I hear the conversation all the time: "I can’t believe she did that." "No, please tell me she didn’t!" The villain they're referring to? The Mother-in-law.
We all know how the in-law relationship is often strained. And it only gets worse when grandkids come into the picture. In-laws "swoop-in," give unsolicited parenting advice, comment on how over -- or under --protective you are. But they also babysit, buy the babies necessities, and love us unconditionally.
When I hear these conversations, often in the Care.com kitchen, I have to remind my staff that this is all done out of love. "And control" someone might say. True, it's really a control-tug-of-war, and you're on the other side.
But at least once a year we get the question: Should I have my mother-in-Law be my nanny? And here's what I say: If there's tension, any type of uncomfortable vibe that might make you less of an A-game parent, or might hurt your relationship with your partner, I have to suggest you look elsewhere.
It's just too complicated. Parents need to hire someone who they can direct and manage, not someone who will say "but when I changed your diapers, I did it this way" or "we always put blankets on you in the crib." When it comes to your baby, you are the boss. If an in-law doesn’t take direction well (ice cream for breakfast, no TV restrictions), you will either spend your days being angry – or have to fire your partner's parent.
And that's awkward.
Now, as a mom of two boys, and a future mother-in-law one day, I can’t promise you I won’t be some lovely young woman’s "Monster-in-law." But what I can promise you is that I won't be their nanny!
So tell me, what can you promise you won't do as a future in-law?