My husband and I just found out that we’re going to have a baby in the somewhat near future! The major people we’ve shared this news with are our families, but this is where it gets a little complex. Both my husband and I come from ethnically and religiously mixed homes. My husband is the child of an Israeli Jewish dad and Syrian Muslim mom. I am the daughter of a German Quaker and an Irish Druidic Pagan.
All our parents practice their faiths. They are also all immigrants whose first languages are not English. They are all thrilled to be grandparents, but they also are all of the belief that our child should be raised in all of their cultures! We’ve already received baby foreign language tapes for Gaelic, German, Hebrew AND Arabic!
While we’re thrilled they feel so happy, it’s awfully complex for us. We don’t want our child to grow up confused about his/her own background or feel obligated to explore all paths if there’s one they prefer. How can we tell our parents we want our child to pick his or her own path without making our parents feel excluded — what kinds of strategies work for parents who have such varied backgrounds? — Ashley