Growing up, we swear we won’t be like our parents. We tell ourselves we’ll never raise our kids doing the same things they did to us. Then, when we have kids, we justify everything we do saying “Well I did that growing up and I turned out okay.” So I guess our upbringing wasn’t all that bad. Sometimes we go to our parents for advice on how to raise our own babies—other times, we tell them to butt out or follow our rules. I propose that moms and dads need to go easy on our parents. For one thing, we should be pretty grateful that they’re around to experience this with us —and also because, while this may not be their first time on the parent merry-go-round, the grandparent one is just as perplexing. They’re learning the ropes, just like we are, so let’s cut them some slack!

Make sure to let them into your life, but don’t let them be an invasion.  Set boundaries for everyone, which should help as your family grows and changes.  If your parents seem to be too involved, perhaps let them know that you may need advice once in a while and if that is the case, you will be sure to ask for suggestions when the time comes. Unsolicited advice gets pretty tiresome, particularly when everyone you see has something to add to the mix.

Having grandmas at the helm can make a big difference in your ability to copy, particularly when you have multiples. They can also make getting away from the house a dream, because they know the babies’ schedule, where you keep everything and have helped feed, bathe and put your babies to sleep, so your babies are familiar with them. Be careful though, don’t let grandma crowd out your husband! Otherwise you may find that after grandma leaves, hubbie doesn’t know how to help you with the babies or feels incompetent in that department and you’ll have your hands full.

What you will find most helpful is if your parents ask you what you need and proceed accordingly. The key is to respecting everyone’s privacy.