I’m not about to complain about my mother-in-law (and no, it’s not because I’m terrified she might read this and my husband will be calling me to ask me what I was thinking) because I don’t really have much to complain about. She’s not perfect (who is?) by any means, but she doesn’t irritate me any more than my own mom, my husband, my kids, or any of the people I love the most in my life. We don’t always see eye to eye, but neither one of us expect to; we’re different people with differing opinions.
However, we both love my husband (her son) and my kids (her grandkids) endlessly, so we have way more in common than not. I lucked out; my mother-in-law is more like a friend than a nightmare, and she loves me for me, not the perfect idea of a daughter-in-law she may have once had (although, I like to think I’m pretty awesome and that she knows there is no such thing as a better daughter-in-law).
Unfortunately, not all women feel the same way about their in-laws as I do, which means that they have some issues. Even if they’re your least favorite people on earth, you have got to find a way to make peace, because you love their son, they love their son, and if you and their son have kids, you’re going to need them to babysit so you can have five minutes of peace in your own life. Think smart, ladies.
If your in-laws spend too much time at your house, make it a rule that you have to pre-plan visits. You have a busy life, they have a busy life, and everyone needs to schedule time together that will make them all happy. If you need to, schedule a once a week date with them so that they are guaranteed to see their son and grandkids at least that often, and make other plans throughout the week when there is time.
Put Your Foot Down
If you hate your in-laws because they like to give your kids chocolate before bed when they spend the night at grandma and grandpa’s, get over it. If they feed them chocolate before bed at your house, and you’re the one who has to fight with them to fall asleep, then you can be upset. Put your foot down and tell them it’s not okay. Ask your husband for support.
Confront Them Gently
If your mother-in-law likes to come over and tell you all that you’re doing wrong, simply ask her to make a list for you detailing the right way to do it. If she looks at you questioningly, explain to her (gently) that you hear her when she tells you your cooking is wrong, your cleaning is wrong, your parenting is wrong, your wifely skills are wrong, and everything else is wrong, and ask her to make a list for you with detailed explanations of the right way to do it all so that you don’t have to disappoint her anymore. Chances are, she’ll cut the crap.