Do you fit into this category of human beings?
Your DIL’s mother is quite gifted in the art of sewing. She so enjoys employing this skill in dressing and blessing the granddaughter.
And you? Even shopping for little girl clothing intimidates you! You had sons and are terribly inexperienced in pink and purple.
When the extended family – and I do mean extended! – are all together for a holiday at your home, are you counting how much longer your DIL’s mother is holding – some people might say “hogging” – the grandbaby than you’ve yet had opportunity?
How about when you hear that your DIL Skypes with her parents almost nightly and you only hear Facetime ringing for you on weekends?
Am I touching some sore spots here? Feeling competitive, even momentarily? Hey, what about me?!
See if any of these sound familiar:
Your mother buys OshKosh and Carter for your kids and your MIL sends clothing that she’s saved from your husband’s childhood.
Feeling critical or even scornful?
Here’s another scenario: Your MIL regularly micromanages you when the family is all together, telling you how to carry out the simple tasks assigned when you graciously offer to help.
Has bitterness or resentment found a comfortable place in your heart?
May I suggest that when these types of situations, emotions, thoughts present themselves that we ask ourselves a few questions? Questions that will uncover what the issues really are and how we can choose well for win-win outcomes.
What am I afraid of?
What’s really important here?
Just how old AM I on the inside?
These might be difficult to answer honestly. They requires us to take a look inside our hearts and work on untangling the mess that might be there. Fear often expresses itself as anger and maybe you feel threatened by your DIL’s mother’s strength in one area. You may outshine her in another, but right now, you can’t see that. You see yourself coming up short in this relationship that has begun to feel like a competition and you don’t appreciate feeling inadequate. So, you look for something in which you feel you can “trump” (sorry!) her and silently say “Ha! Beat that!” as if you have just thrown down an ace in the game of War.
But, it isn’t war, is it? And there really does not need to be a winner.