This is very dangerous territory especially because people I know visit my blog. My husband has approved this post and please know that it has a happy ending! Since I’ve given birth, my mother in law and I have grown rather close, as she lives closer to me than my own mother.
Today she came over and stayed a whole 5 hours at our house! It was just her, my daughter and me. If you told me 4 years ago that this would happen, I would have thought it was a joke and laughed. But today, I actually found myself enjoying it. So I find myself asking, is it really possible to overcome the pitfalls of the dreaded daughter/mother-in-law relationship?
I must admit, it hasn’t always been easy. When my husband proposed to me after we’d been dating for 6 years, she did not approve. Her response was that we were too young to get married and this conversation didn’t end well. We didn’t talk for a whole year! She would not acknowlege that he had asked for my hand in marriage. I was miserable, angry and seriously considered just moving on and starting again.
We went on planning our wedding and 4 months before the big day, my husband gave her the invite. It actually didn’t go too well, with his parents asking him to choose between them and me. Thankfully, he chose me.
They attended the wedding and life as a married couple afterwards was pretty ordinary. They respected us and we had family dinners like nothing happened. I found myself, although very nervous and angry, slowly getting along with his mother. I decided to give her a second chance, for my husband’s sake. With small chit chats, slowly getting to know each other again, mending our relationship.
When I fell pregnant, everything changed. We had a wider range of topics to talk about. She bought all of Madeleine’s clothes when I was only 20 weeks pregnant. His parents became so supportive about how I was doing and checked in on me regularly to see if I was coping with the pregnancy symptoms.
After birth, she was there for me and routinely visits to see if we had enough food and whether we were coping as new parents. She often visits without my husband around, and isn’t scared to call beforehand. The other day, she said if I was ever lonely when Madeleine’s in childcare, give her a call and we can go out for a coffee. I am shocked. Never would I have thought I’d be comfortable enough to have dinner alone with this woman.
Although she’ll never replace my own mother, I am proud to say that I do get along with her. Trust me, there were times in which I cried so much as I didn’t know whether or not we would make it through to marriage. But my experience is a perfect example of how this relationship can be mended. It just needs time and a clean slate. An open mind. I believe that in order to have a good marriage, you need to be ‘civil’ with your mother in law. My husband always says ‘you don’t need to be best friends, just be civil.’