Got in-law problems? Who hasn’t?! In-law tension and conflict is an age old battle that will forge on in families for generations. The dynamics of merging two families together has always been a tricky and touch and go situation. Personally my in-law problems have been a roller coaster ride that I wouldn’t join the line at six flags to ride again! Or would I? This is coming from someone who has never been on a roller coaster! My relationship with my mother-in-law had me reflecting on what type of mother-in-law will I be to my future daughter-in-law. Would I make the same mistakes millions of mother-in-laws have made in the past? My sane-self shouts NOOOO!! I won’t be cause I am more self-aware, smarter, kinder, confident blah,blah,blah.
Well, just in case I lose my sanity and have a mid-life crisis by the time I have a daughter-in-law, here are top five mother-in-law mistakes that I should at least try to avoid making!!
Unsolicited Parenting Advice:
This is one thing that I know have annoyed daughter-in-laws for centuries — the parenting advice that you didn’t ask for. Unsolicited parenting advice from your mother-in-law can and will mostly likely be taken as criticism on how you have decided to raise your children. Solution: keep all parenting advice to yourself unless your daughter-in-law requests your input on a matter.
Showing up Without Calling:
First and foremost, it is bad manners to show up at someone’s house without letting them know first. Just because it’s your son’s house doesn’t mean that you have the right to barge in without any prior notice. Solution: This one is quite easy…call first.
Decorating and Re-arranging my home:
This goes hand in hand with my previous point. Showing up unannounced and at the same time attempting to re-arrange a place where you don’t live. This behavior is just rude, and unless you are a professional interior decorator hired by your son, decorating their living space is a major no,no. Just because your son grew up in a home with floral furniture doesn’t mean that it’s his style or taste. Solution: Refrain from re-arranging their furniture.
Using Sarcasm to mask your true feelings:
I know that this point hits very close to home with me and my mother-in-law. Sarcasm as defined by the dictionary is: the use of irony to mock or convey contempt. If you chose to express your views on a matter adding sarcasm is more like rubbing salt into an open wound. I personally think it’s a way of insulting my intelligence. Solution: Choose a different way to express your views, or stick to the old saying: “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all”.
Always Defending Your Son:
This point has “big mistake” written all over it, yet many mother-in-laws ignore the warning and delve head first into defending their sons. News flash: your child is not perfect!! If your daughter-in-law came to you with issues that she is experiencing in her marriage, choosing to defend your child should not be your first reaction. Taking your son’s side will only drive a deeper wedge between you and your daughter-in-law. Solution: Try to be unbiased as much as you possibly can and look at it from a woman’s perspective.
I hope that I remember these mistakes when my time comes! I want to hear your mother-in-law stories. Share them with us on Twitter or Facebook using hashtag #inlawdiaries. Stay tuned for our series on in-law relationships and my hope is that this will help us “all get along!”