Motherhood,  Relationships

3 Things to Keep in Mind when Visiting the In-Laws

Traveling of any kind with children can definitely be stressful, but visiting family can sometimes be the worst (or best) of both worlds. Let’s just say that everything is amplified when visiting family, whether good or bad. Visiting your own blood relatives has challenges of its own, but I think a visit with the in-laws can be a little more difficult to navigate. Maybe you’ve only known them for a few years, and yet they’re your family at the same time. Everyone has different struggles when it comes to familial relationships, but these three tips to keep in mind will help especially when visiting your in-laws with your child(ren).
1. Your mother and father-in-law have taken care of children before. Your in-laws had at least one child (your husband), and you must’ve thought he turned out alright if you ended up marrying him! Though opinions change throughout the years, the essential needs of a child remain the same: food, sleep, love, play, etc. Your parents-in-law know that, and even though the way they do things with your child may be different, they’re not necessarily incorrect or harmful.
2. At the same time, it has been a long time since they have taken care of children. In most cases, your parents-in-law do not regularly take care of children. They may not remember everything that happens during each stage of a child’s development. There is a balance to be attained between instruction and respect in this area. Let them know what you do personally for your child, and what their abilities are at the time, but remember that your in-laws may still do things “their way”, and that is not necessarily wrong.
3. Your husband may have a hard time with it too. Just because they are his parents, that doesn’t mean your husband will side with them on how to raise children. Hopefully he will side with you, meaning he will stick to what the two of you have decided upon together. My husband can actually be quite protective of our daughter against my father-in-law’s way of caretaking. Be patient with your husband just as you are patient with his family.
I hope you have been blessed with such a loving family of in-laws as I have. If so, their primary goal is to love you and your children in the same way they love their son. They want to do what’s best for you and your family, though sometimes they may go about it in a different way than you are familiar with. You must always do what you and your husband think is best for your children, but keeping these three tips in mind may help you respect and appreciate the place your in-laws have in your child’s life.

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