While blog hopping I came across this heartfelt post of a very young daughter in law which really resonated within me. I married the only child of a super possessive mother and that was one major hurdle to our happily ever after …. but this is not what this post is about. Ex is happy elsewhere – thank goodness and I am happy being mother and single. I never got suckered into becoming wife again. In my youth I would have probably not been so adjusting and have written something like this lady has
Now I am looking at relationships from a different perspective – I am a mother in law. DIL is a delight, fun to be with. I like what women have become these days – confident, witty and with the ability to be straightforward. She is new to the idea of being DIL and as a mother in law, I think I suck big time!!! Even the internet does not have answers for How to be a Mother-in-law. Go ahead – google for it and you will know. You even have anonymous groups called “I Hate my Mother in Law” for godsakes!!!!
So here is a survival guide for mother in laws – totally based on my experience
- Every girl is cautioned that Mother in Law is not a mother, the same applies both ways you know, daughter in laws are not daughters.
- Do not ever try to guide your daughter in law in the same manner as you guide your children, she will interpret it as criticism of her taste/her intellectual ability/her capability and you are left thinking WTF, I never meant that!!!!
- Remember always that she left her home and family to come live in your home. Its tough and lonely. It will take time for her to adapt to your ways. Remember your days, when you did not even have the option of speaking your mind out.
- Do not expect your son to take sides with either you or with her. Remember how useless your hubby was when you complained about his mother???? Men avoid “Women’s fights” like the plague and deal with it by surfing the net or having a beer with male friends watching sports, hoping that the issue disappears.
- Keep your individuality and allow her to retain hers. You are way to old to change anyway. She is what she is, and your son loves her the way she is. So if you try to bully/dominate her, it will make both your son and her hate you. Your son might forgive you later, she never will.
- If your son and daughter in law are fighting, do not take sides. They will make up and your role will make you the villian. Why, they will perhaps blame you as the instigator of the fight.
- When you are mad with her – for any reason, apply the DAUGHTER TEST. Just take time out to think how you would react if your daughter were doing the same thing. Chances are that you would take a more lenient view to the issue in question.
- Do not expect her to dress a certain way or to eat certain stuff just because it is traditional. Traditions are values which is pretty solid stuff – not the outer covering. Your son has been raised by you and has imbibed your values. The girl of his choice will have similar values.
- As and when they decide to live away from you, let them go with a smile. I would also add, ask them to make out a list of the stuff they need – you know basics to start their own home. There is plenty lying in your own home that you dont need – like dishes, cookers, chesters. You can ask them to take these things with them. They will do for them as starters and they will be grateful too. And you have less stuff to maintain.
- You have handed over your son to his wife. She is his first priority – not you. So chill okay. If he spends more time with her, dont sulk. If they do want to go out with you or spend time with you, they would come and be with you. Its their zamana, not yours. Plus at this age, you would not survive their pace, their food, their loud music. Notice I said “their” They are a team now, you are the bystander. Accept it.
- Lastly and most importantly ….. Be nice to the girl your son brings home – remember that she is the one who will be around when you are old and frail. Also she is the mother of the grandchildren you hope to pamper.