Family Relationships: Breaking The Happy News

Picture this: you’ve just taken a pregnancy test and it’s positive! You and your partner are absolutely thrilled – who’s the next person you tell? Your mom? Your best friend? Your in-laws?


For many couples, news of a much-wanted pregnancy can come with a side order of family drama that’s guaranteed to cast a shadow over what should be one of the most joyful moments of their lives. So how do you share your news in a way that provokes the most positive response? And what should you do when the response really doesn’t go the way you hope? Read on for some real-life pregnancy announcement stories… and how not to break the news to your family!

Pick Your Moment

Laura and Ben decided on what they thought would be the perfect place to announce their new addition to the family – Laura’s sister’s wedding. Laura explains, “We figured that a wedding is such a happy occasion anyway, and all the family would be gathered in one place, so it made perfect sense to us to make the announcement then.” Sadly, Laura’s sister and her new husband didn’t feel the same way. “My sister was totally furious with me – she felt I’d hijacked her wedding day, which of course made me feel terrible.” She continues, “ She actually didn’t speak to me for nearly six months, until just before my son was born”. Picking the right moment to share your pregnancy is vital to help ensure a positive reaction, as Laura says, “If I could go back in time and do it again, I would have just kept everything low-key”.


Manage Your Expectations

While it’s understandable that your pregnancy is the most exciting thing happening in your world right now, try not to take offence if your family don’t respond exactly how you’d like them to, straight off the bat. For example, when given the happy news of his only child’s first pregnancy, your author’s loving dad responded with a rather confusing, and some might say, pretty insulting, “Oh really?? Was it planned?” To clarify, at this point I had been married to my husband – a guy Dad absolutely adores – for nearly ten years, so I can only put his response down to the fact that he was unprepared, and so simply went with the first thing that came out of his mouth, filter-free. Incidentally, he’s a great Granddad, and managed a far more normal reaction second time around, although by then I’d braced myself for something just as inappropriate!

Make The Right Choice For You

Have you ever heard the phrase “You can’t change other people, but you can change your reaction to them”? When Ellie’s mom learnt of her impending grandparent-hood, her reaction wasn’t one that Ellie – who isn’t married to her long-term partner – had anticipated. “She burst into tears and started wailing about how she was too young to be a grandma, and asking me how she tell was supposed to tell her work colleagues that her unmarried daughter was ‘knocked up’. To say I was hurt would be an understatement.” The conversation blew up, resulting in Ellie storming off and a now-strained relationship with her mom. She’s since made a conscious decision to minimize contact until she feels stronger. “My baby is due in five weeks and I haven’t even told her the due date.” She continues, “I feel like by not engaging with her, I’m protecting my own feelings a little more – I have enough to think about right now, and so I am choosing to focus on the positive.”

Like Ellie, a conscious decision to focus on the positive will help to reduce the impact of any negative reactions; after all, you and your partner are the only people who really matter when it comes to creating your own happy family.

Congratulations, and enjoy your pregnancy!