There’s a reason why we humans are so adaptable. We understand that change is sometimes scary, and that coming together can be even scarier. But at the same time, we also thrive on routine. So much so that doing the same thing every day can sometimes be boring and monotonous. We all know that when things change, it’s best to adjust gradually and not make a big deal out of it. However, when that change happens in your life and you’re suddenly thrust into a new chapter with a bunch of new people, it can be difficult at first. Especially when you have new people in your life – your mother-in-law, who is also your full-time houseguest.
Add to that the other complication that is your new family and you have a recipe for stress. The best way to solve it? Variety. Variety in the number of people you allow in on a day-to-day basis. Though your in-laws might be a part of this change, they are not the be-all, end-all of your life. When it comes to dealing with your in-laws, you need to find a balance between being overprotective and being too chill. This article will outline everything you need to know about dealing with your mother-in-law who interrupts you a lot.
What to do when your mother-in-law interrupts you
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You might be tempted to lock your mother-in-law in the basement or secluded room when she starts interrupting your day. But do your best not to get over protective. Remember, your mother-in-law is just visiting and you don’t want to put her in any danger. The best thing you can do is to limit herursions into your private life. For example, if she’s in the kitchen making a meal and starts talking to you about her day, just reply with a question. Don’t be so overprotective that you don’t even want her to leave.
As your mother-in-law is just visiting, you don’t want to be overprotective. But you also don’t want to be so chill that you don’t warm up to her. After all, you are now dealing with a long-distance relative who is your full-time houseguest. The best thing to do is to be chill. Even if you think your mother-in-law is being a little overbearing or intrusive, you can still respect her space. If you don’t mind having a few chilly moments every now and then, it will be less stressful.
Don’t be so overprotective
When your mother-in-law moves in, you don’t have to be overprotective. You already accepted her into your family and will continue to do so even if she stays there for the rest of your life. Your main concern should be to ensure that she is safe and happy. The most important thing you can do is to be patient. Do not try to handle everything on a day-to-day basis and don’t try to do everything your mother-in-law has ever imagined you doing. In the beginning, she might not even know how to use the appliances in your kitchen or where to store her clothes. Just be patient.
Offer to do chores
Your mother-in-law might be surprised when you offer to do some of the housework. After all, she has you eating out every day and cleaning up after you left the house several times a week. But if you are Rewriting the Rules, you shouldn’t be the one doing all the chores. Granted, they are not particularly housework related, but still, you should be offering to do some of them – not all of them. Doing the majority of the housework yourself doesn’t make you a better person, it just makes you a wild one. So, don’t be afraid to say yes when your in-laws ask you to help out around the house.
Make dinner a family affair
When your in-laws visit, it is usually dinner time. This is your opportunity to make your mother-in-law’s stay comfortable and enjoyable. If you are at home and she asks to come in, invite her to join you. Invite her to share your food and drink, make a to-do list with her and any other requests you have. If you are out, take some of your guests home with you and make a night of it. If you don’t want to go home with anyone, the most exhausting (but most fulfilling) thing to do is just to sit with your mother-in-law and her friends.
Show them affection
Show your mother-in-law how much you care by hugging and kissing her whenever you see her. Don’t be shy about doing this – especially if she is a long-distance relative and you don’t see her very often. Make a point of showing your mother-in-law that you care, without being too pushy about it.
Let your mother-in-law help out around the house
If your mother-in-law is not able to completely take over your house, the least you could do is give her access to the tools you use. For example, if you have a computer in your bedroom, let your mother-in-law use it. If you have a mobile phone, let her use it. If you have a TV set, let her watch a few programs while you do some chores. As long as she is allowed to borrow the tools you use, do not try to make her do everything by herself – including the washing up. This is not your house and you shouldn’t expect her to do everything by herself.
Assign specific tasks
When your mother-in-law agrees to do some housework, assign her specific tasks. For example, if she is allowed to help out with the grocery shopping, she should stock the shelves. If she is allowed to help out with the cooking, she should make dinner. If she is allowed to do some general chores, she should help out with everything. If you don’t know how to do something, ask your mother-in-law. If you still don’t know how to do it, start learning.
Don’t be afraid to make small talk
If your mother-in-law is shy or doesn’t feel comfortable talking to you, don’t be afraid to start small. Say hello, ask her how her day is going and how you would like to spend your evening. If she starts to feel uncomfortable in your presence, say you can’t stay for long and excuse yourself. Don’t let her leave without saying good-bye, either. Small talk is the key to bonding with your mother-in-law and will make her feel more at ease.
Be patient with her
As your mother-in-law is just visiting, you don’t have to be on your best behavior. You don’t have to be the perfect host or hostess. You just have to be friendly, open-minded and effortless. If you have to take a phone call or forget to set a table for dinner, don’t be too hard on yourself. You have a limited number of energy points and you need to use them wisely.
Be understanding of her parenting style
Your mother-in-law is probably going to do things a little bit differently than you do. This is perfectly normal and acceptable. You need to respect this and try to be understanding of her parenting style. For example, if your mother-in-law gives you a task and you don’t know how to do it, just say you will think about it and give her some space. If she tells you to do something and you don’t know how to do it, say you will think about it and give her some space. If you want to be more firm on this, some mothers-in-law may become resentful if you allow them to do things their way even if you don’t know how to do them. Just respect their parenting style and let them take care of their children.
Don’t be too critical of yourself
You might feel like you are being too hard on yourself. You are probably going to make mistakes and mess up at some point. Just remember, you are not the one who created all the challenges in your life – it is your mother-in-law. You didn’t make all the decisions – that is your mother-in-law. So, don’t be too hard on yourself. In fact, be more soft on yourself and realize that you are doing the best you can.