Your in-laws could be good people- accepting and loving. However, when the issue turns to having a grandchild, they usually have a pretty rigid stance. Sounds familiar? If you can’t think about being a parent don’t let a mother-in-law who wants grandchildren force you down.
When your in-laws start putting pressure on you to have a child, don’t wilt. They usually start passing hints to you and hubby even before the ink dries on your marriage certificate. You need to deal with the situation sensitively to avoid flare-ups. Here are a few ways to handle the pressure smoothly.
What Do You Do When In-Laws Pressure You to Have a Child
As mentioned earlier, if you are feeling pressured to have a baby, then you need to deal with the situation sensitively… but beware of caving in into your in-laws demands! Here are some strategies you can use to handle the pressure of having a baby.
When in-laws start exerting pressure on you to have a baby, you need to play smart. Assure them that you appreciate their concern and will definitely take their advice. This doesn’t mean that you have to go by their timeline to have a child. After all, they might just want what’s best for you and their son.
2. Clear intentions
Your reproductive decisions are yours to take. Therefore, make it known to them that you don’t appreciate the interference. You need to exercise tact when dealing with the issue. Stress the fact that your in-laws cannot force you to follow their dictates. In order to appease them a bit, you could ask them to choose the décor for your home. This should keep them (a bit) happy. You can use this tip when in-laws pressure you to have a child.
3. Keep calm
Managing your in-laws can be difficult, especially if they are the types to have an opinion about everything. However, you cannot afford to start a war with them for that. After all, it’ll affect your husband. You need to be tactful and remain calm if talk about getting pregnant crops up. Let them know you’re considering the idea, but don’t commit. When they see you cannot be coerced into a decision, they’ll slowly back off.
4. No details
Sex is sacred. You are under no obligation to give a blow-by-blow account of your sexual activities with your husband to your in-laws (or even your own parents). If your in-laws interfere, let them know you aren’t comfortable discussing that facet of your life. Tell them that once you are ready to bear a child, they’ll be the first to know. When you draw the line, they’ll be bound to respect it. There are subtle ways to tackle the pressure imposed on you.
5. Laugh it off
You need to keep your sense of humour despite the barrage of hints from your in-laws. If they give you gifts or want to discuss baby names, don’t get upset. Accept the gifts and list down the names. For a mother-in-law who wants grand-child, nothing annoys her more than silence. Don’t commit to a timeline to have a baby. In fact, just stay mum on the subject. When you don’t budge she’ll move on.
6. Explain the situation
When you think of having a baby, a lot of things need to be considered: financial stability, time-commitment, emotional and mental readiness. There is more to having a baby than just having a good night in the sack. A baby is a full-time responsibility – from being able to give your baby time, to being able to provide for all her needs. parenting is a long-term project, so short-sightedness never works. Letting your in-laws know that you have been thinking on this level will assure them of two things: one, that you are not dismissing the idea; and two, that you are serious about becoming a parent… making them take a step back and give you time and space to figure things out.
7. Your physical health
This is another aspect that in-laws may at time refuse to acknowledge, or may side-line unknowingly. Maybe you want to be 10kg lighter, maybe you want to be fitter, maybe you want your husband to be physically more fit. Physical fitness is a very important aspect of having children, and feeling physically confident to have a baby may take some time. Use this strategy to make your in-laws understand, especially if either you or your partner are over-weight, or face any other physical issues.
WATCH: 11 Signs You’re Ready to Have a Baby
Key Takeaway: How do you know whether you are ready to have a baby? Is it when you can afford to have one financially? Or is it before you turn 30? Here are 11 best signs:
- You and your partner both mutually agree on having a baby.
- You know that a baby is not going to ‘mend’ your marriage, but only going to add to the number of things you need to take care of, and you’re okay with that.
- You realise that a baby is not a ‘project’ but a ‘person’, and you cannot and should not impose your unfulfilled dreams on the baby.
- You know fully well what parenthood entails, the sacrifices it calls for, and you are willing to make them.
- You are not getting into parenthood for transient reasons – either by your parents, or your partner’s or scientific studies, or the Internet.
- You are not wearing rosy-eyed glasses about the future and are approaching a future with a child in it, with your eyes open.
- You won’t always be happy, but you know you will never regret your decision of having a baby, or look back and wish you hadn’t.
- You and your husband are both to endure together the long nine-month journey of pregnancy, knowing full-well that it may be the toughest period for you as a couple.
- You are financially ready.
- You’re ready to change as a person, embracing the changes that parenthood will bring about in your character and personality.
- You are not feeling ‘pressurised’, but in fact ‘excited’ to become a parent!
If hubby and you are on the same team on the issue, you’ll face no real problem. Maintain cordial relations with your in-laws even if they throw out hints for you to have a baby. You can always choose to speak your mind and let the in-laws know your stand on the issue.