The Mother In Law Relationship Is Complicated

The conflicts between mother-in-laws and daughter-in-laws is still going on it has raged throughout all of history. Nearly 2000 B.C. Rebekah complained to her husband, Isaac, that her daughters-in-law were making her life so miserable that she would rather not even be alive. Read Genesis 27:46).

Today, some 4,000 years later, women are still complaining to their husbands about these women! Mother-in-laws are still wondering why out of all the human relationships, the one between them and their daughter-in-laws is the most complicated? Second only to step relationships of course.

There is a built-in-conflict before the relationship even begins: two radically different views of the same man. The daughter in law will see him first as a man; while the mother in law will always see him first as her child.The mother in law comes into the relationship lugging a suitcase bulging with memories. From the sweetness of babyhood through the tyranny of the teen years into adulthood, these memories have indelibly imprinted her heart. She enters into this life phase acutely aware of a door closing in her life as a mother.

The daughter in law comes waltzing in with a suite case empty of everything but confidence and anticipation. She’s eager to swing open the new door and march in and there lies the basis for struggle. Both the mother in law and the daughter in law are naturally territorial when it comes to their family. Standing in the middle of  these two overlapping territories is a man who is the son of one and husband to the other. It’s in everyone’s interest for the son to step out of the overlapping territory and fully into his wife’s territory and the sooner he does this the better.

The parental relationship is secondary to the spousal relationship, yet the bond between a mother and her child is visceral. The phase “bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh” refers to husband and wife, yet there is little doubt a mother holding her child in her arms feels more “bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh” toward her child than she does toward her husband. Again, the basis for conflict between a man’s mother and his wife.

This motherly feeling of “bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh” had been the source of much marital conflict: a mother consciously or unconsciously placing her child before her husband, magnifying her connection to their child. Even the court system typically give more value to the mother-child relationship.

The undeniable connection can easily cause a mother to overstep her territory and interfere with the process of her adult son transferring thus-far primary relationship, the one he has with her  to the one needs to form with his wife. If you are a mother of a son, you fully understand this tendency, because there is a powerful bond between mother and son. A man’s first significant relationship is with his mother. That bond, forged at birth, leaves a permanent imprint on both mother and son. Even if the relationship is broken, it continues to significantly impact both lives. This powerful attachment between mother and son needs to be and must be reassigned when the son introduces another woman into the picture.

Here is a scenario to consider “Suppose your son, yourself and your daughter in law were in a boat together. If the boat capsized and you and your daughter in law were both drowning, who should he save?  You might be saying to yourself, ” A man can always get another wife, but he has only one mother.”  or a daughter in law might be thinking to herself,” well his mother is old any way.” Now, now is that anyway to be thinking?

As a mother you should want your son to have a strong and healthy relationship with his wife. A mother who wants to maintain a close relationship with her son, who truly has his best interests in mind, must willingly step back and fully acknowledge and respect the relationship he is forming with his wife.

Whether she likes the woman or not. There is nothing to be gained, and much to be lost, by allowing competition to into the in law relationship. While the mother may not view her behavior as being competitive, the truth is that anything she does to maintain her status as the first woman,” whether consciously or unconsciously, will be viewed by the daughter in law as competition.

 Sometimes completely innocent behavior on the mother’s part will be wrongly interpreted this way. Knowing, this the wise mother will refuse to take offense and will carefully watch her behavior until he daughter-in-law is secure in her position. 

 Five years ago my friend Jane’s son  David married a terrific gal named Liz and on the day of their wedding Jane’s mother in law shared some advice with Jane. She said, that she chose to forget everything she had ever knew about her son and let her daughter in law discover him for herself. As any mother can image that is not easy to do. Is it? Jane and her mother in law are truly friends and enjoy each others company.

 Jane, decided  she wanted to have the same kind of relationship with her daughter in law so she decided to take her mother in laws advice and chose to forget everything she ever knew about her son David and let Liz discover him for herself.” It was a choice that has richly rewarded Jane over and over and over again. She said ,she loves how excited Liz gets when she learns something knew about David and Jane enjoys Liz’s excitement,friendship plus she completely understands why her son loves his wife as much as he does.

A successful relationship with your in-law does not necessarily mean you become best friends. It doesn’t necessarily mean enjoying lunch dates or shopping together like Jane and Liz do. Success is simply determining to live peaceably with her by any means. Success is getting up every morning and determining to leave the past in the past. Whatever your history is with your in-law find a way to make admins and move on.

Success is recognizing that at the center of your conflict is a man you both love, children you both love, and finding a way to make room for each of you to benefit from and express that shared love.
Success is consistently acting in love and letting go of the negative emotions you may have toward your in-law,start refusing to let those emotions color the quality of your life for one more minute.

Your love is like a garden, and unless you tend to it, you’ll never reap the full rewards that love can bring.


Tips For Guiltless Grandparenting

Guiltless grandparenting starts with self-acceptance that most grandparents are trying to instill in their grandchildren.

