And We All Have A Mom in law Who Knows It All!!!

mom feels nervous because of the mother-in-law visit - ZenParent

Do you feel nervous when your mom in law is going to visit you? I do.

Because I know that everything in my world including my cooking, hygiene, kitchen, toilets, kids and also my behaviour towards my husband will be placed under the scanner. And this is no ordinary scanner. It is a super powered, ultra- sensitive and a highly durable one. No matter how well I prepare in advance to make sure that everything is taken care of, there is always something that is not done in the right way and I am er..lazy. How I wish sometimes that holidays with my in laws would be fun too and just like the other ones I have, but they always land up being like a big entrance exam that is impossible to crack. In fact a visit by her always leaves behind bitter memories which I want to wipe out ASAP. Sad isn’t it? Does it have to be that way every single time or is there a middle path that needs to be carved out to pave way for something that is pleasant and hasn’t been discovered as yet by most? I have a friend who has struck quite a chord with her mummy in law and I got this very interesting info from her as to how she handles her when she comes to visit, ready to attack.

She needs to feel in control– Your mother in law was the most influential person in her son’s life until you decided to show up one day. (Do I see a wicked smile on your face eh?) But yes that is pretty much it. She now feels that she is losing her hold over him and she wants to do everything possible even if it means putting you down to re-establish her supremacy. You can be the clever one here. Ask her advice for things (a recipe or some cleaning technique) let her do it for you and show her that she is till valued. That will keep her calm.

indian mother in law and daughter in law's relationship -ZenParent

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But here is a word of caution. Don’t go overboard in involving her too much or you will have a nosy pokey, opiniated monster who will make your life miserable.

Be a buffalo in the rain– You have married her son and he has found in you what he wanted. You don’t have to now go out on a limb to prove yourself to her or anybody for that matter. So I guess you can stop thinking that you are up for an assessment, can chill and can display the right attitude to set an example. If she feels that you starve her kid and yours, with the kind of food you cook, you can politely laugh it off saying that it was what they prefer and it works for everyone. You don’t have to feel offended or start off on a worrying spree. The same can go for accusations of the kitchen not being organised or the toilets not being clean or even your dress being too tight (ugh..) she’s not evil but she’s trying to corner you and your cool reaction will let her know that there is nothing here for her and she’s hitting a wall.

Learn to draw healthy boundaries– All elders feel they can do this. Over step their boundaries in interference and then they are all over our lives. But it is because we let them initially. Now one doesn’t have to be rude, but a firm yet courteous way of refusal of something you are not comfortable with may draw some drama but eventually things will fall into place. It is your house and your life ultimately so it is fair enough that the final decision is yours whether it may be to do it your way or take in her suggestion. If you try to be subservient, thinking that she’s here only for a while and you might as well make her happy, you are probably trying the trick of walking on a thin rope between self-respect and slavery.

Let your partner contribute too– Men are a smart lot. They enjoy this tug of war going on between you both while they get all the attention in the bargain. Don’t let your husband get away with it.

Talk to him before hand and make sure he agrees to offer you his complete support or she can stay someplace else.  Your mother in law needs to see that you and your husband are a strong team and she cannot mess around here. Also you can get your husband to do his bit by taking her out to lunch or dinner or buying her a gift and keeping in touch with her regularly even after she has left. It is his mom after all so why do you have to do all the work?

husband and wife discussing in front of motherinlaw - ZenParent

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I was wide eyed after hearing all this. Something I had never thought of before. Every time I would follow the same old pattern of trying to please her in vain and she would never have enough of it obviously.

But this time I had a plan and that had made me much more relaxed before her visit. I somehow knew that this time it would be easier and instead of scrubbing the floors & walls I was thinking of outings, shopping trips and maybe movies too.

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