Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Two Queens Make A Full House

When a woman sets up house and takes on the roll of "homemaker", there is a certain amount of pride in being the "Queen of her castle" What happens though when you begin to take on the roll of caregiver to either your parents, inlaws or another family member that contains another female member?

Two Queens make a full house.While being the caregiver to my in-laws, I have learned that two queens in the castle makes for a difficult adjustment for all that are involved. The older Queen and the younger queen have to make allowances for each other and boundaries must be set. While it is frustrating for the younger Queen to have to accept another Queen in what used to be only her castle, the older Queen is mourning the loss of the freedoms that her older castle used to offer. The older Queen has to put aside everything that she worked so hard for and conform to the younger Queen's rules of the kingdom.

All the royalty talk aside...it is rough to blend the homes and everyone to be happy. I think that is where I have struggled the most is a longing for how things used to be and feeling like my kingdom was not mine anymore. I am really working on trying to discover a new kind of normal and to have reasonable expectations for our future. I want my mother-in-law to feel comfortable, happy and safe with us, but at the same time having to establish boundaries while saving feelings.

In many areas I have been trying to learn to just back off and let the small battles fall to the wayside. If she has made a certain dish a certain way for the past 50 years and wants to correct me (even though mine is perfect) I need to step aside and let her correct me. This gives her a great deal of respect and encourages her to continue to be useful. At the same time, just because she disciplined her children a certain way, she is not allowed to discipline mine or contradict anything I have said.

So we have two Queens in our castle now and I am learning that it doesn't have to be a full house, nor a loss of a kingdom. I am learning to share and appreciate the wisdom that she has to offer. I am learning to pick my battles because all that really matters is that there is love in the home (no matter how much garlic is supposed to go into pizza sauce)

9 comments:

Amy O'Connor said...

Oh, I have a ton of sympathy for you! And your mother-in-law as well. I can imagine how difficult the adjustment has been for the both of you. Sounds like you both have handled it well, though.

On a side note, I'm just glad I don't have to worry about that anymore since my MIL now has a boyfriend and that means waaaay less of a chance that she'll move in with us after her dad passes. =)

The Ninja said...

I can't even imagine having to share my kingdom with the older queen..I get the willies just thinking about it.

Bethany @ Organic Enchilada said...

I've been there a time or two, and it is TOUGH. It takes a lot of give and sacrifice on both ends. It's not something that everyone can do. It helps a lot if the two queens like each other, huh? :) Best of luck to you in keeping the balance. You are absolutely cut out for it. Sainthood is coming your way!

Katie said...

Wow, that is a really tough situation. With age seems to come a permission to give opinions on everything for a MIL, and it is really hard to take sometimes, especially when you are trying your best.

From what I've read, you are someone that can handle this better than most. Good luck :-)

always B designs said...

Wow, this brings back memories! I helped my mom through the loss of her father, who she cared for almost for 3 years before he passed on. I can completely relate to what you are saying, although I have yet to go through it. You gave some really good advice though - even some advice that works for friendships and marriage! LOL. As usual, I just love your posts. :)

Visiting from #31DBBB and #tag31DBBB, so now you're it! Pass on the tag love!

mcscraps5 said...

My house could not handle the two queens and it began taking a toll on my marriage. I feel badly that I wasn't strong enough to let the little things slide, but it was just too many little things. I tried to keep my mouth shut and be supportive of my husband but even he could see that there wasn't enough room in the house for the two queens. Eventually we had the conversation that needed to be had and made some decisions that worked out for everyone. My MIL got her freedom back and is in her own place now, and I am back to being the queen in a castle full of men. I am certainly enough drama on my own for anyone.

You are obviously much wiser and stronger than I will ever be. That's okay with me. ;-)

Debbie's L'Bri said...

God will Bless You for being so kind to take in your mil.

Laura said...

I think you have an amazing attitude! Living with parents/in-laws is the norm in Bolivia, so this may very well be in my future. And I have to admit, it's not something I look forward to. I get along with my boyfriend's mom fine, but I'm also a really independent, stubborn person :)

I admire you for just embracing the situation and handling it the best you can. I'm sure it'll pay off as this set-up becomes more natural and second nature.

Wayfaring Pilgrim said...

Always remember WHO is the DEALER and He "shuffles" the "cards" and deals them to us.

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