Baby and In-Laws

Susie McGee

Is your family driving you crazy? Now that your baby is here, do they want to take over your life? If so, you're not alone. Even good family relationships can become strained when a baby enters the picture. How can you keep your sanity intact and hang onto family members at the same time?

Intrusive In-Laws

You've heard or read the stories. The new grandma wants to tell her son or daughter how to raise her new grandchild. You may even be experiencing it yourself. Although you are an adult and perfectly capable of running your household, your in-laws treat you as if you don't know how to take care of your own baby. Other than slamming the door in their face, what can you do? Why do they act this way?

Sometimes it is hard for in-laws to make the transition of simply mom or dad to grandma or grandpa. They believe that their age entitles them to show how much wisdom they have, and they can become overbearing and opinionated. In fact, they may not hold back with their unsolicited advice!

Sticky Situations

You don't want to be rude, and you do want to maintain a positive relationship with your in-laws. At the same time, you also want some alone time with your family, and you and your partner want to be in charge of taking care of your infant. How do you walk the tightrope of tact when dealing with intrusive in-laws?

Well, that all depends on how pushy and insistent they really are! Sometimes, all it takes is a little scheduling. You tell them when you are available and ready for visitors, and if they abide by that schedule, things should iron out eventually.

Try to remember that they are enamored of your new infant, and hopefully that obsession will fade somewhat in time. Until then, you might want to take advantage of their help by going for a walk, doing some shopping, or simply taking a long, hot bath!

Impossible Situations

Sometimes it is virtually impossible to keep your in-laws under control. When that happens, you'll have to be as straightforward as possible. Even though it might be difficult at first, keep in mind that nobody should be allowed to run your life or the life of your child. You and your partner are in charge, and everyone else needs to respect that!

If your in-laws become hyper-critical of the way you do things, then you may have to tell them that you have your own opinions and if they don't agree, they are welcome to leave. Yes, they might seem harsh, but how much harder will it be on you if you have to constantly listen to criticism?

Some in-laws use the guilt approach. They may sing a sad song about how they don't get to see their grandchild often enough, even though it may have only been a few days. They may try to remind you of all of the things they've done for you, as if that should buy them more time with your baby. Again, you'll have to be firm and put your foot down! Remember, nobody can take advantage of you unless you let them!

Stick Together

Finally, you and your partner need to present a united front to your sometimes invasive family. As long as you support each other, you can handle any family problems that are tossed your way. The two of you are the decision makers here, and you need to stand together. Eventually, your in-laws will get the idea that they don't rule your roost. Once they understand that, life will be much more pleasant!

Baby and In-Laws