How To Manage The In-Laws As a New Parent
Managing your in-laws and your own parents is one of the top challenges facing new parents. We take a look at some of the issues that can arise and how you can solve them effectively.
After 9 months of waiting, the time has arrived and you are now and Mum and Dad. Life is about to change (as if you need us to tell you). As you embark on a journey of sleepless nights and endless nappy changing, the drawbacks are by far eclipsed by the amazing experience of being a parent. Nurturing your little one and seeing them grow. You may have read every book and watched every parenting DVD, but you can never be fully prepared for the twists and turns of the early stages of parenting.
So it's Mum, Dad and baby, and there is nothing else that need concern you. If only. As you start to your little family, you still have your extended one, and guess what, they too are extremely excited about the arrival of little one, and can't wait to offer their help (and advice). But sometimes, that help can be a little bit more than you’d hoped for. So how can you manage this?
Managing your parents and in-laws is one of the common challenges that face new parents. Your once normal in-laws have transformed into baby expert super grandparents with all their “helpful” advice and support. Although their actions are always with the best intentions, it can sometimes cause unnecessary problems in the early days, which is not helpful when you're sleeping a few hours a day. Here are our top 4 tips for managing the in-laws following the arrival of little one.
1 - Be clear from the outset
If you have interfering parents, in-laws, friends and other extended family, it’s important that you make it clear to them about how you want to conduct your role as a parent, as well as the support that would be helpful and not so much. Yes, that’s not an easy thing to do, and yes, it might not be how they would do it, but having the conversation early will mean that you don’t have to have an even more uncomfortable one later, or worse, to sit back and watch it happen, taking away some of the treasurable experiences of being a new parent. They may have done well one way, but it's your intention to do it THIS way.
2 - Understand their intentions
‘Unexpected visits’, ‘how I used to do it worked just fine’, ‘you should just ...’, ‘why don’t you ...’ The new grandparent is revelling in passing on their infinite wisdom of parenting, as well as suddenly appearing at the front door more often than normal. Even if you are as clear as clear can be with your expectations, sometimes it can take a while for it to hit home with the new Grandma! Although it can be so frustrating, remember that this is such an exciting time for them, and they genuinely think they are doing the right thing, rather than doing what they can to inconvenience you.
3 - Time for Super Dad
Although Dad has plenty of jobs, will partake in his share of sleepless nights, as well as having to return to work, ideally Mum should not be taking on the burden of the parents and in-laws. Her emotions will be high and her attention will be consumed by baby, and dealing with “your parents” is not an additional stress that she needs. It’s time to be Super Dad. Wherever possible, Dad needs to take ownership of these problems to help relieve some of the already piling up on stress and responsibilities that Mum has to deal with.
4 - Be forgiving
Little one's grandparents will be besotted with their new grandchild and will give them so much love. They want to help, even if this help actually creates the opposite effect. Remember this, and forgive them.
Parenting is no easy task, especially in the first days and weeks. You won’t get right every time, so try to just enjoy the ride.
Let us know in the comments below how you handled your in-laws or parents as a new parent yourself!