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More than anything, your mother loved welcoming you into the world, so it's really no wonder that the woman who raised you is ready for another bundle of baby joy. "The birth of a grandchild brings on the next phase of life for which some women are yearning," explains Karen Ruskin, licensed marriage and family therapist and author of Dr. Karen's Marriage Manual.
And whether your mother wants to receive the love only a newborn baby can bring, is eager to bond with you in a new way or is concerned over her own aging, she may be putting pressure on you to procreate right now, regardless of whether you're actually ready to have children. So if your mom wants you to become a mother too soon, here's how to deal.
First, gently explain how you feel about having a baby and that you're simply not ready right now. "It is imperative to communicate in a style in which you are being kind to your mother and thoughtful of how her behavior makes sense coming from her position," says Ruskin. "Validate her feelings by communicating your understanding of her perspective and why her perspective is sensible."
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Specifically, Ruskin says, "validate in a thoughtful, kind and understanding manner your mother's perspective by reflecting upon what she just said through your mother's lens. Then verbalize your hope that her voice and yours can be heard so that you can have an open relationship with her in which both of your perspectives matter. Finally, share your perspective whether it is that you are not ready or some other reason."
If your mother persists, your reasoning falls on deaf ears or you find yourself emotionally exhausted from an ongoing and stressful discussion, you can ask your husband to speak up — but he must tread carefully. "One of the beautiful things about being in a committed, loving relationship is that in times when you're feeling vulnerable, your partner can take a stand to protect you," says Tara Fields, Ph.D., couples therapist and author of The Love Fix: Repair and Restore Your Relationship Right Now.
Together, you can decide on how he can best approach your mother. For example, he can lovingly say, "'I know you love my amazing souse as much as I do, and I treasure our relationship, but I am going to take a stand on her behalf,'" Fields says. "He's setting a boundary and saying, 'this topic is off limits until further notice.'"