Whatever category you classify her into, whatever be the breakpoints in her personality, there is no exit once you are married to her son! Ok, so I have used some basic computer jargon for an introduction, but is there really a counter code available in the market to break it? Absolutely no!
This job has to willingly or unwillingly done by the daughter-in-law, to her advantage.
People change after marriage.
You may have perceived her to be quite the adjustable and perfect type, over a series of meetings and outings before your wedding day. Yeah, but with a little problem with the décor or the cuisine or even the seating arrangements conveyed in a politically correct manner. So, the two of you are married and the next day from the honeymoon, a little sarcasm is flung at the breakfast table, on your face.
Something like, “Honey, do you really get up this late every day?” or even “Dear, we always have our breakfast at the table, with the family and not in our bedrooms”. So, she smiles like this and gulps down her milk in one go! Slowly, some clash or the other keeps arising between these two leading ladies and the man they love is trapped in this spider’s net. If he fumbles too much to one side, he gets trapped even deeper.
How does one really solve this million dollar question with a suitable answer? There is no well-defined set of options or method for arriving at the ideal solution, applying a marriage formula. Every such relationship in every marriage in every part of the world is unique. Each woman has her own past experiences, personality, expectations and timid insecurities.
This path has to be trodden on very carefully, holding each other’s hands (and his hands too!) till at least a compromise or adjustment is made by the two, TOGETHER. There may be various trending words to categorize the mother-in-law according to her nature, as perceived by her daughter-in-law. But, we are not going to do that today. We are just going to behave like kind humans who are related to each other by law and who need to find comfort in each other, or at the worst bear with each other in the most tolerable way!
I am going to share some practical tips and tricks to resolve deadlocks and locking of horns which troubles many marriages today. It is a like a continuous conflict between the traditional ways of thinking and upbringing which are at loggerheads with the ever demanding modern lifestyle. They are just not used to seeing this new way or rather are afraid to confront the rumbling storm which may dethrone them in the future.
So, what should a new bride do in such a situation?
Respect and dignity, go hand in hand. It should not become such a relation where she always has to strive hard to stay in her good books by running around extra chores or buying expensive gifts and the like to impress her. More on that later.
1) Get up early and follow your nose around the house.
You may have become well versed with your in-law’s style of living, their social life and everyday preferences like dining, traditions, and rituals they strictly follow in their house. Well, it is time to display your ability to nose around in the right place at the right time to gauge every person in the house, especially your mother-in-law. She may expect you to be up early and assist her in some daily routines, so why not give it a shot and avoid the “Do you get up so late every day?” dialogue from the beginning itself!
2) Startle her with some respect and that emotional nickname
You may have been calling her “Aunty” or something similar before the marriage and she would definitely have suggested you call her “Mummyji” or something similar in rhyme. Why not prance upon her with a morning tea and a motherly name to kick off to a golden start in your relationship. Who knows she may be shocked to tears with this surprise of yours.
3) Spend some we time together into the wee hours
Ok, I am not advising that you spend most of your time with your mother-in-law and totally ignore your gloriously jealous husband. But, some decisions leave a lasting impact if followed up from the beginning of marriage.
Talk to her about your husband’s childhood, his naughty side as a kid, his tantrums and what the moments he treasured with her. Ask about her childhood and how she managed her marital life and brought up your hubby to earn some brownie points for yourself. She will feel respected, less sensitive, not consider you competition and moreover regard you as her new buddy who she can chat her heart out with!
4) Set real expectations and stand for yourself from the start
Many of us may agree on this point since we all thoroughly believe that she can never love/pamper us like our own mother. It is just that she needs some time to sort herself out, find herself in this emotional mess since her adorable baby is now in your delicate hands. She may exhibit animosity or doubt your decisions, proclaiming that she knows her son much better than you do. So be it. You are his wife and she his mother. None can replace the other. You only need to love your husband and pamper him while taking a stand sometimes if the free advice gets to you.(considering that you made your effort to respect and treat her well).
5) Spend time together through common activities over the weekend
Over the course of your interactions, she may reveal her passion for photography, yoga or even starting a business online. So, why not put your brains to work and come up with the ideal solution of making your time, career and relationship with her more profitable?
If the two of you join a yoga class together or even start a business from home, it will become the best decision of your life. She will be happy that you cared about her deepest desires which had been left on the backburner and respect and cherish you for the support. Help her join hands with her close friends and some family members of you decide to go another way and let the money rain. It will transform your relationship into gold.
6) Let her have her way sometimes but be politically correct always.
Considering that she has way more years of experience in running the household or even raising kids, it will be quite dumb to compete and prove her methods wrong sometimes.
Weight the pros and cons of a situation and try to understand her point of view sometimes since she is more experienced in life-making decisions. Bending your ego will not hurt sometimes, but being bossed around always is also not happening.
So, stay calm, be politically correct in your verdicts and take her advice with a teaspoon of salt! It may not hurt after all…
7) Give her the right amount of importance and take the right amount of her opinions
Ok, you may be more modern and have a different way of leading your life and also raising your kids. She may object to skipping breakfast, watching too much TV or staying up late at night in a verbal way. If you feel this advice is good for your family, then why not adopt it and let her feel at peace. It is not that you are losing out on something. You will be promoting a healthy lifestyle and also setting a good example for your kids.
But, this does not mean that you succumb to every demand and remain coy and flattering her to let her ego sail. It is necessary to clearly demarcate your opinions, preferences supported by a logical explanation if at all you are questioned out of the blue! You can never change her if she perceives that you want her to change. She will only do so if she really wants to change. So stop trying to change yourself or her as a matter of fact. Each of you is unique in your own way with your considerable age difference, brought up and generation, so why the effort.
It is very essential to keep unnecessary interference to the minimum from any of your in-laws and not only her. But, what finally matters the most is a happy and tension-free marriage where there is none of the typical kitchen gossip, admonitions, and tears in the end. Remember, it is your husband who matters the most so try to delicately balance your plane of support to benefit yourself completely in the end.
1 thought on “Decoding your mother -in-law-The seven steps of success”
A very nice article. Fresh ideas to win hearts and deal with the MIL gracefully.