If you are feeling pressure from the onslaught of advice since you announced your pregnancy, you are not alone. Mothers, mother-in-laws and pushy parents are notoriously nosey and bossy in these tremendous and trying times. It can be difficult to cope with all of the input flying at you from those close family members but here are three tips to help you navigate the next few months and years as you dodge the determination of your own parents and attempt to become a successful parent yourself.
You know what you are doing. You are reading pregnancy and parenting books. You are listening to your doctor. You are even taking a newborn course. Medical, pregnancy and parenting advice is updated all of the time and you have the latest and most up-to-date information. Only you can be fully attentive to your body and that makes you the expert. Be confident that you know what you a doing and express that confidence when you discuss pregnancy and parenting issues with your parents and in-laws.
Your mother or mother-in-law is likely well intentioned. They want to be a part of this experience and they want to feel valuable to you as a resource. Honor those feelings by expressing gratitude whenever you can. If your mother-in-law offers you the death-trap crib that she raised your spouse in, thank her profusely before you politely decline. Your mom thinks you should be eating five servings of broccoli a day? Don’t bother showing her your prenatal vitamins, just let her make a big batch of broccoli casserole for you, thank her abundantly, and then hand the leftovers off to a friend.
Brush it off.
Pregnancy is an emotional roller coaster and it can be difficult to bite your tongue. But whenever possible, just brush it off. Most advice is offered casually and there will be no attempt to follow up on their recommendations. So, if your mother-in-law tells you something you don’t want to hear, just ignore it. If you make it common practice to disregard the onslaught of advice, perhaps she will stop giving it. Don’t get your hopes up. But the ability to brush off the small stuff will come in handy as you parent for the next two decades so start practicing now.
This is your time. You are in control and you are the parent now. With all possible kindness and consideration, you need to set boundaries with your parents and in-laws as you welcome a new family member. It is much easier to draw the lines now than to negotiate them when you are dealing with a newborn. So stay strong and discuss your intentions with your spouse so that you can both guide the relationship in the proper direction.