Tomorrow is Christmas. Many of you will be with your families some time during this holiday season. Some of you will not have that opportunity. You and your in-law may have a “challenging” relationship, which sets the stage for either an extremely unpleasant time together, or in some cases, no time together at all. Believe me I know how painful it can be.
We all have our ideas of what the holiday time should look like. We either pull from our own memories from when we were children, or from what we did when our children were small. This is what we want to recreate either with our own children or with our grandchildren. It is only natural. Unfortunately, it is really hard to compete with memories. They are often locked in a special place, wrapped in the glow of years gone by, and sprinkled with the magic of time passing.
As painful as it may be to not be with the ones you love during the holidays, it is a great time to reflect on what you can do to change things so next year is better. This is the time to take your pain and use it to move forward. Yes, allow yourself time to be sad, cry, and grieve for the loss you are experiencing. It is truly a real loss. But please, do not stay there in the pain. Doing so will only make you feel worse and powerless.
You have a year to make some changes in yourself that will greatly impact your relationship with your in-law. Use this time to take those steps. Think about it…you have nothing to lose, do you?
With the New Year coming you can set your goals, create the steps you need to take, then – take action! Step by step you can move closer to where you want to be with your daughter-in-law or mother-in-law. Getting there isn’t magic. Getting there is taking one step at a time.