Mostly Cloudy   56.0F  |  Forecast »

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:
Advertisement

More »Latest Articles & Blog Posts

Upping the Prom Stakes: Teen Promposals Sweep High Schools

Upping the Prom Stakes: Teen Promposals Sweep High Schools

Prom? Kids are amping up the pitch with crazy creative presentations that rival wedding proposals – and, of course, posting the pix on social media.

Depression Risk is High for Young, First-Time Fathers

Depression Risk is High for Young, First-Time Fathers

It's common to hear talk about postpartum depression for moms. But, according to a new study, dads are feeling down, too, and suffering from paternal postpartum – or postnatal – depression.

Easter Treats Ideas – Recipes for the Kids

Easter Treats Ideas – Recipes for the Kids

Cupcakes, brownies, cake pops! These creative concoctions aren't just tasty – they're cute, too! Add some fun to your Easter celebrations with these sweets.

Make It Review: Rolli Stamps and Project Idea

Make It Review: Rolli Stamps and Project Idea

This cool new inked stamper product by Funnybone Muse is sure to be a family craft staple. Here's what it's about, and how to use it to jazz up a note card.

Craft Roundup: Muppets Most Wanted Inspired DIY Fun

Craft Roundup: Muppets Most Wanted Inspired DIY Fun

These cool DIY projects are a blast for kids and families to make, all celebrating Disney's latest movie spin on the classic Muppet gang.

Tax Tips for Parents: Deductions and Credits to Know About

Tax Tips for Parents: Deductions and Credits to Know About

April 15 is the IRS tax filing deadline, aka Tax Day. Whether you've got a baby or a college kid, here's how to get the most out of your income tax returns.

9 Month Bump Maternity Apparel Boutique in Trenton

9 Month Bump Maternity Apparel Boutique in Trenton

This downriver area consignment store is stocked with lots of trendy gently used options for new and expecting moms, plus handmade baby gifts and more.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement