Everyone has an opinion — especially about your pregnancy. And for some reason, they just can’t keep it to themselves. When it comes to your in-laws, shutting down the constant stream of not-so-helpful little nuggets of “wisdom” isn’t always easy, especially without offending them. Before you start stressing over every phone call, text, and email chock-full of unsolicited suggestions, check out these easy ways to delicately deal with in-law advice during pregnancy.
1. Just agree. Nodding your head, smiling, and saying “Sure” can go a lot further than you’d think. Even though you may totally disagree with what your mother-in-law (MIL) is saying, now is not the time to get into a major fight. Before your living room turns into a battleground, try agreeing. This doesn’t mean you actually have to follow the advice; as soon as your in-laws leave you can file it far away into the back of your pregnancy brain, never to be seen again.
2. Give thanks. When the words, “Sure, I’ll try that” just won’t come out of your mouth, a simple, “Thanks” will do. Your in-laws don’t want to hurt you, and they’re probably not *trying* to make you feel like the world’s worst daughter-in-law/soon-to-be mommy. They just want to help… in their own way. Thank them for the thoughtful words and move on.
3. Consider it. Sometimes age really does make us wiser. It’s easy to think you know everything there is to know about pregnancy and parenting — after all, you’ve read every baby book, blog, and article out there. While educating yourself is valuable, there’s something to be said for practical experience. Your MIL has gone through the whole pregnancy, childbirth, and raising a child thing before. So take a moment to consider that she just might know what she’s talking about.
4. Pass it off. Stress is not your friend when you’re pregnant (or really, ever). Instead of getting worked up about the so-called advice your in-laws are dishing out, simply pass it off onto your S.O. That’s right, give your significant other the job of dealing with their own mom and dad. It will take some of the pressure off you and may make your in-law relationship better than ever.
5. Get honest. Not every daughter-in-law has a challenging, strained relationship with her parents-in-law. Don’t let a little unsolicited pregnancy advice turn a good relationship bad. If you don’t want the advice, or you just want your MIL and FIL to hold back a bit, let them know. Gently explain that you love them, but right now you’re feeling a lot of pressure. They love you too, and hopefully they’ll understand.
6. Laugh together. Your mother-in-law has just given you the most ridiculous piece of pregnancy or parenting advice of all time. You could run screaming. Or you could just crack a joke. Use humor to defuse a tense situation instead of defaulting to anger.
7. Ask first. Rather than powerlessly waiting for the unsolicited advice to hit, get on the offensive and ask before being told. List out the top questions that you have for a seasoned pro (i.e., your mother- or father-in-law) and ask away. Instead of getting whatever wisdom they see fit to hand down, you’ll get answers to the questions you actually have.
8. Ignore it. When the advice is totally out-there or just plain irritating, ignore it. There’s no rule saying you have to accept everything that everyone says. You don’t have to snub your in-laws, but you also don’t need to indulge them each and every time they offer up their ideas.
How did you deal with unsolicited pregnancy advice? Let us know on Twitter @BritandCo!
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