Author Topic: Surviving the Inlaws/WE MUST BE REALLY BAD  (Read 2067 times)

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2chickiebaby

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Surviving the Inlaws/WE MUST BE REALLY BAD
« on: December 24, 2009, 03:08:44 PM »
5 steps to survive holidays with the in-laws user
by ModernMom, on Thu Dec 17, 2009 11:44am PST 4 Comments Post a Comment Read More from This Author » Report Abuse By Nina Makofsky
 For some families, celebrating with the in-laws is a blessing and a curse because children enjoy visiting with their grandparents, and large family gatherings have a festive feeling. For other people, though, holidays with the in-laws feel like very little blessing and all curse, whether they shower you with criticism or just have their own ways of doing things that conflict with your style. Use some simple relaxation and communication techniques to survive holidays with the in-laws.

Step 1

Set some time limits for the visit. Rather than spend two whole weeks of cherished vacation time with the in-laws, limit the visit to five days, or less if you see each other frequently during the year. If you must stay with the in-laws for a longer stretch of time, schedule some day trips or mini-vacations that get you out of the house and away from the triggers that add stress to the season. Step 2
Bury old grudges. Leaving old arguments and problems behind gives you a clean slate for the holiday. You can make an effort to rise above the in-laws' strategies to pull you into controversial discussions. When troubling topics enter the discussion or when the tone shifts to being confrontational or critical, change the subject or, if necessary, leave the room

Step 3
Model positive, constructive behavior for your family. Plan a holiday tradition just for your immediate family. Whisk away the kids for a forest hike or a secret last-minute shopping trip. Spend an afternoon at a friend's house baking cookies or trying a new recipe

Step 4
Schedule some time just for you. The holidays can be a whirlwind of commitments and to-do lists, and in-laws just add to the stress. If you have just 15 minutes and a quiet corner, do a quick round of yoga practice or meditation. Venture out to the local library or a cafe for an hour of reading. If you have more time, invest in a day at a spa for ultimate relaxation

Step 5
Look for the silver lining. If your in-laws ignore you, be thankful if they spend time with your children. If they meddle, thank them for caring and sharing their wisdom. Perhaps you can find some common ground, be it looking at childhood pictures of your spouse, watching old home movies or scheduling a couple hours to wrap gifts together.

Nina Makofsky: I am a writer and editor currently on assignment in Oaxaca, Mexico for Aishti, a fashion, entertainment, and lifestyle magazine. I cover everything from folk art to urban trends, in Mexico and beyond. I write about parenting for online and print publications. I also create curriculum for elementary school students.


 

 


AnnieB

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Advises for Mother in Laws in Tense Families to Survive the Holidays
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2009, 09:15:35 PM »
ohhhhh,   that really upset me  >:(   thanks for posting it, chickie!   I noticed that a mother in law made a comment on it -- I did too and let them know I was doing a parody of it on my own blog... which I did because I just could not resist it!

for those who do not know my sense of humor, Items 1 - 5 are TONGUE IN CHEEK.  Items  6 - 7, only slightly, #8 is serious.

**********Advises for Mother In Laws in Tense Families for Surviving the In-laws Visits********

For some, the holidays are a wonderful time to spend with family – it’s wonderful to spend time with children, their spouses, grandchildren who you may not get to see often.  For some of us, the holidays are a mixed blessing because the new families often wish to spend time with their own families, or must divide their time with his family and her family  (which can include stepfamilies – sometimes the married couple's level, sometimes on the children’s level).    Family traditions ~ the old and the new ~ also vary. There may be only slightly veiled tensions due to unrealistic expectations about which family style is correct, plus time tensions and things we are not aware of.

If you’ve invited your grown children, their spouses and your grandchildren to visit for the holidays (or they've invited themselves),  here are some ideas to help get through the holidays without too many major disappointments.

