By: Jan Murray
While mothers-in-law often get a bad wrap in our culture, really all they want is the best for their kids. Mostly, they have their hearts in the right place. It’s not impossible! You can be a mother-in-law legend.
Sleep consultant Jan Murray shares how a mother-in-law can love, support and enable her son’s family. Especially her daughter-in-law.
How to Support your Daughter-in-Law
How you help and support your daughter-in-law depends on several factors. These include whether your daughter-in-law has a physically present mother; an emotionally capable mother; has a good, or not so good, relationship with her mother.
However, no matter what relationship your daughter-in-law has with her mother, her child is your grandchild. You can have input into your grandchild’s life, lend a helping hand, or empower your son to be a parent. Prayer is also valuable input, and in some situations, may be all you can do.
The Value of a Good Relationship
How much you are welcomed into the family unit may be linked to what kind of relationship you had with your daughter-in-law before children came along. Value the relationship you have now, and are forming for the future.
It is important to understand and accept that your grandchild has parents. You had your chance to be a parent, so unless something they are doing is unsafe it’s important not to overstep how much input you give. Allow the parents to parent how they choose, and wait for them to ask for advice.
How to be a Mother-in-Law Legend
Always remember a new mother is sensitive to advice and correction in how she cares for her baby. Be gentle and kind as she and her husband/partner navigate the new journey of parenthood. Support the relationship of the parents. Be encouraging, and offer to care for your grandchild while they have an outing.
Keep the lines of communication open. Be available whenever possible and be open to opportunities to connect. Help your daughter-in-law understand parenting is a long and often tough journey but that you are here to help in whatever way you can.
Help is not always about cuddling your grandchild. But it could be doing some chores to keep the family home running with a newborn in the house. Or just visiting to sit and listen, or talking on the phone.
Sending texts to say you are thinking of her, and offering compliments or encouragement, can keep you connected if you are physically apart. And don’t forget to pray for them!
In a Nutshell: Be a Legend
- Consider the relationship your daughter-in-law has with her mother
- Empower your son to be a dad, and your daughter-in-law to be a mum
- Wait to be asked before offering advice
- Be gentle and kind as your son, and daughter-in-law, learn the parenting ropes
- Support their relationship by offering childcare while they go out together
- Keep the communication lines open
- Let them know you are there for the long-haul
- Offer assistance by doing household chores, listening and being available on the phone
- Be encouraging!
- Pray for your son and daughter-in-law
What are some of the ways you know a mother-in-law can be a legend?
Article supplied with thanks to Treasuring Mothers.
About the Author: Jan Murry is a registered Midwife, Child and Family Health nurse and founder of ‘Settle Petal’. She is passionate about seeing young families flourish and build strong and healthy foundations for the future.