Congratulations! It’s a boy (or a girl, or twins, or triplets)!
In short, there’s a new family member on the way. You’re elated, exhausted, enchanted and edgy about it. And you’re thinking about your employment, household economy and the most eco-friendly way to bring up the baby.
And then your mother or mother-in-law rolls in, replete with advice, admonitions and assistance, none of which you need or want now. How to deal nicely with mama meddling?
Establish boundaries early:
Explain what is acceptable: days and times to visit, food gifts, cleaning help and parenting advice. Acknowledge their years of experience as helpful, but state that it’s your house, your child and your decisions. Your additional responsibilities (job, other children, school activities) play a part in your daily lives, and your schedule is your call.
Look, listen and acknowledge:
Smile at their advice, say thanks but no thanks. Tactfully change the subject when conversation turns into commands. Don’t take their words personally. Even grown moms have unresolved issues; giving advice is their way of assuring you won’t make their mistakes.
Turn the tables, ask for advice:
Do it at an unexpected moment. It throws mom off-balance and lulls her into thinking, “What a wonderful surprise! She trusts my advice after all!”
Don’t bring up their old mistakes:
Don’t return fire with fire and bring up mom’s past child rearing issues. That adds ammunition to a volatile situation and keeps the animosity level high.
Get your spouse/significant other involved:
The two of you are a united front. Believe and stand by decisions together
Respond with thanks and praise when you see progress:
Let mom know she gets it right. Thank her for sharing, caring and listening without judgement. Spend time doing things like shopping, cooking and looking at family photos together. It builds memories to share with your child.
Invite mom/mother-in-law to work with you:
All three of you can take the NewbornCourse.com parenting courses and learn together as the pregnancy progresses. You can enjoy each other’s company and everyone learns mother care and child care in a comfortable environment. Enjoy theses moments!