OUT OF CRITICISM AND INTO LOVE

IN 1983, MY HUSBAND, OUR TWO CHILDREN, AND I MOVED TO BOSTON, WHERE My mother-in-law and brother-in-law were already living. We stayed with them for three months while looking for a place of our own, and then we all decided that it was natural to live together. So we bought a house to accommodate the two families.

My mother-in-law had retired, and it seemed it would be ideal to have somebody at home to take care of the children when my husband and I were at work. But soon we found that it was far from ideal. There was a lot of criticism between my mother-in-law and me—including criticism of my way of raising my children. We came from two different cultures. Our ways of thinking were very different. We both were quick on the trigger—if one of us said a wrong word, the other immediately thought it was a criticism, and reacted. But it always seemed as if I was the one who had to back down.

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