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Mother In Law

By Yana

Be Nice to Your Mother-in-Law  

Did you know that October 28 is Mother-in-Law’s Day?  

Most of us cringe at the thought of mother-in-law anything, much less having a day dedicated to her.  So it makes you wonder what greeting card company or marketing “genius” thought this one up.  

On the other hand, maybe mothers-in-law have gotten a bad rap that they don’t deserve.
Granted, not all mother in laws are nice.  But most of them are not evil, either.  

So maybe the problem is not so much our mothers-in-law but the unrealistic expectations we place on them, especially in regards to the role they play in our lives. 


We daughters-in-law expect a lot from the mothers of our husbands.  In fact, we often expect things from them that even our own mothers don’t deliver.  We blame them when they are not attentive, generous or kind enough, to name a few.  But even more, we often blame them for our own husbands!  

Think about it.  

Your husband might be the greatest guy on this planet.  But as soon as you have a little tiff, who do you get mad at more than the devil himself?  His mother!  

Why?  Because she’s the one responsible for raising him in such a manner. And she’s the one who didn’t teach him how to treat you right.  So whenever your husband doesn’t live up to your standards, his mother becomes an easy and convenient target.  

My Turn to Be the “Beast”?  

As my son grows into a man, I cringe at the thought of one day becoming a mother-in-law.   

The thought that I might be blamed for all his character traits and imperfections doesn’t bother me.  What does give me cause for concern is how I might act towards any girl who ends up marrying my son.   

Any time I see an attractive young woman making eyes at my son, she automatically becomes the enemy.  After all, we’re talking about my son here.  This is my sweet little boy with the golden heart.  This is the innocent waif who is always kind, caring, sincere and thoughtful.  This is my darling cherub who has the word “no” missing from his vocabulary.  

The thought that some pretty young girl might win his heart and take him away from me is sometimes more than I can bear. That feeling alone, I suspect, is enough to harden the heart of any future daughter-in-law who is just waiting to snatch my son away.  

Ironically, I adore the young man my daughter is dating, and think he is a real sweetheart. I don’t envision any problems being his mother-in-law, so why does it bother me so much with my son?  I guess it’s the old double standard, only now the roles are reversed.  

After so many years of marriage I look at my own mother-in-law as a dear person, someone who raised a beautiful son with all of the great qualities that I appreciate in my husband on a daily basis.   

I respect her for always being there for us but never interfering in our lives; for always being willing to offer advice, but never demanding that we follow it.  I admire her for never issuing judgment calls, or telling me how to do things.  And I hope that when I “grow up,” my daughter-in-law will be able to say as much about me.  

As we embark on our journey to the next part of our lives, let’s reconsider our relationships with our mothers-in-law, even if they didn’t live up to our expectations.  Let’s take the time to recognize them for who they are, and thank them for giving us what they were able to give.  

After all, one day will be in their shoes.  

Yana Berlin - Founder of Fabulously40 

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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Kathleen Schott wrote Sep 12, 2008
    • I was the daughter in law who did everything for my husband’s family.  The holiday dinners, the picnics, the gift decisions...the list goes on and on.  When my husband and I separated three years ago, my mother in law was very rude and outspoken about me to many.  I have not gotten past this, now that my husband and I are working on our marriage and I don’t do any of the above mentioned, my mother in law couldn’t be any nicer to me....before she was very stingy with her gift giving and respect towards me.  I had always over looked a lot of her behavior, because family has always been very important to me..Now however, I have no desire to fill that need.   Its funny how what goes around comes around...I say if you have a great relationship with your MIL, your one of the few!  I have learned a great deal of what not to do when I become that MIL..I hope I can be one who will be considered a “mother” to my (god willing) daughter in law some day.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Alimrjoe wrote Oct 14, 2008
    • I, too, thought I had a great MIL; ended once her daughter had her babies (yep, twins).  Things changed for everyone including my other in-laws.  It was almost like she had to spend all of her time with the twins & her daughter..the other kids & g‘kids took second fiddle.  I too did family events, gift giving, etc.. then out of the blue
      one day she flipped and went after one of my sister-n-laws for absolutely NO Reason. Not in her usual character.
      I questioned her daughter (and even advised her to not get involved with whatever happened) about it and next thing you know I’m being ostracized (?spelling)..and in a discussion she had with her son (the sister-n-law’s husband) she announced she had only one child—her daughter (not 3 sons and their families). I question what her daughter told her as well. Since that time of being told of this discussion..I’ve been very hurt and so has my family. What do I do..I don’t know if she knows..but I do know that I don’t like this feeling. My kids are old enough to know what’s going on as well. In all honesty, my MIL is like a child who just got away with murder. She and the SIL have come to terms with what happened with them; I can’t get past the comment she made..especially since all the family time I spent with her & my FIL. Not to mention the time I put into things...I still remember comments she made to me about having ADHD..well my son, is ADD..but still she was rude and it was in front of others. All because I was having fun with my niece another g‘child (not one of the twins)..god forbid if played with them without supervision (from MIL or their mother) because you wouldn’t want the twins to behave like me (godmother to one of them..god, why did they choose me if that’s the case?).
      What is the matter with my MIL?? I even questioned if she was going thru the change of life or some health crisis. I over analyze.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      4everyoung wrote Nov 20, 2008
    • Unfortunatley I was not blessed with a wonderful mother inlaw......not even a good or okay one.... she is probably the most miserable, mean spirited person I have ever known in my life..... I won’t go into too many details but she was a constant trouble maker in my husband and my relationship, whom I’ve been married to for 25 years.  

