Post # 1
I have a situation which relates to my MILs very old school religious views being forced on us and need some advice please. Darling Husband and I were regular church goers in the past because of how we were both raised, but our views have altered over the years and we haven’t ever told my Mother-In-Law that because then she’d probably ask to pray for us like there is something wrong with us.
We have our first baby due to arrive any day now (first grandchild of the family) and today I received an email from my Mother-In-Law saying that all the ladies in her church group are praying for my baby to be healthy and that my labour will be pain-free and there won’t be any problems. She said they’ve asked her to let them know when I go into labour so they can all pray for me.
Now while I appreciate the kindness of complete strangers, I really dislike the notion that I need prayer in order for my child to be healthy or to have a complication-free birth. It’s been such a wonderful journey growing this little human and I have so much trust in my body that this is a natural process and it will know what to do, so I am not scared of child birth but am also flexible and understanding that should any complications arise during labour then we’ll deal with them and all will be fine in the end.
My issue is that I feel labour is a very personal thing to go through, which I’d like only my immediate family to know about. It’s not something bad that happens to someone that people need to stop everything and pray. While I am grateful for the thought, I’m not too keen on complete strangers knowing I’m in labour just so they can pray.
So what do I do here?
Option 1 – I just let it go and say thanks that’s very kind and forget about the fact that people I don’t know will know I’m in labour before some of my extended family
Option 2 – Say thank you for their thoughts and prayers but I would prefer that only immediate family know when I am in labour
Optikn 3 – Open a can of worms and explain to her that my views differ from hers and that I am not keen on the idea of anyone other than immediate family knowing that I’m in labour as it’s a personal experience I would prefer to go through privately and I’m ok with however my labour goes and trust that even without prayer everything will be ok.
Basically it would have been nice if she just asked, how do I feel about her doing this. But she always does that and forces stuff on people.
Post # 2
I wouldn’t over analyze it. If you only want your immediate family to know when you are in labor then I would either
1) Not call your Mother-In-Law until after it’s over, or
2) Call her when it happens, but ask her to not tell anyone who’s not immediate family
If you tell her, she may call her church group anyway. If she does, I don’t really think it’s that big of a deal. These are strangers, who cares what they know?
Post # 3
I’m an athiest. It pisses me off to no end to hear ‘oh sweet dear, I’ll pray for you’. But it literally doesnt hurt me. If they want to pray for me, good for them. It probably makes THEM feel better.
So far, she isn’t pushing things onto you or your child. I think you should stand up if she wants to baptize/take to sunday school/circumsize/etc – things that will physically affect your child. A prayer? Eh. I’d leave it.
edited to remove part of the post that was in reply to a misunderstanding!
Post # 4
I think this is an instance of taking an offer in the spirit it was given despite it not meshing with your personal beliefs. Your Mother-In-Law means well it seems, I would not make this a huge issue. Simply explain something to the effect of ” We will only be telling immediate family when I go into labor so while I appreciate the good wishes your church ladies would like to give, we want to keep this private.” The gesture is meant in a positive manner and I would not take it any other way than wanting the best for you and your baby.
Post # 5
Just say “Awww, thank you! That is so kind of you.” and then totally forget the conversation happened. You’ll be a bit too busy to let anyone know you’re in labor anyway.
Post # 6
1_year_in : I don’t see this as a big deal, and definitely not worth the bad feelings that arguing about it will cause. Of course you don’t “need” the prayers. I’m completely atheist, so I don’t believe in prayer at all, but come on — what is it going to hurt? Who cares if “strangers” know you’re in labor? There are going to be dozens of strangers in the hospital who know you’re in labor — what if some of them pray for you? It makes no difference whatsoever in your life. It sounds like there might be plenty of legitimate Mother-In-Law things to spend your energy on. This isn’t one of them. I vote Option 1. This is a non-issue.
Post # 7
scissorgirl : think you misunderstood, I do consider my Mother-In-Law immediate family and we will be letting her know when labour starts, I’m referring to her not telling her church ladies I’m in labour because they’re not family.
Post # 8
1_year_in : Hello! I am not religious however I always try to be respected of others beliefs. The more “good vibes” going into the universe the better, right? If it’s really important that no one but immediate family know, maybe you could ask her to wait until after the birth to announce and just have her praying during labor.
In all honesty, I think the family will tell their friends when you go into labor regardless unless you ask them not to answer they’re extremely respectful people.
I believe that this is the way she knows best of how to be of assistance and ensure a smooth day for you a your baby. probably coming from a place of love and joy and excitement for her first grandchild.
Post # 9
Understand why most of you are saying it won’t harm me and not worth the drama it may cause. I guess where I’m coming from is a place of frustration because we live in a different country to my Mother-In-Law and the only contact we ever get from my Mother-In-Law is email prayers and she is always forcing this stuff on us without any respect or regard for what we might believe.
Perhaps this situation is not the time to address this issue
Post # 10
1_year_in : at this point considering you are prego, and dont need the stress… dont open the can of worms. just say you will do your best to notify her hen the time comes. and then dont. And if she asks why.. you tell her that when you went into labor you totally forgot and it was not a priority, but you appreciate that they wanted to pray…or somwthing like that.
Post # 11
I’d just say thank you and then not tell her you’re in labour. If she asks afterwards then just say it wasn’t on your mind at the time.
Post # 12
I don’t see a problem with telling people you are in labor so they can pray for you, but if you’re not comfortable tell her the truth. I would tell her that you feel that’s very personal and you prefer to tell your close family members before anybody else.
Telling her all about your religious views might cause unnecessary drama or tension. As a soon to be mommy, you have enough to worry about.
Post # 13
Just saw your update – if you really want to tell her you’re in labour – and she’s in a different country and you don’t know the church ladies, id probably just let it go and let them pray if they want to. If it makes you really j comfortable then option 2 but you may offend her – guess it depends quite how much it bothers you.
Post # 14
1_year_in : Apologies! Thank you for clarifying. I was thinking you didn’t want to tell HER!
I mean, if you aren’t in the same country, you might be able to get away with #3. Saying you don’t believe in that stuff, stop sending it, etc. It will cause drama, but if youre not in the same country, its not like a ton will change. You might feel better getting it ‘out of the way’ early rather than having to deal with that shit later.
If I were you, I’d probably do #2 and save the drama for something later (as per the 2nd part of my post).
Post # 15
1_year_in : People praying for you aren’t hurting you, I think you’re seriously overreacting. They mean to help you; why not just be humble and brush it off instead of making it a big deal. Taking a stand against church ladies praying for you because prayer is against your own beliefs is actually way more rude than them “forcing” prayer on you. Option 1 all the way!