She's annoying me just reading that, hehehe.
And she's just annoying enough to get on your nerves but not enough to cut off.
I don't know. My needs tend to change.
Sometimes I want my MIL to back off, sometimes I want her to be more involved. I don't expect her to be my version of a 'good' MIL as she would never keep up lol.
I think the most important thing is respect. Respect our decisions as a couple, respect our decisions as future parents.
I don't have a problem with her sharing her 'wisdom' as I know she does it with good intentions. The key is not to force it on us.
Don't crap on about how perfect the grandies are when they are with you. Just makes your DIL's feel like crap about their parenting. And once you've been pulled up on it try and remember that and don't do it again!
I reckon the key is asking what your child's family wants/needs. There's things I would have loved SMIL to do when the kids were little - bring food, do a load of washing etc, but my prospective D/SIL may hate that and think I'm taking over if I do that.
A PP said they often want to write a letter to their future MIL selves and I'm the same. Big shopping list of things that have annoyed me! Mainly the inflexibility to change things when DS was a baby and expecting things to be the same as always. Which they weren't. We had a baby to consider and his needs came first!! They've gotten better as the kids have gotten older.
I am just going to aim to respect my child's new family and ask what I can do to help. Be as involved as they want and try not to force my opinions on them or get offended if they don't want my advice. Some of the advice I was given was ridiculous as laws etc have changed a lot in the past 30 years, and my advice may be the same in 30 years. I think I will go the "have you tried XYZ as that worked for DS/DD as a baby/child" when they ASK advice, and not butt in with ridiculous comments that don't suit their lifestyle all the time. Though admittedly most of the ridiculous comments were from childless SIL.
I also won't automatically take my kids sides. Just because they are my kids, doesn't mean they are always right!
And not treat my son's wife differently from my daughter. My DIL won't be any less tired, sore, need less help etc than my daughter will. I basically got told to suck it up, but SIL got the royal treatment when she was pregnant because she was so tired.
Accepting that you have a new family member. Realising that your child is a no longer a baby and that you are now the 2nd most important woman in your sons life, not the 1st.
Help the way they want you to help, not hold on to the belief that because your DIL does things differently to you, your son is being 'brainwashed'.
Realising that your son is not perfect and when the son is at fault in arguments with his wife (and you know it), perhaps mention to him to be a good husband rather than just dismissing that your DIL is truly hurt, whether it's physically or emotionally.
I actually like my MIL but sadly she's completely disinterested in our family I would love a closer relationship with her given the dysfunction I have with my mother, but it is what it is.
I think the biggest issue with these MIL/DIL fights is a complete lack of boundaries by MIL brought about by a sense of entitlement. That's MY son, that's my grandkids. I have a right to drop in when I want, a right to tell my son how badly she keeps the house, a right to buy my grandkids truck loads of toys.
I also believe there is also a huge issue with competition. Many women still see their sons as their 'babies' who still need to be fluffed over, cleaned after. It gives them purpose and grounding. Now suddenly this other woman is cleaning his house, cooking his meals AND he loves her. She's now officially redundant. Rather than seeing it as a change in the mother-son relationship from one of caring for them, to like a friendship, they see the DIL as a threat, as competition. It's all her fault that the son isn't calling on her to take up his jeans. Her fault the relationship has changed.
I've promised myself 2 things as a mother to 2 sons. 1) to remember my sons are never going to be perfect and not everything is the DIL's fault. I've seen way too many MIL's that stand behind sons that abuse their wives. 2) I'm going to take my DIL under my wing and be kind to her. I won't have lost a son, I'll have gained a daughter, and not only will it be nice to have a good relationship with her, it will ensure I can be part of my grandkid's lives.
For me personally, the most important thing would me to acknowledge and learn what type of personality the DIL has and work with that. Some people love to talk a lot and be open, some people are introverted and like to keep to themselves. Some people want a close relationship with the MIL, others don't. I know that some other woman would have loved my MIL from the get go, but I didn't as our personalities clashed.
I would make sure I don't expect the DIL to conform to how my family works. And also understand that they are figuring out how their family dynamic will work and we will become the outer circle of that.
Also, relationships take time to form. I have seen from both my mother and MIL, even though they are completely different people, the way they expect that the DIL will just accept something as they do it has caused the main issues. I can handle my mother because I have grown up with her, but the DIL has not.
For example, mother is very outspoken and tells it as it is without thinking. So when she told my brother and SIL her thoughts on giving their child the SILs surname, that did not go down well and the SIL took this as offensive. Whereas my mother thought it was fine and if they didn't accept her thoughts then that is fine but she needed to say something.
From another perspective, my MIL tried to keep doing everything around the house when DH was single, washing clothes, pay bills etc. I did not take too kindly to this.
Both instances were small but enough for the DIL to already have her guard up. So, I think treading very carefully is important as well. The DIL is the new person in the family, so they need to feel welcomed. When you start dating someone, you don't show all of your cards, generally you are reserved and learn each other's differences slowly. Even if you have known each other for years. A tiny misunderstanding can cause enough tension for every next thing to become an issue.
I think that underneath, everyone wants the mil/dil relationship to work. I mean nobody hopes or wishes for a pain in the rear dil. I think the friction is from dashed/unmet/mismanaged expectations and maybe just personality clashes. my mil's other dil is difficult. I struggle to have rapport with her (and I'm pretty chatty and outgoing and can usually just talk to anyone) and she's very strange and withdrawn, has virtually no social skills and gets her dh to try and get as much financial help out of mil as they can. I guess people form opinions about others and then combined with the mismatched expectations about what the mil envisioned for her darling son to end up with, it's a recipe for friction.
not sure where I'm going with this, just had a philosophical moment I guess lol
I don't have a MIL as mine passed away when DH was in his twenties, but my sister has a MIL that is both awesome and challenging. The challenging thing is when she overrides my sister in regards to food when they visit. She always has cakes, lollies, biscuits, ice-cream etc, which my sister rarely has. MIL has said to the kids "here have some lollies" just before bed and my sister said no, they've had enough today and sugar before bed send them off. Then my sister went to brush her teeth and get ready for bed herself and MIL plied the kids with heaps of lollies behind her back. Then of course she's up all night with hyperactive kids who wouldn't sleep and then had nightmares. So that kind of thing just isn't on. A little respect for the DIL's rules goes a long way, even if you don't agree with them.
On the awesome side, MIL will visit my sister and she'll come home from work and the washing is done, ironing finished, kids rooms cleaned up and dinner is on. My sister runs her own business and struggles to get everything done and the help is very, very appreciated. Our mother on the other hand, picks up the kids one day a week after school and stays for dinner and will sit with a cup of tea watching my sister run around getting dinner on and then doing an hour's worth of ironing. She never lifts a finger to help - EVER!
I am also a step-MIL and my DH and I are not fond of the DIL, although they are just living together and not married. We are really friendly and polite when we see them, as we know that if we say anything DSS will likely push us away, not the GF, but she deliberately keeps him away from us, says nasty things about DH, wants us to rent them a house rent-free and then complains when we say no, she doesn't have a drivers licence and DSS has to drive her everywhere, even after a long day at work, and she only works part time, refuses to look for full time work, doesn't cook or clean and they live on take away and are getting very overweight because of it. So we're not fans, but keep the peace for DSS's sake and just hope he wakes up to himself someday and realised she is not great for him!!!
I hope I get to have my own bub soon so I can look forward to being the best MIL ever in the future :-)
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