Yay!! My in laws left today. And no this Yay is not for them leaving but more for “We had a good visit without any big drama”. I definitely do not take sole credit for this, they also came half way to meet this goal. Especially my mother in law.
My father in law is very picky about his food, he wants it to be done a certain way, with certain ingredients etc. Many times what’s available for everyone is not good for him. In prior visits, it was me who would listen to his special instructions and get annoyed but not be able to say anything. Then I did the smart thing and transferred responsibility to my husband. He is their son after all and even if he displays annoyance or argues, it won’t cause as much pain as a single word spoken by a daughter in law. Then this visit, my mother in law coached my father in law that he was to make his own food if he didn’t agree with the common meal. And that he did, and it took away so much of the stress. Either he made his own things or my mother in law did it, according to his specification.
Then there was my resolve to not expect any appreciation from her or to ignore obvious instructions. I did not cook anything for the whole time they were here. We had a cooking Aunty come over on Sundays who prepared the weekly meals. It once again made my life easier. With two young kids, a full time demanding job and a pretty busy social life, I really have no time to cook and then to face critique for my cooking. I did miss cooking and that is one thing I have to get past for future successful visits. How not to feel bad for critique offered and stories of my sister in law’s fab cooking and not to expect anything for my own efforts? It is something I need to work on.But for the most part, it was a good visit and I am so relieved.
What had made it work is for my husband to have stepped it up. He was more involved in taking care of both his mother and his wife; in prior visits, he had dumped the whole relationship thing on me alone and stayed away, what also worked was a fervent wish for both my mother in law and me to make it work – I could see her desire for having a harmonious relationship too, what works in small ways is also to hear my parents speak well of my in laws and to give me another side – the in laws side, the older parents side of thinking about situations and what also worked was the fact that I am super busy with work and family. I am also making time to read spiritual works and attend Sunday school. To keep an open mind and to be less judgmental and more forgiving and to focus on the right things. To let go of the bad and focus on the good.
They will come back next year for my sister in law’s delivery and will stay with her for six months. Baby steps to creating harmony. Am I ready to move in with them forever – hell No, this was a month and a half and it went well, but I will take anything to help build a stronger future.