Many wives are frustrated when their mothers-in-law come to visit because they feel kicked out of their own kitchen. Husbands may not be very sympathetic. As far as they can see, their mother is back making them their favourite breakfast once again and she is obviously being helpful, so why worry? The daughter-in-law will have to be very careful that she does not offend her mother-in-law or her husband. But she may still resent her mother-in-law’s influence. The following suggestions are intended to help wives deal with their feelings and regain control in their own homes.
Sharing Your Kitchen with Your Mother-in-law #1 Delegate
If you often arrive home from work shattered each day with a pile of chores still waiting for you to do, then take advantage of your mother-in-law’s offers of assistance and ask her to help you. Stay at home wives and mothers are also tired from their strenuous daily activities. Accepting help does not mean you cannot manage on your own. Look at it as a temporary boost while your mother-in-law is visiting. Jobs that you really dislike may not matter to your mother-in-law as she rolls up her sleeves and gets stuck in. It will make her feel important and helpful and it will also lighten the load for you too. Be sure to set boundaries though, otherwise she may try to do too much.
Sharing Your Kitchen with Your Mother-in-law #2 Bake
Some mothers-in-law enjoy baking and sharing the goodies with their children and their spouses. If you do not have the time or do not enjoy the idea of baking, then ask your mother-in-law to share the family’s famous bread or cinnamon roll recipe by baking up a batch for you and your family. Your mother-in-law will appreciate being asked. You can even question her during the baking process and watch her as she creates bread or cinnamon rolls. It is often more fun to watch others bake when you are not keen on doing it yourself.
Sharing Your Kitchen with Your Mother-in-law #3 Dinner
Does your mother-in-law miss her usual dinner? Are you into healthy eating while she prefers the comforts of southern cooking? If so, try to compromise and ask her to cook up one or two of the dishes she likes and then you will see an improvement in her mood. If she eats only what you cook, she will soon miss her own cooking. But allowing her to introduce some of her favourite recipes will delight her and your husband too, who grew up with his mother’s home cooking. Familiar meals often stir up memories of long ago.
In their own homes, women will usually be in charge of what goes on. But when they visit their sons and their sons’ wives, they often feel redundant. As far as they can see, the couple are able to get by without any assistance. When they ask if they can help, they are usually told to just rest. This will often make them feel even more useless. But by taking up your mother-in-law’s offer of assistance in the kitchen this will help her to feel useful and it will also help you too in the long run. So next time your mother-in-law turns up and offers to help you, think about how she must feel and accept her help. It does not mean she is trying to take over. She simply wants to feel needed and useful.