Author Topic: Pregnancy/birth etiquette  (Read 62040 times)

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snowball's chance

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Re: Pregnancy/birth etiquette
« Reply #45 on: March 03, 2009, 09:17:34 AM »
While grandchildren are a wonderful blessing, they are not something you are "owed" by your adult children.  Whether your children and their partners are child-free by choice or for some other reason, they don't want to hear all about what a disappointment this is to you, or for you to try to change their minds.  

caranfin

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Re: Pregnancy/birth etiquette
« Reply #46 on: March 03, 2009, 10:03:01 AM »
To follow up on caranfin, it is okay to ask, once, politely, about a person/couple's plans for children. However, take a refusal to discuss details as absolute. "I'll let you know when there's something to talk about" is a polite way of saying butt out.

No, actually, it's not polite to ask once.

Agree!!

If people want to talk about it, they will. But why are anyone's plans to have children or not anyone else's business.

I bow to the wisdom of Marina and Maria. I was unconsciously trying to excuse members of my immediate family who were asking. But y'all are right. It's NEVER appropriate.

Not everybody agrees that this is a rude question. It can be asked rudely, and the follow-up ("why not?") can be rude, but it is possible to ask it politely. If, for example, I'm not allowed to ask my own child if she plans to have children some day, I'd have to say we don't have much of a relationship.
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MyFamily

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Re: Pregnancy/birth etiquette
« Reply #47 on: March 03, 2009, 10:52:11 AM »
If the new-mother has decided to take advantage of the wonderful HIPAA law that means the hospital cannot even admit the mother and baby are in the hospital AND has informed her husband to give out her room number to only a small handful of people, respect her wishes - she just gave birth, is tired and the stay in the hospital is so that she can rest before she goes home.  It is nothing personal, it is just that she's tired.


"The test of good manners is to be patient with bad ones" - Solomon ibn Gabirol

NOVA Lady

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Re: Pregnancy/birth etiquette
« Reply #48 on: March 03, 2009, 11:19:52 AM »
To follow up on caranfin, it is okay to ask, once, politely, about a person/couple's plans for children. However, take a refusal to discuss details as absolute. "I'll let you know when there's something to talk about" is a polite way of saying butt out.

No, actually, it's not polite to ask once.

Agree!!

If people want to talk about it, they will. But why are anyone's plans to have children or not anyone else's business.

I bow to the wisdom of Marina and Maria. I was unconsciously trying to excuse members of my immediate family who were asking. But y'all are right. It's NEVER appropriate.

Not everybody agrees that this is a rude question. It can be asked rudely, and the follow-up ("why not?") can be rude, but it is possible to ask it politely. If, for example, I'm not allowed to ask my own child if she plans to have children some day, I'd have to say we don't have much of a rel@tionship.

I do think there are exceptions for close relationships like my mother or my sister.

Though this topic is completely closed between me and my mother. We have a fantastic relationship anyhow.

But a random coworker/friend/distant family member? NO.

If people want to have children, others are usually aware of it... they talk about wanting them or liking them, and that open's the conversation. But if someone has never mentioned kids or wanting them... and you're not their husband or doctor... I dont see what the point in asking it.

matf

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Re: Pregnancy/birth etiquette
« Reply #49 on: March 03, 2009, 12:36:37 PM »
I do think there are exceptions for close rel@tionships like my mother or my sister.

Though this topic is completely closed between me and my mother. We have a fantastic rel@tionship anyhow.

But a random coworker/friend/distant family member? NO.

If people want to have children, others are usually aware of it... they talk about wanting them or liking them, and that open's the conversation. But if someone has never mentioned kids or wanting them... and you're not their husband or doctor... I dont see what the point in asking it.

Even if someone has mentioned wanting children in the future, I still think it's rude to ask about specific plans or timing. And the close relationships between parents and kids is why I originally said that it's rude to ask more than once. You can ask once if you're close, but let the person decide if they want to talk with you -- and if they don't, stop asking.

caranfin

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Re: Pregnancy/birth etiquette
« Reply #50 on: March 03, 2009, 01:10:22 PM »
This is my suggestion, please feel free to rip it to shreds.  ;)

Before you ask someone if they plan to have children, keep in mind that this is a very personal question, and is sensitive for some people, especially those whose answer would be "no" - they tend to get a very hard time about it. Don't ask if you're just making conversation. If you feel like you have a reason to ask - for example, you're wondering if your new coworker who just moved here from a different state needs a recommendation for an OB - figure out some other way to work it into the conversation, or just have faith that if they need that advice, they will come to you.
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Dindrane

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Re: Pregnancy/birth etiquette
« Reply #51 on: March 03, 2009, 01:35:25 PM »
I really think that something like this might be better, caranfin:

Before you ask someone if they plan to have children, keep in mind that this topic is usually none of your business, and that it can be an annoying or painful question for people who don't want or can't have children.  Don't ask if you're just making conversation.  If you feel that you have a valid reason for asking this question, figure out a way to work it into the conversation, or just have faith that they will come to you if they need advice on the subject.


Shoo

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Re: Pregnancy/birth etiquette
« Reply #52 on: March 03, 2009, 01:43:49 PM »

5.  Only the parents get to decide whom she wants to attend the birth.  Grandparents, in-laws, and other relatives and friends do not have an automatic right to be present-regardless of the fact that a new member of their family is about to be born.

I edited this one - the mother may have the final veto power, but the new father should definitely have input.

I disagree.  This is something *completely* up to the person whose underbody is on display.  Any other person, even the child's father, gets no say in this matter.

caranfin

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Re: Pregnancy/birth etiquette
« Reply #53 on: March 03, 2009, 01:47:19 PM »

5.  Only the parents get to decide whom she wants to attend the birth.  Grandparents, in-laws, and other relatives and friends do not have an automatic right to be present-regardless of the fact that a new member of their family is about to be born.

