A recent post on this site is from an expectant mom concerned about her mother-in-law, who already gives advice that makes the mom feel that she is regarded as "incapable." The mom is three weeks away from delivery. Instead of focusing on her baby, she's wondering how she should handle her mom-in-law. "I don't know how to approach her if she gets too controlling," the young mom writes. "How should I go about it?"
It's true that mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationships are prone to problems by their very nature. The mother has been the primary woman in her son's life. Now she has been replaced by a wife. There's a natural tendency for the mother to be critical and for the wife to be sensitive to criticism.
In the case of the expectant mother, I do have some advice. She and her husband should sit down and develop a contingency plan: This is what we will do if a problem develops. However, the husband, who knows his own mother best, wants her to play a "big role" in her granddaughter's life, probably because he knows she'll be a fantastic grandmother. The mom-to-be should try to relax and let that happen without worrying about who's in control. Then everyone involved could enjoy this very special time in their lives,
Do you have advice for the young mother? Leave a comment below.
- Communicating With Adult Children
- Staying Close to Adult Children
- Avoiding Family Disputes
- Mother-Daughter Relationships