Idea # 1

Know who your contact person in their family is – your grown child or their spouse.  Prior to the visit, send a request for information regarding the length of the visit, sleeping accommodations, meal and special food preferences and times, babysitting needs and schedule, laundry, dry cleaning and general safety requirements, as well as boarding needs for any accompanying pets.

 If needed, use the services of a good mediation service if any responses seem they might create conflict.

Idea #2

Send out quality R.S.V.P. invitations to events you would like them to participate in – be cheerful, pleasant and loving if they cannot attend any of them, for they have lives of their own.   

Attend them yourself, even if they don’t.

Idea #3

Make use of a reliable cleaning service  to prepare your home for the visitors, adjusting the normal cleanliness or dust levels to a higher or lower level to match the comfort zone of your visitors.

You will be judged as harshly for a house that is seen as too clean as for a house that is seen as too dirty.

Consider retaining these services until after the visit is over for a truly stress free visit.

Make sure the pantry and refrigerator are stocked with approved foods or cleared of those not approved.   

Idea #4

Be flexible.  Although you may have used the schedule received to cancel normal activities to be on hand for your visitors, be aware that their plans may change at any moment.

To avoid being labeled as selfish and self-centered, you should be ready to drop everything in order to babysit, pet sit or whatever is required, as well as to cheerfully canceling any personal plans you may have already made.

Idea #5

Bury old grudges. Leaving old arguments and problems behind gives you a clean slate for the holiday. If there is tension between you, and your son or daughter in law can’t seem to let go, you can still make an effort to rise above their efforts to pull you into controversial discussions. When troubling topics enter the discussion or when the tone shifts to being confrontational or critical, change the subject or, if necessary, leave the room

Idea #6

 The holidays can be a whirlwind of commitments and to-do lists, and visitors, much as you love them and enjoy seeing them, can just add to the stress. If you have just 15 minutes and a quiet corner, do a quick round of yoga practice or meditation.  Go to a movie by yourself or with your husband.   Call a close friend and take off for a talk and a walk.  Go out alone for a quiet breakfast or  spend an afternoon at a bookstore, go to a friend's house.
 
Idea #7

Always find that silver lining. This too will pass.  If your visitors ignore you, be thankful that they let you spend time with your own grandchildren. If they treat you like you’re so old you can’t manage your finances, make decisions or drive your own car, thank them for caring and sharing their opinions.  Perhaps you can find some common ground, be going through old family albums, making a new album, sharing recipes or watching old home movies or a holiday DVD.

Idea #8

Remember that you are lovable and loved, that nothing lasts forever, that you know your offspring loves you  even if it doesn’t seem so.   And that a mother is always a mother.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2009, 09:58:00 PM by AnnieB »

2chickiebaby

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Re: Surviving the Inlaws/WE MUST BE REALLY BAD
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2009, 05:39:29 AM »
AnnieB...I just noticed yours are different.  I love them! That's perfect..."if the house if too clean, you're a neat freak and they feel like they're in a museum, if it's not clean enough, they feel like you're a slob and for sure, their kids can't be in such clutter!!!.

This was funny!

cocobars

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Re: Surviving the Inlaws/WE MUST BE REALLY BAD
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2010, 08:06:10 AM »
If your house is too clean, you have a problem?  I didn't know that one!  Does that mean I can skip all that time I spend cleaning and fluffing so everyone can relax and have fun?  What a hoot!  Oh, am I getting on your nerves DIL?  Well come on over here and look at these wonderful pic's of my son and his old girfiends!    LOL!

Sorry couldn't resist.  You have to ignore me sometimes.  I hope I didn't upset anyone!