I edited this one - the mother may have the final veto power, but the new father should definitely have input.

I disagree.  This is something *completely* up to the person whose underbody is on display.  Any other person, even the child's father, gets no say in this matter.

I think some of these disagreements are because to some people, "attend the birth" means "hang out at the hospital," and to others, it means "watch the delivery." I agree that if you mean "watch the delivery," the decision belongs to the woman alone.
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snowball's chance

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Re: Pregnancy/birth etiquette
« Reply #54 on: March 03, 2009, 02:11:22 PM »
Never refer to your coworker's maternity/paternity leave as "vacation".

caranfin

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Re: Pregnancy/birth etiquette
« Reply #55 on: March 03, 2009, 03:17:59 PM »
Never refer to your coworker's maternity/paternity leave as "vacation".

And never say "Well, if you've recovered enough to come to the Christmas party, why can't you come back to work?"
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kareng57

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Re: Pregnancy/birth etiquette
« Reply #56 on: March 04, 2009, 09:07:35 PM »

5.  Only the parents get to decide whom she wants to attend the birth.  Grandparents, in-laws, and other relatives and friends do not have an automatic right to be present-regardless of the fact that a new member of their family is about to be born.

I edited this one - the mother may have the final veto power, but the new father should definitely have input.

I disagree.  This is something *completely* up to the person whose underbody is on display.  Any other person, even the child's father, gets no say in this matter.

I think some of these disagreements are because to some people, "attend the birth" means "hang out at the hospital," and to others, it means "watch the delivery." I agree that if you mean "watch the delivery," the decision belongs to the woman alone.


Personally I also think that the mom-to-be also has veto rights over who is wanting to hang-around in the waiting room.  Luckily neither of our families was into this, but I know that some families are.

If it had been me - it would have made me quite tense and anxious to know that there were a bunch of people in the waiting room.  I think that the mom does have veto rights over this.  Of course there's one sure-fire way - wait until Baby arrives before informing one-and-all.

katycoo

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Re: Pregnancy/birth etiquette
« Reply #57 on: March 04, 2009, 09:35:18 PM »
If you're unsure as to the appropriateness of enquiring of someone their future plans re children, remeber that you're effectively asking them about their s*x life.

"Will you be having lots of extra s*x in the next few years?" 

Wouldn't ask them that?  Not close enough to ask about plans for children.

caranfin

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Re: Pregnancy/birth etiquette
« Reply #58 on: March 05, 2009, 11:05:38 AM »
If you're unsure as to the appropriateness of enquiring of someone their future plans re children, remeber that you're effectively asking them about their s*x life.

"Will you be having lots of extra s*x in the next few years?" 

Not really. Some people have children without sex being involved at all (Caranfin raises her hand, as do a number of adoptive parents), and some people don't change the quantity of their sex when trying to conceive. That's a rather weak connection. I can assure you that anyone who wonders if you plan to have children probably couldn't care less about the way you plan to conceive them.
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Squeaks

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Re: Pregnancy/birth etiquette
« Reply #59 on: March 05, 2009, 12:04:04 PM »
POD to mom's choice only.  MIL decided that she wanted to be there when Peach was born, and DH decided it wasn't such a bad idea.  *I* decided that when DH is giving birth, he's welcome to invite his mom, but when it is *my* nether regions exposed I get to decide who is there.  Heck, my SIL is medical personell, and I threw her out of the room too.  


I agree.  I would not want MY mom in the room, let alone DHs mom.  The person giving birth has all veto power.  If mom-to-be wanted someone in, but dad-to-be doesn't, there needs to be a discussion.  Mom needs the support. Fair? no. Sometimes life isn't fair.

You know, I'm starting to think dad should get some degree of veto power too.  Not willy-nilly veto power, but if he has a serious objection to someone being there, I think that has some weight.  I'm not talking about cases where he didn't always see eye to eye with mom's sister, who's also her best friend, so much as extreme cases, like if sister has been making comments about how she should take the kid and leave dad and find someone worthwhile throughout the course of the pregnancy.  Dad does have the right to not be subjected to an openly hostile environment when his kid is born.  But that may be an issue for marriage counseling, not an etiquette board ;)

This is all assuming, of course, an involved and caring dad, not some jerk who got her pregnant and took off.


This is kinda how i am feeling.  I do think that dad should have some input.  But in somewhat I think his say carries more weight for who should NOT be there than it does for who should.  If the mom is ok with a huge crowd, but dad is a bit more shy and does not want to be pushed out of the way. . . . well i think that is fair.   To me it is fair for him to not have to fight for the best seat so to speak.   

I also do think that the waiting room/delivery room/ and early stages are all very different. 

I think part of my distaste for the attitude of the dad having no say is that it feels to me like saying that his having and opinion and sharing it is selfish somehow or automatically wrong or self serving.  Maybe mom does not want anyone there, but all his sisters said how happy they were to have others there. . . sharing that opinion is not wrong. . . . it may be helpful to get others experiences.  Maybe he is scared and wants someone to help him be strong for his wife. . . I can not say that is so evil of him.  Maybe he does not like the idea of the wife being alone for even the few moment for him to go to the bathroom. . . . so he wants someone to be able to take a shift, again, not evil or bad of him.  Heck it could even be that he sees that the mom is a bit toxic and he is trying to point out that her being there might not end so well. 

I just feel that the couple should be able to discuss it. . . but at the same token, yes the guy should *get* that the woman controls who sees certain areas of the body and if he ever wants to see them again, he needs to defer to her at some point.