Have you noticed that since you have become pregnant, your mother-in-law (or partner’s mom) has been overly involved in your life. Has she been offering all sorts of advice, and trying to tell you what you should and shouldn’t do along the way?
Pregnancy definitely brings out the best and the worst in people. Chances are that the grandparents to be of the baby are super excited about your up and coming birth and are eager to share and be part of everything. And this can be both a welcome way to bond with extended family, and a frustrating intrusion.
For so many women, dealing with meddling mothers-in-law is very difficult. If she is overly involved in your pregnancy, and seems to be overstepping her boundaries with you, you can pretty much bet that once the baby is here, she will be even more over burdening. While the help can be wonderful, and the extra interest in your pregnancy can make you feel loved – it can also feel a little intrusive.
Setting boundaries with the in-laws is never easy. Enter pregnancy into the picture, and things are complicated ten-fold. But it is something you must do. Gently, of course. First, try to see her interest in your pregnancy as just an extension of the love she feels for the baby to be. When you see her actions coming from a place of love, it will feel a little less officious. Remember that she is EXCITED. Chances are she is not purposely trying to undermine you in any way, and may not even realize she is doing this.
Secondly, listen to her. This doesn’t mean that you have to do everything that she says, or follow her advice to a tee – but give her the courtesy of hearing her out. After all, she has been here before and she may have some useful information. If she inquires as to why you are not doing something ‘her way,’ just assert yourself and say, “I appreciate your concern, but I think this is a better choice for me.” This will help to slowly and surely set boundaries that show you respect her, but that you are also a capable and responsible adult who can make her own decisions as well.
Another thing to consider BEFORE delivery is whether or not you are going to allow your in-laws in the delivery room. Giving birth is very personal, and only YOU can decide who you want with you. Many people want the birth to be a private experience saved for just mother and father of the baby. And this is okay. Even if your in-laws or extended family don’t understand it, this is a once in a lifetime moment for you and the father-to-be, and you need to take steps to make it about you and your new family. They can meet the baby soon enough in the waiting room, right?
Another tidbit of advice: from the moment your baby is born, set limits with pesky in-laws who meddle. It is not okay for a grandparent to visit unannounced at any time of day. It is not okay for a mother-in-law (or your own mom) to make decisions for your baby regardless of what you think or feel. You and the baby’s father are the ones who get to make the decisions.
Last but not least, if your mother-in-law is meddling and a little intrusive – ask for your partner’s help. Remember this is HIS mom, HIS family – and he should advocate for you so that you aren’t the bad guy in the situation.
Having a baby changes the family dynamic in many ways. Most of the changes are positive and only enhance the amount of love and bonding that takes place. Still, it can be a rocky road in the beginning to set boundaries and limits with others.
Written By Stef, Mom of 4 @Momspirational
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 2017. All rights reserved.