Just over a year ago, I sat my parents down and told them I was going to have a baby. Although everything is fine now, (just about!) it was most certainly one of the most memorable nights of my life. Here are six you should know if you find yourself in a similar situation to me.
- Do NOT expect a ‘congratulations’ – If your parents are very traditional, from either Africa or the Caribbean (mine are from both), they WILL NOT want to hear about an ‘illegitimate grandchild’. They will not even pretend to be happy for you or for themselves. They will not pretend to ‘have your back’ especially if they have never heard from or about the father. I would say to start talking about your partner as often as possible before telling them. Maybe even a week before start a conversation about how you’ve met a guy and you think he’s the one. That should peak their interest. Haha!
- Do not take what they say in the first instance literally – you know black people have no chill with their tongue, they WILL NOT hold back with their thoughts and feelings!!! I am still trying to recover from what they said to me when I first told them and things they said throughout my pregnancy. Also, if you’re a parent reading this, might I advise that you take a few breaths before you go off on one at your daughter? Those words are hard to heal from, especially from you.
- Make sure you have a well thought out plan to present to them – think presentations you’ve had to do for school or work – heck you might as well prepare a Power Point!! Explain to them that you have fully thought it through. Tell them that you know how you will cope, you know what to expect and if worse comes to worse how you can do this on your own. I really failed at this, I don’t think I said anything when asked, although in my head I knew that I have a budding career as a teacher, I also have a few skills that can be turned into side businesses if need be. That should have relaxed their mind.
- Embrace yourself for the ‘alone’ feeling – during my pregnancy I really felt isolated. I felt alone a lot of the time, even though I knew Jesus was always by my side. My situation is not a very conventional one in that the father of my child lives in a different country so even he was unable (sometimes unwilling) to just be there how I wanted or needed him to be. I definitely could not lean on my parents for support at this time, it just didn’t work out, even when I tried.
- Keep calm! My parents are my biggest triggers; they know the right thing to say to get to me. But the best thing to do is to remain calm, it’s almost as if you need to be the bigger person or better said you should just be humble. They have a right to be angry and upset, after all you have not lived up to their expectations. It’s totally understandable.
- Trust and believe that everything will be okay once their grandchild arrives. When I gave birth to my daughter, they fell instantly in love. My mother actually helped deliver her but that is a story I will save for another time. Babies are such blessings and they truly bring such joy to the family.
How did you reveal your pregnancy to your parents? Was it planned or unplanned? How did you take the news if you are the grandparent reading this? Share in the comments below. xx