Mother-in-laws & nature
Have you ever thought about this…?
As a married man or woman, would you let your mother live with you or maybe let her be a guest for more than a couple of days? Why or why not? If you’re married, I’m sure you’ve had an instance where this was an issue. What went through your mind? Let’s imagine this… Your husband’s mother came for a visit and she decided to stay for a couple of weeks but saw you guys arguing about something very big, like finances or maybe something like child care.
So what happened was, my mum and I were having a conversation regarding staying with me, her daughter and my family whenever we bought a house or after she retires, so that she can help me with childcare instead of me hiring an outsider, but she said she would rather stay with her sons in their houses instead because she would feel more comfortable, the reason being 1) she gave birth to them so she would have more say in their house than in mine, and 2) they’re men and are the head of the house and will honor her as their mother and be on her side on some issues. So anytime we had some guests over at my house, I started bringing this topic up to get other people’s opinion so that I could gauge my way of thinking. It turns out that I wasn’t wrong in thinking my mom would be best to stay at my place than my brothers.
These are some of the questions I asked myself after that conversation was over and I hope I can get some insight from you guys as well.
I Regardless of whose house the mother-in-law is in, her daughter or her son, is ‘she’ allowed to interfere? Not necessarily interfere in a marriage but her opinions or advice may be taken into consideration in certain situations but she definitely should not be interfering.
II Are there situations where mother-in-laws can and cannot interfere in their children’s homes? Depending on the reason why a MIL is in her child’s house, the situations I can think of might be in that of an argument, something negative going on in the house, and basically the role would be resolution of conflict apart from that, boundaries will be crossed. Taking care of children, meal preparations, financial issues are all no no topics.
III Depending on how long you’ve been married, how do you deal with privacy issues with a MIL? There are some women who don’t have any boundaries, however, as a wife, you should study your MIL and see what she likes and doesn’t like, because you don’t only marry the guy, you marry his family and vise-versa. Learn from her first and you’ll see that situations will come where she’ll learn from you as well. She knew your husband before you so definitely use her knowledge to your advantage. Don’t remove her from your equation.
IV Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries, who can set them and who maintains them? Men they say are the head of the house hold but without the neck, the wife, the head cannot stand, unless it is a statue. So therefore, to work together, the couple makes the rules, not that you’ll write it on a plaque and place it where everyone will see it but as a couple, you’ll decide what goes, whats accepted and whats not, if there is an issue, the wife speaks to her husband, husband speaks to his mom. Depending on the relationship between the MIL and the wife or marriage duration, if y’all are that close, then speak directly to MIL.
V Would you even agree to let your mother-in-law stay with you for more than a couple of days? There are certain situations you’ll need an extra hand in the house so just remember that nobody is coming to take over your family and your MIL will leave eventually, just keep it together and behave yourself.
VI Apart from childcare, what can your mum or MIL help you out with? cooking, cleaning? kids? I can’t think of anything else, maybe you can help me.
VII What have your experiences been so far with your mother-in-law living with you? I remember when I went to Nigeria with my husband now to see her for the forst time, she was a sweet woman and very patient. Fortunately, I had the pleasure of spending two months with my MIL here in NewYork before she passed on and she taught me how to do a couple of things when she visited my husband and I before we got married. Unfortunately, I’m sure she would’ve loved to care for the twins because she knew about them and we had plans for her to help in raising them but God knows best and I know now that she’s resting and watching over our family.
VIII What can you do as the husband or wife to be in good graces with your mother-in-law? Definitely listen, listen listen to your MIL. my mom said she knew my husband now was the one because she overheard him talking on the phone with me, saying with a prayer that we would have twins, which was my dream and saying other positive things into existence. I’m sure my hubby picked me as well because i’m such a humble and peaceful person, we are alike in that area.
XI Why are the father-in-laws usually not in the equation? Women sha… Men are usually in the background when it comes to issues of the home, so it’s not surprising when father-in-laws are not necessarily in the conversations.