So if you really want them to value themselves, you have to show them how by valuing yourself.

Here are ten grandparenting tips

1.  Break the guilt habit and stop should-ing yourself. Replace thoughts of “this is who I should be” with thoughts of “this is who I am.” Take the grandparenting journey with less stress and more fun. You don’t expect your grandchildren to be perfect. Why should you have to be?

2.  Practice saying ” No” sometimes. Grandkids actually appreciate the extra TV time, special snacks, and new toys when grandparents are not so predictable and dole out a little less often. And grandparents see that they are still loved when they are not a push over. Plus it causes less conflict between parents and grandparents that is a plus.

3. Don’t try to keep the grandkids entertained every minute.  Downtime is an opportunity for imagination so  don’t feel guilty if you take them with you to run errands or just leave them alone for a while to read and relax.

4. Play with the grandkids, don’t just supervise. Grandkids will remember all the laundry you did for them while they sat in front of the TV but they’ll never forget the time you went down the slide with them and neither will you.

5. Expect the best from life. Remember anticipatory anxiety does not help grandparents to be prepared for the big and small problems that come with grandparenting. It can add stress even before anything negative happens. Remember to say, positive prophecies instead of negative ones because the words we speak are self-fulfilling!

6. Stop over scheduling your time. Grandparents tend to forget to budget their time and energy and they can wear themselves out. If an emergency or another essential task arises it’s okay to cross something off your-to-do list before you add the new item.

7.  Don’t wait for permission to take care of yourself. Grandparents don’t have to make themselves so exhausted with al their chores and responsibilities that your children have to beg you to rest. That sets a bad example. Show them that you value yourself  and your time putting your feet up or taking time off to read a book. And if you can’t give yourself permission, then your kids do!

8. Treat your family the way you would treat your friends. Grandparents know who their friends are and they know what they are like. They don’t expect them to change overnight and they don’t take everything they say or do personally. They ask them questions, listen to their answers, and give them the benefit of doubt. Do the same with your family and you’ll be a great role model for your grandkids.

9. Be your own best friend. Be on your own side. Listen to yourself. Pat yourself on the back when you do well. Forgive yourself when you don’t. Grandparents teach this to their kids and grandkids now is the time to apply it to themselves.

10. Put yourself on your list of loved ones. Grandparents need to make themselves number one on their lists, they need to take care of themselves at least as well as they take care of their grandkids and everyone else. Watch your sleep, nutrition, and exercise and make sure you’re having fun too!

Grandparents make mistakes but that doesn’t mean they have to punish themselves, or think that everyone else is grandparenting so much better. They’re usually not! Some moments are memorable, some are forgettable, but remember grandparents are all on this journey together. It’s time for grandparents to let go of the guilt.

Roll Out Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days Of Summer

Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer. Days of Juicy Juice, Goldfish and Mom’s yummy home-made monster cookies. Dust off the sun and the moon and sing a song of cheer. Fill your lunch boxs full of your favorite summer goodies. Lock up the house, load up the SUV and buckle up and lets Go, Go, Go on an adventure at the seashore.

Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of  summer when boys and girls are happy day dreaming about swimming at the seashore, listening to the ocean in seashells and drawing funny faces in the sand. They are hoping that they will win first place for building the tallest sand castle.

Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer as the clumsy toddlers with their legs sprawled out for balance and a shovel gripped awkwardly in a little fist as they are  intent on filling a bucket full of sand and sea shells and are fully unaware of their mothers loving gaze. Dust of the sun and the moon and sing a song of cheer and roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.

 Love from Grandma

Call Her Sweetheart

Your loves name is more than a word. When you say his or her name aloud or in your head, it evokes everything, all your memories, all the time you’ve spent together, all the trips you’ve made, the children you’ve had, and the obstacles you’ve overcome. Some people only say their partner’s name when they’re angry, they want something, or they’re yelling or complaining.

The  name loses its valuable identity and becomes associated with negative feelings. So make sure you use your loves name with tenderness, caring and emotion as often as you can. Each time you say it that way, you’ll be filled with love. Dear… Honey…Snookums…Baby…Lover…Kid… Sweetheart… They show you care, especially when your love saves them just for you. But they’re not the same as saying someone’s name. Give what you say, meaning; speak and act with care when you call their name out.

Some parents call each other Mom and Dad, imitating their children. This may sound cute, but it removes your individuality and replaces it with a role. So it’s better to reserve those titles for your children’s use. Sweetheart it’s best to use an enduring name for each other.

Mom Mania

There is one thing that all mothers can agree on no matter what their job title, income, number of children, education, religion, or location: They want to raise kids who are happy, confident , and self-reliant through childhood to adulthood.

Sometimes stress and quilt brought on by the need to be the “Sacifical Mom” can end up interfering with their ability to achieve this goal. There’s good news for the “Sacifical Mom” she can get back on track by learning and applying these twelve steps. They are proven to help create kids who will live a happily ever after lives as adults.

