To tell or not to tell

Twice now I’ve been a little more b*tchy than I’ve wished because we’ve told people about baby-related decisions and I wish we hadn’t.  While talking to my mom the other night, I mentioned that we were down to two names for the kiddo and just couldn’t choose. Of course she wanted to know what they were and of course my husband was all for telling her, so I did.

And then I regretted it, because of course she offered other ideas (and her opinions on each). “Mom, we’re not asking for other contestants here, just debating between these two. Yes, we did consider family names. No, we didn’t like those. No, I don’t like that pronunciation. Yes, I know YOU’d like it; it’s your dad’s name. Nope, not in the running, sorry.”

ARGH.  I knew better, really, I did.

Then last night at a wedding, my husband told a neighbor about our HippieBirthing plans. When she turned to me to ask more about it, I should have been more diplomatic (*blush*) but I basically responded that we’d let people know how it went afterward and I wasn’t up for talking about it ahead of time.

Shoulda warned my husband that we’re not telling people about HippieBirthing because I don’t care for their input. Somehow it’s different to blog about it; you guys can offer your thoughts (or not) and I can ignore them (or not). In person, though, there’s the expectation of a response in both directions, which leads to awkward exchanges wherein I don’t care what they think but have to play nice to their (often somewhat stupid) comments.  Also, I don’t want to hear “how brave” I am or how they could never give birth sans epidural because I haven’t actually done it yet and am not feeling very brave. Some things are better discussed in retrospect.

Also, I don’t care to change their perception of me/ us with what I consider to be private decisions. I guess you could say I’m anti-proselytizer about almost everything.

In my quieter moments, though, I consider my husband’s perspective: he takes (and prefers) input from people pretty much all the time. In fact, we’ve had arguments about this because (for example) I didn’t think his parents need to know we were thinking about having kids. Perhaps I need to be more willing to let people’s input roll through? Or less concerned that a random comment from someone to him will undo our decision? (This is probably the more honest fear I have.)

So now that we’re pretty close to choosing a name, we’ll have to decide whether we’re telling people — and, as my mom keeps reminding me, who “people” are (“I’m not people, I’m the grandma!”).  Since we’ll be decided, I think I’m okay with it.

Did you tell your people when a decision was made (wedding date, location, kid names) or while deciding? How do you feel about input?


Update: For those creative folks, this is an awesome way to announce a name: I love that the ANNOUNCEMENT factor minimizes the offering-input factor.


16 thoughts on “To tell or not to tell

  1. The short answer is no. We don’t tell people things until they’re announcements. Many of my closest friends were surprised when we announced our engagement because we didn’t tell anyone we were talking about it ahead of time. If we decide to have children, we won’t tell anyone anything until I’m pregnant and other than maybe my mom, I’d keep it just between us until we were done with the first trimester. Same thing only probably more so with any kind of career/moving decision. My husband is extremely private– no facebook, linkedin,etc (he’d be very uncomfrotable with me blogging about our life).– I’m less so, but have realized that the times we’ve kept things just between us I’ve never regretted. It’s exciting to have a little secret brewing and has brought us closer together, and when you just tell people something that’s happening or done it silences the peanut the gallery. Of course at the same time, i appreciate the openness of others– which is why I love blogs– so I guess that makes me a bit hypocritical…

  2. I side more with you. I don’t want to tell anyone anything related to a pregnancy other than at some point in time, I will give birth. As soon as you tell someone anything, they have to tell you how you are doing it wrong because that isn’t the way that they did it.

    I do think some people really do just want to help and help you make the right decision. I do let a small circle in, but I also know, that no matter the decision I make, they are here to make sure I am comfortable with it.

  3. Like you, and Turtle, we prefer not to tell anyone anything until it has already been decided. The only exception is if WE are not sure, and in that case we MIGHT ask a few select people for advice if we know they’ve been there. But generally, yeah. I don’t want people’s input on decisions I’ve already made, so I tend to keep them to myself until they’re absolute.

  4. We only told our immediate family after we’d chosen our son’s name (parents and siblings) and asked them to keep it quiet until he was born. Looking back it seems a little silly, since we wouldn’t have changed it no matter what, so it wouldn’t have been a big deal to share. And people really loved his name, although we did go with a common, but not too common name that is easy to spell.
    I think once you’ve chosen your name, someone has to be really ballsy to make a comment that is anything but positive.

  5. We didn’t not tell our baby names with #3 because we didn’t know what the baby was going to be named. In retrospect this worked to our advantage. When my parents brought our older kids to the hospital to meet their new sibling, no one knew if the baby was a boy or a girl. After they walked in we offered the baby to our daughter (the deal was boy baby= daughter disappointment= she gets to hold the new baby first; girl baby= son disappointment= he would hold the new baby first) and said, “SG, this is your baby brother, XC.” Upon hearing the baby’s name my mother got a terrible look on her face and my dad had no comment whatsoever. I later found out that X was my dad’s father’s second middle name. I had no idea because I didn’t know the man (my father despised his dad).

    Long story short, they don’t like the name. Two years later they still refer to XC as “Wilson” 98% of the time. Why Wilson? Because in his hospital photo my 11 lb., puffy cheeked newborn with a head full of brown long spiky hair looked like the volleyball Wilson in “Castaway.”

