Parenting While Living With Your Parents
Making the decision to parent when faced with an unexpected pregnancy is a big deal. We are honored to walk along side women who make this choice everyday. One thing you may be considering while making a parenting plan is where you and your baby are going to live. Perhaps continuing to live with, or moving back in with your parents is an option. If so, here are four things to consider if you plan on parenting while living with your parents.
Have an initial meeting with your parents to discuss parenting methods such as schedules, discipline, and boundaries. Plan on doing your own research either at the library or online about what approaches you want to take as a parent. Gather as much information as you can. Learn about your child’s safety and medical needs. Don’t assume your parents will have the latest and greatest information. Come to this meeting with them informed and share your thoughts on how you would like the arrangement to work. This will cut down on confusion and potential hurt feelings later. We also recommend you set monthly meetings to keep communication flowing. You can talk about what is going well and what isn’t.
Think about your class or work schedule and get a plan for your childcare needs. What kind of facility will you use? Many young moms assume that their parents can be permanent baby sitters. Some may offer this and some may not. Even if you have a great plan for child care worked out ahead of time with your folks, you need to have back up options for if they get sick or aren’t able to watch your child. You want to make sure that you find a facility that is in line with your parenting style as well and understands your parenting situation.
Allow Your Parents to be Grandparents
Schedule time with your parents to allow them to enjoy your child away from the home. Invite them to fun things like trips to the park and zoo. Don’t always assume that they can be there for every doctor’s appointment and check ups. Keeping clear boundaries will help you be the primary decision maker about your child and allow your parents to support and love to your baby as grandparents.
Have an Exit Strategy
Understand going into this arrangement that you need an exit strategy. So set a timetable that works for you. It might be six months, a year, or you may have a while to go before you graduate from school or college. Or, it might be landing a new job or other financial goal. But set a timeline that serves as a goal and share this with your parents. Also, ask for help from other adults around you to help you meet these goals for living on your own. This will help keep stressful times in perspective and give you a timeline to prepare for when your out of your parents home.
Parents can be an amazing support. And we applaud all of those grandmas and grandpas out there who are willing to step in and help make a difficult situation work. But you are your child’s parent and the best advocate for your baby. You will be faced with making hard choices, but we know you can do it! You are brave and strong and the team here at Collage is here to help you—and your extended family when you find yourself parenting while living with your parents.