Mother-in-law and Mother Relationship is the Same for Grandma

Mother in LawThere is so much written about relationships between the “in-laws,” between mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law.  As the saying goes, we cannot pick our relatives and sometimes even blood relatives do not get along and have little to do with one another.  Expectations breed disappointment in the in-law relationship. With our own parents and immediate family, we already know the disappointments and have had years to accept them.  Not so with in-law relatives.

The saying goes: “a son is a son until he takes a wife, and a daughter is a daughter for life.”   However, a wonderful mother-in-law can turn the daughter-in-law relationship into a mother- daughter relationship.  My mother-in-law got it exactly right.  See Grandmother’s Blog.

A mother – adult daughter parent boundary and a mother-in-law- adult daughter-in-law parent boundary is successful when there is open mutual respect and a closed mouth otherwise. It is very hard for a mother to keep quiet about parenting decisions made by the parents of our grandchildren, but keeping quiet is important.  Another saying: “if you cannot say anything nice, say nothing,” is an important mantra.

A mother – adult daughter parent boundary and a mother-in-law- adult daughter-in-law parent boundary is successful when there is open mutual respect and an open pocketbook otherwise.  Within reason, helping out when one can is appreciated –especially when giving when not being asked.  Being attentive to giving a desired item that is not otherwise affordable to a daughter or daughter-in-law shows that the mother or mother-in-law pays attention and cares.

When the first grandchild is born, the grandma quickly realizes that a close relationship with the grandchild depends on the gatekeepers–the parents of the grandchild.  And there is not a grandparent who does not want a loving relationship with a grandchild.  Grandparents may differ on the time to be spent with grandchildren or participating in their lives.  But, grandparents want a loving relationship with a grandchild – and access to the grandchild.

Never saying no applies to all grandmas.  Never saying no does not mean always saying yes, but may.  See this blog.

To be invited to visit the grandchild means that the parents of our grandchildren want us around.  Do you want someone around who is critical of your parenting?  Do you want someone around who expects to be served or someone who helps without being asked?  Do you want someone around who expects a vacation or someone who makes their visit feel like a vacation to the parents of our grandchildren?   See this blog.

Never criticizing parenting or giving unsolicited parenting advice applies to all grandmas.  Sharing experiences is okay but be careful that it is not misinterpreted as giving unwelcome advice or criticism.  It’s safer to have a conversation with yourself that, for example, grandchildren will not still be wearing diapers when they walk down the aisle and say nothing to the parent about potty training.  Let’s just hope our grandchildren do marry someday.  After all, great grandparenting awaits!

In the meantime, we reap what we sow.  This Grandma seeks to reap grandchildren love AND  daughter and daughter-in-law love with

 

Joy,

 

Mema

 

 

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