My husband and I just found out we're going to have our first baby. We are very excited but I'm already stressing. He's white, I'm Latina. His family is very...opinionated. He and I have already started arguing about baby names (I want a Spanish name, he says it can't be too "ethnic" or his family won't be able to pronounce it), I want to baptize the baby and if it’s a girl, get her ears pierced but his family isn't Catholic and he says they'll think I'm crazy for piercing a newborn's ears. The list goes on. This is supposed to be the happiest time of our lives but I am so stressed out. Please tell me how to survive the next nine months!
Mami to Be
Felicidades on your pregnancy! You have so much to look forward to before and after your baby is born: Taking pregnancy pictures, decorating the nursery, planning the baby shower. Let's not forget the opinionated in-law culture-clash-drama, because that's the reason your Happy Event is spiraling into a real life Spanglish sit-com (minus the camera crew and the cheesy laugh track).
What you are experiencing is not unheard of because, en serio, the drama is normal and that the good times to come will balance it all out while memories are being created. As long as your husband knows which team he's playing for now, I mean.
Managing marital bliss and parental involvement on the in-law front can be a delicate balance. They mean well and you mean well, but when you add culture-clash to the mix, things can get a bit sticky. Without a united front, it can be downright messy.
You met your husband before you got married, right? I'm only asking because if this is the first time the two of you have discussed religion and related parenting choices, you're doing it wrong. Sit your man down ahora mismo and ask him for his opinion. Then remind him that these are choices the two of you make as a couple, not one he lets his familia decide for him by proxy just to keep the peace.
When it comes to baptizing and ear-piercing, remember that both are common -- if not expected -- in Latino families, but not necessarily the norm for the rest of the world. (Giselle Budchen made headlines when she pierced her own baby's ears.) Have a heart-to-heart with your husband about what really matters to both of you, decide where you can compromise, and move forward confident in the choices you make as a couple.
As for the name, your husband has a point. I was once at a birthday party for a friend's 1-year-old and was asked by the Spanish-speaking grandmother how to pronounce her grandson's American name because she was embarrassed at not being able to say "Drake." You have many options for Spanish names that are also easily pronounceable in English, so don't go the doble r route just to prove a point.
Consider your pregnancy the practice run for the next 18 years. The sooner you and your hubby solidify that united front, the less stressed you'll be. -- Welcome to motherhood.
Pauline Campos is Latina Magazine's #DIMELO advice columnist. Email her your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. Connect with her on her blog, www.aspiringmama.com , facebook, and follow her on twitter: @pauline_campos.