For many, the holidays are a time of joy and family gatherings, reuniting with friends and loved ones they haven’t seen in years, and enjoying the time with each other. However, when you’re facing an unplanned pregnancy, those gatherings can turn from a source of happiness to a source of anxiety. While they may mean well, the conversations and questions that can arise can be uncomfortable and hard to navigate. In today’s post, we discuss some tips and best practices for handling these conversations with your family in a respectful and loving way. For more resources and support, contact Informed Choices today.
Think Through What You Want to Share
Whether your family members know about your pregnancy or not before arriving for the gathering, they’re bound to have questions for you (is the father in the picture, what pregnancy option have you decided on, etc.). And while you can’t control their questions, you can control the way the conversation goes. If a question is asked that makes you uncomfortable, simply tell them you’d rather not discuss it right now and try to change the topic. It may be helpful to think through beforehand what aspects of your pregnancy you’re comfortable talking about. Consider sharing what you’ve decided on with a few other family members who can provide you with support and help steer the conversation back on track when needed.
Navigating the Many Opinions
While they mean well, you’ll most likely have a few family members that will share their opinions on your unplanned pregnancy with you. They’re often speaking from a place of love and concern, but it doesn’t always come out this way. When faced with this situation, try to turn it into a positive. Thank them for their opinion or their insights and try to keep the conversation moving. If this doesn’t work, gently tell them you’ll consider their opinion, but this is your decision and you’ll do what you think is best; perhaps saying something like “I really appreciate your opinion, but right now what I really need is your support.”
Give Them Grace
One of the most important things to remember is how you felt when you first discovered you were pregnant. The rush of emotions, the questions you had, and how it took time for you to process the news. Now it’s your family’s turn to process the news; try to extend them some grace if they reactive negatively. More often than not, they’re reacting emotionally and even though they may say some hurtful things, after they’ve had time to process, the emotions will settle and apologies will be made.
Take Care of Yourself
Above all else, make sure that you’re not overextending yourself. Holidays can be a hectic time, and if you need to take a break throughout the activities, or not even attend at all and schedule a smaller family get together, do it! It’s easy to feel pressured to attend, but only you know your limits and you need to do what’s best for you. You may also consider planning a fun or relaxing activity after the holidays to unwind and have something to look forward to. You’re caring for two people now, not just yourself, and need to ensure you’re looking out for both of you first and foremost.
Find Support and Help
If you’re still not sure if you can handle the holiday conversations, or simply need some resources and support for your pregnancy, contact Informed Choices today. We’re here to support you through every stage of your pregnancy and discuss all of your pregnancy options in a safe and comfortable atmosphere. We offer free resources such as pregnancy testing, medical referrals, maternity supplies, parenting education, and more. Give us a call or send us a message online at any time to learn more about our services and how we can help.