RTD: Look Who’s Coming BACK to Dinner.

A wedding ceremony is a beautiful thing.  It doesn’t matter if it is on a remote beach, in a chapel, a banquet hall, or in a courthouse.  A marriage is the unifying of two lives on to one path.  As much as you may love your new bride or groom, you have just bound yourself to their family… for better or worse.  Somewhere down the line, something your spouse does begins to make perfect sense when you see where it came from, whether it is a subconscious habit or a personality trait.

My in-laws are great.  They have yet to cause me any serious psychological damage (so far) that would require the need for counseling.  They are cheerful, supportive, loving, genuine, and open.  They are all these wonderful things, and yet they are not my parents or what I was once used to.  When we had our first child, we moved in with my in-laws for several years.  The stress of a firstborn on me made it hard to see them as anything other than odd, annoying, and different.  At one point, my wife told me that she hoped I could build my own relationship with them.

That’s what I did.  My personality and their personalities needed to figure out a way to mesh without becoming annoyed.  Looking back on that whole period of time (since hindsight is 20/20), I needed to find my own place in their family, and not assume I could share my spouse’s.  These days, my in-laws are loving grandparents to my kids, and often in need of my technological expertise.  I can live with that.  I see them often now, and it is an enjoyable experience, for the most part.

What did it take (or will it take) for you to mesh with your in-laws?  How comfortable are you having your kids with them?  Do you only visit them on holidays and special events?  Have you ever had to live with your in-laws or parents while married?

Join us Wednesday Night for our #DadsRT Chat as we discuss surviving the in-laws.  We start at 6Pacific / 9Eastern with a PreChat hour to share what we’ve been up to for the last week.  We will see you there.




The Beginning
About ManvDadhood

I am a man, and by my wife’s standards that makes me flawed. My challenge to parents, and to myself, is not to teach my kids about the kind of person I hope them to become one day, but to become that person today.

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  1. I joke about my in-laws alot but honestly, they are great! I could not have meshed with them any better. I joke with my father-in-law about how much my mother-in-law spends on purses and shoes. We sit around and drink beers and watch sports. I may get irritated how much my mother-in-law spoils our son but you know what, I’ve come to accept it and it one of those things that grandma’s are supposed to do. I am thankful that he has a grandmother who can do that.

    • JoeB says:

      My father-in-law once asked if he was over-stepping his role because he an my daughter are SOOOOO close. I told him that I’d rather she be attached to family than a daycare worker or nanny.

  2. Brad the Dad says:

    This post could be a stand alone and not a RTD. Very well written and awesome perspective with great, thought provoking questions. My wife and I are very fortunate to like each other’s parents. But, it’s not all roses. My wife’s parents live less than 5 minutes away and are very active in our boys’ lives. We both work, so before our oldest started K and currently with youngest, they watch them a couple days a week to help us avoid racking up a full week’s worth of daycare costs. Naturally, this leads to a subconscious overlap in parenting. “Did you remember to (insert anything that of course we remembered because we are their parents)?” often sends my wife off the handle. But, in my eyes, it’s just natural because they are active guardians 2+ times a week and changing diapers, handling naps, and feeding them. My parents do some of this as well, but less glaring because they live in NJ. But I can’t deny that there haven’t been plenty of, “Oh, his nose is red, is he coming down with something?” or “It’s pretty sunny out, where is his hat?”

    It’s hard, because we are still their kids, but if they are stepping on our toes and reminding our kids to say “Thank you” when in public before giving them the chance to do so first, or my wife and I after that, then that’s when I have to draw the line.

    Overall, we are super lucky in the in-law department, but like anything else in this world, there needs to be both balance and boundaries.

    • JoeB says:

      I could have written that comment except for the fact that my parents are not involved at all (LOOOONG story behind that). But we have never had to pay for childcare. I understand that is a HUGE blessing and don’t take it for granted. I’ve also had to come to accept that grandparents are just to make sure the kids are safe, and we are the ones who make sure they grow with character. I just make sure they talk nice when getting my in-laws to do everything they want. 😉

This is what I think...