Your part­ner is the way they are be­cause of their par­ents

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Best Weekend - - FRONT PAGE -

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.”

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