Pleasing the Grandparents: Who Has More Right to Your Baby?
The baby countdown has begun as my husband and I make our descent into the third trimester. We are very excited to meet our little guy come January but have been playing out an unrealized Tyler Perry plot that may soon become a reality.
Has anyone else had to deal with pleasing grandparents who are overly-excited?
This is our first child and it’s also marks the first time my parents will be grandparents. My husband’s folks already have two grandchildren, though they seem very happy about the forthcoming addition. In fact, all the grandparents are planning to come to our home not too soon after our son is born (obviously in waves as we don’t live in a mansion with tons of space). At first I thought this was going to be a good idea since I have no clue about parenting (the last time I changed a diaper was 10 years ago) or what to expect. It will be good to have experienced folks around me who can also provide some helping hands when my husband and I get tired from late night feedings. And his mama can burn in the kitchen! It sounds like a good setup, right? Well we thought so too until they all (in their own way) started becoming more and more territorial as the countdown to baby becomes a reality.
“You know I want to be there first as the mother of the mother right?” my mom reminds me. At first I thought this kind of talk was cute and demonstrated an excited future grandmother, but now I’m starting to think that this woman means serious business. Matter of fact, I can recall a little chat she had with my now mother-in-law at my wedding informing her that when the babies come she has first dibs because she has never experienced being a grandparent. Well, needless to say I kindly had to remind her that there is no favoritism with our baby and everyone is on an equal playing field. I am thankful to have a very good relationship with my in-laws and even so wouldn’t make anyone feel less equal or important.
Thankfully, I married a man who has a keep calm and carry on attitude, or more like a “be quiet ’cause you are getting crazy” reality check. Though he’s not too worried about any grandparent showdowns I think he is starting to see that we need to set some boundaries before there are too many grandparents next to the changing table. One thing we’re doing to make sure everyone has their own time with the baby is creating a visiting schedule. Yes it may sound like overkill but could you imagine spending money to come and visit your son or daughter in the winter only to find yourself with two extra people in a two bedroom/one bathroom house? Yeah, we definitely need a plan. From the look of things, my mother will come first (go figure), then my husband’s parents and finally my father who’s “selfishness” to want to spend time alone with the baby uninterrupted will actually work out in everyone’s favor.
Another way we are preventing any issues from arising is by setting a time limit. My husband and I both think a week is sufficient for the first visit as we don’t want to overcrowd our child and actually have some alone time with him ourselves. By controlling the schedules we think this will keep people at ease so no one feels they will miss out. Hopefully this will quiet down the rumblings we are starting to hear from all parties involved. Though we don’t expect a physical showdown in the streets, we are checking any aggressive-like attitudes sooner than later.
I tell you, sometimes parents can really act like children!