AdviceHey, Bonita!

I’m Pregnant, and My Husband Is Supportive—Almost Too Supportive

Hey Bonita!

Please don’t ask us why, but my husband and I chose this to be the year that we had our first baby. We knew we wanted to have kids soon after we got married, and this year and we both just decided that it was time to get started, pandemic and all. The planning and stuff hasn’t been as awful as we thought it would be to try to work on the house and make space in our lives for a kid during lockdown, and that’s a big relief, and also pretty encouraging. 

There’s a ton of stuff that we’re both changing about our lives to get ready for this, but of course I’m the one changing the most stuff, and that’s kinda to be expected, since I’ll be carrying the baby. Lots of changes to my diet and lifestyle are happening already, because of course we want a healthy, easy pregnancy if at all possible. My husband is on board and is very supportive of these changes, but almost TOO supportive. I am not even pregnant yet, but he looks at everything I eat and drink and declares whether or not it’ll be healthy for the baby. I can’t even have coffee in front of him without him talking about how it’s gonna be bad for the baby. 

I don’t think he’s seriously trying to control me or anything, but it doesn’t feel like a joke sometimes. I’ll say, “Whatever, I’m not pregnant right now,” and he will go on and on about the baby’s health and risk factors. What I thought was funny teasing here and there will suddenly turn into a very serious conversation about our future as parents. I want a healthy pregnancy and newborn just like he does, but I really can’t stand his bellyaching over my coffee and other stuff. Now I’m nervous about what it’s gonna be like to actually be pregnant around him, and I think I need to nip this in the bud before I actually get pregnant. I’m sure I could not take nine months of this! It’s gonna be a hard conversation, though, so I’d really appreciate any pointers you have on broaching this subject.

Frustrated Future Mom

Hey there, FFM,

You should know that I am not a parent, I’ve never been pregnant, and I’m choosing to remain child-free for now. You are striding into a territory that paralyzes the likes of me, someone who still rents and doesn’t even trust themselves to take care of a service animal, let alone a live human baby. You’re already doing what you can to prepare for this life change, and you even have a partner to help you and share this experience with you. COVID-19 is in the air but here you are, remodeling and studying up on your future pregnancy diet. You and your husband sound dope.

I can’t judge your husband’s overprotective actions. If my partner was planning to carry our child, I’d probably be pushy and overreach into their business at times, too. He’s not gonna be carrying this kid, so there’s only so much he can do to ensure their safety, and the easiest thing to do would be to just boss you around. I really don’t think he means harm or is trying to exert any control over you, either, because when you voice your annoyance, you two end up having a heart-to-heart about your family and your future together. He sounds very nervous and concerned for your future kid’s health—and by extension, yours as well—and that’s causing him to act out in uncommon ways. 

I think you can bring up his nagging and talk about him respecting your bodily autonomy while still honoring his role as your family member and the father of your future baby. I suggest bringing it up in a calm moment instead of waiting for him to transgress again, because otherwise he’ll be in Panicky Future Dad mode and might be less prone to see your perspective on the issue. Be kind, be understanding about his fears and share his obvious excitement.
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