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How to be a good daughter in law

by anonymous

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You're thrilled! You've just gotten engaged to the man of your dreams and you cannot wait to go out and by every wedding magazine in the newsstand. You've got your Real Simple checklist ready to go and you may even already know the font you want to use for your invites and custom stadium cups (wedding favors, obvi). There are two things you can check off your list and you've barely even started. Hooray!


Pump those brakes girl, there are in laws to reckon with. If you don't have a good relationship with them yet or even a work in progress, time to get that game plan together. There is no way you're going to be able to fully enjoy the wedding planning process (and to their son no less) if you're not developing at least a casual civility with them.


Below a couple of tips for getting that relationship going in a positive healthy direction that you'll be able to at least maintain, and hopefully cultivate as time goes on.


  1. Same goal: You both love this guy, please remember that. You both want what's best for him and you like seeing him happy. When she makes him take an extra scoop of pasta and sauce, it's because she loves him, not because she's trying to upstage your spaghetti and sauce.

  2. She's trying to upstage your spaghetti and sauce: Ok, there's a possibility she might be, but so what? Take the high road and keep in mind that this is the woman who gave birth to the man you love. She grew him for 9 months and took care of him long after that. Can you blame the woman for being attached? If the spaghetti and sauce is so important to her, let her have it. She'll be a much needed ally in the future after all.

  3. Honesty is the best policy: But nastiness isn't. Be forward and upfront with your mother in law but no need to disrespect her... see item #1. If you loathe her taste in food but she's trying to throw you a wedding shower, ask a friend to throw you another one and avoid eating at hers claiming a very restrictive diet from your nutritionist. Not only is this your big day, but this is her son getting married, both of you are going through life changing events, it would do to be a little humble and sure will help you in the long run.

  4. Include her: Want to know the fastest way for a mother in law to feel left out and get her back up? To not be included in decision making. No need to make a big hulabaloo about it but a few emails and phone calls can sure go a long way. Try limiting the decision making so it doesn't look like you're insulting her if you go in a different direction. For example, "Hi Mrs. Robly, I'm going to be doing personalized stadium cups as wedding favors, should we do a blue cup with green ink or a green cup with blue ink?" It's a small decision but the branch will make her feel good about being a part of everything, especially if she doesn't have a daughter's wedding to plan.

  5. Take a deep breath: You have a lot on your plate and condensing getting to know each other into the short amount of time before the wedding is not easy. You have plenty of time after the wedding to continue to grow your relationship. For now, if you can't see eye to eye, keep things civil and pleasant so you don't add stress on to your relationship with your fiancée. Put yourself in his plastic cup, how easy can it be choosing between the two most important women in his life?


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