Have a Meddling Mother-in-Law?
Does the image of an interfering mother-in-law seem to be the norm?
Does it have to be that way?
Here are some common complaints and what you can do to promote peace with Mum:
The best way to attack this issue is the most direct. Set boundaries as graciously as possible: "We want to spend time with you, but we would like to plan ahead."
If your husband occasionally takes her on brief outings or pops in for scheduled home maintenance, this may reassure her and cause her to demand less of your time.
Do you know what pushes your buttons? Plan for the encounter before Mum walks in the door. Practice graciously receiving her ideas. Make it clear when you have a different way of doing things, but say it kindly.
If you occasionally seek her advice on issues and follow it appreciatively, it may give you more space when your way isn’t Mum’s way.
Be proactive. Mention one of her great qualities to your husband and praise her to her face. This quenches competition. It’s more helpful than whining about her faults; complaining about his Mum may only motivate him to defend her.
Attack problems with his Mum when you two are alone. Review the latest disappointing encounter with your mother-in-law. As a team, work out a plan to improve things for the future.
While writing this, I recalled some of my own mistakes and victories in dealing with my mother-in-law. If you have some helpful advice for us to improve relationships with in-laws, feel free to share a comment below!