For those of us who grew up with moms, and still have our moms around now that we're adults, the moment when we find ourselves staring down the barrel of motherhood is usually when we start asking for some motherly advice. I get it, sure, but there are times you shouldn't listen to your own mother when you're pregnant, too. Yes your mom probably gave birth to you, and even if she didn't she at least helped you become the extremely wonderful person you are (and possibly she did the same thing for your siblings who are, eh, vaguely close to being as awesome as you). She knows some things, to be sure, but she doesn't know all the things, guys.
If there's been one constant since the Beginning of Having Babies, it's been new baby-havers looking to veteran baby-havers for advice on how to have the babies. It's basically how we've kept humans around this long. So if you're someone who is lucky enough to have a mom, and lucky enough to be able to stand to have a conversation with your mom, chances are hight that your mom is going to be an active part of your pregnancy.
For the most part, having your mother be around to help you plan, prepare, and celebrate brings with it a mountain of upsides with very few downsides. That said, when the downsides of "your mom + your pregnancy" do show themselves, they can be catastrophic if not handled properly. What exactly constitutes "proper handling" is personal and unique to each family and honestly not something I'm qualified to counsel you on.
What I do know is that a lot of potential problems that could stem from your mom's involvement in your pregnancy can be solved by just *looks around to make sure my mom isn't nearby* ignoring her. IGNORE YOUR MOM. Ignore her presence, ignore her opinions, and don't hesitate to say no, specifically in the following instances, which are almost guaranteed to come up at some point in your pregnancy.
When Deciding Whether Or Not To Stay Pregnant
This might be something you already feel extra sure about before you find out you're pregnant... but it also might not. For a lot of women, the days following a positive pregnancy test are a time of weighing options and making decisions about what to do with this pregnancy. The weighing and deciding might include other people's opinions, but it might not. Keep in mind that even if your mom is someone you historically like workshopping problems with, she is very unlikely to be unbiased about your pregnancy. After all, you are her child, and it's almost certain that she will have strong feelings about what you ought to do about your pregnancy since it's something that has such huge consequences for you, her baby.
So if you know your mom is someone who tends to generate strong opinions and really forcefully push for people to follow suit, maybe don't tell her until after you're very sure about what you want to do? Even if you anticipate her pressuring you one way or another, she's still your mom, and no degree of awareness on your part will dismantle the powerful influence she inherently has over you — and being newly pregnant is an especially vulnerable time, no matter who you are and what you plan to do about your pregnancy.
When Making Your Birth Plan
Your mom probably gave birth, and like anyone who ever gave birth at any point in history, she probably considers herself to have some degree of expertise on the subject because, ya know, she's done it once or twice. It's perfectly polite to listen to what she has to say about how she thinks you ought to give birth, and then do whatever the hell you want based on the kind of birth you would like to have.
When Deciding What To Name Your Baby
Just... no. If she thinks it's so important to name a child after Great Uncle I-Think-I-Met-Him-Once-Maybe-But-Who-The-Hell-Knows, then honestly, she can have a baby. This is not your problem.
When She Tells You What To Expect Based On What She Experienced
Smile, nod, take her experience for the value it has (because hey, it does), but stop short of buying any implication that the way she experienced pregnancy and birth will necessarily be anything like the way you will. Just because you got her excellent cheekbones and taste for lemon sorbet doesn't mean you, too, will deliver an exactly 8-pound baby after an exactly 5-hour labor.
When She Stops Having Boundaries
Look, pregnancy is exciting. New babies are exciting. Moms, for the most part, want to be helpful, especially when their kids are going through significant life events, and especially especially when that life event is all wrapped up in a fat, cute baby. All that excitement, though, makes it so easy for helpful offers to turn into overbearing attempts for people to center themselves in the activity, potentially to the point of eroding some hella important boundaries and inhibiting the actual parents from taking full ownership of the actual parenting.
This is honestly a hard thing to navigate. If you think your mom is aggressively pushy about her involvement in your pregnancy, birth, and parenting, and you've tried to gently (but clearly) let her know that she's being a little "extra" about things, feel free to be not-so-gentle about it. It's really that important. What you allow during this time will establish a precedent for how she'll think it's OK to behave later — like when you have a newborn to deal with and you're exhausted and generally have way less energy to establish and reinforce healthy boundaries with your mom. Do it now before the baby is born, for everyone's sake.
When She Swears She Knows How To Resolve Some Fight With Your Partner
Pregnancy makes all things in your life feel heightened, and that's likely true for your partner, to some degree, too. All things considered, it makes sense that fights happen. Usually, they're normal, if not surprisingly constructive, and rarely are they a huge deal. But when you're in the middle of these rights your emotions will probably be huge. And if you call your mom with your huge mid-fight feelings, it can be super easy for her to be like, "Oh f*ck him! Come here and I'll take care of you, baby."
Or, depending on your mom, her reaction might be totally the opposite and she might be dismissive of your feelings and your fight based on the fact that you're pregnant and jacked up on hormones. Neither approach is really that great, and if keeping your mom out of your intra-relationship squabbles is a good idea in general, it's an essential thing when you're pregnant.
Literally Anything About Your Baby Shower
Whether it's what food you eat, what you register for, who you invite (or don't invite), don't let anyone have a deciding vote other than you. It's kinda the last time thing will be all about you for... roughly the rest of your life. Get what you want.