{ Jello & My Mother-in-Law }

colorful jello
Multi-colored, layered jello.  One of my amazing Mother-in-Law’s edible specialties.

A few days ago, I wrote the post Moxie & My Mother-in-Law.

I promised some ideas for sweetening your relationship with your mother-in-law. They are listed below. Sometimes it helps to have a new perspective. Please add your excellent ideas in the comment section 🙂

So, if you’re wondering how to love your mother-in-law (or maybe just start liking her), here are some ideas:

  1. Do you know what pushes your buttons? Plan for the encounter before she walks in the door.  Practice receiving her ideas. Make it clear when you have a different way of doing things, but say it kindly.
  2. If you occasionally seek her advice on issues and follow it appreciatively, it may give you more space when your way isn’t Mom’s way.
  3. Set boundaries as graciously as possible, such as: “We want to spend time with you; let us know you’re coming so we can plan ahead.”
  4. Attack any problem issues when you and your husband are alone. As a team, work out a plan to improve things for the future.
  5. Mention what you like about your mother-in-law — to your husband. Complaining about his mother may only motivate your husband to defend her.
  6. Praise her sincerely. Praise her often.  Tell her what you like about her as a mother-in-law or a grandmother.  Speak of the excellent habits or qualities that she taught your husband when he was young. Show gratefulness for the sacrifices she made.
  7. Love her, forgive her, speak of her strengths and overlook her offenses. Don’t ever criticize her in front of your children. Extend understanding to your mother-in-law and speak the truth graciously. She will see your love for her…. as well as your firm resolve to create an entirely new household.

Finally, treat your mother-in-law with love, honor and respect – just like you would want a future daughter-in-law to treat you.

(c) Lisa M. Luciano 🙂

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/edible/

Edible“>

{ Moxie & My Mother-In-Law }

flower-1210305__480
The Hibiscus: one of Mom Z’s favorites

I was hired recently to write a short article for a family blog.

I was given the topic, “How to Deal With Your Mother-In-Law.”

And, wouldn’t you know it — the day after I submitted my lofty, theoretical essay on “how to interact harmoniously with your mother-in-law,” she arrived for a rare visit. And, she didn’t just pop in; she stayed overnight.

This was not an accident; it was God’s way of allowing me to practice my written theories.

Mom Z has faith and moxie.

She grew up in another culture; oceans away from my stoic Scandinavian-German upbringing. She is a feisty, persistent gal, which is fortunate, considering her amazing life story and widowhood. She is also a terrifically thorough housekeeper and talented seamstress.

When she arrived last week, she pulled out a tiny mountain of post-season baseball shirts with patches. Nobody wants 2016 promo sport shirts in 2017, but Mom’s friend gave her a bunch free. So, while holding a blue shirt in her always-beautifully-orange-polished fingernails, she whispered:

“You just take the patch off and put something else there – whatever you want. Turn it over – see? And, stitch by stitch you can pull it out. Have a little patience.”

I nodded and smiled, inwardly knowing that I would never attempt this.

She tells what is on her mind– I never have to wonder. And, if we don’t have a chance to talk at the end of her visit, I will know what she thinks by the gifts she gives me the next time I see her:

  • She will give me bathroom towels (mine were too ratty?) or
  • Some room freshener (guess our home smelled stinky) or
  • Canned goods (our refrigerator must have looked a little empty.)

 (She is a generous giver.)

In earlier years, I was slightly offended when she:

  • Told me that I “shouldn’t dress like a nun”
  • Cleaned out my crumb-filled toaster with a toothpick
  • Mentioned after cleaning the dirty highchair that it smelled like “parmesan cheese”

Little things like that can either annoy me, or (calling upon my sense of humor) endear me to this mysteriously unique character.

I have a choice.

Just because she loves in her different way, doesn’t mean her different way is wrong.

So, if you’re wondering how to love your mother-in-law (or maybe just start liking her)…

…I will share some ideas in a future post!

(c) Lisa M. Luciano

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/moxie/

Moxie“>