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How to Tell Your Parents You're Pregnant: Surprise New Grandparents When You are Expecting

Updated on October 21, 2015
Photograph is in the public domain
Photograph is in the public domain
101 Ways to Spoil Your Grandchild
101 Ways to Spoil Your Grandchild

Once grandparents are over the initial shock of a new arrival, this book offers a huge array of fun things you can do at a variety of ages to spoil the new grandson or granddaughter.


"Mom, I'm pregnant." My announcement brought nothing but a painful and protracted silence. Finally, when my mother did speak, instead of “congratulations,” or “I’m so happy for you,” I got "Let me go bang my head against the wall for 24 hours and I'll get back to you."

Sharing the news of an upcoming new addition to the family is a delicate proposition that varies from family to family.  There are many variables that come into play.  The relationship you have with your parents, their individual personalities, the situation in which you are living, your age, and their feelings towards the baby’s father are all important considerations.  I was 19 when I had my first child and had been living (much to my mother’s chagrin) with my baby’s father for two years.  Obviously by her response, she was less than thrilled.

No one outside of yourself can gauge whether the news of an expected baby will be received well or not by the grandparents-to-be.  The method you employ for disseminating positive news from negative news is very, very different.  Despite the fact that the vast majority of grandparents dearly love their grandkids, they’re not always ecstatic to get the initial news that a baby is in the not-too-distant future.  One approach is to consider how they will react individually.  If you feel that one parent will be positive and supportive and one will not be, decide whether you might be able to employ the positive person’s initial reaction to help temper or soften the negative person’s reaction, if you tell them in unison.  Otherwise, you might best be served by telling the positive person alone, and then later discussing it with the negative person.  The positive person may very well serve as a buffer.

Do you think or feel that their reaction is going to be uniformly negative?  Try not to work yourself up in advance.  This is always a possibility regardless of the variables.  Try to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally prior to sharing the news.  If their reaction is uniformly negative, this is probably going to be both painful and disappointing.  Almost always in any situation, the optimal way to deliver unwelcome news is just to come out and say it straight up.  If you think it might help, invite them out for a meal or a cup of coffee.  The obvious alternative is just to call them on the telephone and let them know that “I have something important to tell you – I’m pregnant.”

Hopefully you’re going to get a uniformly positive and supportive reaction.  Phenomenal!  A little pre-planning and a little slyness can maximize the fun for everybody.  You could try maintaining a straight and solemn face when you tell them that you have something you need to “get off your chest”.  Perhaps a surprise “grandparent gift” might be a sneaky, indirect, but cool way to tell them.  Invite them to a nice dinner with the admonition that you have something important to tell them, and let them eat and “stew in their juices” for a while before you break the news.  Supportive and uniformly positive reactions are the ones everybody would love to have.  Have fun with it, and you may want to consider having a camera waiting in the wings to capture their initial reactions on film.

Whatever response that the news of the upcoming birth evokes, it’s imperative that you look for all the support you can get from the baby’s father, friends, family, and parents during this amazing part of your life.  Hopefully, your parents will be happy beyond belief and as supportive as one can imagine.  Ideally, they will be eagerly anticipating welcoming their new grandchild into the family and the world.  Regardless of what you anticipate their response is going to be, understand that very little in life is absolutely predictable.  Be ready for whatever comes.  If their reaction is less than positive, not to worry, time heals all wounds and this too shall pass.  As soon as they see the baby their hearts will melt and they’ll be swept up in “baby fever” pretty rapidly.


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      JGelineau 8 years ago

      Great article!

      My parents worked on interesting way to inform my grandparents of each of my moms pregnancy for my siblings and I. My grandmother was delighted, while my grandfather was simply confused. I am the oldest and when my mother gave him a card on his birthday titled "happy birthday grandpa!", he laughed and said (quote) "but I'm not your grandpa!" I hope I have better luck informing my father.