Monday, February 4, 2019

I Learned To Be A Better Mother-N-Law

Passive-Aggressive behavior manifested in clear patterns.

Never show anger. It’ll only fuel the fire. I may have been justified to feel furious, but so what? I should never try to prove I'm right; it’s about not making a bad situation worse. I learned to bite my tongue and practice patience until the case passes.

No one knows better than a mother-in-law that the relationship between her and her daughter-in-law can be prone to hurt feelings and power struggles. I need to understand her, learn more constructive ways to assert them.

And as a mother-in-law I have gripes of my own, I don't know "exactly" what upsets my daughters-in-law the most. I figure that recognizing the problem can help me fix it. I took a few deep breaths then took a look. I realized I couldn't solve all of our bumpy problems.

Daughters-in-law need autonomy, they need independence, and when I offer unwanted advice and help, I undermine that. I have learned to think twice before offering my two cents worth.
"I feel like you get more bees with honey. But that doesn't mean I don't get frustrated in my life. My way of dealing with frustration is to shut down and to think and speak logically." Beyonce Knowles

Unwanted Advice

Parenting advice? Thanks, but no thanks; seems to be the way both of my daughters-n-law feel about it. The way I see it, they both are saying, "If I'm looking for tips, I've got plenty of resources, friends, my pediatrician, my mother, and most importantly, your son. Unless we specifically ask for your opinion, let the two of us figure it out. We want to raise our kids our way, mistakes and all."

No one likes unsolicited advice. To a daughter-in-law, it seems like criticism, “She may hear it this way: ‘I’m the one who knows. You need my input. You’ll be better off doing things my way.’”

Even if my advice comes from a place of love, chances are she hears me as threatening her authority and challenging her role as a mom and caretaker in her family. It’s a lack of regard for the younger woman’s power and control of her family space.

I feel like my tongue is bleeding; from so much biting. I think my daughter-n-law's philosophy on mothering, cooking, and housekeeping is somewhat different than mine, but it is none of my business. Even though my daughters-n-law asks mother's for advice, she seems offended when I make comments. Then it's back to biting my tongue.

In an ideal world, I think of my daughters-in-law as my daughters, and she’d think of me as another mother. But for some women that may be very hard.
"The only thing more intimidating than a huge international film star is your mother-in-law." Benjamin Walker

Speak No Evil!

Lots of things were said from a place of love but were deeply insulting to my daughter-n-law.

Sometimes, I have to tread very lightly. An even question can come off as judgmental. There are differences in how my daughter-in-law raises her children versus how you did it. I have recognized this.

I began to focus on the things I appreciate in my daughter-n-laws. They both have gone out on a limb for me. Be it, letting me watch the grandbabies, taking me places, eating out with me, giving me my mother's day wishes, and welcoming me into their homes.

Don't Burn Bridges!

Do you talk to your son about his wife? Simply put, don’t. Complaining to your son about his wife puts him in a challenging position, In fact, your son should put a stop to it. She’s his partner, he loves her, and he doesn't want to hear anything negative about her.

But you, as the more mature one, know that your daughter-n-law holds the keys to the kingdom, your son and your grandkids. And you should also know, even if she doesn’t, that if you put your son in the middle, the chances are he’ll defend his wife and kids. Not you.

Don't talk about your daughter-n-law to anybody. Besides, you don't want your complaints to come back to your daughter-in-law, it would hurt her. Not necessary what you said as for you said anything and that burns bridges.

There Is Treasure Along The Rainbow.

I know that there will always be resentment, some appreciation, and mixed feelings between me and my daughters-n-law. I can only work on me and be accountable for my words and actions. Instead, let my love shine always.