Here are some more ideas for you Sandwiched Boomers who are about to become mothers-in-law. To be a MIL your daughters-in-law will want to talk with:
Begin to build a personal connection with your son’s wife. Take this chance to enjoy each other as you share activities and experiences. Carol found that, “just going shopping together brought us new feelings of camaraderie. We could be focused on the hunt instead of on the tensions between us.”
Place more value on the relationship than having your way. Don’t hold it against your daughter-in-law if she doesn’t see the world from your perspective. You can have more enjoyment as a mother-in-law by relinquishing power. Recognize that this is not a “zero sum game” – that is, there is not one winner and one loser – and you can all take pleasure in each other.
Share your frustrations with your life partner. When all else fails, and you are at your wits end, find support from your peers. Ann acknowledged, “Whenever I get angry about the relationship with my daughter-in-law, I call my friends. I don’t feel so alone because they have some of the same problems. Commiserating takes off some of the pressure I feel. They really understand how it is to, all of a sudden, be totally out of the loop.”
When you give your daughter-in-law the space – and place – she deserves in your growing family, you can all enjoy each other more.