Secrets to Happy Travel…with Your Mother-in-Law

Photo by tamtom

 Yes, it can be done!  There may come a time in your married life when you must travel with your mother-in-law.  You can make it a positive trip.  Here are five secrets to make the most of the family holiday with your mother-in-law. 

Secret One:  Try to have her get there ahead of you.  If she gets there first, she’ll have some time to set things up, get comfortable with her surroundings, and maybe even make things a bit easier for your arrival.  You might not like the idea of her “knowing it all” before you even get there but it does help to have some things figured out for you. 

Secret Two:  Give a little.  Do you have to follow your schedule exactly?  What would happen if the baby didn’t go down for his nap at exactly One PM?  Maybe he’d still have a good day if he went to sleep 30 minutes later.  Does the grilled cheese have to be cut into 16 perfect squares?  If this is your rule, give a little, I’m sure it will taste the same to your child.  If it’s your child’s “rule”, let them show or tell Nanna, it will be much better received.  Overall, try not to make huge issues out of minor changes to schedules or your way of doing things. 

Secret Three:  Go out one night with your spouse.  Take advantage of those babysitting services and spend some time with your honey.  If you’re really a control freak, feed the kids dinner and put them to bed then you and hubby can go out for a late night meal or other rendezvous.  Bonus tip, don’t talk about your mother-in-law on the date.  Trust me, it will wind up ruining the entire evening. 

Secret Four:  Be sensitive.   Most grandmas are trying their best.  They just want to have some fun with their grandkids after putting all that serious work or lack thereof with their own kids.  They might even be trying to make up for some of those “mistakes” they’ve made.  Try to remember, you’re going to be there one day.  Let them have a little fun. 

Secret Five:  Give yourself space.  Yes, this is hard work – all this sensitivity and holding your tongue.  I know, it’s your vacation too.  Take a minute for yourself.  Get some fresh air, take a long bath, go for a drive or bike ride, anything really as long as you give yourself some time to get your frustration out without making a huge scene and ruining the vacation – it’s not pretty and you’ll wind up looking like the bad guy. 

Whatever you decide just remember to breathe.  It’s going to be okay.  You’re going to get through it and you might even have some fun!

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