How To Stop Your In-Laws From Taking Over/Ruining Your Pregnancy

Given a chance, your in-laws would monitor your entire pregnancy if they could. In their eyes, you're cooking up their future grandchild, and this grants them automatic access to your life. As endearing as this can be, however, it can also become suffocating, making you feel like you have to consider your in-laws' reaction to every move you make throughout your pregnancy.

It shouldn't be this way—and it doesn't have to be. You and your partner should be cherishing the time before your baby comes together, doing things you might not have the opportunity to do for a while once the babies born. At the same time, you should also be allowed to prepare for your little one with excitement that isn't squashed by your in-laws need to be involved at every step of the process.

Here are some things you can do to remain in control of your pregnancy, despite what your pesky in-laws may want to happen.

1.  Keep Things Private Until The First Trimester Ends

A lot of parents keep things private until the first twelve weeks have elapsed. This is because miscarriages are more likely within this time, and if one does occur, it gives the couple time to grieve without having to answer sympathetic calls from their closest friends and family.

It's also the period where morning sickness is usually at its worst, so dispelling as much stress as possible is essential. You should be as relaxed as possible throughout this time, so if your in-laws are going to threaten that with their judgemental comments, you might want to consider keeping things between yourself and your partner until the first trimester ends.

2.  Set Boundaries From The Beginning

It's important to set boundaries for anyone in your life when it comes to your pregnancy, but with in-laws, the need to do so is even more critical. They might think they're being helpful by buying you a cot or a pram even though you might have already planned these items yourself. If you haven't told them, how are they supposed to know?

This works with advice, too. Tell them that you appreciate how things were when their significant other was born, but that things have changed since then. Keep reiterating this message until they seem to understand it, getting firmer about the boundaries if needed.

3.  Tell Them You’ll Think About Their Advice

At the end of the day, in-laws often offer advice throughout pregnancy because they want to be helpful. Your mother in law might share information she's read on the internet or heard from her own experiences with pregnancy because she wants you to have the best experience as is possible.

The best way to deal with unsolicited advice, if you’re able to, is to let it go over your head. If you smile and thank them for their advice, there’s no reason why you cannot go on to continue your pregnancy without taking their advice on board. That way, you're showing your in-laws that you appreciate their input and are avoiding an argument at the same time. The last thing you need when pregnant is to get involved in a family argument that isn't easily solved, so something like this could definitely work.  

4.  Ask Your Spouse To Talk To Them

If your in-laws are starting to suffocate you with unsolicited advice and insistence on being around you always, ask your significant other—their child—to talk to them. They might not even realize they're overbearing, and it might sound better coming from their son, who has a unique relationship with them. They will be less likely to react angrily, and you may find that the rest of your pregnancy progresses perfectly, without further obsessive interactions with your in-laws.

5.  Ask For Space

The easiest way to get your in-laws to understand where you're coming from is, to be honest with them. If you tell them you're becoming overwhelmed with their interference, they're likely to understand that you need space. This might convince them to go away or distance themselves from you for a couple of weeks so that you can spend quality time with your husband in the weeks leading up to your birth.

This doesn't have to be poorly worded, either, as long as the message comes across. You could only say you and your partner wish to spend some time together before the baby comes along, where getting time alone will be impossible.

6.  Discuss Your Plans For After The Birth Beforehand

If you don't talk to your in-laws about what your plans will be after your baby is born in advance, they might automatically assume that they'll be notified the moment it enters the world.

It’s becoming a lot more common in recent years to keep things private for the first twenty-four hours after the baby has been born. This gives people the opportunity to get to know the baby in front of them and spend time as a small family unit before introducing them to extended family members.

If you tell your in-laws about your plans to do this in advance, they're likely to be a lot more accepting, or will at least come around to the idea over time. This means that you can spend time with your new baby without having their overbearing nature in the first twenty-four hours, at least. After that, some of our other articles, such as this one about how to deal with critical in-laws, might be beneficial for you to read.

How to Stop Your In-laws from Criticizing Your Parenting Strategies

When we think about starting a family with the one we love, considering future interactions with our in-laws tends to be the last thing on our minds. We get so caught up in the bliss of the moment, or the positive pregnancy test, that the critical views of our in-laws seem far off.

However, these thoughts soon catch up with us. They become a reality and start straining the relationship with your spouse, ruining what should be the happiest times of your life.

It’s understandable. We don’t like to be told we’re doing something wrong by a highly-critical in-law—or anyone, for that matter. Our immediate reactions might be to shout at them or to let off steam to our other half's once they've left. What if I told you there were better ways of dealing with things that didn't result in a breakdown of your familial relationships at the same time?

Here are our top tips for dealing with over-opinionated in-laws when it comes to parenting.

