It’s a tough transition when a mom becomes a mother-in-law. She raised a son and had a place, and now she no longer knows what that place is. The daughter-in-law, on the other hand, didn’t have a place (she took one on), so there’s no transition. That’s why unless you have a psycho for a mother-in-law, the woman who raised the guy you love probably is a decent person who’s simply trying to figure out who the hell she is and what she’s supposed to be doing.
Here are 4 ways you can help ease the transition as a daughter-in-law:
Treat your mother-in-law and your own mother evenly. If you’re doing something nice for your mother’s birthday, try to do something nice for your mother-in-law’s birthday. If and when you have children, visit your mother and mother-in-law with reasonably similar frequency (unless someone lives far away, then that’s too bad).
Show your mother-in-law respect. She’s older and wiser, and has gone through a lot of stuff in her life. Perhaps you could learn something from her. Be kind, warm, open, patient, and ignore the small stuff. When she asks to help, let her help, or give her something else to do.
Take interest in your mother-in-law. Sit and chat together. Take her on shopping trips. Ask her about her history. Where was she born? What was her family like? Show interest in her as a human being.
Keep your mother-in-law in the loop. Call to let her know about important events. Send pictures of the kids.
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