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How to Be a Good Mother-in-Law

Urvashi Pokharna Mar 14, 2019
Did you ever particularly love your mother-in-law or are you having trouble being amicable with your new daughter-in-law? Such problems are often common in family matters. But, you can build a healthy and loving relationship with your child's better half.
Nearly all women hate their mothers-in-law. Perhaps, I can say that for the men too. In fact, there is a strong possibility that you hated your mother-in-law too. And now, you have become one as well. It isn't very easy to deal with the fact your child's new spouse has taken over your position as the most important person in his/her life.
Most movies about mothers-in-law have portrayed them to be a conniving, selfish women with only one objective which is to trouble their daughters-in-law. While there are also others show that behind the tough exterior is a soft heart of a mother who only wishes for the happiness of her child.
It can be difficult to deal with a sudden and new addition to your family in the form of the person your son or daughter has chosen to spend the rest of their lives with. It's hard not to resent them because all mothers fear that the respective spouses of their children may not always be fit to deserve their love.
Remember the romantic comedy "Monster-in-law" starring Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda? It epitomized the relationship between a woman and her mother-in-law who leaves no stone unturned to keep her away from her son. Well, you don't have to be one of those women. It may not be so easy but it isn't that hard to be a good mother-in-law either.

Tips to Be a Great Mother-in-Law

➤ Treat your daughter-in-law or son-in-law as one amongst your own children. They will really appreciate it. Wouldn't you have loved it if your mother-in-law was affectionate towards you just like she is to her own child? The simple rule, "You get what you give". Be kind and loving towards them too and pay attention to their feelings. Never try to hurt them.
➤ If you want to be appreciated by your son or daughter, be appreciated by their better half first. Ultimately, they will be the ones singing words of admiration to your child for your conduct with them.
➤ Gift them something special and personalized. It will really mean a lot to your daughter-in-law if you sent her a tray of cookies or a basket of muffins that you baked yourself, when they least expect it.
It shows that you care for her just like you do for your other children. She will really feel grateful for it and will respect your gesture.
➤ Remember your child and their spouse's anniversary and birthdays. Calling your son-in-law on his birthday will make him feel happy on his special day because he wouldn't really be expecting your call. It's occasions like these when you feel like you are a part of the family and belong with each other.
➤ Invite them over Christmas and Thanksgiving for dinner. Don't forget to include your daughter-in law and/or son-in-law in festivities when the whole family comes together. Do exchange gifts and buy something sweet and thoughtful.
➤ Gifts can be a real deal-breaker if given out of obligation or compulsion. Make sure you do not pass on a gift to them that you received last Christmas.
It will really annoy them when they find it out and resent you for it. It's best to take your child along with you to shop for a gift for his/her spouse. They know the best about his/her likes and dislikes. You will also avoid giving a gift that your daughter-in-law or son-in-law wouldn't like.
➤ Involve your daughter-in-law in the kitchen and trade in some family recipes. She will feel obliged when you teach her how to cook food like you do and win over your son.
This will create a special bond between the two of you when she sees that you are trying to help her strengthen her marriage. Just ensure that you don't force yourself upon her.
➤ It's good to pick up the phone and call your daughter-in-law or son-in-law once in a while. But, it's another thing to try to intrude in their personal life and relationship with your child. Nobody likes interference from their mother-in-law. Admit it, you wouldn't either so.
➤ Voice your feelings. If you did not like something your daughter-in-law or son-in-law did, it's better to come clean about it than to brood over it and harbor ill feelings towards each other. Do it amicably. Don't forget, you are the older one and, hence, you are expected to show more maturity.
➤ Never try to put up a fake act of affection. They will easily see through it.
Also, do not be over-friendly or try to become a mother unless they are hoping to establish such a relationship with you. Don't try to parent them because you may end up criticizing them. Keep your advice to yourself unless asked for.
➤ Don't forget their parents. Apart from trying to build a harmonious relationship with your daughter-in-law or son-in-law, try to do the same with their parents too.
Meeting each other at the wedding or the birth of your grandchild shouldn't be the only occasion you get to see each other. Include them into the family too. Don't forget to call on their birthdays, anniversaries and exchange cards for Christmas.
➤ Avoid giving dirt on your child's past. If their better half is not aware of it, it will create problems between the two and they will both blame you for it.
➤ Do not try to control their choices and decisions. Many mothers-in-law tend to become domineering especially when paying a visit to your children. Don't try to pick out their flaws. Be understanding. If you cannot contribute to household chores, don't make your stay difficult for them.
➤ Even when you are trying to teach your grandchildren some good etiquette, it can backfire and stress your relationship with your daughter-in-law. They will perceive it as criticism to their parenthood.
➤ Try not to speak ill about your daughter-in-law to anybody, especially to a family member. It gives you both a bad name in the family for trying to belittle each other. If you don't like them, keep those thoughts to yourself.
Did you know? The words 'Woman Hitler' are an anagram for 'mother-in-law'! You remember how much you hated your mother-in-law for her strange antics all aimed to trouble you. Do you want to be the same person in your daughter-in-law or son-in-law's life too? Do you want to be the person they resent the most in their families?
Unfortunately, mothers-in-law have gained a bad reputation over the years for their typical mother-in-law problems. But, you can be a good one and set an example. Ultimately, your only wish is your child's happiness. Give them a chance. Be good.