|When her boys married, Susan Lieberman had no idea that there was an entire new learning curve waiting just around the corner. She had expected parenting to be demanding, but it never occurred to her to think her sons marrying would bring its own challenges. Where was Dr. Spock on this stage of development?
Now inThe Mother-In-Law's ChallengeLieberman uses the same strategy she found so helpful when her children were growing up — talking to other women going through the same experiences. She invites women everywhere to join in the conversation. It begins with women's expectations before their children marry and ends with hopes about how their children will behave when their mothers are really old. It deals with all facets of the in-law relationship, including how to handle difficult family members, how to discuss what seems like impending disaster and how to approach babies having babies.
There is, Lieberman says, complete consensus that mothers-in-law simply must "Keep your mouth shut." But that simple rule is not so simple. Mothers say, "I just want my children to be happy." But, in fact, they also want to be happy, to feel loved by their children and their families, and to be part of their lives with easy and respectful communications. "Is that too much to ask?"
Women who join the coffee klatch with Susan Lieberman will finally find the wisdom on the last stage of parenting that Dr. Spock never thought to provide.
SUSAN ABEL LIEBERMAN, Ph.D. has written five books, includingNew Traditions: Redefining Celebrations for Today's Family. She attended Vassar College and the University of California as an undergraduate, holds a master's in city planning from Berkeley, and a Ph. D. in public policy from the University of Pittsburgh. She is ordained as an interfaith minister. She has been married for forty years to Michael W. Lieberman, M.D. a poet who is chairman of pathology and head of the Research Institute at The Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas. With children and grandchildren on both coasts, she is well-versed in the challenges presented by every stage of family life.