Help! When the grandparents go rogue

Hey all! [name_u]New[/name_u] berry and long-time name nerd here :blush: I have a bit of a sticky situation…and I officially need advice. After two miscarriages, I’m amazingly 12 weeks along with a rainbow boy due at the end of [name_u]March[/name_u] :blue_heart:

Here’s my dilemma. [name_f]My[/name_f] fiance and I told my parents about our lil munchkin last week, and have been brainstorming cute “we’re expecting!” ideas. Everything was great…until my parents gave me a deadline to announce the pregnancy.

[name_f]My[/name_f] parents are going to visit extended family this weekend, and believe it’s “disrespectful” and “selfish” to force them to keep the secret. I have until tomorrow night to announce my pregnancy, or THEY will tell everyone at the family gathering without me…and post an official announcement for their grandchild. [name_f]My[/name_f] mother’s already drafted a Facebook post. :woman_facepalming:t3:

We’re extremely hesitant to announce this early until we know our baby boy is here to stay. With the light bleeding during this pregnancy, and my past history, we were hoping to wait until [name_u]October[/name_u] - well out of the first trimester. Anyone have any advice on how to handle this one?

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I guess it really depends on how serious this is for you. For me, that would be something I would probably go no-contact over, so I would just inform them if they follow through then they will not be involved in their grandson’s life and hopefully that would be enough to deter them. If you’re not as harsh of a person and would never cut them off over this, there’s not much you can do besides just talking to them about why you wanted to wait and how important it is to you to be able to announce your own pregnancy and not have it ruined for you. It is YOUR baby, not theirs, and it is so frustrating for me to see grandparents who think it’s ok to live vicariously through their kids. I mean even if you decided to literally never announce the pregnancy until the day you give birth, that’s YOUR decision. Another thing you could do if they do post on Facebook is reporting the post, but there’s no guarantee it’ll be removed or how quickly, and that still doesn’t stop them from telling people in person.

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I’m not usually one for harsh tactics but in this case I agree with @Emarkulics. While they are trying to twist it and say you are selfish and disrespectul their behaviors are in fact disrespectful and selfish (like seriously a drafted announcement???! :flushed:)

I would take this move by then seriously and say if not dealt with now to some “harsh” firm degree it’ll be something that will likely play out in their role as a grandparent. And you don’t need to be ambushed in your parenting like that.

Maybe the harsh move isn’t a complete “no contact” but you could do something like “if you go threw with this and disrespect me and my fiancé by not understanding our thoughts in this and our role as this baby’s parents then for the duration of this oregnancy you will have no role. You will have no welcome at my shower. [name_f]Nor[/name_f] will you be notified when the baby is born until after everyone else has been notified.”

I will say whatever statement you make to your parents I would make it as a joint statement with your fiancé. It’s add a little more weight.

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Honestly, this seems like an extremely disrespectful thing for your parents to do to you. You didn’t have to tell them so early but you trusted them enough to do so and they’re being very heartless and ungrateful imo.
I’m sorry you’re having to deal with this. It’s not their place to tell. It’s yours and yours alone.

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The level of entitlement your parents are showing is astounding. This is your child, not theirs, and you get to decide who knows and when. Personally, I would completely cut my parents off over this because if they are willing to disrespect your boundaries now, it wont stop when your baby arrives. They’ll want a say in everything, from education, to medical appointments, heck, maybe they’ll decide it is “disrespectful” of you to not let them name him! You 100% need to put your foot down on this.

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Two more things people mentioned that I definitely agree with:
If this is how they’re acting already, be prepared for it to keep getting worse as you get further into your pregnancy and baby is born. [name_f]My[/name_f] MIL has been insane about insulting our baby shower, insulting the baby products we picked out, tracking down what hospital we were at and actually calling the hospital because nobody texted her during the actual delivery, and insulting many decisions we’ve made with baby already, even when we explain why. We have already considerably cut down her involvement, and if she did anything worse we would have to do something more drastic because it just keeps getting worse and worse as kids get older and more important decisions need to be made.
And you and your fiance 100% need to be on the same page and be consistent with whatever decision you make. If one of you says you’re not going to let your parents be involved anymore while the other is secretly sending them updates, it will definitely just make things worse.

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The big concern here is that you’ve told them this in confidence and they’ve responded with an ultimatum that will result in them breaking this confidence for selfish reasons. It’s technically betrayal / trust breaking… And it’s controling … I would tell them how hurt you are by their threats to break your trust in them as the child’s grand parents, especially with such a potentially fragile pregnancy and so early in general. Tell them this causes you stress, something this pregnancy does not need and ask them why they believe that this is necessary to do to you and your child.

