With the baby almost here, I have had a few conversations with other moms about the boundaries they have set up with family members regarding their children. It is an interesting subject that I hadn’t thought too much about, because I have a great relationship with both my parents and my in-laws. However, I do think that having a child changes that relationship and since I would like to continue to have a positive relationship with both sets of grandparents, I got the opinion of an experienced grandma who was willing to give us her two cents on the matter.
Visiting grandparents with the new little one may make you a bit nervous, but I feel the most important factor is COMMUNICATION!! In anticipating this journey you may think of things that concern you that you never thought of before.
*For instance, there may be a dog or cat in residence. Do you worry about a cat cuddling in bed with your baby? Or is there a rambunctious dog that might jump or step on the little one?
* Another concern may be a smoker in the house. Can you ask your parent not to smoke in his/her own home?
*As the baby gets bigger, is the house “child-proofed”, or will you need to watch him constantly to protect him from dangerous objects or protect precious objects from him?
*What about a doting grandparent who wants to feed your child things you don’t approve of?
Hopefully you have a good relationship with all of the grandparents, but whether you do or don’t, the best advice I can give is to have a talk ahead of time to “set the ground rules”. This should be a friendly chat where you can express your views as a couple to all grandparents so there are no unpleasant surprises later. Of course, as new issues crop up, it will be much easier to address them if you have started out with a good understanding that you and your husband are the parents and have you own views on child rearing.
As new parents, you may change your mind on some things along the way. That’s OK. Just let the older generation know so they can adjust as you go along.
Most importantly, have a great time because the memories for the child and the grandparents are priceless!!!