Friday, July 31, 2015

5 Tips to Surviving... Your Mother in law.

1) She is not your mother.
This is one thing I had to learn the hard way. My Mother-in-law (MIL) is not and will never be my mother! Before you go off with the whole, "she is your mother and you are her child" bit; let me explain.
 The Schaefers - Daughter and Mom.

My mom, iya ni wura and I are girlfriends. She is my homie, my road dog and one of my best friends. I can sit on her lap, smack her butt and make crazy jokes with her. She is that cool. Well, majority of the things I do with her would be "abusive and disrespectful" to my MIL and a million other MILs out there. Even what I do to my mom, her own daughter-in-laws could not do to her. Why? She is not their mother. So before you walk into a marriage swearing you are going to turn your MIL into your mom, just remember that she is NOT your mother.

2)Loving comes gradually, be patient and don't push it.
If we break the MIL/ Daughter- in- laws (DILs) into its basic elements you'll find that while you owe your MIL respect, you actually do not owe her love (read that slowly again). The love you choose to give to your mother is an expression of the love you have for your husband and needs to be allowed to develop naturally.

DIL's beat themselves up everyday trying to make their MIL's love them when in actuality it is better to have their respect. Her respecting you increases the chance that they might eventually develop a healthy and REAL affection for you and vice versa. You didn't love your husband from day one so why do you think you should be tripping over his family from the day you meet them?

3) Let your hubby be an intermediary between you and your MIL.
Is there a difficult thing that needs to be discussed; MIL wants to come to town for a visit and its not a possibility from you and your hubby's side? Have him tell her. Bad news to share with MIL? Have him tell her.
 Mother's embrace, classic
If there is a difficult subject that might make you lose value in sight of your MIL; why bother with the drama? Have your man deal with it. There are things that are easier for me to tell my corner just as there are things my in-laws would take better coming from the hubster. Be smart and use it to your advantage.

4)Don't start what you can't finish, leave the fakeness at home.
This is another huge one. We really need to stop faking things and start being ourselves. Ladies, you are meeting your MIL for the first time. You are "Yes ma-ing" to everyone including the dog; washing her dishes and clothes. You even ask for a wrapper to tie so you can wash her car.

Then after you say your "I do's" and marry her son, she asks you to come clean her kitchen and you start asking "Am I your housegirl?". Take note ladies, any "fakery" to impress your MIL will catch  up with you and cause more drama than you can handle. Now please listen carefully, please don't take the expression "be yourself" to mean you can be a rude disrespectful brat. If there are traits and habits you need to work on, please go ahead and do them; what I am saying is don't put up a front of falsehood when dealing with your MIL, it only leads to shame.

5)Let your husband and kids be your trinity.
I remember once a good friend called me up to tell me her MIL was  stressing her out. MIL was complaining about the way she was raising her kids and calling her motherhood skills into question. MIL had ruined my girlfriend's mood and she called me to talk to about it.
 Like Father, Like Son

This is quite a common scenario and one thing I have adopted for my own sanity is to make my hubby and kids my "trinity". Ok what does that mean? My hubby and kids are my sanctuary, I don't let the words of others, especially hurtful ones seep into my heart. No one has the right to hurt me; unless I give them the key. If the hubster was to complain about certain things; I take note IMMEDIATELY! but if in-laws are complaining the eba is to hard, the soup too watery and the chicken too dry but my hubby actually loves it the way it is; all I do is smile, nod and "carry go".

...Musings from atop the potter's wheel


Anonymous said...

Thank you

E' said...

Oh my
This post is the TRUTH nne. Truth on fleek!!!
My dear I couldn't agree more with that fakery absolute nonsense. Eish!!! I hear sooooo many people complain of stuff MIL has done and when you check, they started playing trophy daughter in law and indulging what they wouldn't otherwise. Especially that case of 'over visiting' and holidaying both of MIL FIL and others. I certainly would never indulge that without control so I didn't start it.
Then yup I owe her respect at first sight. Even mention. Not love at first sight.
Amazing mama. I would be referencing it in a later post


In the midst of her said...

Anony: You are welcome!

E baby: We are so intent on making the woman love us that we are willing to sacrifice all dignity without thought of the future. Can we keep up this fakeness? lol

Anonymous said...

bless you for the pointers. what if the scenario is different? The hubs wants you to love MIL by force?
i really do not know how to pretend.its either i like you or not.

*sadface* and she is not a likeable person too

In the midst of her said...

Anony2: Thank you so much for the encouragement and great question!
First of all, you can't force love. Not love for your husband,your friends or even your mother-in-law. True love is developed gradually, step by step, bit by bit. My dear you don't have to pretend, because that will only last a flash in time.As your husband's mother and an older woman;gives her what you owe her. That is, be respectful, be courteous, be a good daughter-in-law; show her that her actions can not influence or change the heart God has placed in you but that is all you can give until something changes.

In the midst of her said...

Anony2: I don't know if you follow me on Twitter but today ( 8/4/15), I did a 10 tweet post on your excellent question. Check it out.

Anonymous said...

I loved the lessons here. taking notes.

it's Abi :)

Anonymous said...

Lesson learnt!. I love my MIL, and it is very evident she loves me. She's the type that if she doesn't like you, YOU WILL KNOW. She won't hate you oo, however, she'll show you that she doesn't like you and could care less about you. Seeing how much love she has shown me since her son and I became official, it's amazing. Sometimes I find myself going overboard (over-visiting) just to reciprocate. But I think this post is very apt, regardless of how much she loves me, I only need to respect her and in respecting her, I show love.

Thanks Inthe...

Anonymous said...

i really enjoyed reading this and you make some great points. I would just like to add that some things should always remain in the marriage as when husband or wife shares too much of their spouses faults it can lead to inlaws losing respect. some people say 'i do' and yet still attached to their mum's umbilical cord lol. blessings x