Most of us look forward to the holidays so we can spend quality time with our loved ones and we try to soak up as much family time as we can. But for those who have a toxic mother-in-law, the holidays can bring out the worst in the relationship. SO if your partner’s mom is the actual worst, here are some ways to deal with her so you can survive the holidays and maintain your sanity.
- Be a gray rock - The idea is to deal with your toxic mother-in-law by ignoring her, which is called the “gray rock method of communication.” When you don’t respond to her trying to push your buttons, she’ll get bored and stop, it works in theory anyway.
- Develop a thick skin - Try to remember that your MIL’s negative comments are more about her than about you, so try not to take her criticism personally. We know, it’s easier said than done.
- Set boundaries - This is a valuable life skill to learn, especially when it comes to dealing with your difficult mother-in-law. But if you can “be clear, concise, yet kind,” while standing your ground, it can help you handle her better.
- Let your spouse take the lead - If you can talk to your spouse about how to deal when their mother acts out, let them help you come up with a plan. And if you can have them take over communicating with her over the holidays, even better for you.
- Stand up for yourself and your kids - Try telling your mother-in-law that you appreciate her advice, but you have it covered - but say it in a nicer way. You can try a simple “thank you” or tell her, “That’s an interesting idea. I’ll keep that in mind.”
- Create your own traditions - You’ll never be able to please everyone, so keep the traditions that work for your family and scrap the rest … no matter what your mother-in-law has to say about it.
- What’s your relationship like with your mother-in-law?
- How do your mom and your spouse get along?
- Have you ever called your mother-in-law out on anything? What happened?