The following guest post is just that. Real life. Written from a real person. Not a writer. Not a blogger. But a beautiful wife of a man who was unemployed. They have recently been blessed with a new beginning and new job!
Please welcome my dear friend, Elaine, as she shares her heart with you on keeping the peace while living with your in-laws.
“This won’t work!”
“They don’t like me!”
You may or may not speak these very words during unemployment or financial hardship if the subject of moving in with your in-laws ever comes up.
When we moved in with my in-laws it was rushed and not planned out. I don’t recommend moving in this way.
We had been having problems with our living situation and needed a place to go. My in-laws had suggested the move. So we moved in with them immediately, although I had my doubts.
My husband was laid off not even a week after we moved in. In a way, his parents allowing us to move in was a God sent gift.
I want to share that before I started writing this, I had to stop and pray that God would cleanse my heart and take away my anger, as well as give me the words to share with you.
You see, it’s not easy living with in-laws.
Today has been one of those days I dread; a day when my mother-in-law is demanding, and my father-in-law is downright mean.
I love them both! I truly do. But sometime I wish I could go back about seven months ago when we made the decision to move in and decide a little differently, although I’m not sure how. It’s by the grace of God my husband is employed again and we’ll be able to move out in just a few weeks.
Before I go on to give you tips about living with the in-laws, let me give you a little background about my current situation.
Things haven’t been pleasant from the beginning.
My personality is different than my mother-in-law’s and we have different ideas on how a home is to be run. I try to keep everything in their rather large home clean and running smoothly, but when no one else helps or cares, I become discouraged.
There have been times when instead of trying to keep everything clean, I’ve simply blocked my young daughter from accessing those areas. My in-laws then get upset because I let the area go. They never thank me when I do clean. I can’t win!
I can only wish to one day have a home of this size, so seeing it completely trashed by those who own it has had my blood boiling.
Not only are they messy, but they are also very opinionated and rude.
I’m sure every parent has dealt with the in-laws making “recommendations” about how to care for “their” grandchildren. Try living with them while they share their opinions about how you should be raising your children.
When it comes to food, we keep everything separated. We buy, make, and eat our own meals. Don’t get me started on sharing a kitchen when both women enjoy cooking and baking.
I’ve bumped heads with my mother-in-law on more than one occasion. She likes her space when cooking and I like mine. I also love to make schedules, and they run on freedom of the day.
Therefore, whoever gets to the stove first eats first. On the occasion that she arrives first, she yells at me for not feeding my child!
The only schedule we have to this day is that she does laundry the first of the week and I have to do it when no one has anything in either appliance.
This is my life with in-laws. Yours may be completely different. Then again, it may not.
To be fair, living with them hasn’t been all bad. We’ve been blessed to have a roof over our heads and support from family during a time when we’ve needed it. Additionally, we’ve grown very close to my husband’s brother, and our daughter adores him.
Making the Decision to Move in With Your In-Laws
Before agreeing to move in with your in-laws pray that God will show you His will and give you the strength to make the right decision. Don’t rush into anything.
Once you have done this, you need to sit down with your spouse and decide if this will benefit your family (if this choice is optional).
Really think about what may happen, and what you will face. Often people judge you for living with parents once you have a family, so be prepared.
Another step you should take before moving in with your in-laws is to find out what THEY expect you to do. They may want you to help with bills, pay a portion of the rent or mortgage, or be in charge of certain tasks.
You also need to know how they feel about certain things. Such as visitors or household rules. For example, we never discussed US having visitors. So when my family came for a visit for the first time, my mother-in-law gave me dirty looks.
When we moved in, there were no requests made clear. I really wish we had discussed it. Then maybe I would have known that they expected me to be their maid.
Once everything is clear and out in the open, you need to come to an agreement as a family either on paper or verbally.
Then prepare yourself and your family emotionally to move in, because your relationships will change. And my dear readers, I pray that you have a better experience with your new surroundings than I have, and that your relationships will change for the good.
Oh and don’t expect any secrets to stay secrets, it won’t happen.
You’re Living With Them. Now What?
The most important advice I can give you once you have moved in is to communicate, and to communicate very well.
Time and time again issues have risen in our home due to lack of communication.
They could have dinner guests, and you could walk out in your jammies! Trust me, it’s happened here!
You also need to learn to hold your tongue. They will say things about your family, friends, ideas, or beliefs that may be mean or taken wrong. If you’re quick to anger, you may say or do something you regret. I learned this very quickly.
A major factor that I hold near to my heart is that no matter what, I need to trust in my Lord and Savior! He planned all of this, and He will never lead me anywhere that He can’t take care of me.
Woo Hoo! It’s Time to Get Your Life Back!
The day is coming!
When God’s perfect timing plays out in your life, whether it is a few months or years, you will be able to move out again!
Before you decide to move out, you really need to think about what will go on. In some cases, you can hold off a little while longer and save up before moving out.
If not, you really need to think about everything financial, and responsibility wise. I suggest making a budget and being able to stick to it before you move out.
Write out a plan that lists everything you will need and what you’ll need to do. For example, make a list of all of the expected expenses and bills.
Then make a list of furniture items you will need and how much money will be allotted to each area of the house.
If at all possible, stock up on furniture and other household things before moving out.
Let your in-laws know that you’re planning on moving out and be prepared for the emotions and negative comments, especially for those who have children.
Don’t forget to let your in-laws know how much you are thankful for them allowing your family to live with them.
Living with in-laws is never easy, and at times you may want to pull your hair, or theirs, out!
Just keep your eyes on the prize of having your own place all in God’s timing and don’t lose faith! He has your life already planned out! He knows all the great things you will go on to do.
And remember that even though it is rough to live with in-laws, it is just a trial God has put in your life to make you stronger, and to teach you to love and trust Him even more!
Do you have experience from living with your in-laws? What was your greatest lesson or take-away? We'd love for you to share your story in the comments.
While the road of unemployment was long and difficult, she never stopped recognizing God's hand at work in her life and continues to grow in her faith and relationship with Him daily.