The moment marriage is fixed, the very second question comes to the girl, and the family is, “how will be her mother-in-law?” Talking specifically in the Indian context, we do require the good repo and understanding between the girl and her mother-in-law. Because the boy’s nature is being reserved and being not much involved in the family matters, it is the role of the mother-in-law, which comes first, being the person who will pass on all the family traditions and rituals to her Daughter-In-Law. Secondly, both being women, loves to speak, sharing all the similar feminine traits should be able to make family a loving and peaceful place for everyone to live. Despite saying this, there are many factors in developing such a lovely bond between these two prominent ladies. While making the bond, there are many repercussions in the family.
Sometimes, to have that strong bond is not so easy. Daughter-In-Law has to put her best efforts. These efforts and transformation from daughter to daughter-in-law can be best described by the metamorphosis of a butterfly, which transforms from a caterpillar to butterfly and becomes the most beautiful thing on earth. However, to become that fantastic creature, the caterpillar goes through a struggling process. Similarly, the transformation of a daughter to an ideal daughter-in-law involves lots of involvement and struggle. It results in the emergence of a beautiful woman. Today you will read some golden tips on how to become a good daughter-in-law and live a joyful and harmonious life!
The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both transform.
– C.G. Jung
Let’s understand the points which generally create friction between these two prominent ladies.
The Reasons for mother-in-law’s worry
The good bonding between you and your husband
Your husband is her son first if you have a good repo with him, this implies that you have direct control over your mother-in-law.
A threat to her position for her son
A mother always loves her children with no expectations, and she showers all her love exclusively on her children. When she finds that her darling son is being loved by someone else, and her son also reciprocates to the new love, the feeling of insecurity arises. And if that person happens to be her ‘Daughter-In-Law’, she cannot stop herself from being jealous. She may fear that her apple of the eye – son, may fall in love with the Daughter-In-Law more than he used to love her. A mother cannot share her love for her child. The same goes for her family as well.
Fear of negligence
A mother-in-law feels that in due course of time, if she teaches you everything and you will not keep her posted, and she will remain alone, and many vital decisions will not be known to her.
Fear of dependency in her old age
She would like to keep you under her control, so that you and her son should not leave her alone during her old age, on the worst part; she can think that her son and Daughter-In-Law will take away all her wealth as well and they may start living their independent life.
A direct threat to her position in the family
Mother-in-law has been taking care of her home from ages, and now, she refuses to get retired and doesn’t want her DIL to take credit for the good things done in the family. There is a Jealousy factor.
Fear of change
She has a concern that the Daughter-In-Law may change the rules of the home, which she has set for her family, and mother-in-law may not be willing to change as per these new rules. She also fears that the new regulations which are new to the family can lead to the worsening of her family.
The root cause of most of the problems is the mother-in-law’s insecure feeling. As a Daughter-In-Law, you try to make her feel secure. A few positive initiatives from your side can bring many changes in the relationship with your mother-in-law. Here are a few tips which will help you build a better bond with your mother-in-law.
Make Her Feel Special
Spending time with your family (in-laws) is a very must be one. If you want to be in a good relationship with your mother-in-law, spend time with her. Have a tea-time chat with her whenever you find the time.
Have a weekend trip of her choice (maybe a pilgrimage tour, movie, dinner at her favorite restaurant, etc.). She will be happy to spend time with her son and family. Try to celebrate the festivals, your kids’ birthdays, special occasions, etc. with her. If you are away, try to visit for special events or else invite your mother-in-law to your place.
Gifting is an age-old way of expressing one’s love and care. So, gift her occasionally (her birthday, mother’s day, women day, etc.). Give the gifts as a couple (with your husband), this will make her feel that her son considers her unique and gives importance to her even after his marriage. If you are away, send her gifts via online or book movie ticket online for her (if she is a movie buff), or at home as well you can book a movie through your DTH.
Seek her help
When you are in the kitchen, make it a point to ask her recipe and try to make according to her recipe in your way. In case you are staying away from her, still call her to know her recipe, making food by her recipe will not only make her happy, but this will make your hubby also happy as he will recall his old days of childhood and will love you even more. Dealing with situations in life, whether problems in corporate life, seek her advice. She will feel happy that you involve her in your life.
Care for her
It is good to show interest regarding her health, stays updated with her medical issues (e.g., ask her does she takes her medicines regularly), doctor visits, further follow-ups, etc. Try to fix an appointment with the concerned doctor, arrange a cab or driver for her doctor’s visit, or you can arrange for home care as well.
When she comes to know her Daughter-In-Law is involved in all these activities, she will feel proud and happy for the importance given to you for her. It will create positive thoughts about you.
You are Her Successor
If the mother-in-law is the ‘BOSS’ of your home, then you are her successor. So, never hesitate to take charge of your responsibilities. Let that be anything such as maintaining hygiene at home, cooking, family get-together, or financial management. Involve yourself truly. Approach your family members positively. Initially, you may not be given applauds for your job, but surely, mother-in-law will get to know about your dedication towards family welfare. Please don’t work for her appreciation but work for your satisfaction and self-improvement as an excellent domestic manager. It will be of great use in the future.
Give Importance to Her Views
Generally, a mother treats her children as children even when they grow up. She prefers her child to get approval for all small and big things. So, whenever you and your husband make some major decisions, make her aware of it. If she gives negative feedback, try to convince her, and if the input is worth to accept, then accept it. Never try to prove yourself right, but try to understand your Elder’s views. This simple understanding will make life more simple and easy.
You should appreciate her, whenever she is right, her way of thinking, the hard work she has put in keeping the family happy, or her way of dealing with family hardships while leading life. A gift that your mother-in-law gifted you; now it’s your turn to appreciate with a full heart and say it aloud to your family, friends, and relatives that my mother-in-law has gifted this to me.
Use the Gadgets and Technology
Daughter-In-Law’s, who are away from their home, can also stay connected with their mothers-in-law with the help of the modern technology like a phone call, video call, WhatsApp message, updating your family photos to her, etc. If not daily, weekly, if not weekly, fortnightly, have a family video chat with her; make your kids speak to her. Whenever you are away, always call her and keep her abreast of the happenings in your day-to-day life. Do inform her that you are wearing the gift she gave, and it was well-appreciated by all. You can also tell her how her grandchildren are doing, the places you visited reminded her, etc.
It will help to keep in touch with her and make her feel the importance given to her. It will also lessen her loneliness and insecure feeling.
She is a Mother
Remember, the mother-in-law is the one who introduced your husband to this world, fed him, raised him well, and took care of him all these years. So, try to look at her as a mother to your husband and not as your mother-in-law. When you see a woman as a mother, you will see her possessiveness over her son is due to her insecure feeling. She also has her high expectations from you are due to her preference for giving the best to her son. And her anger and rudeness are due to the hope of honor from her son and Daughter-In-Law. As you understand this, you will compromise on many issues and avoid any unpleasant events.
No False Image
Please don’t pretend to be an ideal or good Daughter-In-Law, try to be good. The false image will make you sick and disturbed. So, try to do things being yourself. You can compromise on specific issues for the peace of the family but never compromise your dignity and self-respect.
The above tips may not be helpful for great chemistry with your mother-in-law. But it will indeed be useful for having a positive repo with your mother-in-law.
Always remember you both are important ladies of your family. So, always learn to respect each other chances are you both can team up to make your family a happy family.
Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.
Jamuna Rani is a microbiologist turned copy editor. She is also a homemaker turned a mother and always wished to play with the pen, paper, and words. Giving a sense of a good time to my readers with my words will always be a pleasure. Want to know more click on her photograph