It’s often said that when people get married they don’t just marry each other but rather also marry each other’s families. In this situation where they have chosen each other but have not chosen the extended family that they now find themselves in – seeing eye to eye can be complex.
In many situations, it’s the women that suffer at the hands of demanding in-laws. One of the most common situations women find themselves in is in having to deal with pressure from their in-laws to have a baby. This is made especially worse in the situation where they pressure you to have a baby whether you want to or not, are ready or not, or even physically capable or not.
Here’s how you can cope with the pressure from inlaws to have a baby:
Share the reasons behind your decision
If you’re comfortable, ask your partner to share the reasons why you can’t. Mbali Smith, 39 * says she has been dealing with the pressure to have another child for years.
“I have a baby boy who’s in Grade 7 and I suffer from very high blood pressure which I’m on medication for. My doctor has advised me that with my condition being the way it is currently, it could be dangerous for both me and the unborn baby if I fell pregnant.”
“The pressure from my inlaws got so bad that I had to tell them about my blood pressure even though I think my health is no one else’s business but my own.”
Engaging in the situation in an emotional manner will only make things worse. If you can’t share your reasons for not wanting to have a baby at this time, in a calm manner rather skip the conversation.
The emotions will cloud any facts. Vuyi Nkosi* says: “I’m actually buckling under the pressure because I’m not having a baby because I’m struggling to fall pregnant due to endometriosis. So the pressure actually puts salt in my wound.”
Get on one team with hubby
Have a frank conversation with your partner where you explain what is happening (because oftentimes the pressure is underhanded comments which he may have missed) and how it’s affecting you. Assess in that conversation that your views about having a baby are still the same.
The pressure is especially detrimental to relationships when it also creates a rift between you and your partner. So get on the same page, as facing the situation together can lead to finding a solution or significant lessening of the pressure.
*Not their real names due to anonymity