Developing Relationships with Your Mother-in-Law

Mother-in-lawHere are six tips for having a good relationship with your mother-in-law.

Doris wasn’t just a mother-in-law, but a fabulous friend.  Personally, I feel she had quite a bit more to overlook in me in the beginning as I was selfish, opinionated, and just plain stupid. Example – I had my second child and was not up to par.  It was spring and, of course, flower planting time.  I being the perfectionist (and this is where stupid and selfish comes in) did the unthinkable…  To be nice she planted a peachy/pink bed of petunias in an area where I would usually put, I think, red.  Would you believe that when I felt up to it, I actually replaced her petunias with my preferred color?  When I think of that today I just cringe.  She never said a word, but I’ll bet she was not impressed with me.  

Tip 1 – Be thankful for the little things they do for you and be gracious

When my husband and I started going together we were of different religions.  I was with a girlfriend that was Lutheran, the same as my mother-in-law, and she said to me.  “Why doesn’t Art find a nice Lutheran girl to date?”  At the time I was appalled.  Today I think it is pretty funny as later in life I turned to Lutheran and she turned to the religion that I had been for her second husband.

Tip 2 – Don’t sweat the small stuff.  There is always tomorrow and things change

The two of us came from entirely different backgrounds.  She was a farm girl and I was a city brat.  Her taste was totally different than mine and we had a good time teasing about my exotic, or just plain different taste than hers.  One time after putting up a half-moon mirror in my family room I asked her what she thought and she replied, “I think it looks totally stupid.”  O.K. then!!!  I had grown up enough by this time to actually laugh it off and I still have that totally stupid mirror still hanging in my family room.

Tip 3 – Appreciate true honesty and don’t take it personally

She was always there when I needed her, or just a phone call away.  She actually got a warning ticket for speeding on Center Street to come and wash my kitchen floor.  I was getting ready for one of the girl’s weddings and she thought I could use some help.  The officer asked her where she was going in such a hurry, 50 in a 25-speed zone, and she said to wash my daughter-in-law’s floor. He gave her a warning, but I’ll bet there were a few laughs down at the station after that. I hope none of them knew me so as to judge me, expecting this poor older lady to wash my kitchen floor?.  

Tip 4 – Appreciate the things they do for you even if it is not necessary

When I planted my perennial garden I worked during the day and had to get my plants in after dark for some reason.  My mother and mother-in-law sat on logs in my backyard with flashlights to help me see what I was doing.  My backyard neighbor had to hang over the fence in the morning to see what the hell was going on. 

Tip 5 –  Appreciate the big things they do for you

I could go on and on.  She has since passed on and I miss her terribly.  I miss our late evening gab sessions on the phone.  Her stories that went on and on, and her being there for me was so enjoyable.  Sure, she made me a little crazy sometimes, but I learned to overlook her differences and she overlooked mine.  When she told me that I was more like a daughter to her than a daughter-in-law that was the ultimate compliment.  

Tip 6 –  Enjoy their differences and learn from them

They seem to have a book of knowledge that they love to share.  Remember that they also compete with your own mother on most occasions and also learn how not to tread on toes.

Who Is Sandy
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My Happy Parenting Moments

aunt parenting happy parenting momentsAttempt #1

My attempts at “parenting” have taken many forms.  My first hint of what parenting looked like was at a distance with my two nieces.  I lived out of state.  I always made sure birthday gifts were received on time and was always available by phone but unlike the real thing, their parents did the heavy lifting.  As the girls grew older, I had the wonderful experience of being a confidante and a mentor. I enjoyed this relationship with all my heart and still do. I do understand that this was not “real” parenting. Continue reading

It’s the Little Things

I need to call Mom!

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I want to be the mom who has kids, that when they mess up, never think “mom’s gonna kill me”. I want their first thought to be “I need to call my mom”.  Where did I hear that recently???  It makes me wonder…What builds that kind of relationship? Perhaps the following three events would qualify.

Number one…I pick up Aubrey from her dance class. She is now big enough to sit in the front seat. She holds my hand as we crank the music to the Broadway musical “Mama Mia”. We sing along to “Dancing Queen” at the top of our voices.

Two…I  sit on the couch in the living room. My laptop rests between us, our feet resting on the coffee table. We share the 20-year-old crocheted afghan my grandma made for me when I moved into my first apartment after college. Kadon made us “extra butter” microwave popcorn and we are watching a movie he thought I would like…”Wine Country”. (Amy Poehler directs menopausal friends on an eventful  and emotional weekend trip).) It was the perfect Netflix choice for a mom and her 14-year-old son!?!

And three…Luka struggles in school. He would rather clean crusty bathroom toilets than go over flashcards for a Global Studies test. But as it gets late, I grab the cards that we made together. He lays on his bed. I read the questions as I scratch his back. He gives the answer and flips the card to check the correctness. As we finish the last card, he sleepily says, “Thanks…I love you mom.”

It’s the small stuff. I think I am building relationships with my kids, block by block, one happy moment at a time.

Who is Lisa

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Becoming a Mom

Becoming a momI have lots of happy parenting memories!  There was no question in my mind growing up that I wanted to be a parent.  I loved babies!!  It was when they started getting a little older that I started to question the idea.  I was never the greatest babysitter.  I wanted the kids to cooperate and listen to me obediently, but as any parent knows, that’s not what kids do!!

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Furry Family – Sandy

I’m kind of at a negative point as to the need for furry friends in my life. My family has always been a lover of having pets which include dogs, birds, hamsters, guinea pigs, cats, to include fish and chameleons (which are not so furry).

20160129_213332I started when I was very young by begging and begging for a dog. My first dog was a chocolate lab named Ginger. At a very young age of, I believe three, we ran away together, got into trouble, and I loved him very much. When he passed, I wished on every birthday cake candle, the first star in the night, etc., for another dog to fill the void. Continue reading

Furry Family – ‘Chelle

I have the greatest furry family members, but also the most obnoxious. I have two labradoodles. The black/grey one is 4, the other apricot/tan one is 2. I always say that they are the smartest dumb dogs I’ve ever met.

Both girls are like Houdini. We have a fenced in backyard, but they can ALWAYS figure a way out. Every time I fix one hole, they make a new one. Lily (the baby) is the best at this. We’ve had up to 10 neighbors helping us locate her after she has “disappeared”. She’ll come close to us, but stay just out of reach.

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