           She delighted in saying things to cause arguments with not only ours but his other siblings marriages..... it was horrible until my husband FINALLY wisened up to her...even though he knew how she really was because she was such a horrible mother in the first place... she was a horrible grandmother to her grandchildren as well.... and this was all HER CHOICE...... she had wonderful daughters inlaw who constantly put up with her mean spirited ways and still came around but knowing as soon as we walked out of the room she was going to say something cruel or mean about us...but we all knew it and expected it.

            Thank goodness I haven’t had to deal with her for over 16 years.......she is still alive but my husband’s need to win her love ended therefore my having to tolerate her did as well....... and plus the older I got I’m sure I wouldn’t have put up with her anyways much longer.... she has been in a nursing home for a couple of years and I can go occasionally with my husband.....I watch as he caresses her face and wipes the food from her mouth and holds her hand and speaks to her so kindly in undeserving she is of his love......although it may sound like it I do not resent it at all and I would rather my husband be like that than any other way to her whether she deserves it or not.

            Like I said I’m not going to get on a soap dish and mention all the horrible things she’s done.......I’ll save that for an award winning novel because I’m sure it would be a best seller!!  ha ha ha!

            Anyways...... I am now a mother-in-law of two wonderful young ladies....... I couldn’t IMAGINE mistreating those precious young women who chose to marry my awesome young men that I gave birth to and raised...... I love them like they were my is a CHOICE...... I’m not jealous of the love my sons have for them...... I ADORE the love my sons have for them...... it pleases me much..... I always tease them and tell the girls how much my sons loved me until they came along.......they know I’m teasing and they know the boys still love their momma just as much as ever but don’t need me as much as they used to and because I know they have wonderful wives I am very much ok with that!!  Plus the boys still like my cooking best!!!!

            Just remember if your are one of the mean mother inlaws.........DON‘T BE........choose to be nice and good to the people your children chose to marry..... hopefully they made good choices....... it sure makes the family unit a much more pleasant place when we can all get along and truly love one another.  I have always wished I had a mother-in-law that loved me like one of her own... What a gift!!!

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Alimrjoe wrote Nov 21, 2008
    • Amen, foreveryoung...I plan on being a much  better MIL and treat my dil like one of my own as well as my sil when the time comes.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Kalic0 wrote Jan 18, 2010
    • Well, I loved the article.  I guess I am pretty lucky.  My MIL is a good lady.  She has been great to me.  Her daughter cannot have kids, but I could not imagine her being any different even if my SIL did have kids,  Of course my husband and I found each other late, so maybe his Mom was just grateful that he found someone to share his life.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Vikki Hall wrote Sep 12, 2010
    • I have been fortunate enough to ave 2 awesome MIL’s. Even tho I have divorced one of them his mom is still in my life. And I am thankful!
      My hubz mom also is a pretty cool woman.Other than her love of shopping and garage sales we have a lot in common that has nothing to do with her son.

      I am lucky!

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Diane17 wrote Sep 21, 2010
    • My mother did not like my husband at all and they really didn’t talk much at all.  I used to get along with my mother in law until we had to live with the in-laws for a few weeks while we were in between houses and we had a falling out.  Things have never been the same between us.  She’s a difficult person and very rude.  I don’t talk to her and even my husband is getting tired of her attitude.

      We moved out to be closer to her because she said she would help out with the kids and she has not helped us with the kids that much at all.  I actually saw her more when we lived further away than now and we only live 20 minutes away from her.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Marya1961 wrote Mar 23, 2011
    • I thank my MIL for instilling a wonderful work ethic in my hub and then it being passed to our son.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Sweetings1970 wrote Mar 26, 2011
    • I have realized that once there was an understanding of who I am as a person, the problems ended there.  I never wanted to see my MIL as a friend, because that would give me a strong reason to put her on my level, which should never happen.  I always wanted to look up to and respect her.  I know that not all MIL situations take this route, but because she is old enough to be my mother, that is how I wanted to hold her.  Things have gotten a lot better since there is a mutual understanding.

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