Why do so many people have a problem with their Mother-In-Law?
After much research, reading various articles and chatting to other Moms, I think I finally understand.
Firstly. When you have a partner, chances are that their family is very different from yours. If your family is outgoing, loud and open, your partner will probably find your family very odd as his family is quiet and private. This dynamic is what makes partnerships work, but it does not necessarily help when it comes to extended family. And why the constant issue with the Mother-In-Law? The other issue is that nobody wants to be replaced!
Secondly. Imagine that you are a CEO of a very successful company that has been running for years, you love your job and all the staff love you. Everything is perfect, just the way you always dreamed. Now all of a sudden one day you are planning business as usual, when you find out that you are being replaced by someone half your age, she is lovely and sweet and although she does not run things anything like you do, for some reason the way she does it, actually works, and the changes she has made are making everyone happy, although they never complained before. You sit back and look at her wondering how the company is doing so well when she has changed everything, and the way it is supposed to work. You think to yourself, ok I will give her time and when she does need my help, I will show her how it is supposed to be done. If things go wrong, then I will be able to step in and fix things. I know this is not an easy job and well it is impossible for her to walk in now, take over and run things smoothly.
This is the journey of a mother-in-law. She runs the family, tells them what to eat, wear, how to behave. She decides on how each meal should be cooked and what time is a good time for everyone to eat and go to bed. Then you stepped in and well the rest is history.
Why are there more issues with Daughter-In-laws and Mother-In-Laws?
Thirdly. I come from a family of all girls, and without even knowing it, we were constantly competing for the top dog position in the pack, no matter of age. I found the whole thing with Men who would not stand up, question or disagree with their Mothers a little weird to say the least. You are a grown Man for goodness sake why can’t you just tell her if you do not agree with her. Well this was until I became a Boy Mom. Let me explain, we all love our children, boys and girls. The thing is that the older a girl becomes, the more they will challenge for the Top Dog ranking and so eventually she can cook, clean and although she loves her Mother deeply, she does not feel the need to have her Mother run her life. Boys on the other hand are very different. From a very young age, they have this built in instinct to protect their Mother. They truly believe that she is a Fairy God Mother and everything she does it just perfect. The older they get, although fully capable, they enjoy Mom making a fuss over them. This is very often a situation that will never change. They love being doted over by their Mothers, and having a Wife does not mean that things have to change, actually it is a double bonus and now there are two women who are looking after their best interest.
Lastly. When you become a mother, it is not an emotion or job that you can turn on and off, we are naturally born with motherly instincts and we will always believe that we are doing things right, and in the best interest of our families. We will move heaven and earth for our families and the way we do things is because it is the best. It is no secret that females do not do well with competition, we like to mark our territory and make sure that things roll the way we intended them to.
A Mother-In-Law is just doing the job she always has, except now she is not the CEO any more. Once you understand a situation, it is so much easier to see things for what they really are.
You are not the enemy, just a good replacement, even if this is not what you intend to be, the reality is as much as she loves you, she cannot help feeling this way.