Pregnant and Scared

Pregnant and Scared

QUESTION:

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I just found out that I am pregnant and I haven't told my parents. My boyfriend and I are both really scared. I'm afraid that my mother and father might think of me as a bad child. They also might not help me. I think I'm really afraid of what this baby might do to my relationship with my boyfriend. I know he loves me because he gave up so much for me so far, but I'm afraid that once I have the baby he'll get tired and start to give up on me and our baby. I really don't know what to do. I have mixed emotions. The one thing I do know is that abortion is not an option in my household and neither is adoption, so I know I'm going to have to keep the baby.

If you're pregnant and don't tell a parent, what will happen if you wait too long?

ANSWER:

    Bob Rich, Ph.D.

My dear,

I have no name for you, don't know how old you are or what country you're from. I only hope you will check back and read my answer.

You know the answer to your question: whether you tell your parents or not, sooner or later they will find out. The question is not whether to tell them, but how. You are obviously an intelligent person, because you have pinpointed all the dangers you could be facing; you know what they are, and have been thinking about all the right issues. The main thing now is that you are responsible for another person. In a few months' time, there will be a baby who will have to become the center of your existence for quite a few years. Make up your mind now that you will love this little person, and do everything that is the best for him or her.

Your boyfriend has the same responsibility. Whatever happens to him and however scary the situation is, he still has a responsibility. Tell him firmly to get into the frame of mind that he is going to be a father, and therefore, has to be there for the baby and for you. Even from your short note, I can see that both of you are decent, responsible kids who happened to make a mistake.

The next issue: how to tell your parents - both his and yours. Of course, I don't know how your relationship is with your mom and dad, but I assume they love you. Whatever arguments and misunderstandings there may be day-to-day, there is usually a strong bond of love behind them. You must know whether your boyfriend has an easier relationship with his parents than you do with yours, so make the baby announcement to whichever set of parents is easier to approach. I also suggest that the two of you do it together. Suppose you decide that his parents are less scary than yours; the next step would be to make a formal appointment with them. Have your boyfriend organize a time that the two of you can talk with them. Then pluck up your courage and say something like, "We have something very important to tell you. We are expecting a baby." Whatever their reactions are, sit it out. Then continue with: "We know we made a mistake, but now we feel responsible for providing the best possible life for this new person. Please forgive us, and help us."

A simple approach like this has the best chance of producing a good reaction. If this is too scary, then do the same in a letter. I would be happy to help the two of you compose the letter. Send me an email with the letter as an attached word file.

A good motto for doing things in life is, "Feel the fear and do it anyway." For your child's sake, follow it.

Good luck!

Bob

This question was answered by Dr. Bob Rich. Dr. Rich has 30+ years of experience as a psychotherapist. Dr. Rich is also a writer and a "mudsmith". Bob is now retired from psychological practice, but still works with people as a counselor.For more information visit: http://anxietyanddepression-help.com

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