparents know how important they are to this baby, they may be feeling insecure. And then tell then how and when you’d like them to be involved. At the end of the day, they have done this before, and they will have wisdom, however you’re the parent now and you call the shots.
Friendship dynamics can shift a little when you find out you’re pregnant. Whether you’re the first Mama in the group, or if others are desperately trying to get pregnant without much luck. It can be a sensitive subject, and people can have a lot to say.
Those of your friends who have had multiple children, are probably going to offer the most advice, and we say listen. Their experiences can help you know what to do (and what not to do!) However if someone is stepping over the line, and getting a little judgemental maybe because they went pain free and they know you’ll be begging for an epidural, you’ll want to address it.
With this one, you know the audience best. If you are good friends, they will be genuinely trying to help you, so voicing that their opinions are making you feel judged or hurt should prompt them to stop.
OK, so this can get a little weird. What is it about a baby bump that screams to strangers ‘come touch my stomach and tell me your opinion!’? Whether it’s a colleague’s husband at the Christmas Party, a random woman in the office or that elderly lady on the tube, they’ve got something to say and they think they know best.
Being diplomatic, nodding, smiling and politely agreeing till you can scamper away ‘sorry, this pregnancy makes me need the loo, constantly!’ or ‘oops this is my stop!’ is fine. However don’t feel like you have to be polite if strangers are being intrusive. ‘That’s really up to me’ or ‘I don’t really need your opinion on this matter’ are also great responses. You, and your bump, don’t owe strangers anything here!