Mommy Dearest,

I'm preparing to give birth to my first child. Not only will it be my first, but it will also be the first grandchild on both sides. My mother assumes that she is invited to attend the birth. I have no intention of having her there. We have a good relationship, but we are not very close. She always wants to be the center of attention and she is incredibly high-maintenance. She nearly ruined my wedding with her insistence that everything go the way she thought it should and now she's working on ruining my brother's the same way. I can't imagine relaxing enough to give birth with her in the room. I'd feel like she was judging me — thinking that she didn't make that much noise, suggesting another position when I was happy right where I was. Not to mention, she and my husband don't get along well, especially in stressful situations.

To compound the whole thing, my parents are divorced and my dad feels slighted any time I involve my mom in something, but not him. My parents and in-laws are concerned about who will be the "alpha grandparents" (yes, they've all used that term). I have zero intention of letting my in-laws see my lady bits EVER. I don't think my dad has had that intimate a view of me since I was in diapers. And I can't even begin to imagine laboring with all six of them (counting my step-parents) in the same building, let alone the same room.

I can cut this whole disaster off at the pass by making sure my mom doesn't show up. However, she's the sort who will insist to herself that I didn't really mean it, that every woman wants her mom there beside her, and she'd bully her way past my midwife. I'm half inclined to just not call anyone to tell them that my labor is starting and just let them know when the baby has finally arrived (possibly waiting several hours until I think I can handle the onslaught of doting grandmas). All of my parents would be irritated about that though. They would want to know what was going on, but no one but my mom would show up uninvited. How can I stop this train wreck before it starts? I'm more nervous about this than about the actual pain of pushing another human being out of my body.


— Anxious About Birth

To see the response from Mommy Dearest,


Anxious About Birth,

I am sorry that you are having to stress about this during your first pregnancy, but there is a simple solution. You need to put yourself and the baby first. You are this child's mother and that infant's well being is your priority. Don't worry about your parents, stepparents or your partner's parents. Do what you need to and make labor and delivery the most comfortable for you. This will be one of the biggest days of your life and your wee one's welcome to the world so make it the very best you can for the baby and don't give another thought to anyone else.

— Mommy Dearest

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