I'll have to say that this is something I had not thought to write about previously until I got a magazine in the mail that addressed this. Mothers-n-law! Did you get a warm, fuzzy feeling? Or did it send shivers down your spine? Are you clueless to what I am talking about because you don't have one yet? Your day is coming and you will feel one of these sensations if you have not already!
I am privileged to have a great relationship with my mother-n-law today, but it was not always that way. I'd like to share some of the insights from the article with a bit of what I have learned from having a mother-n-law for almost 19 years.
You have heard the saying, When you marry the man, you marry the WHOLE family! It is true! It seems odd to say, but it can work out that way. It may not be that way in the beginning or you may not choose to live that way, but with patience and persistence, you can have a great relationship with your mother-n-law.
When Hubby and I were dating, I'd have to say that I was scared of my mother-n-law. I was intimidated by her nature to be precise which I viewed as being perfect. She always looked nice, and was very prim and proper. Everyone seemed to do things just the way she liked them. Hey, I was 17 what can I say? I felt like she and her husband were nice to my face, but didn't really want me with their son. I think I thought it didn't really matter what they thought about me being with their son, but that it was his choice. Wow! How I have changed since then! It matters a great deal to the mother of the son who he marries...and that is a topic for another post on another day! :)
After Hubby and I got married, I was still very nervous around my in-laws. A "pleaser" by nature, I felt I was always coming up short. The house was never clean enough, the food never tasty enough or whatever. Looking back I'm sure I put these demands on myself. She never voiced these things. She was a "good" mother-n-law. It took me some time before I understood why she didn't like to throw away the plastic silverware and cups or why we had to all wear red on Christmas Day! (I have grown to love these two things about her.)
I remember the one and only time I felt she interfered with how I was raising her grandchildren. I was trying to put our first child to sleep for a nap when she was about 8 months old. She had been fussy already and it was way past her bed time. I began trying to get her to sleep, only there was so much going on that sleep was the last thing on her mind. She started throwing a fit and I swatted her little leg. My mother-n-law came over to the recliner and acted as if she would take our daughter. At the time it infuriated me. I felt she thought I didn't know what I was doing. I made a stern comment (too stern if trying to maintain respect) and proceeded with trying to get my little one to sleep. Looking back, and knowing my mother-n-law like I do now, it just broke her heart that I had swatted her granddaughter within ear shot! :)
My mother-n-law is very gracious and has showed me so much of the love of God. I rely on her prayers. She has beautiful taste in home decorating. We share the same love that most women do: clothes and shoes. Her taste is slightly different than mine, but that doesn't hinder a good shopping trip! She has a heart of gold and would give you her very last dollar is she thought you needed it. She has so many good qualities I cannot name them all. I didn't learn them over night. It took many years and I cannot tell you at what point that I realized she was so special. I just know that I gave her a chance and I'm so glad she gave me one, too.
God has brought us so far. I cherish many things about her. My only regrets are that we cannot spend more time together and that she and my father-n-law cannot invest more time into our lives and the lives of our children.
Here are some ideas for making improvements in your relationship with your mother-n-law adapted from Marguerite Tustan's article in the P31 Woman magazine:
1. It is unfair to have high expectations of her and low expectations of yourself.
2. Give to her the grace you desire.
3. Focus on all of the positive characteristics she has and don't dwell on the negative.
4. Remember she raised the awesome man you married!
5. Celebrate your difference. It's a good thing she is not "just like your mom". She can teach you different things.
6. Find a common interest and capitalize on it. It gives you something to talk about and can draw you closer together.
7. Watch your own feelings. Are you too sensitive or easily offended? Give her the benefit of the doubt.
8. Look for positive motives behind her negative actions.
9. Pray for her. She has been through a lot and possibly carries a heavy load.
10. Start making positive changes in your relationship TODAY!
I hope something you read will encourage you to have a great relationship with your mother-n-law. Whatever steps you take to make your relationship better will be worth the effort. You never know, your mother-n-law just might become one of your favorite people! Mine is!
|They are so in love!|
|My dear sweet father and mother-n-law|
|She loves...................so much!|