Your partner is the way they are because of their parents
Alyce Young has a two-year-old and a newborn. She found a great support in her husband Myles’s mum Anne. She says: “I FELT really included from the start, I think that’s because they’re as interested in my life as my husband Myles. They make me feel just as important. There’s no difference in the way they treat us.
“And their family traditions extend to everyone, it’s not just about their kids doing something, the partner and siblings are equal.
“When I was pregnant with my eldest I had a lot of conversations with Myles about how the female’s mum often feels more included in the grandchild’s life than the husband’s mum. I didn’t want that to be the case. I consciously try to ask Anne’s opinion on things as much as my mum and I’m open and interested in hearing her thoughts.
“And I’m very open to my own shortcomings. Anne knows I get really stressed out with clutter, that I’m more of a minimalist. Now she’ll say: ‘I bought this toy but if you want to keep it at my house that’s OK.’
“I think speaking about who you are and your values in life in a nonthreatening way and your shortcomings allows there to be differences and for that to be OK.
“As well, if you look at the bigger picture stuff, if you love your partner, they are the way they are because of their parents — both genetically and environmentally. You can’t say I love my partner but I hate my in-laws because they’ve done something right.
“I appreciate so many things in Myles and especially now, being a mum, I see how much of that was shaped by his parents. Having children is something that’s really strengthened out relationship. Anne had four children under five and that’s given me a perspective on her early experiences. I love hearing about how she did this or that. Even though things have changed a lot I value hearing about it and the empathy she’s able to provide because she’s been there.”