Calling all mother-in-laws! Do you think you are the perfect mother-in-law while your daughter-in-law is secretly counting down the seconds until the end of your visit? If you're wondering how you can really be an awesome mother-in-law, rather than a monster-in-law, we strongly urge you to avoid all of the following. Doing any of these things is a sure-fire way to have her biting her forearm in desperation!
1. Thinking Your Son Is an Angel
C'mon on now, you may think your son is a god, but it's time to realize the apple of our eye is no living saint and has a list of faults as long as a winding snake! Spoiled, adored and over-indulged for too many years already, your constant depiction of the martyr you think he is will drive any woman CRAZY!
2. Acting Like the Queen of Housekeeping
You may be sure you are the bees knees when it comes to keeping a house together, but giving your daughter-in-law unsolicited advice about cooking, cleaning and other housekeeping skills, as if she just came down in the last rain shower, is the ultimate mother-in-law body slam. Dirty dishes in the sink, grease on the cooker, or dusty surfaces? Just zip it! Extra bad mother-in-law points if you like to hover over your daughter-in-law while she is preparing dinner or folding laundry.
3. Comparing Your Parenting
Hold the phone! If you just started a sentence with the words "in my day," you need to take yourself in hand lady! In case you hadn't realized, the last time you were a mom on the frontline of parenting was around thirty years ago when shoulder pads were in. We know you have advice for everything under the sun, but things have changed a bit since then, so don't be getting all retro with your comparisons. Although this is your grandchild, it's your daughter-in-law's child.
4. Giving Sucky Presents
There's nothing like making family members feel slighted with weird, sucky presents. While you might be feeling smug and thrifty from the savings you made by buying all your gifts at the dollar store this year, bestowing lame and cheap gifts on your family is a one-way ticket to get a double thumbs down on special occasions.
5. Asking If She's Pregnant
Here's the thing: if your son and daughter-in-law are expecting a baby they will tell you! (Truly they will.) Don't ever go insisting she is pregnant and doing a happy dance about the fact you are going to be a grandparent again. The hips in fact DO lie, and it's just a few extra sanity-seeking chocolate pounds you've eyeballed. Talk about tacky.
6. Thinking It's Your Wedding
Everybody loves a wedding, but some people can take things too far. If you were caught meddling with the menu choices, gift list, or wedding dress selection, you have been busted! Remember, you already had your wedding, the show's over for you. An extra 'tsk tsk' if you tried to join in on the honeymoon.
7. Sharing About Sex
Seriously, nobody wants to hear about your newfound life as a sex kitten, or your wayward jokes about cobwebs forming, or any comments about anyone having sex, or not having sex. Comprende? Nobody needs to think about their mother-in-law and sex in the same train of thought, ever!
8. Making It All About You
Here's a thing, when your daughter-in-law has got three kids hanging off her, a pot on the stove, and she's trying to simultaneously get laundry done while sorting through the bills just as the phone starts ringing, she categorically does not want to hear you banging on about how you spent the whole day organizing your garage and sewing a skirt until her brain falls out of her ear.
9. Comparing Her to... Anyone
Lightbulb moment! Your daughter-in-law is not your daughter, not your son's ex-girlfriend, not your niece nor is she any other female member of your family. Every time you compare her to any other individual that is not her unique self, you might as well go grab a sledgehammer and bring it crashing down on your relationship.
10. Telling Her She Has It Easy
"Oh yes, people these days don't know the meaning of the word work. You have it so easy. You have everything you could ever want." Oh, woe is you! If any of these statements has ever left your mouth, then you'll soon be crowned the chief of moaning mother-in-laws.
Remember when you vowed you'd never do any of those things? If you now think you might be a meddling monster-in-law rather than the BFF second mom your daughter-in-law always dreamed of, it's time to embrace some changes.