Handling the Meddlesome Mother-In-Law

Happy young couple and difficult jealous mother-in-lawYou know that moment when she shows up unexpectedly and you just cringe? You’re pregnant, bloated, sweaty, cold, hungry, and your bladder is about to explode… you’re not at your best and the last thing you need is good ole’ Mother-In-Law to see you at your very worst. Trust us, you’re not alone. MIL’s are great but can add stress to your pregnancy and life in general. How can you get through these next months in the most stress-free manner while dealing with this meddlesome visitor and staying sane?

These are four tried-and-true methods for handling your MIL:

1. Empathize

Step back… understand she’s just as excited about this baby as you are. She’s been through this before and now her Baby Boy is having a baby. That’s a big deal! She will want to do anything to help her baby have his. Many moms feel displaced, isolated, and useless when their children begin growing their own families. One day, you’ll be the MIL standing by as your baby moves away, gets married, and has a family. Won’t you want to be a part of that?

2. Realize her worth.

Here’s a truth: as annoying as her actions are, she’s there because she cares. Put the caring to good use! Give her tasks so she will feel useful and needed. What pregnant woman couldn’t use help doing laundry, washing dishes, cooking, or picking up kids from school? Ask her kindly so she feels you truly need and want her help. Show your appreciation by inviting her over to dinner or to attend a sonogram.

3. Accept.

It’s important she understands that there’ll be a place for her once baby comes. Talk to her about things you hope your kids will experience with her and Grandpa. Give her something to look forward to so she knows she’s not being pushed aside. Show you sincerely accept and appreciate her in your life.

4. Team up.

Most importantly, talk to your spouse! You need to set boundaries and MIL will never give you the space you need without his support. He has to stand up and be the one to say, “Mom, I love you… we really love you, but you and Dad already got your chance at raising a family and now it’s our turn. We’re really looking forward to figuring it out by ourselves. If we get stuck, I promise you’ll be the first one I call.”

Follow these tips and you’ll see how you’ll not only get a rest from day-to-day chores, but you might even end up with a friend and ally in your MIL

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