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Building a relationship with MIL

(10 Posts)
Grannyknot Sat 16-Aug-14 18:00:51

Hi elsbeth. What you describe in your post all sounds perfectly ordinary on so many levels where there is a (now) healthy relationship - exchanging cards and letters (especially as you say the past is in the past).

You sound so aware and on top of things that I don't know how much advice you need smile e.g. I'm sure you'll make her welcome and treat her visit as being special. I suppose it is a bit strange when you gain a MIL not having had one, but the relationship has slowly been established over the past 2 years with photos and contact from you. With a visit it will now develop further, as they do!

I suppose I'm trying to say "just act normal". I don't get any terrifically special treatment from my DIL when we visit and I like it that way. What I do appreciate is when she buys me a gift (say at my birthday) and writes a personal message just from her.

Coolgran65 Sat 16-Aug-14 17:53:01

Elsbeth, I think you sound caring and understanding, and that in itself will go a long way to making things ok. Everyone's advice is great.

Granny23 Sat 16-Aug-14 17:42:34

It is important that you just be yourself. If you attempt to impress in some way and the relationship is (hopefully) long-lasting then you will be trying to keep up the pretence for ever. When the children are older they will give you away by saying 'Mum, why are you talking to Granny in that funny voice, hiding those books before Granny arrives, pretending you don't eat cakes, drink gin, slob about in your pyjamas?' grin

Elsbeth I am sure you would not be so daft, but I have a friend who having pretended to be religious and straight laced to her MIL for 40 years has come unstuck trying to explain why her DD is getting married in a civil ceremony now, having lived with her partner for nearly 20 years and had 3 children. MIL was told they married quietly abroad years ago before first DGD, DGGD was born. - Oh what a tangled web we weave blush

littleflo Sat 16-Aug-14 15:38:23

I think words and actions will be so important when she first arrives. I would tell her how pleased you are that she has visited and also how excited the children are. I am lucky enough to have to lovely DILs and they always make my bedroom very pretty with fresh flowers and towels. Treat her like royalty and I am sure all will be fine. Please post again after her visit so that we can know how you got on.

glammanana Sat 16-Aug-14 11:58:38

Such good advice already given your MIL is probably very nervous herself so just take things gently and enjoy your time together with the

suebailey1 Sat 16-Aug-14 11:49:50

How lovely I expect she is wondering much the same as you. mishap offers wise words here- go with the flow - good luck. flowers

Mishap Sat 16-Aug-14 10:41:37

Good advice here. Just take it slowly and do not feel obliged to try and forge a special relationship just because she is your MIL. Treat her as a guest and see where things go from there. I am sure that the children will break the ice!

janeainsworth Sat 16-Aug-14 10:30:19

I would just treat her as you would any guest in your home, with kindness and courtesy and don't expect too much too soon.

vampirequeen Sat 16-Aug-14 10:11:50

It sounds like you've been doing all the right things. Just let the relationship continue to develop naturally at it's own pace.

Elsbeth Sat 16-Aug-14 10:09:15

Hello all. I've just registered here and am looking for some advice.

My husband & I have been together for over 12 years, and have two small children.

After a number of years where my husband had no contact with his mum (including her missing our wedding and the arrival of our first child) they have spent the past two years slowly reconciling, and have developed an open, honest relationship - much better than they ever had before the falling out!

I have exchanged cards & letters with her, met her briefly at a few family events, and try to keep her updated with photos of the kids (although she has abandoned her Facebook & email accounts, so it takes me a bit longer to sort hard copies!) However I currently struggle to think of her as my mother in law, as she is a virtual stranger.

With the recent birth of our second child, we've invited her to come and meet her new grandchild. (She lives at the other end of the country.) She will be visiting for a few days, staying at our house.

I'm confident there is no bad blood. We've all drawn a line under events of the past, and moved forward. And indeed this is evidenced by my husband's good relationship with her now. I'm just at a bit of a loss on where to start building my own relationship with her.

Any insight from a MIL
/Grandparent perspective appreciated!