It's one of the most complicated relationships I know. Dealing with your own mother can be hard enough, but a mother who didn't raise you? One who you don't necessarily love? One who views you as competition? That can be torture.
If you are a MIL, here are some tips to help you peacefully co-exist with your precious one's chosen mate. Truly: We want to like you. We want to have a decent relationship with you, really we do.
Help us help you, won't you?
1. Don't give us unsolicited advice. Don't tell us we're feeding wrong or not disciplining enough or not teaching the right way. You had your turn. This is ours.
2. Realize that you don’t come first anymore. I can’t even imagine how hard that must be, but it’s a realization that needs to be had. Be bitter about it, mourn it, whatever. But, accept it. Even though it sucks.
3. Remember what it was like when you were in our shoes. Really remember, I mean. The sleepless nights, the endless days, the routine, and the lack of help. What would you have wanted back then? Boom. That's what we want.
4. Play with your grand-kids. Take them for a walk, read to them, interact with them. So we can take a nap. Please.
5. Cook dinner or fold the laundry or pitch in around the house. If you do, we might just forgive you for the rest of your shortcomings. Even if you tell us we're doing it all wrong.
Care to add anything?
Image via Melissa Moseley – © 2005 New Line Cinema