Saturday, March 7, 2009

Better with age

Like a hurricane blowing in to my town, I try and ride out visits from my in-laws. When I was younger, I would run around the house trying to get everything just right. The whole house would have to be cleaned from top to bottom. It was like I was preparing for a military inspection. Some of my in-laws like to give "helpful" comments about my cooking or housekeeping. Having a thin skin, I would take all these comments to heart. One little remark would ruin the whole visit for me. I couldn't wait until they pulled out of the driveway.

After 15 years of marriage, I am happy to report that I weather these visits better now. I realize that my in-laws may not be the easiest people to impress. They would probably find something wrong at Martha Stewart's house too :) Dropping all this anxiety, I enjoy their visits and actually have fun sometimes. As a more "veteran" wife, I realize that my house is what it is. All that matters for my sanity and happiness is knowing that my household management and cooking attempts are fine with me and my little gang. I'm glad that I don't have all that nervous energy anymore before a family visit. Now I try and play with my kids or sit back and watch some TV before they show up. It's a nicer way to ease into a potentially crazy get together.

Maybe I should change the household theme every time they visit. I could do a whole sixties thing, complete with lava lamps, beads and strobe lights. I can imagine the looks they would exchange. I can just hear the comment on their ride home: "We knew she was DIFFERENT than us!" That's o.k. with me.

13 comments:

Juliet Colors said...

That's funny. It's good you've learned not to take their behavior personally. I have a hard time with that, especially when it comes to criticism from my own mother. (And she in turn, worries about criticism from her mother... and so the cycle continues.)

But I love the idea of the changing theme... That would certainly keep them on their toes!

T Rex Mom said...

Thanks for your posting. I know there are many of us who can relate. I am learning to pick my battles...

Annie Wicking said...

Great posting, glad to know I'm not the only one.

Best wishes,
Annie

CDB said...

My Mother-in-Law was visiting this weekend too! Though she's different from me as well, we get along very well and I'm thankful for that.. and if anyone commented on the cleanliness of the house, I"d have to boot 'em out to the shed!!

Joanne said...

How nice to be able to relax and enjoy one another. Kudos to you for rising above the conflict/tension and being a better person for it. Have a great weekend!

shabby girl said...

Right on sister! You're a smart girl!
Just for fun next time...Oh my gosh! You could dress the kids in tie dye, maybe mohawk a head or two. It could be a very fun game for you!
After that, a poodle skirt and the kids' hair all slicked back, one with the notorious waterfall in front, like Elvis!
The next one might take a little time, MULLETS!!!

Michelle said...

Now *that's* a theory! You'll have to share how that goes if you go that way. Isn't it nice not having to stress about things like this, isn't it?

H.K. said...

I found your blog through another blog. I like reading other bloggers whose interests are writing, since I'm an "aspring" writer myself. I've read some of your other posts and enjoy reading them!

I'm glad to hear that you're more laid back with your in-law visits. I'm trying to get to that point, but it's soooo hard! I wish I didn't care so much what my mother-in- law thinks! Maybe it will come in time...

45 and Aspiring said...

My husband had been married before and had 3 practically grown kids when we met (the youngest then was 15) so they were more of the family I needed to impress than my in-laws! Thankfully, most kids don't care much about the shape of the house! (And I don't think I'm the kind of mother-in-law now that they worry about in that way either--now that they are all married & have kids.)

I loved that you've morphed from fretting and raising all the negative energy before a visit to settling in and enjoying your gang before one. That has to make it better for everyone! Terrific evolution!

(Thanks also for your supportive and kind comments on my blog; please come again.)

Kim said...

Great topic! I am not a veteran wife and still struggling with my relationship with my in-laws. Things have changed so much now that there is a child involved. This is their first grandchild and although I am grateful that they ADORE my son sometimes (actually more often than that) they are overbearing. It's good to know that with time you learned how to better deal with them. Over the past two years most of the bickering that goes on in our household has everything to do with his parents wanting to be too involved:(

Jenners said...

I hear you on this one! I used to try so much harder to impress my mom with my mad housekeeping skills but there was always something not right so I just relaxed about it and let it roll off my back. You are right ... it does get easier with age and time. You just don't worry so much about it! One of the many benefits of getting older.

RiverPoet said...

Oh honey, we all get better with age. I know what you mean, though. It gets easier as you get more settled into your "role" as a wife to just accept that things don't have to be perfect.

Peace - D

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