Saturday, February 17, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

Tell Me About It: She feels guilty for concealing pregnancy

Q: At what point is it okay to forgive yourself for hiding a pregnancy from beloved family?

It is early on, and with the threat of miscarriage, my husband and I have decided to keep this news to ourselves. However, I can't help but feel sneaky as I conceal this from family members by tossing glasses of wine in the bathroom. I'm worried there may be hard feelings when we are ready to share.

Pregnant

A: Superficial answer: You can forgive yourself immediately and for good. This is your and your husband's news alone and you don't need to tell anyone anything till you're ready.

Next-layer-down answer: What's with the drama? For one, that's a rigid news embargo. I get the impulse to wait out the first trimester, since no one wants to go around issuing painful updates in the event of a miscarriage. But telling a few people is not unusual — the ones you'd lean on if you were to miscarry.

Also dramatic is the use of active deception, as is the jump from these otherwise-victimless fake-outs to . . . not forgiving yourself?

Maybe you're just hormonal. Or maybe your family tends to drama, i.e., "hard feelings" vs. just sharing your joy.

Regardless: Please consider, in situations like this where your emotions are roiling, a reliance on the logic of simplicity: Given the various risks, is withholding your news easier than sharing it? And if so, is your method for withholding the news the easiest one, or are there milder options for remaining discreet?

Especially with a baby coming, I urge a realignment of your thinking toward maximized calm.

Starting here: If your family does wig out at your delayed notification, then that is so not your problem. They have no entitlement to be told till you're ready.

If you feel you always have to yell "Look over there!" just to buy yourself some privacy, then I suggest taking a closer look at the emotional boundaries (or lack thereof) learned in your childhood home.

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