4. They really do just want to help.
In-laws don’t set out to drive us crazy. They don’t mean to criticize our parenting or complain about the state of our kitchen. They are there, in the house, to be with their children and grandchildren.
And, more often than not, their intentions are good.
Perhaps the manner in which they speak up about our parenting or our housekeeping skills is abrasive and stinging but remember they are only human and are most likely just trying to support you in any way they can. Really.
So, next time your in-laws are in your house, put them to work. They could hang out with the kids or help you fold the laundry or take your partner out for a break. Mothers, in particular, are used to being busy and when she is at your house, a ‘guest,’ she might feel put out and useless. Fathers might be bored and grumpy and happy to be helpful.
Try to recognize that your in-laws are there for good reason, even if you find them overbearing at times. But if you can recognize and accept their motives you will go a long way towards dealing with them successfully.
And I am sure there is some help somewhere that you really need.
5. They won’t always be there.
So many mothers start out with no support. Their mother and mother-in-law is far away, or no longer alive, or absent for some reason.
When we are newlyweds or new parents, or even more seasoned ones, we are lucky to have someone there who can support us when we need it. My mother lived in Virginia and, while she was there right after my daughter was born, she could only stay a week.
Fortunately, my mother-in-law lived close by. And while we didn’t always see eye to eye, she was there some times when I really needed her. I am very lucky that I had that.
Also, remember, none of us are getting any younger and that our in-laws might not always be there for us. Appreciate how lucky you are and make the best of it.
I know that when your in-laws are driving you nuts life can be very challenging.
But I can promise you that, if you can adjust your reaction to their behaviors, your efforts will be worth it in the long run.
In-laws are in so many ways an asset to every relationship, even if they can be trying at times.
Learn from their experience, have respect for the years they cared for your spouse, know that they adore your kids, put them to work and appreciate that they exist.
After all, your partner loves them. They are his or her mother or father. You loving them too shows your partner just how much you love them, which makes everybody happy.