A Woman Wonders How to Make her Mother Stop Pressuring Her Into Having Kids

Having kids should be a profoundly personal decision, but some people are just so eager for everyone to feel the joys of parenting that they sometimes forget to keep their thoughts to themselves. Setting boundaries around this sensitive subject can be a real challenge, especially if you’re dealing with people closest to you and want to avoid conflict. We received an email from one of our readers who says she feels guilty for saying no to her mother’s constant requests for grandchildren and is curious about how to resolve the situation.

Hey, Tanya! We’re glad that you reached out to us. Your situation led us to discuss possible solutions for hours, and here’s what we came up with:

  • We understand why you were upset and think many people would react the same way you did. On the other hand, we believe it’s better to try speaking to your mom again in a calm, quiet voice, if possible. Try giving her a chance to understand how you feel about becoming a mom.
  • Make a list of reasons for not wanting to have kids and calmly explain each of them to her. Let her ask you questions, and try to have an open and honest discussion. She probably just wants to ensure you’re happy with your choice and that skipping parenting won’t make you regretful later in life.
  • Make sure she knows you appreciate her concern but that her insisting on it makes you unhappy. You can also try to explain to her that pressing the topic of grandchildren makes you feel unloved and like you are not enough. She should be happy that you are satisfied with your life as it is. If she is reasonable, she should let go of the subject.
  • Being a parent is a tough job that is not for everyone, and nobody should feel pressured into having kids. Perhaps your mom is having a hard time understanding this because she comes from a generation of women who didn’t question motherhood. Keeping this in mind can help you better understand her behavior and deal with the entire situation.
  • If you think she’s just being selfish and that all she wants from you is grandkids, then politely tell her that it’s not your job to make her happy. Tell her that you love her, be kind and gentle, but explain to her that the agreement between you and your partner is a priority now, not her feelings.

What would you do if you were in a similar situation? If you have any useful ideas don’t hesitate to share them with everyone.

Preview photo credit Tim Mossholder / Unsplash


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