The 7 Things I Wish My Mother-in-Law Knew


National Mother-In-Law Day is coming next week! Truthfully, I didn’t even know this day existed until a month ago. Maybe that’s because I just assumed that MILs were to be celebrated on Mothers Day.

Or maybe that’s because for the longest time I didn’t have the best relationship with my MIL.

It has taken a lot of hard work from both of us (and my husband) to cultivate and grow the relationship into what it is today. It took taking some steps back, walking in other peoples shoes, and really trying to see things the way that others were seeing them to heal the relationship.

I get that not everyone has a positive relationship with their MIL and for that, I am truly sorry, however, whether you are a Daughter-In-Law or a Mother-In-Law, I challenge you to read my list of 7 things that I wish my MIL knew:

***I’ll have another challenge for you at the end!***

As a Daughter-In-Law there are so many things I wish my MIL knew, but I’ll narrow it down to the top 7 for time’s sake. I have also taken the liberty of bolding the WRONG way to say things (it’ll get your attention I promise) so make sure you read what’s after it!

(I should also point out that I am not exactly the best at verbally telling her, so I will write them here instead.)

young couple sitting on couch with motherYour way may not be the best way.

This is something that you have told me in a round about way lately and I appreciate it more than you know. When it comes to decisions about my family that I ask you for advice on, you seem to talk about what you did and then remind me that we (your son and I) are capable of figuring out what is best for us.

You don’t love your son more than I do.

You love your son deeply, as do I, but our love is different. A mother’s love for her son is a special bond built from birth and grows through the years of life (even during the years that I am included). A wife’s love for her husband is a special bond that begins in adulthood (or close to it) and continues throughout the trials and tribulations of life. Both kinds of love are of value and deeply connect all of us together.

I can’t always please you.

As hard as I try, I will always mess up, and there will be times that it doesn’t sit well with you. I hope that when these moments happen that you can meet me with humility and I will try to do the same for you. After all, no one is perfect right?

My past does not define me.

Who I was when you met me is not the person I am today. I have grown a tremendous amount and have a clearer idea of what it’s like to walk in a mother’s shoes. Sure we may have started off on rocky ground, but that doesn’t mean we were meant to stay that way forever. I, for one, am thankful that the rocky start lead to more solid and stable ground.

I suck at saying “I am sorry.”

Unfortunately, there have been moments when I forgot to say I am sorry, for hurting your feelings, not including you in something, or stepping on your toes (figuratively speaking). For some reason, it’s hard to squeak out those three little words, but I promise I am working on it. And while we are on this topic, it’s okay to remind me when I do these things. Sometimes, what I am doing may be unintentional and if you point it out, I can fix it right away.

Holidays are hard, so please don’t make them harder.

If I am being honest, I think everyone in our entire extended family needs to hear this (and I need to tell myself this). There’s so much pressure to be in 20 places at once, just so everyone can see everyone on that one special day. In a perfect world, we would be able to see everyone we love all in one day, but unfortunately it’s not physically possible. It makes for such stressful times and holidays are then more of a burden than a joy. Who says we can’t do Thanksgiving on the following Saturday anyway!? As long as we can get together we can call it whatever holiday we want.

I love you.

Oh wait, yep that’s exactly what I wanted to say. There is no other way to say it. As the years pass, I am learning that each day is a gift and that each day we get to spend with family is an added bonus. I am thankful for you, I appreciate you, and I am glad to have a relationship with you. Our relationship shows my kids that not all in-law relationships have to be like they are portrayed by so much of society (negative).

Now, here is my challenge for you:

If you are a MIL: Reread this article, and imagine your Daughter-In-Law saying these things to you. If your relationship is rocky, think of a way you can positively share time with her to grow your relationship in a positive way (after all she may be a MIL to someone some day). If your relationship is already pretty good, then sit back and smile as you read this, because I am sure she has so many positive things she wants to say to you!

If you’re a Daughter-In-Law: Write a letter to your MIL with things you wish to say to her. If your relationship is good or not so good, I challenge you to be as positive as you can be. Today is her day, show her she’s important.


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