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Managing relationships with in-laws post baby can prove to be tricky, especially if they are naturally dominating and intrusive. With changing lifestyles and expectations of parents-to-be, the older generation often feels ignored and therefore tries to participate more in the lives of their grand kids. You have to change your attitude and set your own parenting rules for your in-laws post your baby’s birth.
How to Handle Your In-laws After The Birth of Your Baby
Indian culture is a close-knit one and as soon as there is an impending childbirth around the corner, family members love to get even closer. Now, under ideal conditions, such a cultural norm means a ready support system on which every new parent can rely on. But some in-laws can transform from their benign and supportive self into judgmental and overbearing people after the birth of your baby! Everything you do is inadequate and loads of advice is thrown at you about child care and parenting. While traditionally women were conditioned to lean in to the family cushion and not worry too much about the early parenting choices to be made, off late many mothers-to-be are finding this option quite stifling. So here is a quick guide on how to handle in-laws after having a baby.
Prepare for The Change
If your mother-in-law has started buying or making clothes, and your father in-law is busy making career choices for his grandkid, even before the baby arrives, take it as a warning sign. In-laws after birth of baby would be even more intrusive and demanding. The best way to bear that force is by being mentally prepared for it. Accept the fact that your in-laws would want to impart you their parental wisdom and become a part of their grand-kid’s life. Instead of getting defensive every time they try to intrude, be prepared to handle the situation in advance.
As much as you want to let out a war cry every time you are told to do something differently with your baby, managing relationships with in-laws post baby is also equally important. Every time you hear a new feeding or clothing or bathing advice, instead of rejecting it upfront try a response like “I will keep that in mind” or “I will try if it works”. Remember that in-laws can provide you a support setup when you will finally want to go out and get back some semblance of a normal life with a new baby.
Don’t Be Afraid To Say ‘NO’
While it is important to be diplomatic and manage your relations with increasingly intrusive in laws after birth of baby, it is also important to set some boundaries and maintain control of the situation. After all you have the right to make all the decisions about your child’s upbringing. So don’t hesitate to say no to things which you are really uncomfortable with and your in-laws insist on doing. They may get upset for a while, but you won’t have to learn to live with regret.
Ultimately, your parenting choices are going to be your own and you have the final say on what happens with your baby. But learning to manage your in-laws during this transitional phase in your life can save you a lot of grief and stress.