Relationships with extended family

Not only has your role and place in the world changed since becoming a parent, but so has that of other family members who have become grandparents, aunts and uncles and siblings. In turn this can effect relationships with extended family.

Sometimes the expectations that family members may have about their new role may not align with yours. This can be true in any situation, as you and your partner are both individuals, raised by your own families with their own traditions, values and ways of doing things.  These differences and expectations are however, likely to be even more pronounced when different cultures are involved.

It’s important to consider the possible expectations of others, and be aware of the impact this may have on situations, stress levels and relationships.

You and your partner may also have differing views about the perceived level of involvement that you both want. Try to identify and discuss this as a couple, and recognise that this can be a very sensitive issue that needs to be managed in a way that considers others and prevents additional stress and conflict.

For some people who may hold negative feelings about their parents or their own childhood experiences, becoming a parent can lead to these feelings resurfacing, resulting in grief – which can impact upon your relationships with extended family. Alternatively, becoming a parent can also give you fresh insights and perspectives into parenting, and help you to resolve these feelings.