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Telling the family...


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I haven't posted here in years, but I figured I could use the help. I am currently 19 weeks pregnant with my first child. It wasn't a planned pregnancy, the father of the baby and I had broken up back in May and from May until August, he was begging me to agree to see him at least one more time. I guess he figured maybe he could change my mind. Well, one thing led to another, badda bing, badda boom = baby.


I just recently "came out" about the pregnancy to pretty much all of my friends. Some I had talked to before, but this was the first time I had gone public. Of course, in my world, public and family are two very different things. My family doesn't know, which is kind of sad because I just saw them right before Christmas and have a very obvious belly. They just thought I had gained weight.


Now, I'm 23 years old, and I live on my own. In fact, I just recently moved states. So, I'm not completely up the creek without a paddle in regards to the baby affecting school or something. I have support from the father, we're trying again to see if we can make it work this time. Surprisingly, the change in location has done us both rather well and since it's so much cheaper where we are currently living compared to where we moved from, things are looking up.


My issues are the following... First of all, my father, and my entire family do not like the father of the baby at all. He had a lot of issues when we were originally together with keeping a job and it was one of the reasons we broke up. So, telling my family that not only are we back together, but also expecting is going to be a hard topic to defend, even though he is doing better employment-wise in this new area. Second of all, the job I had is ending because my employer is dying. He's a very old attorney who took a turn for the worst about a month or so ago and we're basically just closing out his business. This means that at about 5 months pregnant, I'm looking for a new job. I know it's against the law to not hire a person based on their pregnancy, however, I can't really blame someone if they don't hire me. The father and I have discussed me staying home with the baby for a little while and him supporting both of us. This would be a greater plan if HIS current job wasn't a contract position, and the contract wasn't ending today. He is looking into becoming a correctional officer which would be a great move for both of us, but we won't hear back from them until sometime after the new year.


So, my main question is, how can I tell my family, particularly my father, in a positive way as to alleviate some of the initial worries, concerns, and flat out anger that I expect them to have? My father has very unpredictable reactions to things. When I told him that the father and I were engaged the first time we were together, he had no reaction. However, I lost my job a year ago due to illness, and his reaction to that was to blow up at me. I'd rather not deal with the brunt of his anger in the condition I'm in as I do want to keep the child, but I feel he has a right to know. Advice?

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There really isn't too much you can do to control HIS reaction.. Honestly, I am not sure how you can tell him other than to stand firm on your decision to keep your child, and by letting him know that you wont require anything (financially or otherwise) from him. When I told my parents I was pregnant at 19, I was really surprised. I thought they'd kill me... Actually, my dad didn't talk to me for a day. No yelling, just didn't say anything for a full 24 hours.. but after that, he was EXTREMELY supportive of me and is now a very, very proud grandpa.


The point is, you never know... he might be angry for a while, but hopefully in time he'll come to enjoy the fact that he's going to have a grandchild. If he's angry at first, try to remember that it's probably because he's terrified for you. He may be questioning whether the father will stick around, or how you two will manage with a new baby, how you'll pay your bills, etc.. So if he gets angry, you can say something like, "I understand that you're worried, so let's talk about [whatever]..."

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I agree with n83 on this. Unfortunately, you know the circumstances are less than ideal, and your family has good reason for being leary of your boyfriend based on previous experience with him.


The best thing you can do it be honest with them, be prepared for them to be upset, as n83 said, because they love you and want the best for you, and this is not the best situation for you- so give them time to adjust and be open to questions and possible criticism.


Hopefully once the initial shock passes they will be supportive because at this point that is what you need more than anything.


Good luck, and let us know how it goes.

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You can't really control your father's reaction, but he will most likely be happy when he sees his new granchild! so i would tell him on the phone and give him a chance to vent since it is probably a shock for him, but then focus on the positive aspects of how much joy a new baby in the family can bring.


