Like any other girl when I got married, I had major apprehensions about the new life and the new people. For some reason, during our courtship we never discussed if I was happy staying with the parents, I guess, we both just assumed it. I still remember the long lectures of do’s and don’ts my parents gave me about behaving with my in laws and here I came with a cocktail of ideas. The first few days or rather months, were an introduction to the new life and in no way today, can I complain. I have the most beautiful and sensible in-laws and touch wood; they welcomed me with open arms and like their daughter.
After five years of being married today, when me and my mother in law talk, we realize it was not how one of us was, but it was how we both were together. As I strongly believe, every relationship is unique and you have to judge how to handle yours. There are some ground rules for all undoubtedly, but what matters at the end of the day, how both the individuals are. I have a strong bond with my mother in law today (my husband is super jealous of this though) so let’s try and talk about some things you could do to build a beautiful relationship or strengthen it. The two things that really matter in this relationship are: respect and communication. With both these sorted, you have half the battle won.
Rules for Daughter in Laws
I strongly believe it is always easier for the younger person in a relationship to adjust. It is something would you rather change your parents or try and adjust. At our age we have more patience and we for sure are less rigid about our ideas so why not see how you can adjust
- You have to learn to respect the relationship between your husband and his mother. Avoid as much as you can, that he has to take sides. I always expected my husband to respect my relationship with my parents and I thought it was natural I need to respect his.
- In most cases, grandparents cannot be harmful to the kids and thus, they deserve to know and understand their grandchildren. You should try and let them spend time alone so that they have a lasting and strong bond.
- At her age, your mother in law has more experience and patience and thus, she will tend to be lenient with the kids. Just let her be. This is the way she would want to show her love. You are there to discipline and when you discuss, she for sure will help.
- We as new daughter in laws need to be positive. I always thought to myself if I am a new daughter in law; she is also new to this relationship. If I am trying my best so would she be. So let’s be positive and make things happen.
- It is sometimes difficult but most of the times, try and treat your mother in law and mother equally. If I like to speak to my mom every day, why can I not talk to her too? So if I am travelling or visiting my parents, I make it a point to call her and just do some chit-chat. Trust me it helps to stay connected. Keeping her informed is essential.
- Your mother in law is older than you and thus, wiser. She also must have faced tough times and thus, it is good to take her advice. This will help you break the ice and develop a strong bond and free and genuine advice, is always nice!!
- You have to learn to respect and accept the family and your mother in law is the best person for this. Caring for people she cares for is always good and, with everyone on your side, there are few people talking about you.
- Last but not the least, communicate. Do not keep things bottled up, just speak and discuss. This is the foundation of any relationship. Eat with the family, talk about everything, discuss. A good communication can sort the worst of problems.
Rules for the Mother in Law
You need two hands to clap and thus, as a mother in law you need to also make sure you make some efforts. When both people make a genuine effort, there is no way they do not have a strong relationship.
- Be happy about the new member of the family. Like you have pampered your own children, why not pamper your daughter in law too.
- You have to let go of your son. He has a new life and a new partner and they have to make a life together. You do need to give them space.
- Your daughter in law comes from a different family and is a different person and thus, different ways of doing things. You do not have to be critical or surprised, you need to accept it. When she does something in a different way, see it, maybe it’s a better way. You always can’t be right.
- Do not criticize your daughter in law to your son. He knows her strengths and weaknesses and has accepted them so do not complicate things for him.
- Respect your daughter in law’s relationship with her mother. Do not even try and compete as the chances are high you will lose.
- Let your daughter in law raise her kids her way. She knows the new ways and times have changed so let her set her own rules.
The relationship of a mother in law and daughter in law is a very delicate one and has to be handled with care. The repercussions of this relationship going sour are many and can affect the whole family. There are difficult people and thus, be clear on your limits and I would say again, communicate. The day you let one dominate the other, there will be regrets and thus, just take control of things and turn things around. Always remember, “You can never change people, they are who they are, accept that. But you can always change the way you feel about them.”