Are mother in law problems in a marriage?

Some mother-in-laws can be a royal pain in the neck, but there is a high percentage of great mother-in-laws and one shouldn't pay attention to the jokes made about them. My husband loved my parents a great deal and I loved his parents. Both sets of parents were kind, loving and spoiled us rotten. It got to a point where we had to put a stop to it.

Mother-in-laws who are divorced or widowed may be a pain. They may feel alone and thus put their whole being into living around her daughter or son's life including their mates. One has to be careful how they approach the fact that the mother-in-law is coming over too often or perhaps causing an upset between son or daughter and their mate. Remember, that mother-in-law will be your free babysitter when you need one the most.

If one should have a problem with a mother-in-law being unaccepting of the choice of mate if a decent person) for her son or daughter and causing problems, then the young couple should get together and come to an amicable agreement as to what to say and how to act about the problem. Then once they have a plan they will both have to sit down with the mother-in-law and be kind, but terse and tell her that she is interfering too much. If the mother-in-law is picking on the mate ofher son or daughter and there isn't a good reason; example: 'Well I cook the roast this way for John and you aren't doing it right' is reason to have a little chat with her and let her know you appreciate her input, but John has to learn to like your style of cooking too and could end the conversation by asking her for a few of his favorite recipies. If she is simply picking her daughter-in-law or son-in-law apart and being malicious then this needs to be nipped in the bud and both partners should stick together when they confront her.

<<My MIL outright refuses to 'babysit' for either of our two toddler daughters. She has an intense need to bond with them and is very open about it. I am amused by someone writing "Remember, that mother-in-law will be your free babysitter when you need one the most." While that sounds so logical in the average situation, I have never come to comprehend her reason for this refusal. In fact at the last holiday gathering at her house. My husband and I wanted to have about an hour to ourselves after spending a long five hour drive out of town to visit with MIL/Grandma; followed by spending the whole afternoon and evening with relatives the day before. It was just before 10 am the next morning. Feeling confident about this I said, "Marc and I would like to go to grab a coffee at Starbucks (less than a mile down the road)- I just want to pick up something at Rite Aid real quick first(sanitary pads... but obviously I didn't reveal that tiny detail!)" His mom said, "OK" Then about a minute later she changed her mind, saying' "Wait a minute. I need to go upstairs and get myself ready for the day. How about you make coffee here instead?" Our point was obviously that we simpley needed nice hot cup of post holiday java and make small talk about the way we wanted to plan the remainder of our visit, ie: stay another day? pack up and go to try to beat possible traffic...? Mind you MIL does not drink coffee. She is thoughtful enough to buy some if he and I pay a visit. though not being a coffee drinker, she doesnt stock milk, (* we never know why-our kids go thru gallons, and everyone eats boxed cereals, too) or creamers, etc. So to escape and smell that fresh coffee-bar ambience, and for yes really an hour why the problem? Again somehow it seems to boil down to her refusing to be alone in any way with her grandchildren. Now this is her house, and we have two little ones; 2 and 4 years old. They are funloving and very well bnehaved especially for their ages. Grandma just will not do it. She has all sorts of lame excuses like "I can't pick up the younger one she's too heavy for me." To which my husband once replied, "Why would you need to? She walks just fine and we don't carry her around much anymore(the littlest one began walking at about 12 mos)" Its very perplexing for us. So there is never a 'free' babysitter in Grandma. Back home, hubby and I schedule regular monthly 'date night' usually an early Sunday meal and a movie or bowling. It keeps our marriage healthy and balanced. Im a firm believer in it. Now 30 years ago this same woman brought up 2 of her own boys, my husband and brother in law, also just 2 years apart. Is it that easy to forget this, for her? We're left puzzled. Consequently, we limit our visits and dont stay more than 1 or 2 days as a result. Bewteen the packing, long car trips, and having to be 'on' and in full parenting mode constatnly with no breaks and little support-it's simply exhausting. The funny part is that she seems puzzled when the grandkids are less 'bonded' with her than my own mother. My mom when I had the flu for example drove all the way to my house ( we live far away from her) and helped out by taking the kids to the park while I sipped soup and napped. I recovered much quicker than normal.

Can anyone out there relate? Am I the only one with a MIL with this rule? I'm not making this up, the woman refuses to spend time alone with her grandkids, as she considers anything close to this as 'babysitting'. What's the deal Grandma?>>