How Not To Hate Your Family After Having Kids
Bringing a baby into the world comes with a lot of expectations. The one that is the most important to remember doesn’t make itself known until your mom (or mother-in-law) walks in unannounced and you’re in the middle of feeding your baby, half-naked, and crying because you’re exhausted. Whether they are there to help, or there to push your buttons - boundaries need to be set. Preferably before baby arrives.
Here is an approach…
Sit down with your partner and come to an agreement on expectations of the family’s involvement (both in the delivery room and after your baby arrives).
Have a group conversation (so as to have support from one another) to discuss your expectations…
“We have been talking a lot about how we want to approach the start of parenthood, and we feel it would be best if our family …”
“We love you and want your continued support, we appreciate your understanding”.
If possible, have this conversation in person or on Facetime.
It is possible for your child’s grandparents to become defensive or upset. Go into this conversation with the expectation that it may or may not go over well. With this mindset, it will help you to refrain from becoming defensive.
According to social worker Krissy Pozatek, having “secure boundaries set by the parent, reduces anxiety” (2020. para. 4). Anxiety, which is crucial for mom to avoid for the sake and health of both she and the baby. Having boundaries allows the child to feel a sense of security and safety and sets the tone of their new home.
The important thing is that you and your partner remain united in your decisions, and this allows your baby a beautiful welcome into the world from two of the most important people in their life.
Congratulations, your baby has arrived! Remember what you have discussed. You are the parent’s now. So, enjoy the new routine that you have created with your little family! Your family and friends can join in when you are ready. And don’t worry about what your hair looks like, how clean your house is, and feel free to stay naked… because it’s your house. And grandma should probably call first…tell them your doula told you so.
If you are looking for a more in-depth read that targets specific behaviors of grandparents and how to deal with them, this is a great article that I would recommend.
And also here is a suggested e-book for further input on boundaries.
Pozatek, Krissy (2020, November 30). Mbgrelationships. 4 reasons its important for parents to set healthy boundaries with kids. https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-17051/why-its-important-to-set-healthy-boundaries-with-your-kids.html