Also, if you are closing down your old job, is there a chance you can talk to someone about getting some severence pay to tide you over til you have the baby and can find a new job? they may be sympathetic to that, i.e., you are obviously pregnant and will have trouble finding a job. Attorneys usually have sufficient money to pay severance, so please at least ask if they can help you a little under the circumstances. You should also both be able to get unemployment, and benefits for the pregnancy from the state if neither of you is employed.


so please investigate all potential income and insurance sources right now, before you have the baby and the money gets really tight.

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Oh boy, it does sound like you are in a bind. You have five months to secure a position. Working for an attourney, you have gained some valuable skills. I doubt you look that pregnant yet. Maybe just overweight. I'd start posting my resume now. Do you use link removed? Keep your eyes open. My biggest concern and likely our father's is your own livelihood. You need to be able to provide for yourself, if at all possible, since as of now, you aren't married and there are no guarantees with the boyfriend, his employment, or yours. Your worries are valid, but maybe he will have some valuable suggestions to help you figure some things out. Don't go into conversation with your parents thinking you have all the answers. They may have some ideas to help you. Pregnancy is a condition of vulnerability and you should stay emotionally calm.

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I guess I have a hard time believing my father will be happy about a grandchild, regardless of under what circumstances. He has stated before that he is apathetic about the idea, if one of his children has one, ok, and if not, that's fine too. Sometimes I think that since my mom died, my father has become an entirely different person, and our relationship isn't really father/daughter so much as aquaintance. In fact, my relationship with basically my entire family has deteriorated down to that of an acquaintance, and theirs with each other. We just seem to lack the familial bond or something.


The sad thing is, someone that is sort of in the family does know. His girlfriend. Since I cannot tell my mother, she died 4 years ago, I went to the next best thing. I went to his girlfriend because her daughter who is a few years younger than me is in a similar situation, only from what my dad's g/f has told me, she's even worse off than me. She has agreed to keep it a secret, and has offered to tell my dad for me because she thinks it might be something they can bond over. However, I know my dad, he doesn't exactly "bond" well over emotional family situations. And I think he would be greatly hurt and angered if he had to find out through a third party who isn't directly involved in our family(though she's been around so long, I consider her family). She has been pressuring me to tell my dad sooner rather than later, and I understand her urgency, but I just don't feel ready to discuss this with him.


There is such a vast difference between my boyfriend's family and mine. His family practically did cartwheels when they found out about the baby. They have been extremely supportive. Yes, it can be argued I haven't given my family the chance to be, however, they've had chances in the past and haven't exactly stepped up to the plate. Of course, they also expect that we're going to get married, my boyfriend has repeatedly asked me about it, I'm just not sure I want to risk ending up a statistic.


And for the record, I do look pregnant. I didn't have much in the way of a belly to begin with and now that I'm halfway along, it's grown quite substantially. I have been asked about it by strangers. And even if a potential employer did not ask about it, to me it would seem extremely dishonest to not inform them in an interview. They're going to find out fairly quickly after I'm hired anyway, and it seems wrong to go into a job knowing that you're about to have such a life changing event and not inform them. But that's my personal feeling.


I think my boyfriend might be able to qualify for unemployment, but I can't. In NC, you have to work for four months in the state so that they have something to judge you on to know what compensation you should get weekly. I have only worked since October. I do have medicaid though and WIC, and will be applying for food stamps soon I'm sure as well. I'm not sure how programs like welfare work if you're only with child and don't actually have any living and breathing outside the womb, but I'll definitely be asking when I go to apply for foodstamps. I think as far as jobs are concerned, I'm going to apply at places like Papa Johns(I delivered pizzas on the side over the summer and actually enjoyed it) and places of that nature that are used to a quick turnover, so that if I do end up leaving the workforce for a while, it won't be that much of a surprise to them.


Anyway, I wanted to thank everyone for their advice. I plan to tell my father after we hear back about my boyfriend's application for correction officer. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for him!

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