How Dads Can Deal with Overbearing Family Members during Pregnancy

By Mathew Miller, Sharon Perkins

From the time you and your partner share the news of your coming baby, you’ll be inundated with advice and visitors. Nobody will want to be more hands-on than your family, and it may grow tiresome and become a source of angst very quickly the closer to labor and delivery your partner gets, and especially when you get home from the hospital and crave some family time.

Mothers, grandfathers, aunts-to-be — they all get nervous, too. Unfortunately, their offers of assistance and their constant presence can keep you and your partner from some much-needed quiet bonding time before baby arrives. Your lives are about to change forever, for the better (baby, baby, baby!) and for the worse (goodbye sleep and frequent sex!), and you need time to enjoy the waning bits of childlessness you have left.

Your families love you, and their well-meaning, obtrusive advice, visits, and purchases are the only way they know how to show you just how excited they are to meet the new little person you’re bringing into the family.

However, if members of your family are becoming too involved or over-the-top for your tastes, be sure to thank them for their love and support and simply let them know that you and your partner need to take some time for yourselves before the baby comes.

Depending on how big and how emotionally connected your family is, consider starting a phone tree to share news earlier in your pregnancy to save you from having to call every single relative in your contacts list every time you go in for an ultrasound. Telling the same story over and over to 13 aunts, cousins, and neighbors may take the fun right out of your fun news.

Social media is a common way for folks to share pregnancy news and ultrasound pictures, but it’s a double-edged sword. Yes, tweets, instagrams, and status updates are the easiest way to share information with large groups of people, but it’s also difficult to filter the info to only the people you want involved.

And just like with anything, too many cooks in the kitchen can bring about a lot of unwanted advice and intrusion from people you don’t want involved in the process. Use social media at your discretion; only you and your partner will know how much social sharing you’re comfortable engaging in.

That said, don’t cut off communication altogether. Make sure to call the most important people in your life as frequently as you see fit. It’s an exciting time for everyone, and you don’t want to tarnish a loved one’s joy by letting him get all the news secondhand.