I would then do one of two things, because not being you, I don’t know if you will now choose to announce or if you will allow them to make a choice, whichever it might be. The first option would be to announce the pregnancy in a really cute and positive way. [name_m]Add[/name_m] a special note on the comments or post or card… However you announce. The special note would be to request that people understand you’re announcing early at the request or insistence of your family but it’s still early and you would love thoughts/prayers for health and for you and your baby. Option two is to allow them to hear you out… And inform them, after explaining what I mentioned about really letting them know why this isn’t ok… that you will publicly respond with a single post stating this was a secret but you guess it’s out now… They’ll have to choose between keeping your secret until YOU decide to tell it OR they’ll have the momentary excitement of the attention received from others regarding your secret, followed by the shame of everyone knowing they weren’t given permission to share. Now… Honestly you’d have to be very diplomatic if you called them on this online… you don’t want to sink to that level, but also you’re uncomfortable and they’re manipulating you…Something that didn’t make you look like you were really upset but got a plain message across… [name_m]Just[/name_m] a general ok well I guess the secret is out, things are early still and we weren’t going to publicly announce until we were a little farther along, please stay tuned for the real announcement coming soon. And then when you’re ready, then you announce and you can even wait till you know gender if you’re finding out… Maybe Don’t tell your parents this time… [name_m]Just[/name_m] announce to everyone at once and they can find out with everyone else…

This is a hard situation because your relationship is important, your parents are probably really excited and just can’t wait to talk to everyone about it and be excited with everyone about it. I don’t know them so I don’t know if this is how they will be with everything in the future of it this is just But and they can’t keep a secret…But that said…it isn’t their secret to tell and doesn’t change my above assessment that this isn’t ok to do, and you need to set a standard now, before your child is born…that this is YOUR child and you make the decisions for your child and you are wanting to include them but they need to be trustworthy to be involved. they need to stay in grandparent territory and leave the parenting and announcing your big life things to you! Ultimatums and threats and any sort of manipulation like that is unhealthy and you just need to be clear with them that that isn’t going to be acceptable in your child’s life.

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Also congratulations on your little guy, I just reread your post and realize now you already know you’re having a boy! How exciting, I really hope you and your family can settle this with as little stress as possible and that you can be comfortable with what is decided and that they can understand what their role really needs to be as grandparents.

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I absolutely agree with all of the above commenters and their suggestions. This is horrendous. For them to be so inconsiderate of you and your fiancé’s wishes and try to “steal the show” by beating you to the announcement truly astonishes me. In no way does this involve them and they have no responsibility to tell the extended family as some type of ultimatum. As multiple people said: if they don’t respect such a basic boundary before the child is born, they won’t respect any boundaries in the future. Since it seems that a heart-to-heart conversation won’t do, my suggestions would be:

– Call/text the extended family and say why they did not get an official announcement, and that your parents are planning to do it without you against your wishes. So everyone knows your mom’s intentions. I wouldn’t tell your mom that you told them, since she was going to keep you out of the loop of your own baby announcement to begin with.

– Tell your parents that they aren’t getting any more updates on the baby becuase of this. If you think other family members will end up telling your parents about these updates, then I would keep everything under wraps from all of them. Even if they don’t go through with telling the family, I’d still not share any news with them from now on.

– A funnier option would be to deny it entirely, and when family members go to congratulate you, you could tell them that you aren’t sure what your parents are talking about, or that it was supposed to be a joke.

I’d make all of these statements together with you and your partner. Either way I’m so sorry that you or any parent would have to deal with something like this, things will get better. Wishing you a peaceful rest of your pregnancy, congratulations. :heart:

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Your parents are the disrespectful ones.

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I agree. If they are making this decision for you and your fiance in regards to your son, what other decisions will they go over your head to make in the future. If they can’t respect your decisions as the parents of this (and any other children) on this, they will never respect your decisions in the future, especially if you don’t put your foot down now!

It is your child… not theirs. They had their chance to raise their children and it is now your turn. They need to learn that now or they never will (and some parents come grandparents never do).

Good luck in whatever you decide to do.

Congratulations and best wishes in your pregnancy!

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Wow! First of all congratulations on your pregnancy- how exciting you’re having a baby boy.
Secondly, this needs nipping in the bud IMMEDIATELY or you will be living a real life nightmare once your son arrives. We didn’t tell our parents until we were 6 months pregnant because we were also nervous about the pregnancy and knew full well my DH parents would not keep the news to themselves and couldn’t be trusted. We’ve had lots of issues including my MIL wanting to be at the birth, then wanting to move in for “several weeks” to “help” aka take over the baby. We said a very firm no to both which caused a hissy fit. They then came down to stay for two weeks and would try and hold the baby and not give her back when she was crying/hungry/I wanted my baby back etc. They wanted to dress/feed/change her nappy- all things I was very uncomfortable with so my DH had to tell them to back off in no uncertain terms. It definitely caused offense at the time but it has been relatively successful as they now give us much more space and have held their tongue quite a lot when they obviously disapprove of some of the ways we choose to parent (attachment, [name_u]Baby[/name_u] Led Weaning, etc etc). If we hadn’t put our foot down in the beginning it would have got worse and worse and worse. They tried gaslighting us by telling us over and over again we weren’t coping (when we felt very relaxed and chilled out about parenting) and saying we needed referring for mental health issues about not letting them hold the baby when she was small etc etc so it was pretty nasty and I dread to think how bad it would have been if we hadn’t acted decisively at the start. Because we put our foot down firmly it hasn’t become necessary to go non contact or anything that drastic but it has definitely made them step back and give us some breathing space which is greatly appreciated.