1.  Let It Go Over Your Head

If your primary concern lies in keeping the peace, and your relationship with your in-laws, letting their comments roll over your head could be your best option. With open body language that suggests you're taking their comments on board, such as a smile, and a short comment, make them think you're going to implement their advice at a later date, or ‘next time.' Who are they to know any different?

2.  Politely Call Them Out

As much as in-laws like to be helpful, continually criticising you for your parenting skills is likely to be putting a strain on your relationship with their child. If you aren't the kind of person, who can let continuous comments go over your head, try sitting them down and explaining why unsolicited advice is unhelpful. 

Make sure you do this in a polite, constructive manner that doesn’t make your in-law feel judged. Nobody likes to be criticized, and if you go at it accusing them of something, they're likely to close down and become defensive. Go in openly. Perhaps you could suggest kinder ways that they could communicate with you if they have concerns about your parenting skills in future. 

3.  Set Boundaries

Your in-laws might be an essential part of your family unit, but they are just that: in-laws. They are your children’s grandparents and deserve their right to behave like them, but if they’re overwhelming you too much with the responsibilities they’re taking on, it’s time to take a step back. You could even tell them that they have a couple of hours a week where they can look after your children and behave how they want with them, but after that, you need them to respect how you work.

4.  Get Your Partner To Have a Word

There comes a time where we have to sit our partners down and tell them that enough is enough. If you’re not on good terms with your in-laws or don't talk to them regularly enough to handle the situation yourselves, asking your partner to ask them to be a little more polite with their advice might be the solution you're looking for and need.  As such, this might come across better, as they are less likely to get defensive with their child than they would be with the person their child had married. They might open up and realize the error of their ways, changing their actions quicker than they would if you were the one to have a word with them. 

5.  Be Selective In What You Tell Your In-laws

Some in-laws fight to have their say about your parenting. You know they'll have a judgment to make about your decision, regardless of what it is. To try and combat this, why not become a little more selective about what information you're sharing with them? Continue to share big things that any in-law would like to know about their children, like rewards they’ve earned in school or a new skill they’ve learned, but be less obvious about other, smaller things, like the time they fell over in the playground or got sunburnt from playing out for too long. They may still make judgments, but with less information to fuel them, they'll be fewer than their current rate.

Be Willing To Compromise

While we’re almost never willing to admit we can improve our ways, sometimes being offered a new perspective can be incredibly helpful. Have you ever stepped back for a moment to consider if there’s any truth in what your in-laws might be telling you? Are you slightly too lenient on your children, or somewhat too harsh? Although their criticisms may be given in a passive-aggressive way, there could be some truth to what they're saying. Being open to compromising and making changes might give you the reason you needed to make positive changes to your family's lives.

TIPS ON TAKING CHARGE OF YOUR PARTNERS RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR PARENTS

TIPS ON TAKING CHARGE OF YOUR PARTNERS RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR PARENTS

Marriage is not just a relationship between the parties involved as often a marriage between persons usually consists of a union of both families. Managing in-law relationships can be quite tricky especially when it seems like your significant other is always having a go at your family, right or wrong. To handle situations like this, you have to be responsible, responsible for your original family to create a, less frosty relationship between them.

QUICK FIXES FOR HANDLING DIFFICULT IN-LAWS

QUICK FIXES FOR HANDLING DIFFICULT IN-LAWS

There’s a reason you can tell your mother she’s driving you crazy but just cannot tell your mother-in-law- you don’t have a relationship with her, you didn’t grow up with her, and you don’t know how she would react to your criticism. The same thing applies to every other in-law you have.

5 TIPS ON HAVING A GREAT RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR IN-LAWS

5 TIPS ON HAVING A GREAT RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR IN-LAWS

Painful as it may seem, it is possible to have a great relationship with your in-laws as they too are humans and often would rather have a great relationship with you. A good number of the problems which arise between you and your in-laws results from miscommunication and sometimes merely fear so it’s important we address whatever concerns we may have.

5 WAYS TO DEAL AND HANDLE TOXIC IN-LAWS

5 WAYS TO DEAL AND HANDLE  TOXIC IN-LAWS

Most of us when we think about marriage, we think about the joys, trials, and tribulations which come along with it before tying the knot but, not many of us consider how our relationship with our in-laws would be. Truth is our in-laws are an integral part of our lives, and they should be, but sometimes in being a part of our lives, a lot can start to go wrong.

TOXIC IN-LAWS, MARRIAGE

TOXIC IN-LAWS, MARRIAGE

We all can think of at least three people in our lives that have caused us more harm than good and for some reason we keep putting up with their with their behaviors. It's not that the whole person is toxic. Rather, their behavior is toxic or your relationship with that person is toxic. Many terrible in-laws will use you to make themselves feel better and most likely don't know how to love and treat others with love, respect compassion and so on. Toxic in-laws often have alot of hurt and pain in their won lives, and their unhappines just seeps into every relationship they have.