While I don’t always participate in blogging prompts, I thought today’s SocialMoms prompt was an interesting one:
What are your tips on how to deal with difficult in-laws or family members? – Is it hard for you to get along with your in-laws or other family members? Has it gotten so bad that you don’t bring your kids around them any more? How do you overcome your differences for your children’s sake? Share your tips on how to make a better relationship with difficult family members.
I begin talking about this subject with a little bit of a chuckle. I married a guy with let’s face it, a pretty remarkable family. That’s not to say that I haven’t had frustrations (who hasn’t?) that I have had to work through. Most of those issues were born out of completely pure and good intentions on behalf of family. In my son’s early days, those frustrations were exacerbated because of my postpartum depression. Nobody was really “safe” with me during that time. Not friends, family, not even my husband. I spent a great deal of time ranting, raving and crying not knowing how to deal with my own issues and not being brave enough to explain them to anyone else. The only way I was able to survive it was to give myself some space. Sometimes, that meant ignoring calls or only having communication via e-mail.
Nobody really warned me about the unsolicited advice portion of parenting. How annoying it is or how it not only rears its ugly head from the ones closest to you but from perfect strangers as well. And now that I am a full-fledged mama? I confess… I dish out the advice as well where I am certain it is not wanted.
Us moms, we have to learn how to have a thick skin. We have to learn to give ourselves a break. We have to learn that we are going to do what we have to do to survive most days. Are we going to make mistakes? Yup. Are we going to hear those horrific words “I told you so,”? Yup.
I have a close relationship with my in-laws because at the end of the day, they love me and they most especially love my son. Now that Jack is older, he loves them too and can even tell them as much. It would have to take something pretty major to begrudge anyone in my family, either immediate or in-lawed, time with Jackson. No doubt, there are things that people, family or otherwise, say which make me cringe (thus, the entire inspiration for this blog). But, when it comes to family, I bite my tongue. There is no need to create drama where it doesn’t need to be. I look at these conversations as… just another perspective that I can learn from. I am fortunate that I am surrounded by families that are loving and dare I say, normal?.
With that said, Jack and I are pretty lucky to have such awesome family in our lives. So, for me, using the word “in-laws” is definitely not a dirty word, it is more like a blessing.