When we share the news that we’re expecting a bundle of joy we usually expect a positive response. We assume that people will be happy for us – whether it is friends or family – and don’t expect to get a negative response.
from Essential Baby, by Jo Hartley
So what happens when this isn’t the case – when your news is not met with joy but, instead, if your pregnancy is met with negativity?
According to psychotherapist and parenting expert Dr Karen Phillip there are a number of reasons why people react negatively to a pregnancy announcement. When it comes to friends, Phillip says some friends fear that they may lose their connection with you. “They may feel that your relationship will change because now you will be a mum, you will be busier with baby instead of them,” she says. “They fear you may start talking baby instead of world news or, more importantly, their news.
” Phillip adds that friends’ negative reactions can also be because they are jealous, particularly if they are struggling to conceive, or because they have concerns about you if it was unplanned or your relationship is unstable. Likewise, when it comes to parents, there are varied reasons for a negative reaction.
“Some parents feel concerned that you’re not ready or able to be a parent, or feel that your focus should be on career or financial stability first,” says Phillip. “Additionally some may disapprove of your partner or be concerned about your lifestyle choices such as drinking or smoking.”
“For others, they just don’t feel ready to become grandparents. And if they feel you may be unable to cope, they can worry that they may end up helping to raise the child.”
So how do we overcome this kind of negativity, and how best do we prepare for it if we predict it may be coming?
Phillip says that the best way to start is by understanding that some family or friends may be concerned for you, and this is most likely coming from a good place. “Discuss the reasons why they have concerns and, instead of rejecting their words, consider them if they are said with alarm, and determine the reason for this,” she advises. “Once you can understand their perspective, you’re better placed to address their issues and hopefully prove them wrong, thereby convincing them you can do a great job as a mum.”
Phillip goes on to say that if their concerns are legitimate, you should work towards correcting them to demonstrate strength, maturity and commitment. “Set yourself up as best you can, make arrangements to obtain support from Centrelink if necessary, and set yourself up for all the things needed when a baby arrives. If you show a level of maturity, sensibility and planning you may win over those negative people.”
Despite this, if the negativity continues it may be worthwhile considering disassociating with those people. “Ongoing negativity will affect you and baby, causing you distress during this important time,” Phillip says. “A mum-to-be needs nurturing, support, guidance and love.
Surround yourself with these people instead.” Read full article at http://www.essentialbaby.com.au/pregnancy/stages-of-pregnancy/when-your-pregnancy-announcement-is-met-with-negativity-20150626-ghyaq0.html