Look at your child and try to picture him or her in twenty-five years as a grow-up. What do you see? Does your son or daughter have these twelve essential qualities:

  1. Is he happy, optimistic, and secure?  Does he have authentic self-esteem?
  2. Is she in a healthy, loving relationships? Does she have good friends and loyal allies?
  3. Does he have a strong moral compass? Does he have good values and strong character?
  4. Does she have empathy and compassion for all people?  Is she kind, unselfish, and humane?
  5. Does he have self-control and patience? Can he delay gratification?
  6. Is she able to make good decisions on her own?
  7. Is he self-reliant?
  8. Is she responsible and internally motivated? Does she have a good work ethic?
  9. Is he practical and resourceful in handling day-to-day living?
  10. Is she resilient? If life throws her a curve, can she bounce back?
  11. Is he confident and positive about his identity and strengths?
  12. Does she have fun? does she laugh? Is her life balanced between work and love, self and others? 

Don’t forget to take into consideration that kids are born with a certain temperament and genetic predisposition. Certainly there are some things about children’s development that are not under their parents control but many are. Mothers can say good-by to their need to be on  the “Sacrificial Motherhood Mania” bandwagon and be the real mothers they know they are, and raise kids who will not only survive but thrive without her. Remember you can’t teach what you don’t know!

Use Your Imagination

Hold your breath and make a wish then Count to three! Come with me and you’ll be in a world of pure imagination.

 Take a look and you’ll see into your imagination. We’ll begin with a spin traveling in the world of creation. What we’ll see will defy explanation.

If you want to view paradise simply look around and view it do you wanta change the world? There’s nothing to it there is no life I know to compare with pure imagination. Living there you’ll be free if you truly wish to be. If you want to view paradise simply look around and view it. Wanta change the world? There’s nothing to it and there is no life I know to compare with pure imagination living there.

You’ll be free if you truly wish to be now hold your breath, make a wish, and count to three.” Doesn’t that describe how we feel in many situations in life? For some of us it can be when our son or daughters call us and ask, Mom are you sitting down? I have something to tell you and we wait with bated breath in a state of suspenseful anticipation, as they say “We are going to have a baby”.

Come with me and you’ll be in a world of pure imagination and take a look and see into your imagination.” As I read these words it reminds of the first two years of life and it’s a season when a child’s imagination is pure. When we find out that a family is expecting a baby right away imaginations are sparked and we think to ourselves what color are the baby’s eyes?  Will they be the color of his or her mother, father, aunt, uncle or maybe a grandparent or a great-grandmother that we loved so much.  

Then we wonder what gender is the baby a girl or a boy. Our imaginations travel through the past, present, and future in our imaginations with all kinds of questions about a baby while it’s being created. Don’t we?

We’ll begin with a spin traveling in the world of creation and what we’ll see will defy explanation.” Birth through the toddler years seem to defy explanation one, two, three and we are spinning, traveling together into the world of creation again.

If you want to view paradise simply look around and view it is there anything you want to do, do it. Wanta change the world? There’s nothing to it.” My mom use to say. “It’s not the destination but the journey that counts.” Aren’t we lucky that we have opportunities to spark children’s and grandchildren’s imaginations and that they spark our imaginations too?

Those Wonderful Toddler Years…

My youngest grandson is in his toddler years and I delight in him. His world is an adventure of discovery. He wants to taste, eat, smell and experience everything in his path. He is faster that a speeding bullet more powerful than a locomotive, Route 66 has nothing on him. Jesse is on the move and most of the time he walks to get to where he is going. Sometimes he seems like a toddler hurricane with gusty winds faster than Katrina and Ike combined. He has been known to blow through the house like a mighty wind.

I find that as my grandson’s toddling is tamed by the love and oversight of his parents. I find myself in the mist of a new but yet a familiar adventure. I can’t begin to tell you how often I have had to resist laughing at the most inappropriate times because Jesse is doing something just the way his dad did it at that age.

The truth is when my children went through a few rough patches as toddlers like          when they were teething or learning to walk. There were a few sleepless nights and a few times they had head on crashes with doors and walls. I remember with humor considering getting my son a helmet while he was learning to walk. I wondered if he was going to walk or fly.

As a young mom I didn’t think those,” I just want to pull my hair out kind of days” were fun and as a grandmother I still don’t. But as a seasoned mother I am more relaxed and confident that our little toddler will be just fine as he developes into becoming a big boy and his parents become pros at this parenting stuff. However I do find myself saying; I can’t believe I did that when my children were that age or how in the world did we ever get through their toddler years?

What is best for babies and toddlers has changed throughout the decades but the one thing that remains the same is the little ones are still teething and mothers still have those I just want to pull my hair out kind of days. When I ask myself how did I make it through parenthood?  I stop and remind myself it was all the love and hugs that we shared that got me through parenthood and them through their toddler years. Now they are loving and hugging their children and experiencing “those I just want to pull my hair out kind of days” and doing a terrific job. It’s amazing how much things change and yet how things still stay the same isn’t it?