We all Know motherhood is a sacred position, so its natural for any woman to inwardly and sometimes outwardly express some fear about losing her son to another woman. We start to consider blending families with a marriage, perhaps we misunderstand relationships especially the mother in law. But rather then let this dynamic of fear get the better of us, it’s best to acknowledge the shift that comes with marriage and be open about how you want your relationship with your mother in law to unfold.
Acclaimed family dynamics researcher & psychologists Terri Apter has written numerous books on the topic of Mother-in-law & she offered this advice in a piece for the daily mail: A Mother-in-law is more likely to respect boundaries if she is reassured that she will continue to be respected & important part of the family & that you will make an effort to include her in your family life. When trying to establish a relationship with your Mother-in-law, the best place to start is respect once you have a well established foundation of mutual respect, the rest comes much easier.
Go with flow – Your Mother-in-law has worked hard to establish a family culture| traditions, they don’t do the things the way your family does them, it’s tempting to start a revolution and point out a few inefficiencies but rather than trying to disrupt the status quotient, make an effort to fit into their lives & go with the flow for at least some time to start first.
Respect your Mother-in-law – Only respect in the absence of affection is mandatory in any sort of relationship, it can make a bitter relationship feel & look much better. Even when your are unable to find anything in common between your two, still give respect to her values, decisions etc & beyond all trust her.
Get to know Her – You can get a golden chance to know your Mother-in-law better by initiating friendly chat with her. Open up & talk about childhood, college days to know her heart & finally connect to her.
Appreciate your husband – Don’t try to use sarcasm & playful criticism as a tool, your husband may understand but your Mother-in-law will not take it in good light. laugh with your husband’s siblings but be clear to be always on your husband’s side. Instead of complaining about your husband & his habits tell your Mother-in-law what a great guy your husband is, she will be delighted hearing so that her son is appreciated & loved.
Family bonding time – Be prepared to give up special time with your family, plan out the year in special holiday & events which holiday will you spend with whom what days are especially important for your husband to be with family. Your Mother-in-law will appreciate this intentional approach. Be the first to arrange family gatherings & urge your husband to connect with his mom a little more often so Mother-in-law will not feel that you’re taking her son away.
Take her advice – Your Mother-in-law is also a women, never forget that who better than her can advice you with years of experience on relationships, children, work or health, so seek her advice.
Make her feel special – Just an extra effort will change the energy between your relationship with Mother-in-law. Wish her on her birthday & anniversary. As when people get older they don’t celebrate any of these, so she will love the special attention.
Hangout together – Be it shopping or watching movie by opting to hangout together will only strengthen your bond. You might also plan a 2 day trip out for vacation as taking the relationship one step ahead.
Do not compete with her – Never bring ego in between your relationship , your two have separate roles to play. Never try to out do her efforts, , if she is good at doing something or tries to do something take it as a blessing.
Don’t Criticize – You might feel that your Mother-in-law is taking over the house with her authority over everything, it might even go to the extent of making others in the house corner you. But these are testing times don’t burst out or criticize instead politely let her know that you have your own way of doing things.
Set Clear boundaries – Lack of clear boundaries often create tension, if your Mother-in-law is interfering, don’t put off talking to her about it. It’s important you & your husband should discuss boundaries in your relationship so you become united. Also find ways to include your Mother-in-law important moments, so she is likely to feel safe in your relationship.