Pregnancy: Breaking Up Families Since the Caveman Era

Jeanne Sager

motherhoodThere are two types of moms in this world. There's the mom who welcomes your pregnancy with open arms and starts rooting around in the closet for your baby book to help you get ready.

Then there's the witch who rolls her eyes, makes a crack about how you could barely keep your spider plant alive when you were a kid (yes, the one you had when you were 6), and drives you straight into the arms of your mother-in-law for morning sickness cures.

Sometimes pregnancy repairs familial relationships. The rest of the time it just drives them further apart.

If you're in boat number one, congratulations. You've found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! You've lassoed the elusive purple unicorn!

For some old bats, being a granny-to-be is just what she needs to straighten up and start treating her daughter like an equal, not the pain in the ass who used to sneak into the house at 2 a.m. the summer between junior and senior years. You've proven yourself trustworthy ... finally.

And while what follows will not be perfect (you are still, after all, mother and daughter), if the two of you can set aside old hurts and think about the future of your family, you could be huffing and puffing in a birthing tub with her feeding you ice chips in no time.

If you're seeing a crack in her facade, by all means, go for it. Your kid could have a great grandmother hiding in there, or at the very least you'll be able to lean on her for details about her pregnancy that might crop up during your nine-month stint.

On the other hand, if you're in boat number two, throw out the balloons and put an end to the pity party. It's her loss, Mama, not yours.

Scientists have found that pregnant women who dwell on poor relationships with their mother during pregnancy are more likely to be depressed both prior to and after giving birth. Before you call your doctor for an anti-depressant, there's a gem hiding in here that you can't ignore: if scientists have studied it, it's not some odd phenomena singular to your family. It's been going on as long as there have been mothers and daughters.

Thousands of women deal with this. Supermodel Sophie Dahl is currently pregnant and not speaking to mom Tessa. And a recent post on the CafeMom's Newcomers Club about moms who are jealous of their daughters elicited 40 some comments, with some women noting they haven't spoken to their mothers in years -- the fact that they are moms hasn't changed that.

Cutting your Mom off during your pregnancy could save your sanity, protect your child from some serious negativity, and make the next few years healthier for the both of you. And that's what really matters, doesn't it? The welfare of you and your baby.

Are you finding pregnancy has healed familial relationships or put a bigger strain on them?


Image via daquella manera/Flickr

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