Fair   24.0F  |  Forecast »
Edit Module

New Baby, Intrusive In-laws

Sound familiar? Here's our primer on how moms (and dads) can successfully detect and deal with bossy or particular grandparents

If you thought your in-laws were intrusive before you had kids, then hold onto your maternity pants. The "fun" has just begun. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the truth is that your relationship with your in-laws is likely to grow tenser once children enter the picture.

But then, you probably discovered that the day you announced that you were pregnant. Ah, yes, that was the day your father-in-law insisted that you follow tradition and name your son (or daughter), "Clyde Waldo Dufus III." And, later that evening, your mother-in-law purchased airline tickets and reserved a seat in the front row of the delivery room, followed by a two-month visit in your guest room.

Don't get me wrong: some in-laws are wonderful people who respect their daughter-in-law's needs instead of expecting her to revolve everything around them. But if you don't have that lovely type of in-law, here's how to cope with the kind that pressure, lecture, undermine and insist that their way is the right way.

  1. Replace your insecurity with confidence. You and your husband are the final authority on your children. If your in-laws don't approve of something you are doing, so what? You don't need their approval, so don't behave as if you do. Just because they disagree with something you do doesn't mean you are bad parents.
  2. Learn to let your in-laws be upset with you. Don't overlook your own needs constantly just to keep everyone else happy. For example, if you want to spend the first week home from the hospital with just your husband, then tactfully tell both sets of parents exactly that. If they put up a fuss, let them know that it is not up for discussion.
  3. Behave as an adult on an equal level with your in-laws. Your in-laws are not superior to you, so don't behave as if they are. The next time they give unwanted advice, say, "Thanks for your advice, but I've decided to do it this way instead" or "I guess we'll have to agree to disagree." Their opinions are just that: opinions, not fact.
  4. Unite as a couple. Tell your husband specific things that you need for him to say when certain situations come up such as, "Honey, the next time your mom says something to you that implies that I'm a lousy mother, I need for you to tell her that you aren't willing to listen to her say negative things about me."
  5. Love and let go. Develop healthy behavior patterns by saying and doing new things to show you are now an assertive mom. You can't force your in-laws to change their behavior, but if you change your own, then they will likely change theirs, too.

Note: Jenna D. Barry is the author of A Wife's Guide to In-laws: How to Gain Your Husband's Loyalty Without Killing His Parents. She also leads a support group for daughters-in-law. Learn more at WifeGuide.org.

Add your comment:
Edit Module
Edit Module
Advertisement
Edit Module

More »Latest Articles & Blog Posts

Holiday Ham Recipes

Holiday Ham Recipes

Still looking for some ideas for your big holiday dinner? This year, try a new recipe for your Christmas ham – thanks to these ideas from Taste of Home, Pillsbury and more.

Hanukkah Crafts for Kids: Holiday Picture Frame

Hanukkah Crafts for Kids: Holiday Picture Frame

If you're celebrating the holiday and looking for quick and easy crafts for kids, this fun and affordable little keepsake is a great way to display family memories.

Dad Gets Unexpected Reaction to Terrible Christmas Gifts

Dad Gets Unexpected Reaction to Terrible Christmas Gifts

British dad pranks his kids with bad Christmas presents, but didn't get the reaction he was expecting – and it's pretty sweet.

Simple Holiday Family Crafts to Make with On-Hand Material

Simple Holiday Family Crafts to Make with On-Hand Material

Does your family have paper cups, Legos, plastic spoons or toilet-paper rolls lying around? Transform them into angels, snowmen and even a chimney for Santa!

Bath Time Safety Tips for Babies and Toddlers

Bath Time Safety Tips for Babies and Toddlers

What's the best way to bathe your child? How can you keep them safe in the tub? A pediatric doctor at St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit has tips.

Snowman Dessert Recipes: Tasty and Cute Ideas

Snowman Dessert Recipes: Tasty and Cute Ideas

Who doesn't love Frosty the Snowman? Kids will enjoy making – and eating! – some of these adorable and delicious snowman recipes.

Holiday Stamping Favorite Supplies from Stampin' Up

Holiday Stamping Favorite Supplies from Stampin' Up

Crafty company Stampin' Up offers a variety of fun stampers, punches and paper that transform into cool gift tags, cards and other fun DIY projects.

Edit Module
Advertisement
Edit Module
Advertisement
Edit Module
Advertisement