changing family dynamics

Not only does expanding your family impact your relationship with your partner, it also often impacts relationships with your parents and in-laws. Adding a baby to the mix can lead to unwanted advice or criticism about parenting decisions you and your partner have made. The differences in how our generation and how our parent’s generation are raising children becomes very apparent after you welcome your new little. Differences on how our babies sleep, where they sleep, when they are introduced to food, car seat safety, breastfeeding, bottle feeding are just a few of the things that you and your parents may not see eye to eye on.

My biggest piece of advice would be to remember that you and your partner are a team raising this little human. Always stand up for one another. Don’t let grandparents undermine your’s or your partner’s parenting decisions or ability.

How can I prepare my parents/in-laws of the difference in parenting decisions I may make?

send them accredited articles explaining the benefits to the decision you plan on making

bring them to doctors appointments so they can ask questions

have them talk to other new grandparents

How can I “deal” with their criticism?

make sure you and your partner are on the same page, then have a sit down with the disagreeing parties, and calmly explain your reasons.

understand that every parent only does as well as they know how, research has come a long way since when you were a baby. Be understanding that your parents made decisions based on the research that was available to them at the time.

know that even if people don’t support your parenting decisions, that you know what is best for you and your baby. Each mother-baby duo is unique, and they need to forge their own path.

What if it’s my in-laws and I don’t feel comfortable talking to them about it?

understand that your in-laws may come from a different culture or familial upbringing.

enlist your partner to be the one to do the explaining to them. Most likely, he will know the best way to approach them (he was raised by them!), and coming from him may be less upsetting for them than coming from you.

Remember:

It’s ok to do things differently than your parents.

You and your partner are a team.

It’s ok to limit your exposure to unsupportive people when you are emotional unequipped to handle it.

Becoming a family is a learning process, for everyone.

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