Email drama {Ask Kanesha}

Hey IAFN Readers!

I’ve  been away a bit due to some presentations, new clients, travel, and all the other life stuff that shows up.

I started a new Ask Kanesha feature and piloted it in a few circles.

The point of Ask Kanesha (yes, like Dear Abby) is to provide a space and place for  multigenerational/intergenerational and in-law dynamic questions and issues to land and be taken up.

I’m hoping to post responses at the start and end of the week. (We shall see.)


Today’s question:

My mother-in-law is a good person but she has a very odd way of communicating. She asks a lot of questions but you can’t do the same with her. It’s annoying because this is so one sided and very immature (in my opinion). So – she and I are at odds right now because I asked her about travel plans and she clammed up on me. Then she sends me these weird, hostile, and childish texts and email messages about how I should stay in my own business and not pry. I’m frustrated and mad – how should I proceed?

-Tired of this dumb sh*t


Dear Tired of this dumb sh*t,

It sounds like your mother-in-law is challenged by open communication. I’m not sure what you asked, in regards to the travel, but based on the information you provided, your mother-in-law may feel judged or under the microscope based on you asking her questions.

When in-law dynamics and intergenerational communication styles are in play, there can be an unsaid tussle as to who has the upper hand in the discussion. Due to social media, many people from younger generations are more comfortable with open discussions and saying any and everything that has to be said. Since younger generations are also used to talk shows (aka the Oprah effect) – they want to have conversations on the spot without missing the opportunity.

Some people from older generations are challenged by this because their mental transitions and values about respect for elders guide their communication style. Even though you (“Tired”) are an adult, your mother-in-law may be evoking the old adage that children are to be seen and not heard. She may also be nervous about upcoming travel plans and discussing the travel with you stirs this up.

You are wise not to respond via text or email. Dave Johnson provides some email dos and don’ts for the workplace. These can be easily applied to the situation you are currently experiencing with your mother-in-law.

I also suggest the following:

  • Send a short response back to your mother-in-law inviting her to talk with you face-to-face. Keep the response short and to the point.
  • Let her know how much time you have to meet with her. This will help to contain any mental “blowing up” of the situation.
  • Ask your mother-in-law where she would like to meet for your discussion. Having a neutral meeting place should keep the discussion on even ground.
  • Be prepared for your mother-in-law to say yes or no to the meeting.
  • If you are unable to meet, let it go. You do not need to get into a power struggle with your mother-in-law about her inability to communicate.

If you have experienced a similar situation, let us know how you handled it. Please leave your comment below.

 Learn more about Kanesha’s coaching services and programs.

Kanesha Baynard Coaching, LLC.
Limits of Liability/Disclaimer of Warranty:
Kanesha Baynard has responded to this submission to the best of her abilities. However, she makes no representation or warranties as to the accuracy, applicability, or completeness of this response. Kanesha Baynard disclaims any warranties (expressed or implied), merchantability, or appropriateness for a specific purpose. Kanesha Baynard, under no circumstances, shall be held liable for any loss or other damages of any kind. As always, please seek the advice of a competent legal, tax, accounting, medical, or other professional. Kanesha Baynard does not warrant the performance, effectiveness or applicability of any sites or resources listed in this response. All links are for informational purposes only and are not warranted for content, accuracy or any other implied or explicit purpose.

September and Autumn

The breezes taste

Of apple peel.

The air is full

Of smells to feel-

Ripe fruit, old footballs,

Burning brush,

New books, erasers,

Chalk, and such.

The bee, his hive,

Well-honeyed hum,

And Mother cuts


Like plates washed clean

With suds, the days

Are polished with

A morning haze.

~John Updike, September



Please stop for the school bus


I had to watch this news story two times to really get my head wrapped around it.


Mornings are busy for multigenerational families, well…families in general.

I was a bit shocked to hear the matriarch talk about the bus driver taking too long talking to the parent of a physically disabled child. What parent or grandparent wouldn’t appreciate their child being well looked after once you hand them off to a school bus driver?

And…if this busy multigenerational family knows what time the bus stops by their home – and they do not have time to wait for the bus – why wouldn’t they adjust their leaving time?

Leave earlier or later – to avoid the school bus all together. Revise your morning routine so you do not have to speed out of your driveway – but don’t drive on the sidewalk.

None of us are in such a rush that we have to jeopardize the safety of children.

That’s just foolish!

What do you think?



Jerry Jones – collaborative father-in-law?

Oh, I love a great in-law dynamics chuckle!

Two friends sent texts to me asking if I had watched the Dallas Cowboys football game.

Uhm, no. I believe I was up to my eyeballs in:

  • reading Busy Busy Town,
  • serving as the master quizzer with French flashcards (Lord! Why didn’t she take Spanish – a language I actually know!),
  • attempting to brush tiny teeth – even when the tiny mouth will not open wide enough for me to get way back there,
  • and following the Twitter feed about the DNC.

No, no football.

So…to get me in the funny know about Jerry Jones and his son-in-law cleaning his glasses, my friend sent this video clip.


Nothing like a great multigenerational/in-laws chuckle on pre-Friday!


Woman Gives Birth to Her Grandson

What did you think when saw the title of this blog post?

Yes, sounds like a headline from an unreliable tabloid magazine, right?

When Lara Spencer announced this story on Good Morning America, my head whipped around so fast – I scared myself a little.

I sat in awe and was overwhelmed with gratitude, joy, and amazement – at these two women, a mother and daughter, who worked together to bring a son – a grandson – in the world.

Talk about co-creating!

I listened to Sara Connell (35) and Kristine Casey (61) talk about this journey to motherhood and grandmotherhood in an intimate and determined way that suggested infertility was not a challenge Sara would go through alone – the entire family was onboard, supporting and involved.

I reveled at the openness, expressed by both women, on the necessity of sacrifice to bring Finn into the world. This included setting up a multigenerational household and all the medical treatment.

I cannot wait to read this book and learn more about this journey.  (Book excerpt)

What do you think about this? Could you, as a grandmother, be a gestational carrier for your son or daughter – if they needed you? Would you (adult children) be able to ask your mother, to be a gestational carrier if you were challenged by infertility?




G = Grow

Becoming a member of a thriving multigenerational household lends itself to many growth opportunities.

Everyone in the household, no matter the age, has a level of expertise that can be shared and will help other family members grow. Generational differences present a rich landscape for re-potting views, ideology, and perspectives. Keep yourself open to this type of growth.

Growing and learning can be a fun and exhaustive process. There will be some bumps during this journey, but stay focused on the opportunities the bumps present.

Your multigenerational household can keep a Growth Journal to record all the learning moments that happen daily.

Click here for the complimentary Growth worksheet.


Excerpted from Kanesha’s upcoming eBook: ž The ABCs of Multigenerational Living