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Firstly, a huge huge congratulations on your pregnancy! Wishing you all the best :heart:

[name_f]Do[/name_f] your parents know about your miscarriages? I’m not suggesting you should have to share that information with them if you don’t feel comfortable, but I would have thought if they knew, maybe they would understand better your desire to wait longer… not that they should need any reason.

It’s a bit hard to offer advice not knowing what your relationship with your parents and other family members is. But I would be tempted to be really really blunt with them.

That you’ve already had to suffer two losses and are understandably anxious and do not feel ready to share the news yet. That you feel very hurt by their words and threats, and that while you understand they’re excited about having a grandchild, this is not their news to share. That you trusted them enough to tell them early, and that this a massive betrayal of your trust and of information that you shared with them in confidence.

I’d try that first… you’ve tried to empathize with their excitement etc, and explained your feelings. But honestly, if they kept pushing, then as others have said… my tone would become firmer.

That it is clear that they find it difficult to keep a secret, and you regret sharing this with them and clearly shouldn’t share things with then in the future. That it’s really eye opening how little respect they are showing for your feelings, and how they are way over-stepping their boundaries by trying to force you to share YOUR news before you feel ready. That if they are showing so little respect for you and your choices now, when baby hasn’t even been born, that it makes you very concerned about how much they will continue to be dismissive of your wishes and choices as an adult and a parent moving forward.

…and that it makes you question how much you really want them to be involved in your and your child’s life, or whether you want them involved at all (IF this really does feel like that big if a deal to you, which it might for me, but people’s relationships with their parents are complex!)

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Hey all, thank you so much for the advice and well wishes! [name_f]My[/name_f] fiancé and I talked it over… We won’t be posting an announcement, and we’ll see what they decide.

[name_f]My[/name_f] parents know about the miscarriages but seem to have selective memory. Since that whole exchange, my parents have also told us the names we can choose from, and said they’ll call the baby THEIR name for him…including using my maiden name, even though my fiancé and I plan on giving him my fiancé’s surname.

It’s starting to look like distance and excluding them is our course of action, with cutting ties as a last resort. I agree with everyone’s sentiments… If they’re doing this NOW, what’s going to happen after the baby is born?

Thank you again for your advice!! [name_f]Glad[/name_f] I’m not crazy for thinking they’re being…a lil extra lol

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They are absolutely trying to brute force control you. You’re doing the right thing by taking this seriously. You are an adult and they need to respect your choices. If they can’t do that, then they’re out. [name_f]Do[/name_f] not bend just to keep the peace. [name_f]Do[/name_f] what’s best for your little family!

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I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this. It really sucks when a happy time is tainted by people being rude, especially when it’s your parents who are supposed to always support you. I hope you find a solution that works for your family, and that you find the strength to not let your parents steamroll you on decisions about YOUR baby. Keep correcting the name they use as often as possible so they never think you’re backing down!

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Ugh, I’m so sorry you are dealing with this! This is absolutely awful behavior from grown adults and I wish parents like this knew how badly their behavior impacts those involved. I read something once, related to this topic, that was along the lines of “your decisions are based on THEIR actions”. You aren’t being disrespectful. You are responding to what they are doing. They play stupid games, they win stupid prizes.

Unfortunately, as others, I can relate. Our parents have major, major boundary issues and love to play the victims. We were actually afraid when we got pregnant, after infertility and losses, because of our relatives, if that tells you anything. The pandemic was a blessing to us because it kept them away for so long. We are very limited contact at this point and our son is heading on two. We are also constantly setting and resetting boundaries. It is hard not to fall into guilt trips but we view it as the family we created is more important than the ones we were born into. That’s our priority.

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Wow. Sorry but I think I’d be breathing fire.

It is not selfish to want to preserve the time when it feels right to announce your pregnancy to family members.
I can understand your reasons as someone who has miscarried ( twice) The whole first trimester and to some degree beyond, can be a real time of worry and holding ones breathe.

This is your news and you share it when you want. And if they still don’t get that, then I agree with others. Resort to harsh tatics. They really ought to know better to be honest.

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