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My partner and I decided to have a child; she is four months pregnant. We live in a small town of 3000 people. Her fourteen year old son, who usually stays at his grandparents' house, says he is embarrassed about his mother being pregnant and doesn't want his mother to go around town because he doesn't want the town people to see her with her pregnant tummy.

Sometimes I think he is saying this because he wants to see what way I think he should take the pregnancy.

My partner says that, despite the whole town knowing about it, the reason he does not want his mother to go out is simply because he does not want others to talk about the fact upon seeing his mother.

What is the truth likely to be and how should I handle this issue?

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    Can you recheck that last sentence? I'm not sure what you're asking... – MAA Oct 10 '17 at 18:19
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    I am not completely clear what you are asking about. The main job of every fourteen year old I have ever met is to be embarrassed by their parents. Obviously, your partner can not hide her pregnancy by remaining inside the house for the next five months, nor is it her son's decision whether or not she should have the baby. Maybe the answers in this question parenting.stackexchange.com/questions/2720/… will be useful. – magerber Oct 10 '17 at 18:24
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    Do you believe that he's influenced by his grandparents? Possibly regarding the fact that you're not married or their disapproval of the pregnancy? – Xander Oct 11 '17 at 7:03
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    You conceal a very important fact here: it's not just the son, it's also the daughter, as you wrote in "Child hits pregnant mother in the stomach" (can't link it from within the android app). There, you wrote that both children don't want the baby. – sweber Oct 11 '17 at 9:31
  • @sweber has a point - please explain a bit more in detail about the current situation. Who’s living with whom, who else is involved, might have an influence or voice an opinion... Your third question also implies that you don’t live together? – Stephie Oct 11 '17 at 11:13
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Hm.

Imagine being fourteen and your mother having a new partner plus a baby on the way.

Then remember that at that age, the brain is wired differently - aka puberty - and you are at a rather vulnerable and insecure stage of life. (But would probably rather chew up your tongue than actually admit it!)

The baby bump is the very obvious proof of a few things.

  • Your mother had sex. Eeeeeewwwww!!! You mom used to be the person that took care of you when you were sick, cooked you breakfast and all that. Not an adult with a sex life. Plus, isn't she too old for that? ( For most 14-yos, everyone beyond 25 is "old".)
  • There is a new baby on the way. This might replace you, kick you out. First the new partner, now the new baby. What role will be left for you? You are from the old stage of life, from a past relationship. And certainly not able to compete with a cute baby.
  • And that baby will cry, poop, take up all the free time of Mom and the family and mean the end to all the grownup fun you were just about to be old enough for. Instead, the family will now be dragging that drooling little monster around. You might even be forced to babysit! Your buddies will laugh themselves silly!
  • You had absolutely no control in that case. You weren't involved in any discussion about having a baby or not and likely not involved in the search for a new partner (Substitute dad?)

And now the whole town will know! They will all look at him! This is sooooo embarrassing! So let's try to gain at least some control back by forbidding Mom to parade around with that baby bump.....


Yes, I know that this is not logical. You and your partner probably told him that nothing will replace him and that you will love him just like always, that the new baby will be an addition, something to be happy about, a blessing.... Unfortunately, logic has its limits with 14yos. I'm afraid that your teen will just have to accept the situation. But of course that doesn't mean you can do nothing at all.

  • Do grownup things with him - perhaps "boys stuff". He will need an ally and a role model. And once the baby arrives, your partner will have less time. So if you two have a good relationship, it'll be good for him.
  • Tolerate bad behaviour to a degree (there will be a lot of inner tension and insecurities, see above), but also set clear boundaries.
  • Listen, be open for conversations. If you can get him to voice his insecurities, good. If not, accept it. But stay approachable.
  • Show him love. Not just tell him, but find ways to show you love and accept him. I know that male teens and expressing love can be almost mutually exclusive and many grownup men are challenged by the idea, but I'm sure you will find a way. Your way.
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    This is a good answer. I'm just going to add a comment that I think might be relevant to dissecting the son's thoughts: OP says the son usually stays with grandparents, and that it's small town living. He also refers to the boy's mom as his "partner," not his "wife." IF the mom and OP are not married this could go a long way towards explaining the embarrassment - I know people of the grandparent generation are more strongly opposed to non-traditional relationships overall, and that also tends to be the small town trend. He may, because of environment, be thinking it's WRONG that she's pregnant – MAA Oct 10 '17 at 21:13
  • @MAA good point. I was thinking about that aspect, but decided to leave it out because it may or may not be an issue. (But it probably is, says my gut feeling.) – Stephie Oct 11 '17 at 5:20
  • @Stephie I gotta agree with MAA here. Great answer but you gotta work on the not-married bit, especially in a small town. The boy's behavior has a grandparenty vibe to it, I believe he's heavily influenced by them. Depending on the OP's location, a non-married couple having a baby, big nono. – Xander Oct 11 '17 at 6:59
  • @Xander as I wrote before: That might well be an issue, but it’s speculative. I know for example one counter example where the parents were married and all (not even a new partnership), and still the kind reacted in a very similar way to the one in the question here. I see that you asked the OP to clarify, I will expand my answer if more details are given. – Stephie Oct 11 '17 at 7:37
  • While not "justifying" the behaviour, basing on the information in the question I can totally understand the bad feelings of the kid thowards the mother's pregnancy, he is probably thinking something along the lines of "Dear mom, you made me, I ended up living mainly with the grandparents and not with you and now what??? you are making another kid with another man??? Are you making him already knowing you'll send him to grandpa too (bad mom) or plan on keeping him with you and loving him more than you love me, the shipped-to-grandpa's son? (uber-bad mom)??" He may have a point... – Caterpillaraoz Oct 17 '17 at 8:24

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