2chickiebaby

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Re: Surviving the Inlaws/WE MUST BE REALLY BAD
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2010, 09:20:21 AM »
Coco, you're too cute to upset anyone!  Is that a new picture of you?  What happened to the baby picture you had? 


liz

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Re: Surviving the Inlaws/WE MUST BE REALLY BAD
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2010, 12:54:07 PM »
You know, the cleaning one goes for the dil's also. If our house is too clean, then we're neglecting the kids to keep a clean house. If it's not clean enough, then it's a health hazard for the kids and we're living in filth. I'm borderline ocd when it comes to cleanliness and mil has made quite a few comments about how clean I keep my house or how I'm such a good housekeeper. Now I'm more than happy to assume that she means it as it sounds, but I've got a little voice in the back of my mind whispering that maybe she thinks I'm choosing to spend more time cleaning than with the kids.

Boy these relationships sure can be tricky can't they  :-\

2chickiebaby

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Re: Surviving the Inlaws/WE MUST BE REALLY BAD
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2010, 01:02:29 PM »
Yes, they can be so tricky, Liz.  I remember when I was newly married and knew NOTHING about anything.  I couldn't cook at all and was eager to learn anything.  My family had a housekeeper so I never cleaned anything either, except my room at home.

Stupid me!  I asked my MIL how she kept her mop so clean?  Her mop was sparkling white and mine was disgusting.  Here's what she said:  Honey!!, (real stern and mean voice) I put bleach in the water after I use it!!)

She thought I was criticizing her housekeeping.  I wasn't!! I was genuinely wanting to know how she did that.  Oh my gosh!! I was heartbroken but never said a word to my husband and of course, nothing to her.

I just said, "oh."


cocobars

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Re: Surviving the Inlaws/WE MUST BE REALLY BAD
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2010, 01:04:48 PM »
Hi Liz!  Since I don't know your MIL, I would respectfully hope it means what it sounds like.  I didn't know cleaning was a problem until now and yes, I'm borderline ocd with cleanliness also.  I guess we are both mental cases for that!  HA!  To be honest with you, if my house isn't kept like that, then I lose things - even if they are right in front of my nose.  I can't do clutter.  I think your MIL should be really proud to have you as a DIL!  Really!  A clean house is healthier for your children, and the environment is nicer also!

Hi Chickie!  I loved the angry baby picture too, but thought maybe I should put a real one of me here.  The angry baby was so cute though, that I'm not sure about being so real!  LOL!  What do you think - go back to the angry baby?

2chickiebaby

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Re: Surviving the Inlaws/WE MUST BE REALLY BAD
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2010, 01:07:25 PM »
That baby scared me!  I was afraid to say anything because I didn't know if it was real or not.  Whew!  Not real but really angry!

cocobars

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Re: Surviving the Inlaws/WE MUST BE REALLY BAD
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2010, 01:19:33 PM »
hehehe!   I'm not sure really if it was angry, or wrapping a little diaper package!   I liked it for that and thought it was a cute and funny thing.  I'll remember to put warnings out if I put another one like that on here, so it doesn't scare anyone!  I'm just happy you're more afraid of the angry baby, than you are of my pic!  LOL!  That's a good thing!

WE'LL JUST PLAY WACK-A-MOLE WITH THE ANGRY BABY INSTEAD.  Oops, there I go again - I wouldn't seriously do that and don't mean any offense.  No where did I put that mallot...

2chickiebaby

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Re: Surviving the Inlaws/WE MUST BE REALLY BAD
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2010, 01:21:39 PM »
is that picture of you??  So cute, just like I pictured you!!

RedRose

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Re: Surviving the Inlaws/WE MUST BE REALLY BAD
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2010, 02:29:45 PM »
Forgive me...but

What does ocd mean ?

2chickiebaby

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Re: Surviving the Inlaws/WE MUST BE REALLY BAD
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2010, 02:32:06 PM »
Hi Rose!!!!  So glad you're back...!!  Don't stay away.  I think it means Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.....(you have to keep things in order and are obsessed about it)


RedRose

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Re: Surviving the Inlaws/WE MUST BE REALLY BAD
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2010, 02:34:00 PM »
I know I'm ocd about It !!

2chickiebaby

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Re: Surviving the Inlaws/WE MUST BE REALLY BAD
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2010, 02:35:48 PM »
I'm glad you are. :)