    I’m glad we didn’t tell them. If we had, we never would’ve used the name we went with (the emotional scars my dad’s father left run too deep. I never would’ve used them name intentionally and we even offered to change the baby’s name) and I can’t imagine XC being anyone other than XC. It fits him perfectly.

    Everyone has an opinion and if you don’t want to hear it, don’t say anything.

  6. We keep most everything to ourselves until it’s decided. I kept it that way pretty much prior to our wedding and I suspect that’s how it’ll be for when we have children. My in-laws are nice people but they are not particularly social and that has always kept a distance between us and them. Even my own mother in the last few years has become a bit of basket case, and I say that in the nicest way possible. She has taken on 3 jobs which has led to way too much on her mind, way too many people to please and she can barely remember the conversation she had with you the day before. So in our small wedding, sans bridal party, I was the lone warrior in making decisions but I completely loved the control.

  7. I told people close to us the names and the same with Hypnobirthing and having a home birth for that matter. If people asked I told them but like you I didn’t care what people’s opinion on things were. I got the brave comment about homebirth. Afterwards it’s nice to say how good both were if asked.

  8. I’m really terrible about keeping my own secrets so we told everybody everything. When I told people my daughter’s name (Lorelai) I got a lot of “Oh, that’s … different” (and also a lot of “Oh, like ‘Gilmore Girls’!” — I still get a lot of that, actually). But I’d already decided, I loved the name and so did my husband, so I didn’t let the “Oh, how … unique” people bother me.

  9. I’m in the middle – I don’t come right out and say what we’re thinking, but I don’t mind answering if people ask. When we were thinking of getting engaged, I believe three best friends knew. And now that we’re trying to have kids, only a few of our best friends know. Our families didn’t know about getting engaged, nor do they know about kids. But if my mom asked me about kids… or if other close friends did… I might let on that it’s coming soon-ish without being specific.

  10. My husband and I aren’t telling the name of our little guy until he gets here. We’ve picked a name, but David likes to tell people we haven’t yet to avoid the drama. I just tell people they have to wait.
    So far, no one’s really fought us on it except my mother-in-law, her friends, and my sister-in-law. It’s driving them crazy, but they’ve been involved in everything else (gender, nursery planning, etc), so I figure my husband and I are allowed to keep somethings between us.

  11. This is probably going to sound really bitchy, but honestly? I don’t care about your opinions of how I live my life and the decisions I choose to make. I also don’t care that your great-aunt Sophie or your childhood friend Sally made similar decision and it was a HUGE mistake. Or that they made a different decision and their lives are SO HAPPY.

    Now, I will say, there are some times when we want input, or we aren’t sure what to do – and so in those times, I am very appreciative of people in my life who have already had those experiences and can share their thoughts. To me, that’s a different thing, because they’re not telling me what’s wrong with the decision I’ve already made, they’re helping me understand different things to consider. (hence why I’m taking ridiculouslydetailednotesonallthingsyoudowhilepregnant 🙂

    I actually thought that your comment to your neighbor was a good way to put it…

  12. Actually, we did change a name choice after enough people told us it sounded Amish. Which it did. And not in a good way. And then every time I thought about it, it sounded Amishey to me too, so we changed it. But homebirthing and being brave? Whatevs. Cloth diapers? Yes, I do plan on using them and I will last longer than two weeks! Oh, and to the “I could NEVVVVVVER have a baby without an epi” people, my response, though often just in my mind, is, if you absolutely had to you could.

  13. UGH, I feel you. We decided to not tell anyone our little girl’s name for the exact reasons you said above. When I told my mom this, she threw a SHITFIT, saying “I DESERVE to know, Im the GRANDMA!” and blah blah. So I caved (worst part is, my mom and I dont even get along, but she feels self entitled…) So next time, we’l not be telling anyone. Some things about pregnancy ARE allowed to be kept quiet, contrary to popular belief. Annoying.

  14. We didn’t decide on a name until after the baby was here. We didn’t share any of our prospects, though. People offered suggestions (as if we wanted them) and my FIL actually asked my husband AFTER THE BABY WAS BORN AND NAMED if we had considered his mother’s name. Um, no. She had an AWFUL name. And why ask that question? It’s not like we’re going to say, “Huh, that would have been the perfect name. Let’s change it.” Lordy, people. Ok, sorry. It still bothers me that he asked. Did I mention that my MIL asked how we picked the name and I said we wanted a family name for the middle name so it was between X and Y and she actually mocked one of those names? The name that is my dead mother’s name? Sigh. Ok, sorry again. Short answer? We kept everything a secret. 🙂 I do want input for some things sometimes but then I ask a few select people. Oh, and I did a poll on weddingbee to make sure none of the names we were considering were too weird.

  15. Oh, and you can always tell your mom that you’re at least telling her what the sex of her grandbaby is unlike those freaky people who are raising their baby genderless…

  16. At the end of your pregnancy – you will hate pretty much anyone who has an opinion – at least I did. People will tell you you’re huge, they’ll tell you you’re small, they’ll tell you you’re unrealistic, they’ll tell you how they did it. They’ll tell you that you shouldnt deliver vaginally, just skip to the c-section. The point being – whether you share information or not, I think you’ll still go through the annoyed part. And I wish someone would’ve told me that sooner. Cause I felt like pregnantmomzilla – wanting to bite everyones head off.

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