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What are some tips for living with your mother-in-law?

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Quick Answer

Tips for living with a mother-in-law include keeping the lines of communication open, picking your battles and having assigned privacy space. Blending households has potential benefits, but boundaries must exist to reduce anger and resentment on either side

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Full Answer

Communication is key to successful relationships and living arrangements. Care.com warns that too often expectations do not match reality when living with a mother-in-law. Whenever a problem arises, the one who recognizes it must address it openly and honestly. When the living arrangement is long-term, company manners do not apply.

Talk about the situation, come to a resolution and go on with life. Occasionally an arbitrator may need to intervene if an impasse arises. The younger couple does not need to assume that the grandmother is a built-in babysitter, nor does the mother-in-law need to think she is on vacation. As much as possible, both sides need to contribute to the arrangement

Remember to choose your battles. Every little thing does not have to be picked apart or critiqued. If your mother-in-law does not wash clothes exactly like you do but is willing to help with laundry, appreciate the help and look the other way. Alternatively, if your mother-in-law tries to undermine your authority with your children, have a discussion with her about the matter. Remember that everyone in the household needs to feel useful.

Everyone needs privacy. Forbes.com encourages you add on to your house or designate a suite in your home to be hers exclusively. At least establish times when you are to be apart. The younger couple needs to entertain guests and have alone time, but so does the mother-in-law.

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