According to a study of hundreds of women over a 20-year period, more than 60 per cent of females admit the relationship with their mum-in-law causes long-term unhappiness and stress.
We have gathered some tips on how to ease the tension and manage the relationship:
You are wired to clash with your mother-in-law
Many women expect their mothers-in-law to be mean, even before they get married. SO, they start reading meanings to everything the mother-in-law does. Try to zero your mind from the negatives. If you find your mother-in-law criticising or ignoring your parenting skills, remember that she’s most likely feeling under-mined as a new matriarch (you!) enters the family. Mothers-in-law feel like their parenting style is the best and feel defensive about the way they do things. Take things easy with them. Try not to read meanings to everything they say.
Put yourself in her shoes
In your darkest hour, remember that your mother-in-law has been through the testing baby years (with your husband!), just like you are doing now. As your sons get older, you will see how hard it will be to accept any woman as being good enough for them. Most mums want the best for their sons, sometimes they find it hard to relinquish the care of their beloved boys to another woman.
Let annoying comments slide
One of the key elements in maintaining a healthy relationship with your mother-in-law is to remember all of the above points – and sometimes let it go. One mum said “With my mother-in-law of 20 years there were plenty of times when I just let comments that I found hurtful slide. It wasn’t worth fighting when I knew that she didn’t mean to be unkind, she was just a very different person to me. We were forced to find a way to get along because her son and I had fallen in love and decided to build a life and family.”
Stand firm on big issues
Just as it’s important to let the small stuff slide, you also need to stand firm on important parenting issues that matter to you. Determine to enforce some boundaries that were really important to me – such as not giving the children junk food, or giving them herbs. Setting clear boundaries about the things you are most concerned about could let the smaller stuff slip by and life will be more harmonious for everyone.