As much as you want to fight it, you feel, one way or another, intimidated by your in-laws even after years of knowing them. Your partner constantly reassures you that they like you for who you are, and they otherwise might have objected to your marriage if they disliked you. Still, there is that overpowering pressure to take care of their child and the family you both decided to form.
The more you fear making them upset if they tell you they plan to visit. Even if the visit is days or weeks from now, you cannot help but fret at everything in the house that you think they will notice. The least you want them to feel is that life has not been going smoothly with your partner, son, or daughter.
How well your family dynamic mainly manifests itself in how orderly your home is. And so, you want to pay the most attention to the following details just before they arrive:
Clean to a Tee
You might have a daily and weekly cleaning routine you try as much to squeeze into your busy schedule. But you know you cannot comprehensively cover every nook and cranny of your house with the time constraint. This time around, look into those spaces that your wiping cloth, duster, or vacuum cleaner barely grazed for the past few weeks and months.
The blades of your ceiling fan and the top of your curtains which, for sure have accumulated lots of dust, for instance, are worth zeroing in. Give these hard-to-reach surfaces a good wipe. A steam mop can do an incredible job removing dust and sanitizing all types of surfaces.
Whether you have guests coming over or none, it is the best practice to keep tabs on when linens like table runners, throw pillowcases, curtains, and rugs are due for replacement. Those with visible liquid stains and a grimy texture are up for your next round of laundry. To give a good impression, at least when your in-laws are around, put on matching linen.
You might regularly be cleaning areas like your sinks, faucets, mirrors, and the bath in general. But, there should remain a noticeable film of calcified water. Although these aren’t necessarily disgusting, you can please your guests by restoring these watermarked surfaces’ shine with the help of a white vinegar soak which you can brush and rinse off after half an hour. Now, you have spick and span kitchen and bath surfaces.
Cook Something Special
That they took the trouble and time to visit you means a lot. Express your appreciation by cooking up something you won’t make on an ordinary day. After all the moving and cleaning, do a quick market run for only the freshest produce like vegetables, fruits, meat, and herbs to serve your guests.
You need not serve expensive entrees. What is essential is you took the time and extensive attention to cooking the dishes to perfection. This is also the best time to utilize your special dinnerware.
If you can, serve them delicacies unique to your area or have a bag filled with these local goodies to bring back home. Serve freshly chopped fruit as a gesture of concern to their health, too. Top off the intimate meal by toasting good old wine.
Prevent Dead Air
You are bound to leave a good impression, too, if you keep the conversation ball rolling. Go beyond the usual conversation starters like “How are you?” or “How’s the food?” If you genuinely want to nurture your relationship with your in-laws, you should be able to drive the discussion from one point to the next.
Make sure to be always courteous, not too pushy, and maintain eye contact to signify your utmost eagerness to understand their views of things. As much as possible, you want to keep silent pauses as short as possible before it feels awkward for all parties. Pitching your jokes from time to time can help.
Or show how you’re genuinely curious about what they have to advise regarding family life or their opinion on how to raise your kids. Listen intently to what they have to say about spending your free time as a family and if they agree with sending your kids to afterschool day care when you’re too busy with work.
Impressing your in-laws should not be a task you willingly accept only when you meet them. But making them feel most welcome whenever they come over should not take a second thought before doing.