Life is as amazing or as difficult as you believe it to be!! Here are a few tips that have really helped my relationship with my married daughter and her family:
- MINDSET!! I cannot stress this enough! When I honestly love both my daughter AND her husband, rather than being critical of them--GAME CHANGER!!! Imagine the power when you think, "There family is really fun to spend time with." versus "They take a lot of patience." When you honestly believe they are fun, your brain will find evidence to prove that is true. When you are focused on all the patience it takes to be in their presence, your brain keeps finding reasons why patience is necessary. Trust me!! You may think your thoughts are deeply hidden in your head and no one can tell but you AND YOU ARE WRONG!! No one is THAT good of an actor! Look for the good in their parenting, their spouse, their kids and their family life! Everyone wants to be surrounded by cheerleaders and, speaking for myself, I avoid critics!
- COMMUNICATION!!! When my mindset is to prove I am right, communication is a struggle. When I am honestly trying to increase understanding and my thought is, "I can learn something from them by asking questions" THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENS! I learn from them and we can both honestly express points of view and respect the other side--that doesn't mean we agree, it just means we can understand!
- RESPECT BOUNDARIES!!! Kayla has things she's very flexible about and other ways she's very regimented. We have to really be honest in our communication in order for us both to get what we want out of this relationship. I don't mess with her nap times and she lets me take the kids when I want them! One time, we were in Disney World and Kayla was pregnant and didn't want to carry the kids, so she made a rule they had to walk. We got in a disagreement when I picked up one of the kids in the line. I wanted to hold them since I rarely have the opportunity and she didn't want me to undermind her parenting. By talking clearly and being honest, we were both able understand the other's point of view and meet in the middle. She got to stick to her guns and not pick up the kids. I got to pick up the kids when I chose to. BOTH OF US WON!!!
Above all, I have the mindset there is nothing more important to me than our relationship!