X What advice will you seasoned wives give the newbie wives regarding mother-in-laws? Listen to her, she just wants to be heard. Listen to them, there’s truths in their assessments. Don’t take all they say to be an issue.
I remember when I was living with my grandmother, my uncle and his family were also living in the family house at the time but in a different apartment, there was always tension between my uncle’s wife and my grandmother. I don’t want to believe that she was doing it on purpose but I know she was probably too overprotective of her son, but why? You know, it’s not hot enough, its not cold enough, do it this way and not that way, just making simple situations difficult but I don’t remember any details.
Some mother-in-laws forget that there’s a thin line and a big difference between their ‘son’ and their “married son”. When men and women are not married, their mothers can sort of control them, what I mean is that their opinions can still weigh-in heavily on some or most of the decisions they make. However, when they’re married, their opinions or pronouncements become advice, their adult children can either take them or not. It therefore becomes imperative that parents should not impose or force their ways on their adult kids.
The bible even says it, Gen 2:24 ‘ therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and they shall become one flesh.’ But some attached mothers don’t want to leave their sons and they become terror to their daughter-in-laws by interfering even when they don’t really mean to, I think. To me, this should not and should never be about who to control and who is being controlled. If you’ll be an assistance to the couple, then do just that, but please know your boundaries. To mother-in-laws and future mother-in-laws, if you’re at your married children’s house as a guest, please be a guest, don’t be a judge on how they should run their lives. In unpalatable situations, speak to your party that is your son or daughter in private and with a lot of wisdom, you may talk to your in-law. Unless you’ve been directly involved in a matter by the couple, do not interfere.
Another thing is that young men nowadays think they know it all in their marriage but they’re just getting by. We all need help: those dating, courting, newly weds, marinated ones and even the seasoned ones. We not only need bible study in our churches but I think we also need marriage study. Our home is the place where essential life begins, we learn too much from this place for it not to have a good structure. Some people don’t have the skills to structure their homes even if they really wanted to. It is expected that when two people come together, that they’ll just figure it out but we all need help in figuring it out so that we don’t drown in this sea of life. So I propose Married Anonymous where couples can come together and ask questions and formulate plans for making their marriage last longer instead of finding easy ways out, ‘divorce’. But on a more serious note, ultimately, communication, praying together, keeping an open mind, being forgiving and being very very patient usually solves all matter.
Foundation is always important in every important setup, and the foundation of a marriage is as important as the people in it. If your parents don’t like your significant other from the beginning because of whatever reason they have, think on it because your parents, and your friends usually can see what you may not see about your potential spouse. This can be a preset to how your in-laws will relate with you when you get married. If your parents like your significant other from the beginning or settle any differences from the get-go, then the relationship with the in-laws will be a positive one. To you guys out there still in the dating pool, remember these points and save yourself some headache down the road. Personally, I hope I’ll be a good mother-in-law to my children’s spouses one day and I hope you will too. God willing. Mind you, my kids are not even in pre-K yet, i’m already thinking about being a mother-in-law.
Let us remember that at the end of the day, there will be misunderstandings and minor arguments in the home, it becomes imperative that we should try to understand each other more and also to forgive easily. Please, let us respect ourselves as mothers and give our kids room to grow without judgement.
Let’s stop giving ourselves high blood pressure for no reason. God willing, We are on this earth for an average of 75-80yrs. Let’s not waste any of that precious time on things that don’t help us grow positively in some way. You have a decision to make, if not now, maybe later, the ball is in your court. Thank you very much for staying with me till the end, I hope you learnt something today. Please ask questions if you have any, you can leave a comment as well. Also, you can rate this post with stars 1-5 at the top. To get notified of newly posted blog, why wait, subscribe now, join the Living in Peace [LinP] family. I’m hoping to read from you beautiful people very soon. Don’t forget to love your neighbors as yourself. Remember, to RestInPeace, we all need to be LivingInPeace, Stay blessed.