1. You’re now most important in his life.
To this I say, “Shouldn’t I be”? If the most important relationship and union is that between a husband and wife, how strong and successful can the foundation and future growth of this relationship be if someone other than the spouse is put first? How would you feel if your husband put another woman before you? No one can ever take the place of you as a mother, and I don’t know any married woman that wishes to assume the role of “mother” to her husband. However, part of growing and moving through the stages of parenthood is understanding and accepting your change in role once your child enters into adulthood and eventually gets married. This doesn’t mean that you aren’t important, but rather that your role in his life must change if you want your son to have a successful marriage.
2. You’re creating your own traditions that sometimes don’t involve me.
Mother-in-Laws I beg you to read my blog post titled “It’s Not Your Time”. Give us the space to embrace our time as parents. We need, and have every right to create our own traditions that we too will have to adjust once our time has passed and it becomes our child’s time to have the same opportunities with their children. Show that you respect the fact that it’s not about you, that it is not your time, and that we are the parents. And while you may not always be able to be part of every single tradition, you will be welcomed to experience the majority of them. It’s important that our dreams of our own traditions are able to be realized, as I’m sure you wanted yours to be.
3. I’m still his Mother.
This will always be a true statement. But what it does not give you the right to be is disrespectful to his wife or his marriage and expect to not be held accountable for your actions, simply because you’re his mother. Every action has a reaction.
4. You don’t take my advice.
While there are things you undoubtedly know from many years of living, there are many things that have changed since you were growing up. It’s important that you not push your ideals on us and allow us to do things how we feel is right based on our own research, and guidance from outside professionals. We need to have the space to make our own mistakes and learn from them.
5. You act like you don’t need me.
I’ve said this before; I think you always need your parents. The level and type of need is what will, and is supposed to change. As a mother myself, I look forward to the day that my children are able to successfully take care of themselves and make wise decisions for themselves. This to me will mean that I’ve done my job as their parent. Why would your goal be for your children to be emotionally and financially dependent on you in their adulthood?
6. You don’t let me do what I want to with my grandchildren, or see my grandchildren as often as I want. Your children need me in their lives.
You must accept that you are my children’s grandparent not their parent. Therefore, you must respect the choices and decisions and boundaries that we have set forth for our comfort and for the betterment of our children. It’s when I can’t trust that you will respect these choices and boundaries that I won’t allow you to see my children as often as you probably would want. Furthermore, if you don’t respect me, my marriage, and my choices as the parent, and cause chaos each and every time you are around, how often do you think you are going to be around? Only you can determine how often you are around your grandchildren, and what type of relationship you are able to build with them.
7. You don’t accept my gifts all the time, and a gift is a gift.
There comes a time when you can’t always do what you want to do. You must respect other’s boundaries, choices and decisions, especially when it’s not about you and it’s not your time. Saying no and standing my ground doesn’t make me ungrateful, nor does your going out and buying things without asking me first make you intentionally overbearing. However, if there is a special gift, or I’ve requested something specific and you want to do something different, a phone call can go a long way in avoiding conflict and misunderstandings.
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