You Did NOT Get Pregnant So Your Parents Could Be Grandparents

You did NOT get pregnant so your parents could be grandparents.

Navigating new parenthood is hard. Setting boundaries and protecting your family’s unique needs can be challenging—especially when it comes to communicating with your own parents. Here are few things to remind yourself when Grandma insists on rubbing whiskey on baby’s gums:

Your baby is your baby—you get to be in charge. Period.

You can name your baby anything you want. Period.

Your family and friends can get excited. They can be eager to help. They can share opinions (when asked), but they do NOT get to make decisions, nor should they give unsolicited advice. Period.

Your baby will be cute for a very long time. You are under no obligation to allow visitors into the hospital or your home. You are under no obligation to let others hold your baby. Period.

You get to make the rules about food, sleep schedules, and what goes into and onto their bodies (and yours). You don’t have to eat how your parent thinks you should. Your in-laws have no say in how you bathe, diaper, or feed your child. You are completely in charge and your decisions should be respected. Period.

You are under no obligation to change your life plans, how you celebrate the holidays, where you worship, or anything else based on the opinions of your family or friends. You are the most qualified person to make those decisions for your immediate family—no one else. Period.

Great. Now you’re confident and won’t be miffed by meddlers, right? Ha. Yeah. You may benefit from finding an education class at a nearby hospital or labor center geared toward new grandparents. These classes are designed to teach grandparents the changes that have occurred in childcare standards since they were parents. It can be hard to explain things to your own parents (talk about wobbly power dynamics) so having an “expert” present new information can be helpful. Just remember: you are the parent and you know best.

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