I have to give you a little back story about my mother-in-law, actually the in-laws in general. It hasn't been the easiest road becoming part of hubby's family. You see, hubby is Asian, and I'm just about as white as can be. It never bothered either of us, but I wasn't exactly the wife his parents had imagined for him. It took some time for them to warm up to me and a lot of work on my part to try to win them over. I'm not sure I ever did totally, but it wasn't for lack of trying.
It's also taken some time getting used to life in their family. In their eyes, when hubby and I got married, I left my family and became part of theirs. That's been a little hard for me to wrap my head around. I still feel like I have two families, but to them, my parents should be secondary now. I know this is a cultural difference, as a lot of ours are, and so hubby and I have tried to balance everything very carefully and fairly. I have to give my hubby a lot of credit because he has done an amazing job being the liaison between his parents and me. This friction has been the main cause of turmoil in our marriage and yet somehow he manages to always keep a level head and help us all through it. He's pretty wonderful.
Hubby's father passed away after a long illness about a year and a half after we got married. It was quickly decided that his mom would come live close to us, and I have to admit, it was a bit of a challenge to our new life together. I'm so glad his mom came, because she clearly was having a really hard time and I'm really glad we could be there for her, but we've had our share of growing pains once again. She really didn't understand what we were going through trying to have Bean (that's a whole other post), and it was hard trying to explain it to her over and over again. Now that Bean's here though, she clearly loves her very much and I'm so glad that she gets to see her so much.
That once again caused a bit of friction of course. She's been pretty good about leaving us alone and not giving us her opinion as to what we should be doing as parents, but she's also made it pretty clear that she wants to be able to see Bean more then she does. We try for at least once a week, but sometimes life gets busy. It's hard to balance things. She also really wants to be able to babysit for us which is something I don't feel comfortable with for a lot of reasons. Add to that the struggles we've had trying to control gift giving, and our relationship takes on new levels of complexity all the time.
All this to say, that it's actually been better lately. I've been trying really hard to just let things go. Let her enjoy being with Bean and let Bean enjoy being with her. As Bean gets older, she can make her own decisions about how she feels about her grandmother. She doesn't need my feelings coloring any of that. My mother-in-law has actually been trying harder too. Both times I've seen her recently, she's actually asked me how I'm doing. She never did that in the past. When I was trying to get pregnant, she'd ask how that was going, and when I was pregnant, she'd ask how I felt (aka, how's the baby) and after Bean was born, she'd ask about her. Never about me. So that's nice. I appreciate her efforts and I'm trying to make more of one myself.
So when our visit on Saturday lasted longer then we had planned, it actually didn't stress me out. We talked about our new niece and her new grand daughter (who was born on Wednesday, all are doing well and she's beautiful!), she got to play with Bean and watch her dance and moo like a cow. She's clearly head over heels for Bean, and so am I, so we have that in common. It was just really nice. Really nice to have a weekend that felt kind of normal, to have family over without it feeling stressful, and to feel like there's hope for the future.