7 Relationships that Will Change Once You’re Pregnant
You're pregnant! Congratulations! You're thrilled, and you can't wait to share your awesome news with everyone! But just as your body, emotions, and hormone levels are changing (boy are they changing!), your relationships are about to take on a whole new dimension as well. Here are seven relationships that will likely change a bit now that you've got a bun in the oven!
Just because you decided it was time to have a baby, chances are that not all of your girlfriends jumped on the baby bandwagon. While you may be thrilled about all of the changes happening to your body, ultrasound pictures, and all that comes along with a pregnancy, your girlfriends may not be on the same page. You shouldn't get your feelings hurt if they don't share your same enthusiasm.
Be sure you're extra-sensitive toward a girlfriend who may be having fertility issues. It shouldn't diminish your happiness, but if you want to continue your friendship and connection with a girlfriend who just doesn't “get it,” try to keep your conversation topics along lines you both can relate to. If you bonded over shared interests, don't give up that part of your relationship!
Your Mom and Dad
Your mom has now become your most invaluable resource. With every new pain, twinge, flutter, and question you have, you're going to want to call and ask your mom. Did you ever feel this? Do you remember whether you did that? She'll love sharing her experiences with you, and you'll love having her there for her advice! However, some of that advice may come unsolicited. Take that in stride and know that if there's anyone who's excitement could rival yours, it's your mom's!
While Dad may not show the same level of enthusiasm as Mom, you'll catch glimpses of his pride when he feels the baby kick for the first time, when he sees the decorated nursery, and especially when he gets to hold your new little bundle. (There may or may not even be some waterworks!)
His Mom and Dad
While relationships with the in-laws can sometimes be difficult, there's nothing that can bring you together like the mutual love and adoration of the same little person. You can help make them feel included by keeping them in the loop with all of the fun details like decorating the nursery and planning the baby shower.
You can be certain that grandma and grandpa-to-be will want nothing but health and happiness for you and your little one, and having as many people in your corner as you can is always a good thing! Try to see things from their perspective if you can and talk to them about your feelings and concerns. Help them to feel a part of the pregnancy!
Work relationships are already a delicate balance of personal and professional, and there's nothing more personal than a pregnancy. You may want to wait to announce your pregnancy at work, or maybe you're worried that your pregnancy won't be welcome news. This can strain relationships at work and make things a little difficult.
While there are laws in place to protect pregnant mothers from being discriminated against in the workplace, it does sometimes still happen. I have a girlfriend whose “position was eliminated” just a week after she told her superiors she was pregnant with twins. (Luckily, she was able to prosecute successfully.)
Depending on your job environment, a pregnancy announcement may make others feel like they will be required to take on more responsibility while you're on leave, so don't be hurt if the excitement isn't what you'd hoped in your work environment.
Nothing will change your relationship with your spouse more than adding a child into the mix. I couldn't have imagined I could love my husband more, but then I got to see him as a dad, and that love not only grew, but it changed, too. I adored the way my husband would worry about me while I was pregnant. If there was anything he could do to make me more comfortable, he was always willing to do it. He saw it as his way of caring for our baby while I was carrying our baby.
Once I saw him change a poopy diaper, I was his forever! (Again!) I have a picture of my husband with our oldest daughter. He's got a chair pushed up to the sink, and she is helping him “wash” the dishes. I ADORE that picture because, not only is he taking time with my daughter, he's also doing dishes! Did I hit the jackpot or what!?
There are times when you will have hard things to work through, and you'll have to adjust to your new roles, but your mutual goals are inextricably intertwined in this little person that you both love more than anything. In the end, it brings you closer together when you can work through it as a team!
You are about to turn your brothers and sisters into aunts and uncles. Depending on their age and your mutual expectations, this announcement can cause great harmony or great discord. Sometimes we place expectations upon our siblings to fulfill a role in a certain way, and when they don't have the same vision, we can have our feelings hurt.
Try to express what your hopes are for their relationship with their soon-to-be niece or nephew, and allow for them to express to you their feelings. This way you can start on the same page, and there won't be hurt feelings when your 18-year-old brother turns you down for babysitting in a few months!
Be ready to be asked inappropriate questions by complete strangers—your belly is apparently public property. I don't know what it is, but as soon as a bump becomes clearly a baby bump, nothing is off the table. My mom had six kids, and when she was pregnant with my brother, people (complete strangers, mind you) would come right out and ask her if all of her children had the same father. We do, but that's not the point! Who just asks that? Is there something about a protruding belly that says “Ask me anything!” and “Please touch my belly”?
Forget personal space—it no longer exists. In the grocery store, the library, the gym—your belly must be a magic lamp, 'cause it's gonna get rubbed! That sweet old lady down aisle six? Watch out for her! She's gonna touch your belly, ask you if you plan on breastfeeding, and her perfume is gonna trigger your gag reflex like nothing else!
What relationship change are you most looking forward to? Most dreading? Did we call them totally wrong? Tell us in the comments!