Here are some of our tips to help to you Sandwiched Boomers who are taking on the new role of mother-in-law after a wedding this June. Any of you who are old-hats at this, please share your ideas and comments with all of us.
Be sensitive to your new role of mother-in-law. Competition may surface with your daughter-in-law if she experiences you as supporting your son while they establish the ground rules in their own relationship. Help out when you can but don’t overstep your boundaries. Debra learned “Even though I am very close to my son’s wife, I wait for her to call me. And that has made all the difference.”
The more you know about your daughter-in-law, the better it will be. Learn about her likes and dislikes. The average age for marriage in America is now 25 for women and 27 for men, so she has years of personal history to share with you. Get to know her and find out more about her childhood and relationships with her relatives. Ask questions, listen to the answers, and remember them.
Choose your battles. Be patient and let go of issues that are not crucial. Laugh to yourself about some of the petty concerns. Sandy related, “At first I was upset that my daughter-in-law never asked for any of my recipes. But then I realized that I didn’t want this to turn into a ‘food fight.’ I could learn some new techniques from her and just enjoy her for who she is.”
What kinds of experiences have you had with your daughters-in-law? Let us hear from you!