Both your parents and your partner’s folks are probably super excited about becoming grandparents. You want them to be involved, but some well-meaning grandparents may overstep their role, which can lead to problems. Setting boundaries early can prevent disagreements and hurt feelings.
Why Problems Develop
There are several reasons why grandparents may take over. After all, your parents and in-laws have raised kids and probably know a thing or two about how to care for a baby. The problem is sometimes the unsolicited advice becomes too much and gets on your nerves.
Problems can also develop if you want to do things differently than your parents did. For example, grandma may suggest getting your little one on a parent-led schedule, while you may prefer to go with the flow. Other common conflicts that can arise are unannounced visits and grandparents who are overly possessive of your baby.
It’s helpful to understand, setting healthy boundaries is not about hurting someone’s feeling or being unappreciative about their help. Instead, boundaries establish some basic guidelines to help grandparents understand your family’s needs. For instance, setting limits can help you get the rest you need as a new mom. Boundaries can also provide you time to bond as a family and allow you and your partner to learn to care for your baby on your own.
If you decided it’s time to set some limits with grandparents, it’s helpful to remember; they usually mean well. They love you and your little one and want to help. For instance, it may be instinctual for your mom to offer advice if she sees you struggling with getting your baby to sleep. But just because grandpa and grandma are well-intentioned doesn’t mean, you can’t set limits. However, understanding the motivation behind their meddling may help decrease frustration.
Before you talk to your parents or in-laws, it’s a good idea to talk with your partner and make sure you’re both on the same page. Talk about the issues you’re having and what boundaries you both think need to be established.
Next, talk with grandparents honestly about what you need at this time in your life. Whether you want time alone with your partner and baby or less unsolicited advice, speak up and say what’s on your mind. By explaining your expectations, you increase the chances that grandparents will get on board and respect your wishes.
Lastly, remember to let grandparents know you appreciate them and are glad they are a part of your baby’s life. Sure, there may be a few kinks to work out as you all adjust to your new roles, but by establishing boundaries from the get-go, you’ll set the stage for a smooth transition for everyone.
Written by MaryAnn DePietro @ writerlady34
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2016. All rights reserved.