It is a bone of contention for mommies when they feel that their children are being spoilt by their in laws. Generally mothers hold grudges as they can’t persistently and explicitly voice their concern to their in laws on this issue. So often the relationship between the two parties (a daughter in law and mother in law) is mired with frustration and agony. A daughter in law imagines her mom in law as a covetous personality adorned with a lemur like long tail and chiseled horns on her head. Similarly a daughter in law is a bad cop in the eyes of her in laws who refrains them from showering their love towards their grand children. This love is often in the form of gifts, much to the chagrin of a mother who sees her child getting spoilt by overindulgence.
Let’s try to sort out this discontentment from the view of both mother and grandmother.
Here is a succinct letter straight from a daughter in law’s heart–
Thanks for being there always, as it is because of your existence that I got a loving husband and my adorable children. I owe you for these precious relationships in my life. I would love you more if you could remember and take care of these simple points-
- You love my children and they love you unconditionally, this fact is unchangeable. This love won’t intensify with expensive gifts. Money can be used in many ways other than buying expensive toys and clothes. Travelling to a new place or buying him a good book can add years of experience in a short span.
- Rules are rules, please don’t break home rules. Discipline is important in early years of childhood. Needless to say that that both of us want to give a robust foundation to our child. Child should know that if a family member says NO to a thing then everyone will follow suit. This way child will respect everyone equally and won’t use it as a tactic to fulfill his unrealistic demands. None of us want the child to be a brat or cheeky kid when he grows up, so let’s decide to not budge into all the demands.
- We have better ways to engage the child other than watching television like sharing life experiences or narrating a fable or story of a legend, these will be enriching for child. Yoga or exercising together, going for nature walks, playing an indoor game are some of the many options available. These things will keep you also active and energetic at this age.
- Times have changed and so have the ways. Please don’t be relentless in changing ways of handling kids. Let’s accept this bitter truth that change is a constant in everyone’s life. We can keep abreast with latest parenting advice by reading parenting magazines/books and discuss issues openly with each other. Medical practices have undergone a sea change and we can benefit by knowing about latest advancements and expert advice. Certain age old practices (like giving honey or cow milk to infants) are obsolete now.
All of us want our little mischief maker to grow up to be a humble, independent and a happy adult. When our objective is common then our ways to achieve this objective can also be common.
Thanks for reading this and understanding my feelings. Whatever said and done my love for you will never fade away. If you liked these then my respect for you will grow manifold as we can walk hand in hand on the same path happily.
A befitting reply to the letter by a darling mother in law-
I am glad that you kept the communication channels open and shared your true feelings with me. Here is what I have to say-
- When I was a young mother I was very hassled and anxious about raising my children. I never got to know when time flew and my children grew up. I could not enjoy the sheer joys of parenting then so I am doing it now by showering all the love on my grandchildren.
- I also felt the same way about my mother in law and never understood her point of view when I was young. Now I could relate to her feelings when I have reached her stage. May be you will too one day understand my emotions.
- There are imperfect moments during the day. Let’s not expect the child to eat the best, watch the best, look the best and behave the best all the time. These little imperfections will strive to make him perfect one day.
- The age of a tree can be known by the rings on its bark. Similarly my wrinkled skin and grey hair reflect my years of experience. I am not updated on latest parenting techniques but I have one thing- love and warmth for my grandchild which no book in the world can teach anyone and it is quintessential.
- Every relationship is unique. No one can replicate same behavior in different relationships. For Example- Children born from same womb have unique relationship with their mothers. In the same way I and my grandchild share a precious bond which has infinite love. When he comes to me with a wish then I can see the twinkling spark in his eyes, I don’t have the courage to turn him down. I want to give him everything which I could not give to my children due to several constraints in life. Similarly your relationship with your child is unique; none of us can replicate each other’s relationship. There can’t be blanket rules, one size does not fit all.
- A mother’s emotions trickle down naturally to her child. Your positivity or negativity will reflect instantly in the child, that’s a gift of God to every mother. Know your strength and be positive about everything related to your child. We will soon witness that sky is the limit for him.
Hope you will learn to let go one day!
If we try to understand situations from other person’s perspective there will never be confutations.Every person in your life can’t be either good or bad. A daughter in law might criticize her mother in law but when the same daughter in law reaches that stage she might start replicating the behaviour of her mother in law. Hence, it is rightly said that everything that happens is just a matter of perspective. A mother begins to think like a mother in law when she actually becomes one.‘’A mother becomes a true grandmother the day she stops noticing the terrible things her children do, because she is so enchanted with the wonderful things her grandchildren do’’