We had a fabulous relationship for years before I was married. She was my second mother. I was living in her home and we would spend days together working, volunteering, and having fun. We would talk for hours. She would tell me stories of her childhood and of her children's childhood. I used those stories to guide my own life as I grew up and made decisions. I still think back on those stories as a mother now with my own children.
But then I married her son. Things became strained, about a year later things were said and feelings were hurt. It was a devestating situation for all involved and for some who were not. We hardly spoke for a year, but during that time we continued to include her in our children's lives. After all the issues were between adults and didn't need to involve the kids.
Things would get better and worse. At best relations were strained. We wouldn't speak for fear of starting the fight again. We didn't want to make any backwards movement. We wanted to continue forward in hopes of one day having what we once had. I felt fortunate that the children were so small that they didn't see what was happening between us. But she was always invited to be part of the children's lives; birthday parties, Christmas, and school events.
We were still "strained" when I lost my twins. But that's when things began to get better. We never hashed it out. After all, the three of us are too stubborn to ever admit to being wrong. But we all started speaking more, she started visiting about once a week. Things were definitely getting better.
I believe it was a combination of my loss and me feeling comfortable as a mother that helped me to reconcile. I feel united with her as a mother and as someone who has had to live through the devestating pain of saying goodbye when you didn't want to.
The last several months things have been good. In fact, when William was born she was here almost everyday helping with the older kids. It was a lifesaver. It allowed me time to sleep and relax and recover. The kids loved it. We have been spending hours on the phone talking. We even went shopping the other day.
I wouldn't say things are back to normal again, only because nothing is the same as it was 6 years ago. But I would say that things are significantly better. I am now comfortable including her in our lives as much we both have time for. I no longer dread her visits, rather it is something I and the kids look forward to. Its been a long road back. We haven't "made up". But things are better and I am happy with the direction our relationship is going.
I know its been hard for our family to be patient while we worked through this. Especially those that love us the most and don't want us hurt. But the majority of our family members were patient and quiet. They were smart and knew that only the three of us could tackle these problems.
I haven't proclaimed to the family that I am happy with the direction things are going. In fact, only my husband and I have discussed it. Perhaps I should have told my mother-in-law too. Perhaps I should have told her how much I appreciate her and how well things are going. But I really thought my actions spoke for themselves. I think I will call her later today, after all, everyone likes to hear that they are appreciated and cared for.