If you have a mother-in-law that makes you cringe, and she is throwing fits about your new four-legged addition to the family there are some steps you should take before letting her run your life and your household…
There is no relationship that can measure up against that of a mother-in-law. If you are like most, that phrase, mother-in-law, sends shivers down your spine as you think of all the picking, prodding and complaining that ensues whenever she is around. The relationship is tough, because the mom, more than likely, has a hard time letting go of her little boy and either does not approve of whom he chose for a life partner or even simply does not approve of the choice the two of you have made in living your life and raising your family. When parenting methods or other life choices veer too far away from the mother in laws liking, she has a way of making life miserable.
If you have a mother-in-law that makes you cringe, and she is throwing fits about your new four-legged addition to the family there are some steps you should take before letting her run your life and your household forever – stand up for yourself and put a stop to the constant nagging before it is too late.
1. Discuss Feelings
Try explaining to your mother-in-law how important the dog is to you, your husband and children. The dog is not simply an animal, or pet, the dog is a part of the family. Share how hurtful it is when she complains and makes snide remarks about the family dog, not only to you, but especially to her grandchildren. If you do not feel you can express these concerns to your mother-in-law calmly, you may need your husband to deliver the news instead. Hopefully, your mother-in-law is able to hear the heartfelt concerns and love you all have for your dog and will have compassion to change her ways.
2. Discuss Boundaries
Meet your mother-in-law in the middle and offer a solution to allow your dog space in the house as well as your mother-in-law. Use a baby gate to help confine your dog to certain areas of the house, where your mother-in-law knows that is his territory and she may enter at her leisure, but the dog reigns in that area. This is a great option, because if your mother-in-law truly just is not an animal person, she may prefer to have some animal-free space and feel more comfortable in your house. While the relationship can be tough, you are family and should both put forth an effort to make time together pleasant for one another.
3. Offer Dog Free Options
If your mother-in-law is simply unreasonable and still throws a fit about having the dog in the house you can offer a simple solution, give her a number to a local hotel that is free of animals. If you are determined to keep your pet as part of the family, then she should recognize that it is your house, your decision and she can choose to deal with it, or stay somewhere else while she visits, or simply do not come at all. Of course, you could play nice and offer to pay for her hotel, if you have the means to do so, but again that decision should be up to both you and your husband. Whatever you decide, the two of you should be unanimous and one voice when speaking to your mother-in-law.
Susan Wright is a vet and a freelance writer. Susan often shares advice on how the whole family can get involved with the care of their beloved pet.