Motherhood is difficult and one of the biggest challenges Indian mothers face is dealing with in-laws in a joint family, who adore their grandchildren so much that they may sometimes overlook their own rules and regulations for disciplining a child. Of course, due to the generation gap, they might have different parenting styles.
Here are 10 Tips for dealing with In-laws while raising a baby in a joint family:-
- Share responsibilities and Get help from your in-laws: If your in-laws are willing and able, let them help with childcare. Your child is not solely your responsibility. Please don't hesitate to seek help from your parents and in-laws. Nobody will judge you for it. Especially if you are a new mother, set aside any guilt and ask for help; after all, they were the ones who eagerly offered to care for the baby in the first place remember that.
For instance;- If you are going somewhere out, and you want your parents to feed your child but are worried about how they are going to cook, you better prepare a meal as per your choice for your child before leaving and just seek their assistance to feed your child.
- Make sure your partner leads things: It is always better if your partner or their son delivers the message and takes the lead on any discussions you want to conduct with your in-laws. If you deliver the message, they might harbour resentment for a long time after this conversation is over if you manage to insult them. If your partner leads things, well, they are their child so they can’t be angry at them for that long.
For instance:-"If you want your in-laws or other adult family members in the joint family not to compare your child and your parenting style with others in the house, your partner should lead the discussion, making it clear that both of you have a unified stance on the matter.
- Include Your In-laws in decision making: Encourage your in-laws to be involved in a positive way. They can be a great source of support and can help create a strong family bond. Children learn a lot from them, they love them and vice versa. Don't keep them away from their grandparents just because you don't along with your in-law's parenting styles.
For instance, when establishing screen time rules, involve them and ask for their input on how to address this issue, rather than blaming them for your child's newfound interest in TV. If you create rules collaboratively with discussion, your in-laws will be more likely to respect them and help ensure your child follows them.
- Address Conflicts Respectfully: If conflicts arise, address them calmly and respectfully. Focus on finding solutions rather than placing blame. Keep your calm composure and try to discuss rather than debate with them to find a solution and of course not in front of your children.
For instance, they might not believe that cow's milk is harmful to your baby, or that too much sweetness is bad for your child. You can respectfully explain the logic behind why doctors advise against sweets and cow's milk for younger babies.
- You will have the Veto Power: It doesn't matter what your in-laws say about your motherhood and parenting style. They may offer comments and make comparisons with others, and that's to be expected. However, you should hold the veto power when it comes to any decision relating to the children.
For instance:- If you and your partner plan to send your child to a boarding school for her progress and development, you should consider the family's opinions, but the final decision ultimately rests with the parents."
- Discuss with your partner: Ensure that you and your partner are a united front when it comes to decisions regarding your child. You and your partner should be on the same page, before discussing any issues with your other family members in a joint family.
For instance:- If you disagree with your partner on anything regarding parenting your child, have a private discussion behind closed doors instead of arguing in front of your in-laws.
- Pick your battles wisely:- If you start picking out every fight with your mother-in-law, or other members of the family, you’ll probably lose your mind. Instead, walk away and pick your battles wisely: namely, only the ones that actually affect your child.
For instance:- If in-laws are offering junk food to a child every day, you should take a stand and say it. But if they are offering it only on weekends to celebrate a holiday, It should be fine, and you should not lose your temper or such tiny matters.
- Respect their opinions and differences in parenting:- Remember that your in-laws come from a different generation with their own set of beliefs and practices. Be respectful of their perspectives, even if you don't always agree. They will surely start respecting your opinions in return. Making them agree with you always is not a solution.
For instance, we often encounter situations where some believe that raising their voice at a child can be a form of discipline and that it won't adversely affect the child's mental well-being. Remember, this might be how they were raised, and perhaps we were too. However, it's important to find a way to communicate the importance of using a gentle tone when talking to children, even when we are upset, in order to prevent any potential harm to their mindset.
- Start accepting and Stop Expecting: It's important to appreciate the support and help that in-laws offer, rather than assuming they will offer help according to you. Their ways are different, their opinions are different, They will parent your child but in their own way. Accept their help with appreciation, and stop expecting them to change overnight.
For instance, instead of assuming that your in-laws will always be available to babysit at a moment's notice, it's better to communicate openly about their availability and discuss mutually agreeable arrangements. This way, both parties can establish a comfortable and sustainable approach to childcare.
- Appreciate Their Love and Support: Recognize that your in-laws care about your child's well-being. Show appreciation for their efforts, and let them know they are valued members of the family. Don't ask for too many favours.
For instance, celebrate Grandparents' Day. Plan family getaways on weekends to enjoy quality time together. Later, you can plan some alone time for yourselves, leaving your children at home with your in-laws. Trust me, they won't mind spending quality time with their grandchildren while you enjoy some quality time with your partner.
Be firm on the things that are important to you It’s ok to have boundaries. They’re your child. But Some things don’t really matter in the big scheme of things. Think how much help you are getting from your in-laws and what your children are getting from their relationship with their grandparents.
LOVE AND SUPPORT ALWAYS....!!