National Mothers-in-Law Day: Celebrate or Hibernate?

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Today is National Mothers-in-Law Day. Do you want to celebrate or hibernate?

My mother in law lives in my basement. I always get a few raised eyebrows when I say that. She does though, only not in the ‘chained up in the dungeon’ kind of way. When my husband and I bought our home, we had space to spare and constructed an in-law suite in the lowest level of the 4-level side split.

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My mother in-law, who lived quite far away, was very interested in the possibility of being closer to her granddaughter and enjoying a large garden without any long-term responsibility. My husband and I made the decision to invite her to live with us.

Tips on Having a Successful Live-In Relationship With Your Mother-in-Law

1. Set boundaries. Sit down with your spouse to discuss expectations for the new living situation. After you have agreed on some guidelines, sit down with your inlaws to discuss their need and concerns. Taking everyone's needs into consideration, come up with some ground rules together for everyone.

2. Find privacy. Having privacy when you are home is essential and even more so for couples. It will be more difficult when living with the in-laws, there are things you can do. Set limits or boundaries that are considered sacred, your privacy places. Bedrooms are good examples. Set the ground rules that you must knock before entering these rooms.

3. Stay out of family arguments. If your husband or wife starts fighting with the primary family, stay out of it. Go into another room and try to breathe.  There is going to be an adjustment period for everyone, while they work out this new living arrangement. Many of the arguments will be from history and you aren't involved. Give them room to hash it out and work out a resolution.

4. Pick your battles. On the flip side, your in-laws are going to annoy you or say something you don't agree with. You are going to find yourself in a disagreement, make sure it is something that can be resolved. Sit down and discuss the situation and options on how to resolve it. If you can't stand the way your father in-law snores, you are not going to be able to change it. This is a good example of a battle not worth taking, find a way to handle it for yourself.

5. Ask for help when you need it. Before getting into a situation where your home is a war zone, don't hesitate to ask for help. An objective party might be a good choice to help work things out. There’s no shame in asking for help when you need it. If the living situation is hurting your marriage, you might also consider seeing a marriage counselor or finding a way to live a more separate life from your in-laws. Your marriage should remain the number one priority.

My mother-in-law moved in with us almost a year ago and I am happy to report that all is well. I feel like I am qualified to write the survival guide to living with an in-law. I have a good relationship with my mother in-law and my mother in-law is an incredibly respectful woman who loves her own privacy as much as my husband and I love ours. So, it has worked out well for us. An added bonus is that Grandma cares for Isabella while my husband and I are at work!

Aside from the clear financial benefits of this, it is truly heartwarming to see just how much Isabella has come to love her Grandma. Their bond would simply not be, if Grandma hadn’t moved into our basement.

By Maria Minten of My Baby Clothes Boutique. They have a wide selection of warm baby hats for this winter, beautiful flowered baby headbands for your little one's first photos, and so much more.
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