Relationships with your mother (or mother-in-law) can be wonderful, full of love and support.
Unfortunately, there can be a dark side too. Sometimes conversations with our parents can create doubt in our heads, making us question our parenting decisions. All it takes is one well-intentioned piece of advice from your mother-in-law (MIL) that has you doubting yourself…. wondering if your mother thinks you’re a good parent after all.
So we decided to just ask. We polled grandmas to ask what they thought about their daughter’s/daughter-in-law’s (DIL) parenting. Want to know what they said?
So, what does your mother/MIL think about your parenting?
Turns out, she thinks you’re doing a great job.
Yes, 100% of grandmas we surveyed said their daughters/DILs were good parents. In fact over 3/4 of them said their daughters were fantastic at parenting every minute of the day. Some even said their daughters are better parents than they were themselves!
Parenting has always been difficult and full of challenges. However, about 90% of grandmas polled said in some ways parenting now is more complicated that it used to be. Good news though, ladies – most of your mothers/MILs report that you are bucking the trend and keeping it real.
I hope you’re feeling pretty good about yourself right now! Go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back, mama!
What They Specifically Liked
So what exactly did your mom say she liked about your parenting?
“LOVE” was the overwhelming answer.
Yes, you love your kids and it shows in your parenting. It shows when you interact with your children and when you talk about them. It shows in your actions and by the choices you make on a daily basis.
Your mother/MIL sees how patient you are with your children. She sees how you discipline them out of love. She sees you enforcing rules and structure in a loving way.
Turns out they see and appreciate the little things you do as a mom. The things you painstakingly internally debate about, the things you question if it’s worth it. Your mom is watching and loves you for it.
Here are some things moms reported being proud of their daughters for:
- Not overdoing it with the toys (since it’s easy to do and kids don’t play with most of them anyway)
- Limiting screen time and emphasizing reading
- Establishing healthy habits early (exercising and eating right)
- Taking the time to listen to what kids have to say
What They Don’t Like
But it can’t all be sunshine and roses, can it?
We all parent differently so of course there might be one or two things they don’t appreciate about your style.
Are you curious about what your mother/MIL doesn’t like? You’ll be surprised it’s really not that much.
First and foremost they think you worry too much.
It’s great that you don’t want your kids to watch too much TV, but you shouldn’t obsess over it. It’s also great that you want your child to be healthy, but a single french fry isn’t going to ruin eating habits. Every once in a while it’s OK to throw the parenting book out the window and go with the flow.
Another common theme amongst grandmas? You spend too much time on your phone.
Okay, okay…I have to admit I’m guilty of this one, too. But know it breaks your mother’s heart to see you on your phone when your children are in the room trying to get your attention.
Do everyone a favor and put the phone down. Go play with your child and built a fort out of pillows. The Internet will be there later after the kids go to bed, but you’ll never get these precious moments back.
One grandma said it perfectly, “Enjoy every minute you can have with your children. Time goes way too quickly, so don’t wish it away.”
Of course there were a couple of other little things that your mother/MIL said about you. Some of you buy too many clothes that your kids don’t need, some are too soft when correcting bad behavior, or maybe you let your kids stay up too late.
But these are small things – in the end we all make our own choices and parent differently. In the grand scheme of things, you’re doing a great job.
Finally, we asked the mothers/MILs what advice they had for you. And you’re going to be shocked at what they said…
Over half of the grandmas we talked to said their best advice was to not give advice!
This shocked me since it was an open ended question (rather than multiple choice), and an overwhelming number of grandmas said they didn’t like to give advice because it hurts feelings on both sides.
… which I personally think is the best advice ever.
When someone is venting about their baby not sleeping, or their toddler not eating veggies, or even their preschooler going to bed too late. They’re usually not asking for advice, they just want to vent and get their frustration out. If someone wants advice, they’ll ask for it.
The ones who did answer gave some very important advice that we all know but could really hear over and over again.
No child is perfect, and that’s perfectly OK.
Pick your battles.
Stay true to yourself.
And finally, my personal favorite piece of advice we saw:
Parenting is not easy. We all do the best we can. We should not be so hard on ourselves or others but remember we all are trying to do the best job possible!
Are you close to your mom? If so, did you consider having her in the delivery room with you?
Read Jo and Rachel’s thoughts on the subject: