Dealing with the in-laws

Whether you’re a first-time parent or you have a bit more experience, your little one is a wonderful addition to your family. During pregnancy, it might be important setting certain boundaries with your parents and your in-laws. Everyone has an opinion and most likely they’ll be trying to make you see things their way. Although well-intended, it can become a little overwhelming to be flooded with multiple points of view.

It’s easier to establish clear rules and ways of doing things with your own parents, after all, you’ve been dealing with them all your life and know how to negotiate with them. Dealing with your in-laws however, can be a little trickier since you can accidentally hurt their feelings or make them feel left out. The first thing to do is talk it out with your partner and make sure you both feel the same way about how you’re going to deal with their opinions and level of involvement.

The most important thing to remember is to see through it. They do have the best intentions in mind and they probably believe that what they’re suggesting is what’s best and what’s worked for them. Times change and most likely there are newer solutions and tricks, so keep in mind that they want to help, appreciate it, but know where you stand. At the end of day, you’re the parent and you call the shots. When you disagree with something they suggest you can:
• State that you’re following doctor’s orders (they’ll probably be more understanding).
• State your position clearly and let it go, there’s no need to get your parents/in-laws to think the way you do.
• If they ever overstep, make them know you’re upset and tell them clearly and empathically.
• Brush off annoying comments (“he should be….”). Confrontation is exhausting and if it’s not a big deal there’s no need to take it out of proportions.
• Never say their advice isn’t welcome.

Everyone’s excited about your little one, future-grandparents included! It’s great that they want to help and genuinely care for your baby’s well-being. Make them a part of your support system and set the tone of the relationship that best suits you, your partner, your baby and them.

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