Here’s How To Deal With Overbearing Parents As A First-Time Mom

For first-time moms, there is much to learn.

Getting into a healthy rhythm, learning to care for your new precious child (and yourself), and incorporating motherhood into your daily routine.

One challenge many moms face is the input of opinions on how you should care for your child. And sometimes, this advice comes most heavily from those closest to you, especially your parents.

And while parents try to be helpful, sometimes they cause more harm than good.

It’s not that they try to cause distress, but some parents struggle with letting go and letting you be a mother and carve your own path.

But how do you deal with overbearing parents?

Most importantly, you must set boundaries.

At the end of the day, while they are an important part of your child’s life, they are not the parents, you are.

How you and your husband decide to raise your child is your decision.

And while you may often take their advice, don’t feel pressured to do so.

Part of navigating the grandparent dynamic is to pick your own battles.

Remember, your parents have a style too, and the key is to learn that healthy balance.

Parents reported some tips on managing that tricky balance:

“Grandparents look forward to the day when they can spoil their grandkids rotten and don’t have to be the “bad guy” disciplinarians.

All they have to do is bask in the adoration and love of those little ones — so let them enjoy it!

“Look for things that are truly harmful to your children and hold your ground: Insisting that a newborn drink water? Yes, hold your ground. Putting babies to sleep on their stomachs? Yes, hold your ground. Letting them watch TV? Not desirable, but not harmful in the physical sense of the word,” explains Dr. Wu.

“As long as it’s not excessive or unreasonable, there are a few things that our children get to do with their grandparents that we’ll just have to throw our hands up in the air and say, ‘Oh, well.’ “

Dr. Wu points out that even in her own family, her rules for her son go out the window once Grandma and Grandpa are on the scene.

“He gets treated like a prince when he’s with his grandparents; in my house, this 3-year-old has to put on his own clothes, put his shoes away when he gets home and feed the cat.

At his grandparents, I’m not sure he even lifts a finger.”

Remember moms, your parents mean well. They love you, and they are most likely thrilled to be grandparents.

Your parents can serve a critical role in your child’s development, and serve as an invaluable goal in helping you (and your child) navigate life.

Oftentimes parents step in as a gap and can help babysit or take care of the house while you get some rest.

So moms, don’t be so quick to disregard your parents advice, as we often learn, parents do have wisdom.

At the same time, don’t be afraid to stand your ground.

If there are certain foods which are forbidden in your home, and your parents want to feed them to your child, the answer is no.

And remember, how you navigate your own family dynamics is personal. Some homes have an “open door” policy, allowing parents to stop in at all hours. Others insist on calling ahead. Find whatever works best for you, then do it.

Do you have any tips for other moms on how to balance the grandparent dynamic?

What is one boundary you’ve set in your household with your parents?

Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

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