Hello everyone. My MIL her twin sister and my MIL's two teenage children are coming to stay for 3 weeks as we are in Europe and they are flying from the US.
My MIL and I generally have a good relationship but there have been some difficult times. We have never stayed with each other in the same house overnight for longer than a day up until now. This was just due to circumstances, nothing to do with our relationship. I'm sure it will be a challenge for both of us to be in this situation for 20 days. When I first got married I was very open and loving with my MIL but over time I realized that it was best to not be so open, although I try my best to be caring and loving. I'm sure my MIL finds me challenging too as we are both very different in terms of interests, how we like to spend our time etc. We do share our faith which is a great gift from God. I can't say what will happen exactly during the visit as my MIL can be quite volatile and my last memory of her when I was in the US was of her chasing me around the house screaming and shouting at me. That day she had said something I found hurtful. I usually let it go but this time I called her on it as she was in my home and I didn't enjoy feeling so demoralized in my own environment. My dh and I are easy going and yelling and even fighting is extremely rare for us. Someone raises their voice in anger in our house a few times a year, if that. When there is an incident when my MIL's behavior has upset a family member (such as her children, in-laws etc.) she will not apologize - instead the whole thing will be ignored and eventually everyone pretends it never happened.
My MIL is not a terrible person obviously, she is a lot of fun, has a great laugh, loves her grandchildren and is the mother of two wonderful adults who are both happily married. Her own marriage ended in divorce just before my dh and I were married. My MIL doesn't believe in boundaries and will always try and get into personal business or even physically personal things, such as opening letters not addressed to her. This is definitely an area I will find challenging while she is visiting.
My own weaknesses include not being a good cook and domestically I am just not that interested in domestic tasks. I do them but not with much enthusiasm! I like to visit with friends and socialize which my MIL likes also. I also like to read and think about ideas and current events and my MIL not so much. My MIL loves to shop and be with her family. She is not very independent and will most likely want me to go everywhere with her while she is here. She would not take the bus into town alone for example, although I'm hoping she will feel more comfortable with her sister being here. My dh and I have three young children ages 9, 7 and 4. My MILs children are 14 &15.
Something positive is we have a small guest house so they will have their own private bedrooms and bathroom, although not a kitchen. There will be 9 people altogether during this visit.
I hope I don't sound too uncharitable, I'm sure she finds many things about me irritating and frustrating. If you have any advice and/or good ideas of how you have successfully handled a similar visit I would be very interested to hear them and grateful. My first recourse is prayer, naturally! And always try remind myself this is my husbands mom and my children's Nana.