Dear Doula -
I’m only two months pregnant and want to keep things quiet until the second trimester. My husband told his mom and I told my parents and we swore them all to secrecy. A day later my mother-in-law posted on my husband’s Facebook page, “I don’t want to be called Grandma. What about Nana?” He deleted it, but now we don’t know if anyone saw the post. She ruined our surprise! Should we just announce the pregnancy now even though we wanted to wait?
First, a quiet congratulations on your still-secret pregnancy! I promise I won’t spill the beans to your friends or coworkers or distant relatives. I’m so mad for and with you, friend!!! Pregnancy can be a really difficult time for everyone in the family in totally unexpected ways. Seems like maybe your mother-in-law is having her own growing pains into graceful grandmotherhood!
Before you jump down “Nana’s” throat, take a minute to think about the actual impact. In terms of a Facebook algorithm, it’s likely that only a few people saw the post - especially if it got no interaction and was quickly deleted. Your secret might still be (relatively) secret! With this in mind, I’d advise you to stick to your original plan. It might seem like your mother-in-law stole your thunder, but cute pregnant people always get more love than their crotchety mothers-in-law. It’s a rule of nature.
No, you don’t need to announce your pregnancy now - your mother-in-law made a misstep but it doesn’t need to derail your whole vibe.
I know this is hard to consider, but it could be an innocent error. Maybe it’s not, maybe she’s the worst mother-in-law ever! Either way, you’ll be the classy one if you graciously pretend this incident never happened.
If Great Aunt Gertie sends you an all-caps private message to ask if you are expecting, politely dodge. You could choose not to answer at all or choose to laugh and say it’s the funniest thing you’ve heard all day, Great Aunt Gertie! Honestly. Here are a few phrases that might help:
- “Where did you hear that?”
- “Oh my, the rumor mill is running!”
- “What makes you think that?”
- “Ha! In your dreams. And apparently the family gossip!”
- “I’ll let you know if I am!”
Consider this: caving to your mother-in-law’s thoughtless premature Facebook post will only give it a bigger impact on your pregnancy. If you stick to your plan, you won’t be able to resent her for “forcing” you to do something you didn’t want to. Not only will you get what you ultimately want, but you’ll also establish a healthy boundary in your relationship. No need to feed into the negativity your mother-in-law’s actions sparked!
Not-So-Surprised, I’m sorry your mother-in-law let it slip! It’s so frustrating when someone ruins something we had been anticipating. The good news is: you don’t need to let your mother-in-law run (or ruin) your pregnancy. Not over this, not even once, not ever. Follow through with the surprise announcement you had planned and bask in your lovely pregnant glow.
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