Not only do I find it hard not to compare myself to the supermom my husband grew up with, but I also struggle with the fact that she comes across as a “super-Christian.” She often talks about how she spends two to three hours each morning praising and praying. I have never heard her apologize (her husband, Gerry, says she hasn’t in thirty-five years of marriage), and she apparently doesn’t struggle with many sins either. Sue often says she doesn’t struggle with jealousy or having her feelings hurt, for example. It seems to me that she thinks she’s reached the point of perfection.

Bottom line: Granny’s all that and a bag of homemade cookies. How can her daughter-in-law ever hope to measure up?

Extreme Granny makeover: That’s just it. No one will ever measure up to Sue, who sees herself as She Who Will Be Revered. For some reason, she has to maintain an image of “perfection,” which, if I were a shrink, would lead me to believe things are not as perfect as they seem. And this bit about never saying she’s sorry in thirty-five years of marriage? That’s just scary. I think Granny should pray for some humility while she’s on her knees for three hours a day!

Lindsay’s got to resolve in her mind that Granny will never change, and that’s Granny’s problem. Clearly Granny’s got some issues, but Lindsay cannot get hooked into this unspoken competition thing. She’s got to let it go and not let her relationship with her mother-in-law become toxic. So Granny’s perfect? Good for Granny. You be the best mom you can, as Lindsay is seeking to do. “I’m trying to choose to love her when she says controlling and insensitive comments,” says Lindsay. “I’m trying to remain positive when she frustrates me to no end. I know I need to make the choice for my family’s sake.”

Next time: Confronting outdated parenting suggestions and recognizing the blessings of involved Grandparents...

Excerpted from The Wide-Eyed Wonder Years (Revell) by Lorilee Craker. Used by permission of Fleming H. Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, copyright (c) 2006. All rights to this material are reserved. Materials are not to be distributed to other web locations for retrieval, published in other media, or mirrored at other sites without written permission from Baker Publishing Group.

Lorilee Craker lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with her husband and three children. She is the author of several books for young moms, including Just Give Me a Little Piece of Quiet and We Should Do This More Often.