I've been married twice, and, as a result, I consider myself to be a relative expert when it comes to mother-in-law relationships. I'm going to be honest, though: my relationships with my mother-in-laws weren't that great, and when I got pregnant things got weird, and more than a little bit creepy. There's something about pregnancy that causes people to say some eerie things and, my experience, mother-in-laws are absolutely the worst offenders. You would not believe the creepy things my mother-in-law actually said to me when I was pregnant. I swear you can't make this sh*t up.
Sometimes I really do think they mean well. Hopefully, a mother-in-law just doesn't realize how inappropriate and downright creepy it is to ask her daughter-in-law about her sex life, or other personal questions related to things like plans for breastfeeding, when a baby was conceived, or if a woman plans to deliver vaginally. I know that most grandmas-to-be are super excited to meet their new grandchild, and want to make sure that you have their "expert" advice about how to best manage your pregnancy. But the thing is, most decisions related to pregnancy and childbirth are deeply personal. So, a family member's comments sometimes seem intrusive, rude, and even creepy, especially when coming from your mother-in-law.
I've heard all sorts of creepy things from my mothers-in-law, from casual statements about my pregnant body, to questions about my pregnancy and birthing plans. Not only did these questions and comments make for some pretty awkward moments, but they made me undeniably angry and put a strain on our already tense relationship. I wish my mother-in-law would learn some boundaries, or at least respect the ones I've managed to set. Fortunately, for me, I never plan to be pregnant again, and won't have to hear any additional creepy things like the following:
"When Did You Conceive?"
When someone asks their daughter-in-law this question, do they they not realize that they are literally asking about their child's sex life? It's awkward AF. There's no way am I answering that question if my in-laws (or pretty much anyone) asks. It's none of their business, and downright hair-raising.
"Are You Planning A Vaginal Birth?"
So, yeah, I don't like to answer questions about my birth choices ever, let alone questions from my in-laws about my vagina. While most of the time I think people bring this up with pregnant people to make conversation, it doesn't change the fact that it's weird to talk to my mother-in-law about my vagina. Hard pass.
"Now You'll 'Really' Be Part Of Our Family"
Not only did this comment creep me out, but it also broke my heart. I mean, I know my in-laws are old fashioned, but we don't live in Elizabethan times, people. I am a person, and I am not defined by a pregnancy or by motherhood. It's more than a little bit creepy to reduce someone's value to their ability have a baby, and it made me sad to think that my in-laws didn't consider me family until I was pregnant with their grandchild.
"Are You Planning To Breastfeed?"
In my experience, questions about infant feeding are usually precursors to lectures about infant feeding. Trust me, nobody likes a lecture, especially from their mother-in-law. I also find it incredibly upsetting that I continuously have to field questions about my body, or my plans for my body. How intrusive, right?
"Can I Be In The Delivery Room?"
The answer to this one, for me, but a giant, emphatic "no." It's creepy to ask someone if you can be present in the delivery room, and during an experience where they will be vulnerable and likely naked from the waist down. Just no. This is one of those things that you should let a pregnant woman bring up, and if she doesn't then you should assume you already know the answer to this particular question. By asking, you potentially create an awkward situation where she feels like she can't win, and a woman should feel like she's 100 percent winning when she's going through something as taxing as childbirth.
"You Are So Big!"
There's nothing I hate more than comments about my body. But when I am pregnant and the comments are made by mother-in-law, the entire situation is made undeniably worse. Not only is the size of my baby bump not up for discussion, but I don't need a constant reminder of my expanding body. So, you know, thanks but no thanks.
"Are You Really Going To Eat That?"
Attempting to police what an adult eats or drinks is rude. Assuming that you have a right to tell me what I can't eat during pregnancy, because I am pregnant with your grandchild, is rude and creepy. You don't own me.
"Your Boobs Sure Have Grown"
Nope. Even if my boobs have grown a full size, or several sizes, are obviously bigger and noticeably different, you absolutely shouldn't say anything about them. It's gross to comment about someone else's body, and super creepy when that person happens to be your daughter-in-law.
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