Monday, 16 July 2018

How to be a good Mother In Law

I've been 2a's Mother in Law for 6 weeks now, although she's been part of 2's life for a good few years, I'd have to ask them how many, I forget.

When 2a came into our son's life we were living abroad, we still are. I'm in the UK several times a year and we spend time together, usually visiting child 1 and my own MIL, or I go to theirs or they come to me.

During the year when I'm not in the UK we actually don't communicate a great deal. Neither of them are that active on social media, although 2a will respond within a few hours, 2 can take a week to reply. But the moment I arrive in the UK, the phone rings, messages are sent back and forth and we meet up around their working schedules.

I always wonder though if I'm doing enough, should I be contacting them more, asking if they're ok, if life is treating them good, more general chat about work and day to day life.

Last year our relationship changed, I went from being 2's Mum to being part of his daily life. My father died, they looked after me. As did my other children, but they were on the doorstep, drove me to the funeral, made sure I was OK, putting my needs ahead of theirs. Comforting me when they took me out for dinner and I broke down 2 weeks after the funeral. They helped with clearing my father's things, they checked my mum and child 5 were also ok.

Then just before I returned to Dubai, they announced their engagement. I returned to the UK in February/March but with the snow and a trip to Northern Ireland, our time was limited.

And then I almost messed it up. I asked why the rush to get married, if they could consider changing the date to accommodate our travel arrangements, I questioned the number of groomsmen, how much money they were spending when they both worked part time and why no one would tell me what colour the Mother of the Bride was wearing so I could sort my own outfit out.

At the point 2 asked me why I was being such a bitch?

Did I back off? No. I replied as so.

I'm not being a bitch I'm trying to show you I'm interested and supportive of this wedding. It's called  'You're our first child to get married.' It's tough getting the balance right between showing an interest in your life and for you to not think I'm interfering.

He replied with:

Ok, well let rip on your questions.

The trouble was by the time he replied, I'd gone to bed, thinking I'd messed up. In the morning I woke to this:

Look I'm giving you free reign to ask, so ask. I have noticed and I appreciate.

The amusing part in all of this is, I didn't actually upset my daughter in law to be, she was unaware of this conversation until the other week and told 2a off.

I'm gaining 4a as a daughter in law September 2019, I've already been involved in their planning ideas from venue to colour scheme and cake tasting. This has made the whole process easier to ask questions about, but there's always the risk of a fall out by me putting forward my ideas that may or may not be wanted, in fact to date the only person who has snapped at me was 4. 4a and her mother told him to behave himself.

I don't have to worry about how to be a good mother in law, I need to pay a bit more attention to being a good mother.









27 comments:

  1. It sounds like you're doing a pretty good job at both jobs! I'm dreading being a mother-in-law because I'm not a very good daughter-in-law and am not close to my own MIL. It's great that you've got such a good relationship with both your DIL and DIL-to-be.

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    1. thank you, i have a close relationship with both my ex and current MIL which helps

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  2. It sounds, to me, that you are making an excellent job of both roles, I like to think that I am a good mother in law, but as my son and his family llive a long way from us, I don't see them often enough #triamphanttales@_karendennis

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    1. i think it's the distance that helps to be honest

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  3. It sounds, to me, that you are making an excellent job of both roles, I like to think that I am a good mother in law, but as my son and his family llive a long way from us, I don't see them often enough #triamphanttales@_karendennis

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  4. I think the telling part of your story is how respectfully you and your son resolved your conversation and that his wife knew nothing of it because he didn't go and complain about you. It's easy to bad mouth someone when they've upset you but the bond between you is strong despite the distance so you've done plenty that's right with being a mother. I hope my boys always know they can talk to me and recognise when questions are concern and not combative. #keepingitreal

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    1. I think it's about building a relationship with each of them and not treating them as a single unit

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  5. Family relations can be a minefield - grown children can carry hidden childish anger - I know I had mine for decades. #keepingitreal

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    1. oh i hear you, i still hang onto some of mine

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  6. Bless you - what a rollercoaster it has been but I am sure you are an awesome Mother In Law. For me, I am glad that I no longer have one, she really was evil and unfortunately still is! It is hard to stay in contact all the time, people's lives move so quickly but I am sure the time you spend with them is totally devoted. 2a looks absolutely gorgeous, her dress and flowers are stunning :) Sim xx #PoCoLo

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    1. sorry to hear about your MIL, i've only had good experiences and I guess they may help with my own role as a MIL

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  7. Suzanne, I simply adored my mother-in-law. And I think she was such a lovely MIL because her own MIL had been the MIL-from-Hell! Constantly interfering and would not cut the proverbial apron strings. Sounds like you're finding a good balance.

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    1. glad to hear you have a good relationship with your Mil, makes life a lot nicer doesn't it?

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  8. OH this is all so alien to me, even though I wish it wasn't. My eldest children are in their late 20s and have yet to have been in a serious relationship. I'm not sure what sort of MIL I would be, I hope I would be able to get the balance right. At the moment my eldest do nothing but complain and i can't do anything right.
    I think it sounds like you are doing pretty well though, it's funny how the in laws are easier to get on with than the kids sometimes.
    #keepingitreal

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    1. your time will come, i'm now fighting off the urge to ask about them starting families of their own

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  9. I think that the very fact that you are worrying about being a good mother-in-law shows that you are a fantastic mum and in-law too. My oldest is in her first long term serious relationship so I am now learning how to balance this new role! #PoCoLo

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    1. thank you, it's a role we have to get right first time

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  10. Hi Suzanne, weddings are such cause for tension. My MIL never seemed keen on me because I was too reserved, never took the bait for an arguement and didn't fall for her BS. The first time I stopped biting my tongue was during our wedding planning, when she questioned absolutally everything. The last time was five years ago and I will now no longer have anything to do with her. She has ruined holidays (more than one) and constantly upsets people with her argumentative nature and in her wake she leaves a trail of emotional distruction.. I do encourage my husband and family to stay in touch with her, afterall we only have one Mum... However badly you think you've handled things I am sure it's not as badly as my MIL, in her eyes it's the world that is wrong and she would never dream that she could change the way she approaches things... That, Suzanne is sign of genuine caring and I'm sure you are a fine Mum too!

    Thank you for linking up with #keepingitreal

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    1. thank you Debbie, i think we have to get it right at the very beginning or it can all go down hill, sorry you've had such a rough time with your MIL

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  11. It sounds like you are doing fine. Many wives would love to have a MIL like you. #PoCoLo

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  12. I think you are doing a great job!
    #TriumphantTales

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  13. Weddings are stressful for all involved and it can be sometimes difficult to find the right balance without seeming too much. It sounds like you all handled things great though. Thanks so much for sharing with #TriumphantTales.

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  14. It's hard to walk the fine line between "taking an interest" and "interfering". Sounds like you're doing fine though. :) #PoCoLo

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