THE PROBLEM: You were brought up with one style of parenting by your parents, while your husband was raised by your in-laws in a different way. Breast-fed or bottle-raised, strict or laid-back, over-protective or independent – there’s a clash of cultures and you both think you’re the one in the right.
2) ‘I want to do it my own way’
THE SOLUTION: ‘Parenting isn’t about doing the right thing for you as adults, it’s about creating the best environment for your child,’ says Aaron. ‘At the beginning of your relationship, you and your partner both had to accept different styles of relating (perhaps one of you is open, the other private). You now have to learn to understand and accept opposing ideas about parenting too.
‘If there’s a difference in style, discuss it like adults, privately, and agree on a united approach. Put your child at the centre of the parenting question at hand. Then think of yourselves as a team coming up with the best solution for her. This will take you away from a ‘who is right’ approach and offer a ‘what is right for your child’ alternative.’
THE PROBLEM: If you are close to your immediate family, but your partner is less so, you can be left with very different notions of how much you want grandparents around. Then there’s the whole your Mum versus his Mum issue. You may feel most comfortable leaving your baby with your own mother, rather than your mother-in-law. But your partner may not think this is fair.
3) ‘It’s my mum’s turn to look after her’
THE SOLUTION: ‘Try not to act strictly out of obligation to your parents, as this can breed resentment,’ advises Aaron.
‘You and your partner must both be honest with yourselves about your feelings, discuss them, and decide what you want to do. It’s not uncommon for new mums and dads to be jealous of their own parents’ or in-laws’ relationships with their children – many feel their parents are nicer to their grandchildren than they were to them!
‘While we are all likely to have issues with our own parents, it’s important to let your child, as much as possible, form her own unique relationship with her grandparents. Come to the compromise that works best for everyone, including your child.’