I live with my husband, 4 month old son, both my parents and recently both of my mum parents too. Thankfully the house is big enough that we are not tripping over each other. We generally keep to ourselves but on weekends or off time (both my parents work shifts) we are all together enjoying each others company. This is great and not a day goes by when i don’t appreciate my good fortune. However, My husband and I are a new family, we like our privacy. There seems to be an influx of advice and suggestions being thrown our way, whether i ask for it or not. More times than I’d like, both my mother and grandmother are standing over me while i change a nappy, or giving little mister a bath, or even playing with him. It wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the constant barrage of ‘suggestions’.

I love them both dearly but how do i explain to them that “no, hes not hungry, I’ve just fed him half an hour ago” “no, i wont give him another small feed” “yes, I’ve cleaned behind his ears” “no, i didn’t go to hard”

My grandmother, born and raised in India. Used to cover her babies in talcum powder. After every nappy, every bath, and sometimes in between. So my Nan, bless her, insists I use powder at every opportunity, completely disregarding my sons chronic dry skin. Of course i politely nod and ignore her.

My mother, although born and raised in India, had my younger brother and sister here in Australia, my brother had eczema as a baby so she understands why i don’t want to further dry out his delicate skin. But my mother also breast fed all 3 of us until we were about a year old. I unfortunately (despite my desperate tries) couldn’t breastfeed and I don’t think my mothers ever gotten over it (or forgiven me)

These are two very small situations I face, daily!

However, having both of my parents, and my grandparents all within arms reach is a very rare opportunity. And even though majority of their advice is unfounded and unreasonable. Some even outright ridiculous. Sometimes having someone who has been there and done that is very reassuring. Not to mention the unlimited babysitting opportunities :)

Posted anonymously, 27th September 2015

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  • Hope all is going well for you.


  • i am glad to see that you are grateful to have family around you. it can be so hard because they all have parented their way and raised their kids. So while you are open to suggestions, it is your child, you have to learn your way so maybe ask them to give you a little space to bond with your child. It can’t get a little frustrating, i understand.


  • Hope things have improved for you with communication with the different generations.


  • Good for you. Finding all the positives. I think I would speak up and try and let them know ( politely) how you feel. Good luck


  • You sure do have a full house. I applaud you for coping so well with it all. I hope you’re appreciated


  • Maybe you could combat the powder/skin issue by giving them some fact sheets and explaining how things have changed.


  • Good on you for looking for the positives. I think it would do my head in.


  • Its great to have family around and its sounds like you are glad to have them there for the good times, you tried to breastfeed your child but that didnt work out and thats ok all that matters is that he is a healthy child. Lots of kids have skin issues two of my kids do and it gets worse when we use things like talc etc on it. You know your child better than anyone else and whats right for it. Even if they wernt living with you the advise would still be following in. I find it easier to say to my family its just done differently now days.


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