My daughter will be a 1 year old in a few weeks. I am/was the daughter-in-law from hell…secretly. I despised my mother-in-law once I was pregnant. I love my husband, but I couldn’t stand his parents. I cringed at every text, every email, but was nice to their faces. They live about 6 hours away, but that was too close because they could drive and spend 4 days every 2 months “locked” in our house with us. I have felt so claustrophobic with them around. I became possessive over my daughter. I didn’t like anything my mother-in-law said or did. I positioned it as me against them, and I ALWAYS won.
I have felt like a dragon and I would breathe fire and destroy her. I have wished horrible things. I have lost control. I have become crazy.
But in my heart, I just knew I couldn’t keep up this whole hatred charade. I mean, I could have a heart attack or develop some horrible disease because of all the nastiness I have festered. When they were about to come to visit, I actually got physically sick – cold sores, stomach aches, etc.
I recently started listening to your podcasts again and BAM! A few calls you have taken have opened my eyes to what I’ve been doing. The issue is not about her at all — it’s about me. Yea, she says stupid things sometimes and wants to hog my baby…but that’s a pretty natural thing for a grandmother to do.
My “aha” moment was when I realized that I put MY mother on a pedestal. I realized I wanted my children to love MY parents best. There I said it. But the reality is my mom doesn’t really have time for us. She rarely answers her phone or responds to pictures and videos I send of my daughter. But here my mother-in-law is, trying so hard to be a part of our life, answering every text, calling, Skyping, buying gifts, etc. And I’ve been rejecting her. I wanted her to leave us alone!
I realized I’ve been directing the anger at the wrong person: an innocent person. She just wants to show her granddaughter love, part of her life, teach her things, and be her FAMILY.
My husband has been the best. He’s stood by my side and let me work through this. He’s defended his parents, but also heard me out. He is such a good man. And that is in large part because his parents. My in-laws did an awesome job at raising him. Why wouldn’t I want them to play a big part in our children’s lives? I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders because I don’t have this big job of rejecting LOVE from my in-laws anymore.
I don’t have to create my original family – I didn’t have involved grandparents. My mom raised us alone essentially – my dad was working so much and wasn’t really there. I don’t have to do everything alone. I chose a good man with a healthy family. I need to open my heart to the love they are trying to give!
Adreann, the recovering mother-in-law-hater