Winning the Battle But Losing the War By Failing to Follow Whatever New Parents’ Have As Their Rules

he headline on Fox News was:

Dad sends in-laws strict ‘guidelines’ for visiting newborn baby and it doesn’t go well”

The author, Gerren Keith Gaynor, called the new father a “helicopter parent” for his list of very strict rules. The article caused me to go to REDDIT for the first time. I have no idea how REDDIT works or some of the abbreviations, but here is what the new father wrote on REDDIT about which Mr. Gaynor’s article was written. See how he describes himself as a very anxious new father. This Grandma does not consider first parents necessarily “helicopter parents,” but that could come later.

Three days ago, my wife and I had our first baby – a boy! Yay us!!

Neither of our families are super clear on the whole “boundaries” deal when it comes to newborns. My parents are very old fashioned and think that letting your kid eat dirt is better than any vaccine, and my wife’s just have a tendency to be very me-me-me.

We held off on visits for the first day. I’m a very anxious new parent, so when we decided that we’d have people come and meet our son, I sent an email out to everyone who said they wanted to come visit.

I asked that nobody sick come to visit, and no children under 18, since schools are a breeding ground for viruses. As well, because my mother is a heavy perfume user, I made a general note asking everyone to either go with light or no fragrance. There were some other things I threw in, asking people to let me know what time they’d like to come, keep it between 9-5, stay for an hour or less, no gifts since it’ll be a hassle to bring home, and try to keep visits to 3-4 people at a time. I felt a little overbearing, but my wife read it over and said it sounded fine.

Of course, I get a few snippy replies back ala “do you need the last 4 of my social too?” but most people texted me to let me know when they’d come around – save for my parents and my in-laws.

My parents show up at about noon, while my aunt is already there with her husband and their two (adult) children. I ask my parents to wait outside for a bit so they can finish up their visit without overwhelming my wife and I, but my aunt is polite and decides to cut her time short. Without asking, my mother takes the baby and undoes his swaddle. My parents are mostly pleasant.

An hour later, my parents are still there and my in-laws show up, their grandson in tow. My wife tells them that they can’t bring him in. Their grandson starts to cry and my MIL starts to scold us for forbidding children, so my father pipes up saying that we’re being too coddling.

Then, my mother starts up and tells us that we’ve been very rude and cold and says that as grandmother, it’s her right to visit the baby when she pleases and she shouldn’t have to “RSVP” to her grandson’s birth. She calls me impolite for sending out a “demanding” email like I did and insists that if I regulate my son as strictly as I did his visitings, he’ll grow up resenting my wife and I.

We told them to go, and my mother told me she raised me too well to have me be so rude to my own family. My MIL said that if my wife didn’t “crack down on me”, they’d never be visiting again. My wife has changed her tune about the whole thing and thinks I was being too combative. I really don’t think I was that wrong in exercising my boundaries, and I think that them not listening is proof it was needed.

AITA for sending an email out with guidelines on visiting our newborn?

Tl;DR: I sent an email with guidelines to visit our newborn. My parents and in-laws got upset over it. AITA?

I learned a lot about REDDIT in a short time. AITA stands for Am I the Asshole? “On social media, people ask AITA when sharing personal disputes in which they are unsure if they’ve acted they like an asshole—that is, been mean, selfish, or wrong in some way.” Who knew! On Wired, another on line media outlet, I learned “Reddit’s ‘Am I the Asshole’ is your new favourite guilty pleasure: AITA for gleefully judging other people’s moral missteps?”

Apparently, there are rules and regulations about responding on REDDIT to requests for requested judgment of actions. Judgment of actions comes easy to this former family court judge, especially when it comes to judgments of family actions. I, however, have lived too many years to care to respond to such questions on something like REDDIT and am fortunate to have this blog on which to post.

What surprises me the most is that the new father had time to post on REDDIT and cared what REDDIT strangers thought of his actions, especially when he signed on as “Not the A-hole.”

I agree with his self-judgment.

New parents are crazy scared, crazy bewildered, and just plain crazy, overly careful to try not do anything wrong when it comes to their newborn and its health, welfare, and safety. And they really have little idea of what to do for the newborn’s health, welfare, and safety so that is where the “strict guidelines” come in.

It seems that the grandparents just did what they wanted, ignored and humiliated their son and son-in-law, and even were cutting off their noses to spite their faces by threatening not to visit their grandson later! What!

By ignoring the new parents’ rules, the grandparents may think they have won the battle, but they clearly have lost the war. As parents of new parents, it is our job to build up their confidence, assist them, not ignore what they need to survive this life passage event.

So what if there are ridiculous rules. If we make the parents of newborns wonder if they are assholes, are they going to want us grandparents around–and don’t we want to be around our grandchildren? “Honor the gatekeepers” is one of my most important mantras.

This Grandma is so surprised that this issue comes up so often. When our children were new parents, we had to get every booster shot known to man and take a prenatal first aid course before our first grandchild was born. Of course, we did everything we were told to do and never said a word.

Never say a word and just comply. One day they will have a second or third child and will let them eat dirt.

Take heed of previous posts!

Our Grandchildren Will Grow Up Just Fine Even Though We Are Not Raising Them, Even In Today’s Society When the Parents May Or May Not Be Married”

This previous post has links to even more on this issue!

A New Scientific Study Shows How We Grandparents Cause Ill Will Between Us and the Parents of Our Grandchildren Over Parenting and Tips and Ideas to Preserve Access to Our Grandchildren

REDDIT judgments are best left to millennials who without our life experiences determine if others are assholes. Imagine how much they can teach each other. NOT!

One and done with REDDIT.





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