Mother-in-law help (AB)


I’d love some coaching on my feelings toward my mother-in-law and my husband. I have been doing tons of work over the past few months on my thoughts toward my mother-in-law and chose her as my first relationship to work on this month.

I am trying to drop my manual for her. I used to think that when she came to visit and offered unsolicited opinions while staying at my house, she was crossing a boundary. I get now that no boundaries have been crossed. This past holiday season, I realized that the only boundary that I need to establish is having down time with my husband and kids BEFORE extended family enters the picture. I had 3 days before the holidays after my oldest came home from college and my younger two kids were off school. My husband took 2 days off and we had fantastic family time before my in-laws and sister-in-law arrived. After that, I had such an easy time having them in my home for over a week during the holidays.

Another manual I am trying to drop is the one I used to have for my husband. I used to expect him to shield me from his mother’s opinions and to understand and support my preference to NOT have them stay at our house. I have realized that my motivation for what I thought should be a boundary is incorrect thinking—that it was a result of me not being able to ‘handle’ my mother-in-laws vocal opinions of my parenting. I am SO much better thinking that I am completely the best parent for my kids and it is totally OK that I have a different style of parenting than my mother-in-law. However, something happened yesterday that I need some help with…

I realized that my husband gave my in-laws some incorrect dates for my son’s baseball tournament that they plan to come into town for this summer. They had decided bring their camper and camp near our house (whew!). We called them while we were in the car yesterday with one of our kids and my husband told them that they should just extend their stay and come stay at our house for an extra two weeks. I was immediately flooded with icky feelings! I need help discerning whether or not a boundary was crossed and why all of these icky feelings surfaced for me. I suspect that I need to re-establish a boundary with my husband that it is not OK to invite them to stay in our home without my input FIRST. The problem is, even if he were to have asked me first, I think I allow myself to feel backed into a corner, that I am the only one who prefers them to stay elsewhere. Ugh—help!