Living With My Mother-In-Law:: The Ultimate Patience Vessel

Living With My Mother-In-Law:: The Ultimate Patience VesselAs the years go by, marriages go through ups and downs. I guess that is why most vows have that little section about “in good times and bad times”. My husband and I have definitely had our share of ups and downs from life changing medical diagnoses to job layoffs. They have all been challenging in different ways and we managed to pull through. 

But recently, a challenge that proved to be tough skin builder, a grace giver, a patience vessel and sometimes, if I am being honest, a “I just need to get out of the house for a hot minute to compose myself” reality checker, finally came to an end.

My mother-in-law moved out. After almost 2 years of living with us. 2 years.

Now listen, I don’t want you to get the wrong idea here and think I don’t love my mother-in-law. She is a wonderful lady that raised an amazing son who has turned out to be a fabulous husband and father. She has helped me tremendously in some of the toughest moments of my life, especially when I lost my own mother almost 6 years ago. And my boys AH-dore her. And she AH-dores them. She is an integral part of our family and we wouldn’t have it any other way. My mother-in-law needed help and as families do, she and her twelve pound, never-stops-barking dog moved in back in September of 2018. And when that happened, the vibe in my house instantly changed. 

As my mom used to say “El que se casa, casa quiere…meaning those that marry want their own home. I know, I know…the direct translation makes no sense but it is a Spanish saying that I grew up hearing all the time. It’s the beauty of #bilingualism but that is another post!

For me, this was one of the hardest two years of my life. I had a constant feeling like I couldn’t relax in my own home. Because somebody.else.was.always.there. And it doesn’t matter how much you love the person because having your privacy, your personal, safe space, is just so priceless. My home housed two women with a very different understanding of boundaries and two women with a very different perspective on parenting. 

{{And that gets complicated}}

Because you know grandparents are all about love and kisses, and lots of spoiling…and I’m over here trying to raise upstanding young men that can clear their dishes and put their laundry away. Can you say grace and patience and the occasional I just need to walk away? At one point I had to make a choice. I could either continue getting upset or I just let it go because I am not going to argue with an almost 80 year old woman. It’s just not a good arrangement, mostly for me, because regardless of what my husband or I would say, those boundaries would continue to be crossed and I would continue to feel deflated. So I had to change my attitude.

Now add COVID-19. All these people stuck.in.the.house. While I was working full time, I was able to better manage the situation because I was not home all day and then I’d be busy with the kids’ after school activities. And when all of that came to a screeching halt the house dynamic just became all that more stressful. 

The idea was always that grandma would move out after a year with us and that didn’t quite happen on time, but recently, after almost two years, it finally did happen. I feel like I have my home back. I have control back of my space and I am so grateful. I love my mother-in-law dearly, I really do, but I am thankful that she has her own space now and I know that she is too. 


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